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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

COVID Hospitalizations Dip To Single Digits At Most Novant Hospitals In North Carolina

Jodie Valade

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to fall across North Carolina and in Mecklenburg County. The daily COVID-19 patient census at all but two of Novant Health’s hospitals has dropped to less than 10, according to Dr. David Priest, an infectious disease physician at the health care system. Charlotte’s Presbyterian Medical Center is among the hospitals reporting single-digit numbers.

“Almost all of the patients who are being admitted to our hospitals with COVID have not been vaccinated," Priest told reporters during a news conference on Tuesday.

Two spokespeople for Charlotte’s other large hospital system, Atrium Health, did not immediately respond to a request for the number of COVID-19 patients at its facilities. But according to Mecklenburg County Public Health data, which includes numbers from both Atrium and Novant, there continues to be a steady decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The number of people in the county’s hospitals fell from 75 to 60 between June 2 and June 9, according to the latest available county data, which was released on Friday. That’s a huge decrease from winter, when the number of people hospitalized in the county topped 560.

“I am cautiously optimistic,” said Gibbie Harris, Mecklenburg County’s health director. “Our numbers are about as low as they’ve been in a very long time.”

But, Harris added, more than half of Mecklenburg County’s population remains unvaccinated. According to data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 43% of the county’s population is fully vaccinated and 47% have received at least one dose.

Priest said the two Novant hospitals still experiencing “double-digit numbers” of COVID-19 patients are Forsyth Medical Center and Rowan Medical Center. He said that’s because those hospitals serve fairly large areas that include rural communities.

“We know in North Carolina, some of the more rural counties in the state have lower vaccination rates,” Priest said.

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Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at cdonnelly@wfae.org or on Twitter @donnellyclairee.