Almost 2 years since we first heard the term Covid-19 and we are still in this mess. Sporting events are being postponed, some universities are going virtual for the start of the spring semester, and case numbers are skyrocketing. Across the state of North Carolina Covid-19 rates are rising. The vaccine deployment in December 2020 signaled a turning point in the COVID-19 pandemic. By the end of May 2021, 40% of the U.S. population was fully vaccinated. But as vaccination rates lagged over the summer, new surges of COVID-19 came, including Delta in the summer of 2021, and now the Omicron variant, which comprises the majority of cases in the U.S.
Researchers around the world have reported that Omicron is more transmissible than Delta, making breakthrough and repeat infections more likely. Though the positive news is that early research suggests this strain may cause less severe illness than Delta and the original virus. Though the sheer numbers of people infected could still increase hospitalization and death rates—especially in areas with less vaccinated populations.
The United States as of Dec. 28 reached 819,430 COVID-19-related deaths and nearly 53 million COVID-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Currently, 61.8% of the population is fully vaccinated, and 32.3% have received booster doses.
Stacker compiled a list of the counties with highest COVID-19 infection rates in North Carolina using data from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Counties are ranked by the highest infection rate per 100,000 residents within the week leading up to Dec. 27, 2021. Cumulative cases per 100,000 served as a tiebreaker.
Keep reading to see whether your North Carolina county ranks among the highest COVID-19 infection rates.