RALEIGH, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and state health officials will provide an update on the state’s COVID-19 response Thursday afternoon as healthcare workers continue to struggle with the latest virus surge.
As of Wednesday, 4,752 new cases were reported in North Carolina. 3,790 patients were hospitalized.
The NC Department of Health and Human Services also announced on Wednesday it’s seeing a sharp increase in COVID-19 clusters among school sports teams.
For the period between July 1 and Sept. 2, 2021, clusters among school sports teams accounted for 45% of all clusters in North Carolina middle and high schools, despite most school sports activities not beginning until August as schools began the fall semester.
For the week ending Sept. 4, children age 17 and under made up 31% of the state’s new COVID-19 cases, NCDHHS said. That is the highest percentage since the pandemic began.
“We need everyone, including our student athletes and their coaches, to increase layers of prevention to fight this more contagious Delta variant: Don’t wait to vaccinate and urge others to do the same,” NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer and State Health Director Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, M.D., MPH. “Tested, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are the best tool for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Student athletes who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after a close contact with someone with COVID-19.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, said he believes booster shots will be available for Americans starting Sept. 20, but the shots have yet to be approved by the FDA.
The FDA and CDC said they haven’t gotten enough data from Moderna to authorize a third dose yet, meaning only Pfizer would initially be available.
FOX 46 Charlotte will carry Governor Cooper’s news conference live on air and online at 3 p.m. Thursday.