March 29, 2023: Trends in reported case rates by vaccination and booster status have become difficult to interpret due to a number of factors, including: higher prevalence of previous infection among the unvaccinated and un-boosted groups; difficulty in accounting for time since vaccination and waning protection; and potential biases related to differences in testing practices (e.g., at-home tests) and prevention behaviors. Therefore, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status are no longer being included in the weekly Respiratory Virus Surveillance Summary report.
Is North Carolina seeing a continued downward trajectory or sustained leveling of COVID-Like Illnesses (CLI) in its surveillance systems?
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is using all available tools to monitor the spread of COVID-19 across the state. In addition to tracking and reporting of laboratory-confirmed cases, NCDHHS is using many of the same systems that are used to track influenza and other respiratory illnesses each season.
Mild COVID-19 illness presents with symptoms similar to influenza-like illness, so surveillance systems that have historically been used during influenza seasons are being used to track trends of mild COVID-19 illness and allow for comparison with prior influenza seasons. Limitation: These numbers represent only people seeking care in the Emergency Department (ED).