The US reached a seven-day average of 265,427 cases on Tuesday, surpassing a previous record of about 252,000 daily cases reported nearly a year ago on Jan. 11, 2021. That average continued to increase on Wednesday & Thursday. A new record number of cases reported in a single day happened Thursday in North Carolina. The NCDHHS says there were 18,571 new cases--far more than the previous single day record of 11,581 in January 2021. The percentage of positive results from COVID tests increased to 22%. 2,258 North Carolinians were hospitalized with the virus, up from 2,122 on Wednesday.
Football bowl games, basketball games, hockey games and other events have been canceled because of the rapid increase in cases. In some states, schools are considering delaying the return to the classroom after the Christmas/New Year's holiday period.
Area schools are now all operating on a 'masks optional' policy, but state law requires that school boards reconsider that monthly. The Lincoln County Board of Education, first among Lincoln, Gaston, Cleveland and Catawba counties to do away with a mask mandate, won't hold its regular January meeting until January 11th, the day after students return to school.
Getting a booster of the COVID-19 vaccine remains the most important thing North Carolinians can do to keep themselves and their loved ones out of the hospital, officials with the NCDHHS said.
Statewide, 69% of North Carolina's adult population is said to be 'fully vaccinated.' Some, but not all of those, have had a 'booster' shot.
In Lincoln County, less than half the eligible population has been fully vaccinated. The county's fully vaccinated percentage was 48% according to NCDHHS. Gaston and Cleveland counties also had 48% of the population fully vaccinated. 52% of Catawba County residents were.
The average number of new cases reported daily in Lincoln County has been increasing steadily since early November. From a 14-day average of less than 20, it has now risen--according to the latest Snapshot on Wednesday (Dec. 28th)--to 44.9. While the new omicron variant is in part responsible, the number of new cases had already begun increasing before omicron became a factor.
Testing for the virus is being offered at the Emanuel Reformed Church Fellowship Building on East Sycamore Street in Lincolnton. Testing is also available at CVS and Walgreen's.