The number of new COVID-19 cases reported daily has been declining in North Carolina, according to the latest numbers from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 Dashboard.
There were a reported 1,786 new positive cases in the state on Monday, the lowest since July 27. Cases had spiked since the end of the summer due to a surge of the Delta variant, with a peak of 11,337 new cases being reported on Sept. 11, just shy of the pandemic-record 12,079 cases reported on Feb. 3, 2021.
Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 1,434,551 positive cases have been recorded in North Carolina.
There were two reported deaths from COVID-19 in North Carolina on Friday, the lowest since July 18. On Sept. 13, 83 deaths were reported, the highest number of deaths in a day since early February. The number of deaths reported daily has generally been trending downward since mid-September.
In Durham County, there were 466 new positive cases from Oct. 5 to 11, a positivity rate of 3.79%, according to the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker. Out of these, there have been 45 hospital admissions and fewer than 10 deaths.
This represents a 14.02% decrease in cases, a 8.16% decrease in hospitalizations and a 100% decrease in deaths from the previous seven days.
Since Aug. 9, the city of Durham has been under a state of emergency and masks have been required indoors in an effort to combat the spread of the Delta variant. The order has no expiration date and will remain in effect until rescinded by the city.
Vaccination rates and next steps
As of Monday, 71.3% of Durham residents had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 60.5% were fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, only 58% of North Carolina’s population had received at least one dose and 54% of the population was fully vaccinated.
The highest number of vaccinations in a given week in the state was 701,508 on the week of April 5. Vaccinations then steadily declined until July when the Delta variant caused a new surge in cases. About 71,455 vaccine doses were administered in the state the week of Oct. 4, the lowest weekly number since December 2020.
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They reached a relative peak the week of Aug. 23, with 174,109 doses being administered that week.
The CDC ruled on Sept. 17 to make a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine available to Americans over 65 years of age with underlying health conditions or working in high-risk occupations. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel is expected to meet this Thursday and Friday, Oct. 14 and 15, to discuss authorization of booster doses for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Parker Harris is a Trinity junior and the local & national news editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.