CarolinaEast Medical Center reached its highest number of COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, with 42 beds occupied and forcing a third COVID ward to be opened.

CarolinaEast set its record on the same day that Craven County itself set a record for residents hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 29 patients.

CarolinaEast Medical Center is a regional facility that serves Craven and surrounding counties.

Dr. Ronald May, CarolinaEast Vice President of Medical Affairs, said staff members are exhausted and this current spike is still stemming from the Thanksgiving holiday, WCTI News Channel 12 reported.

May said he believes there is more to come.

“We haven’t seen any significant affect of Christmas yet but we anticipate over the next few weeks we probably will,” he told WCTI.

The hospital has now gone from two COVID-19 units to three in a matter of days, he told WCTI.

“I hope that things stabilize back down because if they don’t, we are going to have to open up more units and reconfigure those in a way that will be appropriate to take care of those patients,” Dr. May said.

Craven County has 4,939 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020.

There were 77 new cases reported over the past 24 hours, the second day in a row of high new numbers after a lull that lasted just five days.

While the high number of hospitalizations stems from the Thanksgiving break, these new cases are a result of the first week of the Christmas Break.

Comparing the two breaks, there was a fairly gradual increase in new cases following Thanksgiving, with a 15-day spike, a three-day lull, and then a more severe secondary spike.

The Christmas spike is starting at at rate five times higher, mid-teens for Thanksgiving compared to 70 to 80 cases for Christmas break. If this trend continues, Craven County should brace itself for a severe coming month.

Sources of transmission

Out-of-state travelCommunity transmissionDirect contactUnder investigationUnknown
UnchangedUp 101Up 115Down 115Unchanged
Changes Dec. 30-31, 2020

Craven County snapshot

Confirmed Cases Active CasesRecovered DeathsCurrently Hospitalized 
Source: Craven County Health Department

Out of the 4,939 confirmed positive cases, 3,994 of those individuals have recovered or are presumed recovered based on guidelines set by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

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