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N.C. health officials urge vaccinations as state sees highest single-day jump in ICU admissions

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 5:15 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - North Carolina experienced the largest single-day jump in hospital ICU admissions since the pandemic began, according to state health officials.

“ICU admissions related to COVID-19 jumped to 557 yesterday from 502 the day prior. From Aug. 3 through Aug. 9, there were 547 people ages 20-49 admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19,” the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) said in a news release.

Overall, 2,179 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 272 people admitted in the past 24 hours, according to data reported to the NCDHHS. Weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations among people ages 20-49 are at an all-time high.

“These high-levels of COVID-related admissions jeopardize the ability of our hospitals to provide needed care in our communities,” said Kody H. Kinsley, chief deputy secretary for health at NCDHHS. “The vast majority of our COVID-19 hospitalizations are in unvaccinated people. This underscores the need for everyone to be vaccinated against the virus and use preventative measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Dr. Eric Eskioglu, Novant Health’s chief medical and scientific officer, said the health system is on track to match or exceed the surge of COVID-19 cases they saw in their hospitals in January.

“Unfortunately, we have more than a 1,000% increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions today compared to just three weeks ago,” he said. “The average age of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is also 44, down from 61 in January. More than 90% of patients hospitalized with COVID are unvaccinated and they are sicker than the patients we saw during earlier surges. Entire families are presenting in our emergency rooms for COVID testing. This surge is still preventable. I urge and plead with everyone to get vaccinated now.”

Health officials say the highly contagious delta variant is driving an increase in key COVID-19 metrics in the state.

“There have been 31,036 cases reported over the past seven days compared to 19,911 cases in the preceding seven days — a 56% increase — and hospitalizations have more than doubled since July 27 and are at the highest they have been since Feb. 11,” the release stated.

Nearly every county in North Carolina is experiencing substantial to high community transmission of the virus, according to the CDC’s Community Transmission Map.

In addition to vaccines, the NCDHHS is recommending people who live in high-transmission areas to wear masks in indoor public spaces.

To find a vaccine in your area, use the Find a Vaccine Location tool at MySpot.nc.gov or call 888-675-4567. You can also text your zip code to 438829 to find vaccine locations near you.

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