NC positive tests, hospitalizations soar in holiday weekend

Published 3:51 pm Wednesday, December 29, 2021

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RALEIGH (AP) — Positive COVID-19 test rates and hospitalizations in North Carolina soared during the long holiday weekend, state health officials announced Tuesday, as a spike in cases led largely by the contagious omicron variant continues globally.

The state Department of Health and Human Services, in releasing data for the first time since last week, reported that almost 22% of tests performed on Sunday were positive, reaching a record high during the pandemic, news outlets reported. The positivity rate was more than double the percentage from a week earlier.

North Carolina also reported more than 32,000 new cases over the previous six days, an increase of nearly 10,000 compared to the six days prior to that stretch.

The number of people identified by DHHS as hospitalized COVID-19 patients reached nearly 2,000 as of Monday, compared to just over 1,200 people hospitalized in early December. Over 480 people of those hospitalized as of Monday were in intensive care units, DHHS data said.

State government holidays for Christmas meant that state officials hadn’t released daily coronavirus figures since Dec. 22 until Tuesday.