The statewide positive test rate was at 30.5% as of noon Tuesday. The record for the pandemic has been 31.8%, reported Jan. 5.
North Carolina has recorded 1.9 million cases and 19,706 COVID-19 related deaths since the pandemic began. The death total is up 21 from Monday.
Since early July, the vast majority of COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths locally and statewide have been among unvaccinated people, according to local infectious diseases experts and state public health officials.
There also have been deaths among vaccinated people who were immunocompromised or who had other health issues.
“We’re pushing the boundaries of what hospitals can handle, and it’s going to be like that through January,” Dr. David Priest, an infectious diseases expert with Novant Health Inc., said early this month.
State and local health care officials also attribute the current surge to colder weather leading people to spend more time indoors.
As of noon Tuesday, 2.69 million COVID-19 booster doses had been given in North Carolina since Aug. 13.
DHHS said 70% of adult North Carolinians are fully vaccinated.
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