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600 hospitalized with COVID-19 in North Carolina, virus rate soars

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updates COVID-19 data each week, monitoring hospitalizations and virus particles in sewage water.

Hospital data from Wednesday, September 13 showed that more than 600 people statewide are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, a 29% increase from last week. Wastewater data shows the virus rate is the second highest so far this year.

While high, the numbers are still much lower than pandemic levels.

New vaccine against COVID-19 approved

Some Americans may be able to receive their next COVID vaccines on Wednesday.

It is also recommended that everyone 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine, and eligible individuals should receive the RSV vaccine. RSV vaccines are approved for people age 60 and older, and the drugs are approved to prevent RSV in infants and young children. Parents of infants and people ages 60 and older should talk to their medical provider for more information about RSV prevention.

The most effective type of mask remains the N-95 version.

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As cases rise, Durham County Public Health encourages the community to take the following steps to protect themselves against COVID-19:

  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Get tested. Everyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has recently been exposed to COVID-19 should get a COVID-19 test.
  • Wear masks. Masks provide an extra layer of protection against COVID-19 and are recommended after exposure, when caring for someone sick, when community spread is high, and more. CDC guidance on the use and care of face masks can be found here.
  • Follow CDC guidelines if you have been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19. If you have been exposed to COVID-19, wear a mask for a full 10 days and get tested five days after exposure. If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home and away from others for at least five days and wear a mask for at least 10 days. It is also important to isolate yourself if you have symptoms but have not yet received your COVID-19 test results.

Starting in May 2023, doctors and laboratories are no longer required to report COVID-19 cases to the state health department. As a result, case counts are no longer reported by the North Carolina Department of Health Human Services and are not available for reporting in our data dashboard above.

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