GREENSBORO — Like a slow drip into a glass, the numbers of new COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise in non-dramatic fashion.
It’s not nearly like the flash flood of new cases seen here and across the nation in January with the surge from the highly contagious omicron variant.
North Carolina saw 17,094 newly reported cases during the week ending May 7 — up from 12,951 the previous week, according to a report released Wednesday by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
In Guilford County, public health officials reported 275 new cases on Thursday — 2,474 total — and no deaths.
Statewide, hospitalizations continue to slowly rise with a daily average of 437 people with COVID-19 compared to 409 the previous week. It’s not even close, however, to the daily average of 5,049 people hospitalized with the coronavirus during the week ending Jan. 29 when the state was besieged by the latest wave of the pandemic.
In Cone Health hospitals on Thursday, 30 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 — 20 of which were unvaccinated. That compares to a high this year of 335 patients with COVID-19 in Cone Health hospitals on Jan. 26 during the surge of the omicron variant.
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The percentage of all emergency room visits statewide for patients with COVID-19 symptoms remains at 3%, according to the DHHS report.
Another metric that health experts are watching closely is the number of COVID-19 virus particles found in wastewater, which has been shown to be an early indicator of how quickly the virus may spread without relying on individual test results.
In the state’s latest report, 14.4 million coronavirus particles were found in wastewater samples last week — up from 12.2 million the week prior.
To put that into context, 100 million COVID-19 particles were found in wastewater samples in late January during the peak of the omicron surge.