RALEIGH, N.C. -- Here's the latest news and information on COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,318 new cases, nearly twice as many as yesterday. However, the percentage of positive tests dropped to 5.9% from 7.5%--though still higher than the 4-5% seen earlier in the month.
Currently, 1,113 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide. That includes 260 adult patients in the ICU. Since August, the percentage of pediatric patients in the hospital has risen sharply from 0.8% to 2.4%, a 200% increase.
WEDNESDAY MORNING HEADLINES
Durham County Health Department will offer COVID-19 booster COVID-19 vaccines to all adults starting Wednesday, in line with federal guidance announced Friday. Wake County began giving shots to all adults Tuesday, and Orange County opened their elligibility Monday.
Any person 18 years or older who received a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago can get a booster shot of any vaccine--though its recommended that you choose one of the two mRNA-based vaccines. Anyone older than 18 who got a Johnson & Johnson shot at least two months ago can get a booster shot of any vaccine.
No appointments are needed to get a shot at Durham County Department of Public Health, though appointments can be scheduled by calling ahead.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,289 new COVID-19 cases, a slight decrease from Monday but still maintaining the state's plateau in the 7-day average of new cases. However, the percentage of positive tests rose sharply to 7.5%, meaning community spread could be much higher.
Additionally, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 increased to 1,112.
In total, 18,642 people have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic.
The U.S. has reported an increase in pediatric COVID-19 cases for the third week in a row.
Nearly 142,000 children tested positive in the last week, which is a 16% increase from the week prior and a 41% jump over the last three weeks, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.
Nearly 6.8 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
COVID-19 cases among children remain "extremely high," the organizations said, and there have been almost 1.7 million additional cases since the first week of September.
The Midwest continues to see the highest number of pediatric cases.
Severe illness due to COVID-19 remains "uncommon" among children, AAP and CHA said. However, AAP and CHA continue to warn that there is an urgent need to collect more data on the long-term consequences of the pandemic on children, "including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects."
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TUESDAY MORNING HEADLINES
COVID-19 booster shots are available to all adults at all five Wake county vaccination clinics starting today.
To get the booster shots, you must make an appointment.
While the boosters are now available, getting one today likely won't give you any more protection ahead of Thanksgiving, as it takes several days before your body builds the anti-bodies.
That's why doctors say all families should still be cautious when holding gatherings indoors with large groups--especially if any people in those groups are unvaccinated.
If you're looking to get vaccinated or to get a booster, click here.