There were 2,985 cases reported statewide on Tuesday, a decline from the nearly 7,000 reported Sunday. The statewide positivity rate was 14% on Sunday, and it has been at least 10% each day since July 31. The 31,036 cases reported over the last seven days marks a 56% increase from the 19,911 cases reported in the preceding seven days.
The state reported that 2,179 people were currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 on Tuesday, the highest current hospitalizations have been since Feb. 11. Hospitalizations have more than doubled since July 27.
North Carolina experienced the largest single day jump in hospital ICU admissions since the start of the pandemic on Tuesday. Admissions jumped to 557 on Tuesday from 502 the day prior, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
NCDHHS also reported that weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations among people ages 20 to 49 were at an all time high as of Tuesday. From Aug. 3 to Aug. 9, there were 547 people in this age group admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19.
Officials say the surge in cases is due to the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The Delta variant is highly contagious and more transmissible than the ancestral strain.
During the week of July 25, 15% of statewide cases were in the 18 to 24 age group and 45% were between the ages of 25 and 49.
As of Tuesday, 55% of North Carolinians 12 years and older are fully vaccinated, and 60% of this age group has received at least one dose. ABC11 reported July 30 that since May 6, 92% of cases and 94% of deaths in the state have been among people who are not fully vaccinated.
There were 629 active cases in Durham County as of Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., according to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard. Three people in Durham were hospitalized Saturday and one person on Tuesday.
Approximately 28% of confirmed cases reported in Durham County from July 1 to Aug. 10 were in the 18 to 29 age group, with 49% of confirmed cases in that time period being among people under age 30.
Seventy-one percent of Durham residents 12 years and older have received at least one dose as of Tuesday, while 67% of this group is fully vaccinated.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services stopped using its county alert map showing COVID-19 transmission Aug. 6 in favor of using the county transmission data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Durham experienced high transmission levels of COVID-19 between Aug. 2 and Aug. 8. Transmission was classified as moderate by the CDC when Duke first reinstated its indoor mask mandate July 30. Nearly all counties in North Carolina are experiencing substantial to high community transmission classifications.
Durham County is under a state of emergency as of 5 p.m. Monday. Masks are required in all public buildings regardless of vaccination status.
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Nadia Bey, Trinity '23, was managing editor for The Chronicle's 117th volume and digital strategy director for Volume 118.