North Carolina back above 1,000 positive cases per day; delta variant dominates cases

Coronavirus

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — North Carolina’s COVID-19 cases are back above 1,000 cases per day, as health leaders warn individuals who have still not been vaccinated for the virus.

On Thursday, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen addressed the state, stressing that the numbers were disturbing as Fourth of July-linked cases appear.

“We had a thousand new cases a day reported yesterday and today. That’s more than three times the number of cases we were seeing just two weeks ago,” Cohen said.

Per the state’s website, there were 1,020 cases reported on Thursday, with 492 people having been hospitalized across the state.

The state also has a 5.5 percent positivity rate amongst those who are tested.

Cohen and other health professionals warn that more than 99 percent of these cases are from those who have not been vaccinated.

“Those who are in the hospital right now, and those nearly a thousand cases that we are seeing, I truly believe that those cases are truly avoidable,” said Dr. Ashish Khanna, an assistant professor at Wake Forest Baptist and works in the Adult Critical Care unit.

To him, the numbers are concerning.

In North Carolina, 59 percent of adults 18 and older have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccination, and 56 percent are fully vaccinated.

The state, however, is now recording an alarming number of COVID-19-positive cases, most of which are the delta variant.

“We do know the delta variant is mutating rapidly within that cohort of individuals who have severe symptomatic infections,” Khanna said.

Most of the patients are between the ages of 25 and 50.

In the Triad, COVID cases are not at the levels they were last year.

On July 15, 2020, there were just more than 1,800 cases, however this year it is 800 fewer.

Khanna says it’s a sign the vaccines are working.

“Masked up last year and still we had big surges after holidays. This year, people did their things on the Fourth of July weekend. They were unmasked, they had parties, families got together. However, there was not as much of a surge. Clearly, vaccination is kicking in, and it’s making a difference,” Khanna said.

Dr. Iulia Vann told Guilford County Commissioners Thursday night that the county saw its lowest positive rate in June. That number though is going up, with a 3.7 percent positive rate.

Cone Health also reported 11 confirmed hospitalizations on Monday, but by Thursday they were at 17.

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