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Updates on North Carolina’s COVID-19 cases, vaccination rates amid Omicron variant

COVID-19 cases have increased rapidly in Durham and North Carolina due to the Omicron variant, according to the latest numbers from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 dashboard.

The rapid rise in cases began near the end of November, following a decrease in cases during the fall.

On Dec. 31, NCDHHS reported 19,174 new cases across the state, which more than doubled the 9,377 cases reported on Dec. 29, according to the dashboard. As of Wednesday evening, North Carolina had seen a total of 1,763,614 reported cases and 19,542 COVID-related deaths during the pandemic.

The state reported 27 deaths Dec. 14, the highest number in recent weeks. 

Durham County

As of Jan. 5, Durham County is now under high community transmission, according to the county-level Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID Data Tracker.

The CDC reported 3,907 new cases in Durham County from Dec. 29 to Jan. 5, representing an increase of 230.8% from the previous seven days. The positivity rate from Dec. 29 to Jan. 5 was 13.75%.

From Dec. 29 to Jan. 5, there have been 131 new hospital admissions in Durham County, a 156.86% increase from the previous week. There have been zero deaths this week.

A state of emergency and indoor mask mandate has been in effect for the City of Durham since Aug. 9 and will remain in effect until rescinded by the city government.


The NCDHHS reported that as of Jan. 5, 63% of North Carolina. residents had received at least one dose of a two-shot vaccination and that 59% received either a one-shot vaccination or the second dose of a two-shot vaccination. 

According to the  CDC, 92.7% of Durham County’s population had been partially vaccinated and 67.3% were fully vaccinated as of Wednesday evening. Just 24.1% of Durham residents had received a booster shot.

Check here for information on how to schedule a booster shot at Duke.


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