NC Coronavirus Updates

  

News coverage and resources related to the spread and response to the coronavirus in North Carolina and beyond.

For more information about the vaccine, check out Q&A: What We Know About North Carolina's COVID Vaccine Rollout.

NCDHHS

Updated on Jan. 15. This post will be updated periodically as we tackle your questions.

Courtesy NCDHHS

North Carolina health officials have announced a significant revamp of the state vaccine rollout plan. They have done away with the previous sub-tiered four-phase system and introduced a streamlined plan with five groups.

Man wearing a tie and holding a plastic container of syringes. He is standing next to other man in tie.
Courtesy CaroMont Health

North Carolina could start vaccinating residents ages 65 and older under new federal guidance announced by the Trump administration Tuesday. The federal government said it is no longer holding back second doses of the vaccine and is urging states to provide shots to anyone 65 and older.

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

Lawmakers said Tuesday in a meeting with North Carolina's top public health official that the state lacks organization, flexibility and needs to give better instructions to counties on how to administer the coronavirus vaccine.

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.

The Old Well on the UNC- Chapel Hill campus.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

UNC Chapel Hill has announced it will delay the start of in-person classes for all undergraduate students by three weeks for the spring semester.

Pixabay

For the third time in the past week, North Carolina has set a new record for COVID-19 cases identified.

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.

It may feel like COVID-19 has been with us for eons, but there is still a lot we don't know yet about its potential effects on our health. Host Dave DeWitt asks Dr. Colin Smith of Duke University Medical Center about a small, but growing, number of cases of severe psychosis associated with the virus.


Paul Sancya / AP Photo

Updated at 6 p.m.

North Carolina’s top public health official said Tuesday that most nursing home workers are refusing to take coronavirus vaccines being offered in a state that has now become one of the slowest in the nation to get doses into peoples’ arms.

North Carolina health officials said on Monday that they are watching for new strains of the coronavirus in the state. One variant of the virus first spotted in the United Kingdom appears to be more contagious than previous versions, though there is no evidence that it causes more severe illness or is more deadly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jessie Wardarski / AP Photo


A 30-bed emergency field hospital is being set up and staffed in Lenoir to deal with an overflow of COVID-19 patients in the region.

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

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 300,000 doses of the vaccination against Covid-19 have been shipped to North Carolina. The CDC reports 94,865 people have received the first of two doses of the shot as of Jan. 2, though that data can lag by a few days.

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.

Host Dave DeWitt wraps nine months of Tested podcasts with a look at COVID-19 in North Carolina then and now with the show's first guest: Rose Hoban of North Carolina Health News.


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

Graphic Natalie Dudas-Thomas / WUNC

2020 was a year like no other, with the headlines and news stories to match. Between a global pandemic, the U.S. election, and protests following the killing of George Floyd, there was an abundance of critical coverage to follow. 

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the state Coronavirus Task Force will deliver a public briefing on COVID-19 at 2 p.m.

Watch live here:

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. 14.

Post-Acute COVID-19 Raises Concerns About Health Care Access

Dec 16, 2020

Conover homeschooling mom, Jessica Frierson, remembers last July 4 weekend well. That was when two of her daughters started to complain their throats hurt. Frierson thought it was just the dry air.

“One by one, the other children started getting it,” she says. It turned out to be COVID-19. “My 4-year-old and my 8-year-old were pitiful, they would lie on the floor and cry, just sob."

A bipartisan group of housing experts and policymakers says extending state or federal eviction moratoriums won't be enough to avert a national crisis in the new year. On Tuesday, the group called for state and federal financial aid.

Researchers estimate at least 7 million households nationwide are at risk of eviction after Jan. 1. That's when a federal moratorium on evictions ends and extended unemployment benefits expire.

In North Carolina, as many as 300,000 evictions are possible, said Rick Glazier, executive director of the North Carolina Justice Center.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP Photo

Just before noon Monday, Dr. Katie Passaretti stood still while a nurse stuck a needle in her arm and injected a dose of cold liquid.

Duke nurse Rita Oakes administers the first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination to Glenda Faye Tate Williams at Duke University Hospital in Durham on Monday, December 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. 7.

5:05 p.m. - UNC Charlotte's men's basketball coach is under quarantine after he was notified by COVID-19 contact tracers. Ron Sanchez will miss the team's next two games, including one tomorrow against North Carolina A&T. - Cole del Charco, WUNC

With hospitalizations and new cases of COVID infections surging, a curfew takes effect on Friday night. Meanwhile the Attorney General joined a lawsuit against Facebook.

Becki Gray and Rob Schofield review those topics, and discuss what — if anything — to do with the more than $1 trillion in college loan debt.
 


A sign directs customers to remain in their cars at Trophy Brewing on Morgan Street in Raleigh, N.C. on Sunday, March 22, 2020.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

The new stay-at-home order from Governor Roy Cooper meant to limit gatherings and the spread of coronavirus goes into effect this evening.

Roy Cooper
Courtesy Governor Roy Cooper / Twitter

Editor's Note: WUNC.org generally does not publish op-eds or commentaries. We are making an exception in this case in the interest of public health.

When I announced North Carolina had its first known COVID case on March 3rd, most of us didn’t expect to be living like this in December. Instead of preparing for beloved holiday traditions, we’re making virtual gathering plans and mourning the loss of more than 290,000 Americans from COVID-19.

North Carolina legislative building
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislative leaders said on Thursday they've found a solution to address the potential loss of $30 million in federal coronavirus relief funds that lawmakers earmarked for rural broadband projects.

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