COVID-19 cases expected to continue to decline into spring of 2022

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Roughly 2,000 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in North Carolina on Tuesday.

The last time we saw daily reported cases that low was in March.

This comes about a month after hospital leaders across North Carolina were sounding the alarm on bed capacity.

Since then, COVID-19 hospitalizations have been on a downtrend.

A peak of 955 adults was in the ICU with the virus on September 13, but on October 11 that number dropped to 608.

These are promising trends, that Dr. David Priest with Novant Health expects to continue.

“Sometimes people feel like ‘hey a pandemic, just this date is gonna come, and someone is gonna say it’s over, and everybody is gonna celebrate in the streets, and that’s not how it’s gonna happen,’” he said. “It’s gonna piddle out over time.”

There may not be an official end date, but he says cases are expected to keep declining into spring of next year.

He says this all depends on if vaccinations keep going up, to stop new variants from emerging.

He says 95% of COVID patients in Novant Health ICUs are unvaccinated.

“The longer we have people unvaccinated, we’re just increasing the number of people in this world that the virus is replicating in,” he said.

Progress is being made on the vaccine front.

70% of North Carolinians 18 and up are now at least partially vaccinated.

Dr. Priest says we will reach a point where the cases are so minimal, that we can reduce restrictions.

“There will not be a day when someone declares the pandemic is now over, we’ll just move to ‘yep covid is in the community, it’s gonna stay there, it’s gonna circulate around as the flu does,’” Dr. Priest said.

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