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Coronavirus omicron updates: Here’s what to know in North Carolina on Jan. 12

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Wake County is seeing growing demand for COVID-19 tests, data show.

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We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in North Carolina. Check back for updates.

Almost 4,000 hospitalized

At least 1,905,265 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 19,706 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday, Jan. 11, reported 17,705 new COVID-19 cases, down from 18,254 the day before. Another 21 coronavirus-related deaths were reported Jan. 11.

At least 3,991 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 on Jan. 10, up from 3,841 the day before.

As of Jan. 9, the latest date with available information, 30.5% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Health officials say 5% or lower is the target rate to slow the spread of the virus.

Roughly 74% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 70% have been fully vaccinated. Of the state’s total population, about 59% are fully vaccinated and 63% have received at least one dose. State officials round vaccination numbers to the nearest whole number.

More than 2.6 million “additional/booster” doses have been administered in North Carolina as of Jan. 11, the health department said. Health officials have urged those who are eligible to get boosted, as data suggests it offers increased protection against the omicron coronavirus variant.

About 99% of all new COVID-19 cases in the Southeast were (*12*)as of Jan. 8, the latest date for which data is available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New testing site to open in Triangle as Wake sees growing demand

A new COVID-19 testing site is planned as Wake County sees growing demand for the service.

Starting Jan. 12, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and Mako Medical is offering testing at WakeMed Soccer Park. The Cary facility will run 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and won’t require appointments, officials said.

Those interested in getting tests will have to sign up online, The News & Observer reported.

The state health department has started at least four mass testing locations in Wake County since the omicron coronavirus variant started to spread.

At Wake County’s testing sites, data shows the number of appointments doubled from Dec. 21 to Dec. 28, when the total was more than 14,000. In early 2022, over 13,000 appointments have been booked each day.

NC hospitals seeing shortage of COVID treatment

As the omicron coronavirus variant looms, North Carolina hospitals are short on a treatment given to COVID-19 patients.

Doctors said two monoclonal antibody therapies aren’t effective against the variant, leaving them with a treatment called sotrovimab. The drug is in limited supply, so medical providers have been forced to reserve them for those who may get seriously sick.

“Before, we were giving monoclonals to a wide range of patients that we know would benefit from them based on the science,” said Dr. David Kirk of WakeMed, according to The News & Observer. “Now because the monoclonals are so limited, we’re just giving it to the highest of the high risk.”

NC school district limits sports fans, revises face mask rules

A North Carolina school will temporarily require universal face mask wearing and prohibit talking at lunch as the coronavirus continues to spread.

In addition to those changes, the Orange County school board also approved limiting fans at sporting events and changing quarantine requirements. Teachers will be required to get COVID-19 booster shots once they are required for state workers, The News & Observer reported.

“I do believe, as y’all have said and as our medical experts presented tonight, that this will be short-lived, that we can get past this peak and prevent overburdening our health care system and our contact tracers and staff, and that hopefully by early February be able to ease” the rules, said Carrie Doyle, chair of the board.

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Simone Jasper is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.



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