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NORTH CAROLINA (WGHP) — COVID hospitalizations have spiked to a level not seen since mid-January, before vaccinations became widely available.

As of Friday, 3,800 people are in the hospital with COVID-19 across North Carolina. This is the highest number of people hospitalized since Jan. 13, when there were 3,992 people in the hospital.

On Dec. 15, Dr. Christopher Ohl was the first in line to get the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at WFBMC, the first location in the country to receive the vaccine shipment.

Ohl recently contracted COVID-19 himself, saying of the experience: “I was vaccinated, and I’m here talking to you today and I’m smiling on the last day of my quarantine/isolation and fully recovered, and that would not have been the case had I not been vaccinated.”

Hospitalizations steadily declined from January’s peak, when vaccines began becoming more widely available. All adults in North Carolina were eligible to be vaccinated on April 7.

In recent weeks there has been a significant spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. There are nearly 650 people currently on ventilators in hospitals around the state, a pandemic high.

Hospitalizations Graph

“The vast majority of people dying with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. If you are not vaccinated please don’t wait until it is too late,” said Mandy Cohen, secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services in a recent press release. “The authorized and approved vaccines have been through rigorous clinical trials and met scientific standards. Millions of North Carolinians have been safely vaccinated.”