NORTH CAROLINA - The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released their daily update involving COVID-19 cases within the state.
"We had 1,000 new cases a day reported yesterday and today. That's more than three times the number of cases that we were seeing just two weeks ago when we had about 300 cases a day," said Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
As of Friday, there are now 868,342 PCR positive cases and 154,534 antigen positive cases, 536 people hospitalized and 13,523 COVID-19-related deaths.
That is 1,023 new total cases and 4 new deaths from Thursday.
North Carolina is one of the latest states reporting more COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Dr. David Weber, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Epidemiology at the UNC schools of Medicine and Public Health, points to a few reasons why.
"I think the increase in cases is driven by our inability to increase the coverage of immunizations, so certainly they are inching up but they are not dramatically increasing, and the number of people interested in being immunized has fallen substantially over the last few months. And most importantly, by the spread of the Delta variant, which now throughout the United States comprises more than 50% of cases, [is] likely also true in North Carolina," he said.
Dr. Weber said the Delta variant is "substantially more infectious" and the Fourth of July holiday could have contributed to the spread.
"Some recent days with lots of travel, family gatherings, other people in close proximity likely [contributed to] transmitting [the] disease," he said.
On the same day North Carolina picked two more winners of the COVID-19 vaccine lottery, Dr. Cohen also announced that 99% of the current cases in North Carolina are in unvaccinated individuals. She said data shows that it is generally a younger population.
While other areas across the country change mask guidelines and call on the CDC for more mandates, Dr. Weber said, "One size doesn't fit all, and so local and county health departments need to take it upon themselves to alert people to the local risks."
A total of 14,068,960 total COVID-19 tests have been completed in North Carolina.
Here's the breakdown of confirmed cases in local areas:
|TOTAL CASES||NEW CASES TODAY||TOTAL DEATHS||NEW DEATHS TODAY|
|NC STATE TOTALS||1,022,876||1,023||13,523||4|