RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina’s key COVID-19 numbers appear to have leveled off.
After months of steady declines, cases and hospital admissions were effectively flat Wednesday, according to the latest weekly update from the State Department of Health and Human Services.
The state reported 125 fewer cases from March 19-25 than it did during the previous week.
And there were three more people admitted to hospitals with COVID last week than a week earlier.
The weekly case count has dropped every week during 2023, and those improving conditions — along with the impending end of the federal public health emergency May 11 — led NCDHHS to cut back on some of the numbers it posts online.
The agency is no longer listing nursing homes or other congregate living settings that are dealing with COVID outbreaks, will update vaccinations only two more times and has stopped counting both the number of patients presumed recovered and hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status.
NCDHHS reported 3,922 new cases last week, the first week with fewer than 4,000 of them in almost exactly a year. There were 4,047 of them a week earlier.
The state says 397 people were admitted to hospitals last week for COVID — up three from the 394 who checked in during the previous week. It marks the first weekly increase, however small, since the first week of January.
NCDHHS also reported a slight increase in COVID particles in wastewater — the average of 7.8 million representing an 8 percent weekly increase — and says 2 percent of emergency room visits were caused by COVID-like symptoms, down from 3 percent.
The vaccination rates remained flat, with another 6,122 bivalent booster doses added to the running total.
It had no effect on the booster rate — which remained at 22 percent of vaccinated people having gotten a new booster dose — and that sustained slowdown is a big reason why NCDHHS will only update those numbers again April 26 and finally on May 31.
Another 23 deaths were added to the total, which grew to 28,540.