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Record COVID case numbers cause long hours for health care workers

Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 5:51 PM EST
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said there were 9,377 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, compared to 3,698 the day before.

The increase in positive cases has resulted in increased amounts of people waiting in drive-through COVID testing lines. Health care workers say this is causing them to work extended hours.

“We ended at about 7:30 last night. Our end time is usually 5:00, but we got out of here about 7:30,” Charles Bull, StarMed Healthcare PCR and rapid-test administrator said.

Some staff says they have worked numerous 15-hour shifts since Christmas.

“Last three days in Onslow County have been some of the busiest days that we’ve seen in months,” Kristin Hoover, Onslow county public health director said.

Onslow County is seeing a significant increase in positive cases.

North Carolina overall is in the midst of an extreme increase in hospitalizations. State health officials say the latest numbers show 2,122 hospitalizations, compared to just 1,090 a month ago.

Hospitalizations across the entire country have been rising, averaging more than 71,000 hospitalizations daily.

Hoover continues to encourage vaccination amid the CDC’s changing guidelines: “With some of the changes that came out for quarantine, now is a great time to get vaccinated if you’ve not started that that series.”

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