RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – More than half a million COVID-19 breakthrough cases have been reported in North Carolina.
A weekly report issued Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Resources said the state has registered 507,977 post-vaccination cases between January 1, 2021 and the week ending February 12.
That’s an increase of more than 15,000 since the previous week, the third week in a row with fewer of them than the previous one. The total number rose by about 29,000 in last week’s report, marking a sharp drop from the 47,000 from the week before that and the 65,000 in the week of 22 January.
The drop in the breakthrough figure for week-over-week marks the latest sign that the increase driven by the omicron variant continues to fade.
A total of 1,816 fully vaccinated individuals have died from COVID-19, an increase of 142 from the previous report.
Just over 8 percent of the state’s 6 million fully vaccinated people have reported a breakthrough case, although it is not known how many of these people have also been boosted.
The agency says the omicron variant accounted for 99 percent of the samples sequenced in laboratories for the second week in a row.
Unvaccinated people still make up the overwhelming majority of patients both in the general hospital wards and in the intensive care units.
The unvaccinated accounted for 63 percent of total admissions – a small drop from 63 percent last week – but accounted for 73 percent of them in intensive care units for the third week in a row.
NCDHHS says 9 percent of inpatients that week, and 7.5 percent of those on intensive care, had received their booster. Both were small increases from last week.
The number of COVID-like symptoms accounting for visits to emergency rooms across the state fell for the fifth week in a row to its lowest level since early December. Only 6 percent of these visits were for COVID symptoms – well down from the top 26 percent in mid-January.