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 Jan. 18.
3:10 p.m. - Prison officials say positive COVID-19 tests are on the decline at state institutions and they are now using incentives to persuade prisoners to get inoculated against the disease. North Carolina Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee told reporters today the positivity rate among inmates tested for COVID-19 has declined for the fifth straight month. State prisons are currently vaccinating corrections officers and other workers along with inmates 65 and older. Ishee says eligible prisoners who get both doses of the vaccine can get five days taken off their sentences. Other inmates who get vaccinated can earn $5 credits at the prison canteen, a free phone call and additional visiting sessions.
"Their health impacts our staff and our staff families and really our communities," said Ishee.
Statewide, Ishee says 2,800 staff and more than 850 incarcerated people in the 65-and-over age group have been vaccinated. - Rusty Jacobs, WUNC