CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Nearly 80 percent of hospital and intensive care unit beds in North Carolina are currently in use amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Some health care officials in North Carolina are concerned that the number will rise.

On July 11, the state reported 2,462 COVID-19 cases, which is the highest one-day number of laboratory-confirmed cases. Hospitalizations have also reached a record high with 1,093 patients. Currently, Atrium Health and Novant Health have 20 percent of hospital beds and intensive care unit beds available. Both healthcare systems have been working to prepare for the surge by increasing bed capacity and reinforcing supply chains.

Novant Health Chief Clinical Officer for the Greater Charlotte Market Dr. Sid Fletcher says the healthcare system has not added extra beds but it could, if needed.

“We put pencil to paper and worked very hard at developing some robust surge plans that would allow over 60 percent above our current license bed capacity,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher adds at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte, over 10 percent of those hospitalized are being treated for COVID-19. He considers it a high number.

“We have concerns that that number is going to rise over the upcoming weeks, post the July 4th holiday, just given that businesses and other things have reopened. We recognize people have tired of staying inside and they are seeking outdoor activities or seeking activities with other people,” he said.

Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield, who visited Charlotte on Monday to discuss Mecklenburg County’s COVID-19 tracing and response, says the public can help stop the spread of the virus.

“We are not defenseless against this virus,” Redfield said. “The most powerful weapon that we have, that I know of, is wearing face coverings when you are in public. We ask the American public to all fully embrace the use of face coverings when you are in public. The second thing we have is the importance is hand hygiene and the third is the importance of social distancing.”

Fletcher gives the same recommendations for community members. He says he’s concerned about having an exponential growth in number of hospitalizations, similar to those impacting other cities.

“There’s always the risk of having a situation where you don’t have the system resources to be able to manage, not only those who have COVID, but your other patients that have underlying health conditions that occur regardless there’s a worldwide pandemic going on,” Fletcher says.

Both Atrium Health and Novant Health have also noticed an increasing trend of younger patients admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 treatment. Mecklenburg County anticipates both health care systems will be able to handle a surge in hospitalizations without needing a field hospital. The health care systems are not planning to postpone non-emergent appointments or elective surgeries for now.