Health

Courtesy NCDHHS

This week, North Carolina is getting its first shipment of a new COVID-19 vaccine — the CDC-authorized, single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccination. The state has also announced significant changes to its vaccine waitlist, with new categories becoming eligible for the shot as early as Wednesday.

COVID cases are dropping and vaccine doses are becoming more plentiful. Scientists are even working on a pill that could prevent future coronavirus pandemics. But Lisa Gralinski of the UNC Department of Epidemiology reminds host Dave DeWitt that this pandemic is not over yet.  


Health Secretary Mandy Cohen and Governor Roy Cooper
N.C. Department of Public Safety

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that the state will more quickly open up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to those who are frontline essential workers or have serious underlying health issues.

Gov. Roy Cooper and members of North Carolina's Coronavirus Task Force will hold a press briefing Tuesday to share an update on COVID-19.

Employees with the McKesson Corporation scan a box of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while filling an order at their shipping facility in Shepherdsville, Ky., Monday, March 1, 2021.
Timothy D. Easley / AP

More than 80,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson are arriving in North Carolina this week. State Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen says the doses should start arriving this Wednesday.

Keri Brown / WFDD

Across the country, more than 250 employees at meatpacking plants have died of the coronavirus. Congress has opened an investigation into the outbreaks as the companies try to stem the COVID infections.

Tyson Foods team members receive COVID-19 vaccines from health officials at the Wilkesboro, N.C. facility on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. The team members are eligible for the vaccine under North Carolina's Phase 2 distribution.
Melissa Melvin / AP Images for Tyson Foods

This post will be updated periodically with the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. For a recap of last week's news, check out Coronavirus Live Updates: Week of Feb. 22.


2:10 p.m. - The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education voted Thursday to offer in-person learning a month ahead of originally planned. The district will offer a hybrid learning model starting March 22. The board decided to provide in-person learning in addition to the remote option because of positive health trends in Orange County, including a COVID-19 test positivity rate of less than one percent. – Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

Gerry Broome / AP Photo

The White House announced Friday morning that it will include North Carolina in its federal pilot program of community vaccination centers. Starting March 10, a Greensboro site will receive about 3,000 vaccines per day.

A group of people standing on dark concrete with their arms extended upwards
Debora Cartagena//Pixnio

How comfortable do you feel in gyms, fitness studios and exercise classes? With COVID-19 in our midst, we all may feel a little iffy about spending time indoors with people breathing hard — but what about even before the pandemic? 

In and outside of gyms, we get inundated with messaging about what we should look like and how physically fit we should be. This fitness culture tells us that unless we exercise a certain way and achieve a certain ideal — of thinness, whiteness and heteronormative gender presentation — we’re doing it wrong.

Courtesy Governor Roy Cooper Twitter

North Carolina civil right rights groups struck a deal on Thursday with Gov. Roy Cooper's administration to allow for the early release of 3,500 inmates in state custody over the next six months.

Reopen NC Protest

Feb 25, 2021

Courtesy UNC-TV and NCDHHS


Governor Roy Cooper says he will ease some restrictions designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Starting Friday, a nightly curfew will be lifted and some businesses will be allowed to serve more people indoors. It will also be the first time that bars can serve a limited number of patrons indoors since the first restrictions were put in place nearly a year ago.

As educators become eligible for the vaccine, some school districts are reopening for in-person learning. The move is forcing families and educators to grapple with what’s possible to ensure health and safety inside the classroom. Host Dave DeWitt talks with James Hopkins, principal of Lakewood Elementary in Durham, about the transition to in-person learning. Plus, two North Carolina teachers share how they are coping with the road ahead.
 

  

Patients wait in their cars to get first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine at PNC Arena in Raleigh.
Will Michaels / WUNC

Local health providers are getting ready to administer COVID-19 vaccines to Group 3 on the state's priority list.

Teachers, school staff and child care workers will be officially eligible to get vaccinated Wednesday.

COVID-19 vaccine dose drawn from a vial at WakeMed Health.
WakeMed Health

This post will be updated periodically with the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. For a recap of last week's news, check out Coronavirus Live Updates: Week of Feb. 15.

6 p.m. - Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed legislation that would have forced North Carolina school districts to offer in-person instruction for the rest of this school year. Cooper has expressed concerns the measure could compromise safety for students and teachers and stifle the ability of local school boards to open and close schools based on cornonavirus spread. The bill could still become law if enough of the handful of Democrats who joined the Republican majority in supporting the bill decide to override the governor's veto.  - Amy Jeffries, WUNC

The waitlist for a COVID vaccine can be long, and there isn't enough to go around. So some people are finding ways to jump the line. Host Leoneda Inge talks with Benjamin Money of the NC Department of Health and Human Services and WUNC Data Reporter Jason deBruyn about attempts to promote and protect equity in the vaccine distribution process.  


Gerry Broome / AP Photo

North Carolina is shifting its vaccine distribution guidance to dissuade people from traveling long distances to receive a COVID-19 shot in the state.

Betty Sweeney of Greensboro gets a band aid after receiving her 2nd COVID-19 vaccination from Guilford County Health and Human Services registered nurse Kimble Capel at the Mount Zion Baptist church vaccination clinic in Greensboro, on Thursday, February
Woody Marshall / News and Record/pool

Polls from two North Carolina private universities show little budge in the percentage of North Carolinians who say they will not take the COVID-19 vaccine. However, the polls also show a decrease in those who are unsure, with nearly all of those respondents saying they do plan to get the vaccine.

Thibault Camus / AP Photo

Basketball legend Michael Jordan is donating $10 million to launch two medical clinics in underserved communities near his hometown in North Carolina, a regional health care system announced Monday.

Spc. Nicholas Kelly, a medic assigned to 236th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, applies a bandage to a patient following her vaccination at the COVID-19 drive-through vaccination site at Macon County Public Health in Franklin.
Sgt. Lisa Vines / North Carolina National Guard Public Affairs

This post will be updated periodically with the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. For a recap of last week's news, check out Coronavirus Live Updates: Week of Feb. 8.

6:20 p.m. - Republican senators in the North Carolina General Assembly want high school sporting events in the state opened up to bigger crowds for the remainder of the school year. A bill filed this week in the state senate would change the pandemic-related 100-person limit on spectators at outdoor high school competitions to 40% of a venue's capacity. - Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Friday its much-anticipated, updated guidance to help school leaders decide how to safely bring students back into classrooms, or keep them there.

Some Line Skipping, Even As Seniors Wait For COVID-19 Vaccine

Feb 11, 2021
Vaccines have still be scarce across North Carolina.
Will Michaels / WUNC

On a recent Saturday morning, Peggy Hoon got behind the wheel of her 2011 Toyota RAV4 and made the 300-mile round trip to Charlotte from her Raleigh home.

Group system for who can get the vaccine
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday afternoon that educators and support staff will be eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine starting Feb. 24 as part of a staggered rollout of the state's next phase of distribution.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of North Carolina's Coronavirus Task Force are scheduled to hold a media briefing on Wednesday.

Governments are trying to develop a pattern of COVID-19 vaccine distribution that satisfies a variety of interested parties. Meredith College Religious and Ethical Studies Professor Steve Benko tells host Dave DeWitt that the most efficient system isn’t always the most equitable.


Governor Roy Cooper and members of North Carolina's Coronavirus Task Force are scheduled to hold a media briefing on Tuesday.

Gerry Broome / AP Photo

Updated at 1:30 p.m.

Mass vaccination events, like the recent untaking at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, hasten distribution but also come with a significant flaw. Deputy Health Secretary Benjamin Money says the events pose challenges for the state's mission of equitable distribution.

Vaccine tourism reflects the patchwork of vaccination rules across the country due to the lack of a standard national rollout process.
Mechelle Hankerson / WHRO

When the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines went out to states in December, John and his wife assumed they would receive theirs soon.

"She’s 68. I’m 73," said John, who lives in Virginia Beach. He didn’t want to include his last name because he fears retribution for this story.

Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune on December 28, 2020 administered the first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
via Flickr / Navy Medicine

This post will be updated periodically with the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. For a recap of last week's news, check out Coronavirus Live Updates: Week of Feb. 1.

3:47 p.m. - Some pharmacies in North Carolina are starting to administer COVID-19 vaccines today. Walgreens and locally-owned pharmacies now have a limited supply of doses coming from the federal government. Walgreens locations are only getting about 100 doses each. The national chain is giving out vaccines by appointment only. Residents who are eligible to get the vaccine are also being encouraged to contact their locally-owned pharmacies. - Will Michaels, WUNC

A light blue background with a white toilet paper roll, white menstrual pad, and white tampons laying on it.
Tim Reckmann / Flickr / CC

When we start to talk about menstruation, a whole coded language emerges. Whether it’s the “visit from Aunt Flo,” “riding the crimson wave” or just “that time of the month,” it can be hard to talk openly and directly about periods. But digging out important information about menstrual health from beneath stigma and taboo is worth the effort, as each menstruating person experiences their cycle differently.

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