COVID-19

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen will give a media briefing regarding COVID-19 on Tuesday at 1 p.m. Director of North Carolina Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry is also expected to join the briefing.

a healthcare
Travis Long / The News & Observer

Health providers across the state say they're receiving significantly fewer doses of the COVID-19 vaccines this week than they expected.

Airman First Class Emily Riddles, assigned to 156th aeromedical evacuation squadron, North Carolina Air National Guard, prepares a COVID-19 vaccine shot at Central Prison, Raleigh, North Carolina, Jan. 21, 2021.
Sgt. Jamar Marcel Pugh / North Carolina Army National Guard photo

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.

12:47 p.m.  -  For the third week in a row, the Orange County Health Department has not received any first dose allotment of COVID-19 vaccines from the NCDHHS, according to a news release from the county. The county exhausted all of its first doses of the vaccine by Jan. 24, according to county Health Director Quintana Stewart.

Nurse Chris Rutledge suits up in personal protective equipment before entering the patient wards of a COVID-19 field hospital, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Lenoir, N.C.
Sarah Blake Morgan / AP

Chris Rutledge peels an N-95 mask off her tired face, revealing the silhouette it leaves behind. Her name and a tiny heart are drawn on the face covering in black marker so her patients know who she is.

When cars made it to the white tents at Career and Technical Education Center, they had to give volunteers the medical history before moving forward to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

State officials are reporting the first case in North Carolina of a more contagious strain of the coronavirus that was first detected in the United Kingdom in December.

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

North Carolina's top public health official acknowledged for the first time on Thursday that the state has seen a small number of coronavirus vaccine doses thrown out at a time when supplies remain limited.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen will give a media briefing regarding COVID-19 on Thursday at 1 p.m. Department of Transportation Secretary J. Eric Boyette is also expected to participate.

Annmarie Brown sits at a desk and computer to attend school virtually.
Courtesy of Emily Brown

When the Durham Public Schools' board of education voted to remain in virtual learning for the rest of the school year, Rhiannon Giles' reaction was complicated.

"I think they made the right decision, but also I cried," Giles said.

She's the mother of two students at Club Boulevard Elementary, with a daughter in fifth grade and a son in kindergarten.

At a drive-through vaccination site in Elizabeth City, N.C., Tech Sgt. Steven Simpson of the North Carolina National Guard administers a COVID-19 vaccination as Maj. Hollis Guenther gives the next recipient instructions about the vaccine.
Jay Price / WUNC

North Carolina is among more than a dozen states that have called up the National Guard to help at vaccination sites, and Joe Biden may mobilize Guard units nationally.


Gov. Roy Cooper watches while Tracy Toner gives a COVID-19 vaccination to Duke nurse Arianna Motsinger at the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham on Monday, December 21, 2020.
Shawn Rocco / Duke 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 Jan. 11.

6:40 p.m. - The number of North Carolina counties experiencing critical community spread of COVID-19 has risen. According to an alert from state health officials, 86 of the state's 100 counties are listed as red under North Carolina's three-tier coding system. That's the most serious designation -- with a positivity rate of greater than 10% and hospital systems experiencing high impact from COVID cases. Eighty-four counties were listed as red when the state issued its last alert on January 6. Thirteen counties are listed as orange, with substantial community spread, and only one county is listed as yellow, experiencing significant spread of the viral infection. - Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

WUNC Youth Reporter Erin Batten-Hicks has continued to work at her on-campus job during the pandemic.
Erin Batten-Hicks / for WUNC

Many college students are experiencing the longest winter break of their school careers. That’s because most universities extended their breaks to avoid having students on-campus during a winter spike in COVID-19 cases.

But some students, like me, are still going to campus.

Many African Americans have a healthy skepticism of a racist health care system. Now Black health professionals have an uphill battle to promote the COVID vaccine.

Host Leoneda Inge talks about trust in both the medicine and messaging with Meharry Medical College President James Hildreth, Duke Medical Center nurse Faye Williams and clinical trial participants Curtis and Benita Perkins.  


NCDHHS

Updated on Jan. 22. This post will be updated periodically as we tackle your questions.


North Carolina had a rocky start to its initial rollout of vaccinations against COVID-19. Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked the state as sixth worst in the country for initial vaccine distribution per capita. Since then, state officials made significant moves in hopes of speeding the process. On Jan. 5, Governor Roy Cooper announced that he mobilized the NC National Guard to support vaccine distribution. On Thursday, health officials released a significant revamp of the state vaccine rollout plan. Essentially, they’ve done away with the previous sub-tiered four-phase system and introduced a new five-group plan.

A VA Inspector General's report has found that the agency improperly denied benefits to thousands of veterans who couldn't see a doctor during the pandemic.

Host Of Problems Slows The Rollout Of COVID-19 Vaccine In NC

Jan 14, 2021
Duke University Hospital received 2,925 does of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020.
Blyth Morrell / Duke University Hospital

In the four weeks since a Charlotte doctor became the first in the state to receive a shot of COVID-19 vaccine, federal officials have shipped nearly 1 million doses of the drugs to North Carolina hospitals, long-term care facilities and public health officials.


Members of North Carolina's Coronavirus Task Force are scheduled to hold a media briefing at 2 p.m.

NC Hospitals Near Capacity As Coronavirus Hammers The State

Jan 11, 2021
Charles Mandelin and Katie Overbey prepare the first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for administering at Duke University Hospital in Durham on Monday, December 14, 2020.
Shawn Rocco / Duke Health

 

North Carolina’s hospitals are quickly filling up with patients stricken by the coronavirus, even as health systems in some of the hardest-hit regions -- the Triad and greater Charlotte area -- take steps to make room for a wave of new patients.

The looming crisis is fueled by lack of clinical staff, not by lack of physical space for beds.

In this file photo dated Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, a bottle of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on a table before being utilized in Topeka, Kansas.
Charlie Riedel / AP

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. 4.


5:40 p.m. - A county in southeastern North Carolina where older adults make up a large share of the population is appealing to Gov. Roy Cooper to provide more doses of the COVID-19 vaccines. Brunswick County Board of Commissioners Chairman Randy Thompson sent a letter to the governor outlining concerns about having enough vaccine for high-risk individuals who want it. Nearly a third of Brunswick County's residents are 65 or older, and are now eligible to get a shot after the state revised the priority groups this week. That's about 46,000 people. Thompson says the county's allocation of 1,500 doses a week is inadequate.

Dozens of cars wrapped around Burlington's makeshift vaccine center as people in Phase 1B waited to get vaccinated. There was a two to three hour wait time for most people.
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

As some places in North Carolina enter the next phase of COVID vaccinations, people who are wanting to get vaccinated are experiencing long wait times.

North Carolina is currently in Phase 1B of its vaccination plan, meaning those who are 75 or older are able to get vaccinated.

In this file photo dated Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, a bottle of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on a table before being utilized in Topeka, Kansas.
Charlie Riedel / AP

North Carolina prison officials are considering offering rewards to inmates who accept a coronavirus vaccine that will soon become available to them.

Charles Mandelin and Katie Overbey prepare the first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for administering at Duke University Hospital in Durham on Monday, December 14, 2020.
Shawn Rocco / Duke Health

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday announced a three-week extension of a 10 p.m. curfew aimed at helping slow the spread of the coronavirus as some counties experienced a bumpy rollout of vaccines for residents over age 75.

Will Michaels / WUNC

The state health department is encouraging more coordination between local health departments and doctors' offices to speed up the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

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

Gov. Roy Cooper watches while Tracy Toner gives a COVID-19 vaccination to Duke nurse Arianna Motsinger at the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham on Monday, December 21, 2020.
Shawn Rocco / Duke 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 Dec. 28.

6 p.m. - The state Health Department says residents of neighboring states can come into North Carolina to get a COVID-19 vaccine. And Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen says North Carolina residents do not need to get vaccinated in their home county. Demand has greatly outpaced supply as North Carolina has begun administering doses to hospital workers and people age 75 or older. As of today, state officials report that nearly 152,000 people have gotten their first dose, while more than 9,000 have also gotten their second dose. - Amy Jeffries, WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper and members of North Carolina's Coronavirus Task Force are scheduled to hold a media briefing on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Duke University Hospital received 2,925 does of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020.
Blyth Morrell / Duke University Hospital

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 Dec. 21.

11:18 a.m. - Guilford County Schools is delaying the return of middle school students for in-person learning by another two weeks. The district had planned for the first group of sixth graders to be back in classrooms on Jan. 7. Now they're scheduled to return Jan. 21. The district says the delay will give administrators more time to review COVID-19 data and guidance for the middle school age group. Guilford County elementary schools are still slated to reopen to students on Jan. 5 and high schools on Jan. 21. – Amy Jeffries, WUNC

A black pen lying on a piece of paper with handwritten words.
Pixabay

  The letters begin with various greetings. “Dear 50 year of age self.” “To my future children.” “Dear future me, It’s me, I mean you, but circa 2020.” These are the words of a group of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill undergraduates who processed the reality of a pandemic-dominated year through letters to the future as a class assignment this spring.

An old postcard photo of the Gastonia community center, which includes the Women's Club Building, Memorial Hall and Public Library.
Boston Public Library

This March, our world turned digital. Zoom meetings, virtual school and video chats dominated work, school and home life. To ease this transition to computer-based life, the state’s public libraries stepped up for their communities.

The N95 mask, made by 3M.
3M

This past spring, as stockpiles of personal protective equipment ran dry, North Carolina spent more than $220 million on various supplies, sometimes at a hefty markup.

Liquor, Whiskey
BJ McCray, via Creative Commons

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order Monday making it easier for businesses to sell alcohol without customers having to show up in person for their purchase.


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