RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina's saw its COVID-19 numbers continue their week-long soar Thursday, breaking records for both single-day reports and hospitalized patients.

The omicron variant has spread rapidly enough statewide that new high points are now reached almost daily.

Hospitals hit a new high point for COVID-19 patients for the third-straight day Thursday with 4,275 — a total that has more than doubled in the last month.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Health and Human Services reported 44,833 confirmed new cases Thursday, making it likely North Carolina's running total will pass 2 million on Friday.

Numbers from DHHS are abnormally high Thursday because some laboratory results from GENETWORx were not submitted from mid-December to early January, including 10,791 positives, the agency said. Those were added today.

Before Thursday, the highest single-day case report was 29,069, set last week — more than 15,000 fewer than the new total.

DHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley tweeted about burnout among health care workers Thursday, adding, "We can all support them by getting vaxed, boosted, and wearing a tight fitting mask."

Plea from hospitals

More than two dozen hospitals put out a joint statement Wednesday, warning, "Your personal decisions about how to coexist with the virus directly affect the health and well-being of your family and community."

The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic rose to 19,850 people Friday. The rate of positive COVID-19 test results is 30.1%, six times the goal state health officials have set.

To date, 70% of North Carolina adults 18 and older have received two doses of vaccine or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson. Overall, the state's vaccination rate stands at 59%.


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