RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Most key COVID-19 numbers in North Carolina have continued to fall.
Both new cases and hospital admissions were down 13 percent from last week across the state, according to the weekly update Wednesday from the state Department of Health and Human Services.
The rate at which people are going to emergency departments with COVID symptoms reached its lowest point since early May, with those symptoms accounting for 3.3 percent of those visits during the week of Nov. 13-19.
The only number that increased significantly — the amount of COVID particles showing up in wastewater — is prone to massive swings in both directions: It was up 28 percent a week after it fell by more than 25 percent.
NCDHHS reported a one-point increase in the percentage of eligible people who have received a new bivalent booster shot, with the addition of another 63,500 people to the running total, pushing the rate to 16 percent.
That’s important because for the first time since late June, the BA.5 omicron variant does not account for at least half of the sequenced samples. Its share has dropped to 46 percent with other variants like BQ.1.1 (15 percent) and BA.4.6 (12 percent) gaining ground.
The state reported 5,719 new cases last week, the fewest since early April and a big drop from the roughly 6,500 that came in last week.
As a result, North Carolina is averaging just over 800 new cases per day — the first time since mid-April that the average has been that low.
NCDHHS also reported fewer than 500 people admitted to hospitals for the first time since early May. A total of 495 patients were checked in last week.
The 10.4 million viral particles per person found in wastewater was a big hike from the 8.1 million last week — but it’s still below the 10.8 million from two weeks ago.
Another 42 deaths were reported in NC, pushing the running total to 27,347.