Nation and world news briefs

North Carolina’s COVID-19 hospitalizations set record for fifth consecutive day RALEIGH, N.C. — Statewide hospitalizations in North Carolina reached 2,039 Wednesday, the highest daily total of the pandemic and the fifth consecutive day the state has reached a new record. Wednesday’s hospitalizations inched just past Tuesday’s total of 2,033. The state Department of Health and Human Services reported 4,199 new cases Wednesday, the fourth highest daily increase overall. The seven-day average daily case increase is now 3,584. Statewide deaths associated with COVID-19 increased by 82 since Tuesday…

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