September becomes deadliest month of pandemic since January in North Carolina

North Carolina

FILE – In this Aug. 31, 2021 file photo a R.N. holds the hand of a COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (MICU) at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare made the announcement Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. St. Luke’s Health System, Idaho’s largest hospital network, asked state health leaders to allow “crisis standards of care” on Wednesday because the increase in COVID-19 patients has exhausted the state’s medical resources. (AP Photo/Kyle Gree,File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — More people in North Carolina have died of COVID-19 in September than in any month since January.

Specific date-of-death data from the state Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday showed at least 1,341 North Carolinians have died so far during this calendar month.

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The only two months with more COVID deaths were December 2020 (2,090) and January (3,024).

Death totals surged in August and September due to the fast-spreading delta variant, with the most severe outcomes overwhelmingly reserved for the unvaccinated.

COVID-19 has killed more than 16,000 North Carolinians since March 2020, with more than 8,000 of those dying since Jan. 1.

Of those, state public health officials say just 365 were fully vaccinated, and public health experts have said the vast majority of them had other complicating factors.

There were 1,170 deaths in August, which had been the deadliest month since February when 1,267 people died.

The full September total might not be complete until mid-October or later, because COVID deaths frequently take days or weeks to be reported to state public health officials.

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