Dr. Mandy Cohen

NCDHHS

More than 24,000 children in North Carolina have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine according to state health secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.  The lower-dose Pfizer COVID vaccine got the green light for 5- to 11-year-olds  late last week.   

"The data shows that the lower dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine protects children from serious illness and there were no serious side effects," said Dr. Cohen during a media briefing on Wednesday .

Paul Barker

A day after announcing most COVID-19 restrictions could be lifted June 1st if two-thirds of state residents are partially vaccinated by that date, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urged residents to get their shot during a visit to a vaccine clinic in Asheville. 

RALEIGH — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday eased several restrictions that will soon allow businesses to open at greater capacity and more people to assemble indoors and outdoors.

Atrium Health

North Carolina is opening up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for more people, including prekindergarten through 12th-grade teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodial and child care center employees beginning Feb. 24.

Atrium Health

Gov. Roy Cooper said on Tuesday that state officials will make an announcement this week with specific dates for when frontline essential workers, the next group slated for vaccination, can begin to schedule vaccine appointments. The state is currently vaccinating those in the first two groups of its vaccine plan: health care workers, people who live or work in long-term care facilities and people ages 65 and older.

NCDPS

North Carolina’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have been declining over the past week, with just 3,287 people in the hospital (1/24) and 4,633 cases reported (1/25) according to the state health department dashboard.  State and local health officials caution that while the trends are moving in the right direction, there is still a long way to go. The governor is expected to hold a coronavirus task force briefing this week.  On Thursday, Health secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen held the first media briefing under the new administration.       

DoroT Schenk / Pixabay

North Carolina officials say all health care workers and residents 65 and older can start getting vaccinated for COVID-19 under the state's revamped vaccine plan.

Three WNC hospitals are on the list to receive the first COVID-19 vaccine shipments.  Earlier this week, North Carolina health officials announced that Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville would be among the 11 “early ship sites” that would hold the vaccine in cold storage during the approval process, which is expected to continue this weekend with the meeting of the Center for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.  

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday that the state’s coronavirus numbers are “too high,” and the state health department has launched a hotspot map system to better pinpoint and address regional surges of COVID-19.

NC Department Of Public Safety

North Carolina will remain in Phase 3 of coronavirus restrictions for at least three more weeks, and limitations on indoor gatherings will be lowered to 10 people from 25 as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state, Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday.

Other Phase 3 restrictions – such as restaurants remaining at 50% capacity and limiting large stadium gatherings to 7% of capacity – will remain in place.

North Carolina remains paused in Phase 3 of the governor’s coronavirus reopening plan as the state’s case numbers continue to climb.    BPR’s Helen Chickering checks in with  NC Health News Editor Rose Hoban about the trends and the state’s plan to distribute coronavirus vaccines.   Check out NC Health News Voter Guide on Health here.

Rose Hoban / NC Health News

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban.  This week (after a week off) they discuss the seemingly stabilizing coronavirus trends as NC college students return to campus and public schools begin to open, the testing numbers error that shines a light on outdated data collection methods and  the coronavirus budget breakdown that included a “what if we had expanded Medicaid” moment.

North Carolina will enter 'Phase 2' of its reopening on Friday.  But due to rising numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases, the state will do so in a more cautious manner.

Johns Hopkins University

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News Founding Editor Rose Hoban. This week they discuss what health officials are monitoring as the first wave of  stay-home restrictions are lifted, the complicated challenge of figuring out if somebody has recovered from COVID-19 and her thoughts about Nurse’s week amid coronavirus.