Thanksgiving brings another wave of coronavirus to NC :: WRAL.com – .

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Thanksgiving brings another wave of coronavirus to NC :: WRAL.com – .


– More than 8,500 new coronavirus infections have been reported in North Carolina since Friday, an 84% jump from the first weekend in November.

The state reported 2,980 infections per day over the past week, up 77% from the previous week.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is also on the rise, surpassing 1,300 for the first time since October 29. Only 20% of hospital beds are available statewide, and that figure drops to 16% for intensive care unit beds.

“This is probably the exact increase in cases we expected after the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Jessica Dixon, infection control specialist at WakeMed.

“We always see a little spike after a vacation where people travel or get together with family in different places,” said Dr. Linda Butler, chief medical officer at UNC Rex Hospital.

In the region that includes Wake, Franklin, Harnett, Johnston and Lee counties, only 8% of intensive care beds and 15% of all hospital beds are available. In the region which includes Durham, Caswell, Granville, Person, Vance and Warren counties, only 6% of intensive care beds are open, but 26% of all hospital beds are available.

“We have no indication yet that this increase in cases has anything to do with a new variant,” Dixon said.

North Carolina has yet to have a confirmed case of the omicron variant of the virus, which has spread rapidly in the United States but is believed to be less dangerous than the delta variant, which has caused the latest wave of infections throughout. the state during the summer.

The surge in the delta caused WakeMed to set up emergency beds in its lobby and Rex to erect triage tents outside its emergency department. Officials have said such measures are not yet necessary, but fear they will return if trends related to the pandemic continue on their current trajectory.

“We are concerned,” said Butler, noting that Rex’s COVID-19 patient count had tripled in one month. “We were down to 10 active patients with COVID; now we are at 31 ”.

“I think better immunization coverage would definitely help” turn the tide, Dixon said.

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