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State continues to post high daily COVID-19 case counts as increased holiday travel arrives

Doctors weigh in on at-home COVID-19 tests and what you need to know
Doctors weigh in on at-home COVID-19 tests and what you need to know(WLBT)
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 1:42 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - North Carolina continues to post high COVID-19 numbers as we head into a busy travel stretch of the holidays.

Friday saw another 3,980 cases of the virus added to the states tally, according to NCDHHS. It comes a day after the state saw over 4,000 cases of COVID-19. The daily percent positive sits at 7.8%.

The high figures are beginning to take a toll on the state’s 7 day rolling average which took a sharp upward turn.

The latest figures show the states 7-day COVID-19 case rolling average climbing.
The latest figures show the states 7-day COVID-19 case rolling average climbing.(NCDHHS)

The new numbers come as three cases of the omicron variant were announced in Pitt County on Thursday.

NCDHHS sent out an advisory Friday afternoon urging folks to get vaccinated saying that early evidence suggests omicron is two to three times as contagious than the delta variant and four to six times as contagious as the original COVID-19 virus.

“Data collected so far show more rapid waning of protection after the primary vaccination series than was seen with Delta or other variants, although vaccines are still effective at preventing severe disease. Protection against Omicron increases greatly after a booster dose. Health experts predict that once Omicron is in a community, it will be nearly impossible to contain, making vaccines and boosters essential in protecting people from severe illness,” the advisory said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Thursday that the variant will overtake delta as the dominant strain of COVID-19 in a few weeks.

“It is the most transmissible virus of Covid that we had to deal with thus far. It will soon become dominant here. That’s one thing we know,” Fauci told a virtual U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation audience.

Fauci continued to urge the unvaccinated to get their shot and anyone eligible for a booster to do so as well.

Hospitalizations did go down slightly to 1,584 after climbing for several days.

There have been 19,121 COVID-19 related deaths in the state since the start of the pandemic.

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