CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Delta fears are driving more people to get tested and vaccinated across the State of North Carolina. People were left waiting for an hour at one testing site in Raleigh on Tuesday with the line stretching out of the parking lot.
North Carolina state health officials are now reporting our daily percent positive rate is sitting at 14%. Just one month ago, that number was just over 4%.
That number is even worse in Cleveland County where the daily percent positive is 16.4%. Rowan County is right behind at 16.3%. Mecklenburg County is sitting at 11.8%.
Right now, the number of people in the hospital in North Carolina with COVID-19 is almost five times what it was just one month ago.
ICU admissions related to COVID-19 jumped to 557 on Monday from 502 the day prior. From Aug. 3 through Aug. 9, there were 547 people ages 20-49 admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19. Overall, 2,179 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 272 people admitted in the past 24 hours, according to data reported to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
“These high-levels of COVID-related admissions jeopardize the ability of our hospitals to provide needed care in our communities,” said Kody H. Kinsley, Chief Deputy Secretary for Health at NCDHHS. “The vast majority of our COVID-19 hospitalizations are in unvaccinated people. This underscores the need for everyone to be vaccinated against the virus and use preventative measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Dr. Eric Eskioglu, Novant Health’s chief medical and scientific officer, said the health system is on track to match or exceed the surge of COVID-19 cases they saw in their hospitals in January.
“Unfortunately, we have more than a 1,000% increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions today compared to just three weeks ago,” he said. “The average age of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is also 44, down from 61 in January. More than 90% of patients hospitalized with COVID are unvaccinated and they are sicker than the patients we saw during earlier surges. Entire families are presenting in our emergency rooms for COVID testing. This surge is still preventable. I urge and plead with everyone to get vaccinated now.”
FOX 46’s Robin Kanady was scheduled to speak with an emergency room director on Tuesday but he had to cancel…because of COVID.
“I was going to talk with the medical director of the emergency department at Novant Health Presbyterian this afternoon, but he’s so swamped with people coming into the ER. He said some of that is COVID-related and he’s so busy he didn’t have time for an interview today,” Kanady said.
Due to the highly contagious Delta variant, North Carolina’s other key COVID-19 metrics are also increasing, including the percent of tests that are positive — which has been over 10% for the past week. There have been 31,036 cases reported over the past seven days compared to 19,911 cases in the preceding seven days — a 56% increase — and hospitalizations have more than doubled since July 27 and are at the highest they have been since Feb. 11, 2021, NCDHHS said.
Novant said they’re having an issue with people coming into the ER and trying to get COVID tests. The ER is not the place to do that and they ask everyone to find a testing spot away from the ER so that they can take care of the critical patients. To find where you can get tested for COVID-19, please click here.
To find a COVID-19 vaccine location near you, please click here.