Live Updates: Coronavirus In North Carolina

Live Updates: Coronavirus In North Carolina

2:00pm Oct 22, 2021

WFDD reporters will update this page with the latest news of the coronavirus in North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. 

 (For the latest on testing and percent positives, click here.)

- Forsyth County daily case count and vaccine-related data

- Guilford County daily case count and vaccine-related data

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October 22, 2021

1:49 p.m.

COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are now available for more North Carolinians. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster shots to help strengthen and extend protections against COVID-19 infections. 

Individuals are now able to receive any brand of the COVID-19 vaccine for their booster shot. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type they originally received and others may prefer to get a different booster. Limited preliminary evidence suggests that booster doses of one of the two mRNA vaccines — Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech — more effectively raise antibody levels than a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Booster shots are available anywhere COVID-19 vaccines are available. People do not need a doctor's note to get a booster shot and may self-attest to eligibility. Individuals who want to receive a booster shot will need to know the dates of any past COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as the vaccine brand they originally received. Paper vaccination cards are helpful but may not be necessary. At-home vaccination and free transportation may be available.

October 19, 2021

3:31 p.m.

As COVID-19 cases surged this summer fueled by the Delta variant, hospitalizations and deaths among residents in North Carolina long-term care facilities were significantly lower than during the winter surge, as shown in data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The decrease in cases and severe illness can be attributed to vaccination for residents and staff of long-term care facilities and to the work done by long-term care providers to implement measures to protect staff and residents from COVID-19.

While reported COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities increased during July through September of 2021, average weekly cases decreased by 89%, hospitalizations decreased by 93% and deaths decreased by 95% when compared to November and December of 2020, when most long-term care residents were not vaccinated. As of last week, more than 80% of long-term care facility residents have been fully vaccinated.

October 12, 2021

3:03 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced that it is expanding its vaccine data dashboard to provide more demographic data statewide for COVID-19 vaccinations. It will now show vaccination data by race for age groups and ethnicity for age groups. It can be found on the tab labeled “Additional NC Demographic Data.”

Currently, demographic data does not include entities that are not reporting to the state, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Prisons, and Indian Health Service, causing the data to undercount the true number of doses administered to North Carolina residents. 

"North Carolina has prioritized data transparency so we can hold ourselves and our partners accountable for making sure we are getting vaccines to the communities hit hardest by the pandemic," said NCDHHS Chief Health Equity Officer Victor Armstrong. "The new information shines a light on where gaps still exist and will help focus efforts so we achieve our collective goal of equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine."

The dashboards are updated on weekday afternoons. 

1:43 p.m.

Cone Health is planning a return to normal surgical schedules by the end of October. This comes as the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 has declined.

On August 30, Cone Health officials asked surgeons and patients to delay non-essential surgeries that needed to be done in a hospital or required an overnight stay. The goal was to reduce the number of people in the hospital system as COVID-19 cases climbed.

Now officials say the hospital is “comfortable” resuming procedures such as knee surgeries or hernia repair. 

112 people diagnosed with COVID-19 were in Cone Health hospitals as of October 11. That’s the lowest number since mid-August.

October 11, 2021

2:40 p.m.

Almost all 10,000 employees at state-operated health care facilities in North Carolina are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This is in compliance with a mandatory vaccination requirement, according to a press release from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The department’s Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory in July. 

Sixteen employees were dismissed for non-compliance with the policy’s September 30 vaccination deadline. Around six percent of DSOHF employees got exemptions from the policy for religious, medical or other reasons.

September 30, 2021

12:46 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will host a live fireside chat and tele-town hall today at 5:00 p.m. on NC Medicaid and COVID-19 testing, treatment and prevention, including safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.

The fireside chat will stream live from the NCDHHS FacebookTwitter and YouTube accounts, and is accessible by phone at (855) 756-7520 Ext. 75920#. 

September 24, 2021

10:50 a.m.

Cone Health employees now have until October 28 to get their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to meet employee vaccination requirements. They were previously required to be fully vaccinated by October 1.

Cone Health says it is pledging to give employees every chance to become vaccinated to continue working at Cone Health. Since the vaccination requirement was announced to employees on July 22, the Food and Drug Administration has fully approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The government has also announced that it will not allow health care organizations to care for Medicare and Medicaid patients unless they have mandatory vaccination policies.

Employees who choose the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine must still take it by October 1. Cone also notes that the deadline for submitting medical and religious exemption requests has passed.

September 21, 2021

5:20 p.m.

Some COVID-19 numbers are beginning to level off in North Carolina, according to data presented today by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. 

NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen says fewer people are showing up to emergency rooms with COVID-19 symptoms. 

And while daily case numbers are still high, they also appear to be leveling off. But she says she’s still concerned about the state’s hospitals.

“For close to a month now we have been near or above 900 North Carolinians requiring intensive care unit beds, and a third of all new COVID hospital admissions in the past week have been in people under the age of 49," Cohen says. "Our hospitals are strained.”

Cohen also says, of those eligible, people ages 12-17 are the least vaccinated in the state. Just 38% of them have gotten their shots. 

2:25 p.m.

Governor Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force are holding a media briefing at 3:00 p.m. to share updates on COVID-19. Listen on 88.5 WFDD or watch live on our blog.

September 9, 2021

4:50 p.m.

One-third of North Carolina’s new COVID-19 cases are among children, the largest portion since the pandemic began.

At a press conference Thursday, state health secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said case rates are now highest among North Carolinians 17 and younger. 

Cohen says more children are also being admitted to hospitals, though they still make up a small percentage of overall hospitalizations across the state.

“As always, COVID, luckily, has not been as severe for our kids as it has been for our adults. But when we just see the amount of viral spread there is, we're going to see more kids get sick, and more kids, unfortunately, get severely sick," said Cohen. "And so what we all need to do is work together to make sure we can get less virus circulating around, and the best way to do that is for us all to get vaccinated.”

Vaccination rates among eligible minors are still on the low side. Just 35% of those 12-17 are fully vaccinated. That number is 62% for people over age 18.  

2:10 p.m.

Governor Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force are holding a media briefing at 3:00 p.m. to share updates on COVID-19. Listen on 88.5 WFDD or watch live on our blog.

September 8, 2021

10:57 a.m.

Physicians from the Triad’s three largest health care systems are urging the public to help them in the fight against COVID-19. 

Cone Health, Novant Health, and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist say they’ve seen a surge in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in recent weeks. Over 90 percent of those patients are unvaccinated.

Dr. John Mann from Novant Health says health care systems are being stretched thin.

“When you go out in the community it doesn’t feel like we’re having a health crisis, but when you walk in the doors of any of our hospitals it’s readily apparent that we are having a crisis," he says. "Team members are tired, providers are tired. We really are just asking everyone to take an opportunity to get vaccinated. Help your loved ones, help the people that are trying to take care of the communities, and the first step is to get vaccinated.”

September 3, 2021

11:08 a.m.

Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order to make it easier for North Carolinians to access treatment for COVID-19. The Executive Order authorizes and directs State Health Director, Dr. Betsey Tilson, to issue a statewide standing order to expand access to monoclonal antibody treatment, which if taken early can decrease the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. The Order will be in effect through November 30, 2021.

September 2, 2021

10:25 a.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with the Piedmont Triad Regional Council Area Agency on Aging (PTRC AAA) are providing free COVID-19 vaccinations to people at home with limited mobility. Registration is available by calling the At-Home Vaccination Hotline (1-866-303-0026) or online at http://ptrc.org/COVID.

August 30, 2021

12:39 p.m.

North Carolina’s $100 Summer Card program will end Tuesday, Aug. 31. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has been offering $100 Summer Cards at select locations in various counties across the state. Cards were distributed to offset the time and transportation costs of getting vaccinated. 

Through Aug. 31, anyone 18 and older who gets their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will receive a $100 card after vaccination. Those who drive others will receive a $25 Summer Card each time they drive someone to an appointment at the completion of the vaccination. 
 

August 27, 2021

12:56 p.m.

Novant Health is reopening a COVID-19 drive-through testing location on Monday, August 30 at Hanes Mall due to an increase in demand. The site is in the former Sears Auto Center and will operate Monday – Friday, from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. While drive-up testing will be available, appointments are required and walk-ins will not be accepted.

Tests are for asymptomatic patients with potential exposure, as well as symptomatic patients. Rapid tests are not available. Novant asks that asymptomatic patients that are in need of back-to-work or school clearance form to visit NCDHHS's Test Site Finder to find a location that is better suited to their needs.  

Appointments are available for scheduling here beginning August 30. 

 

August 26, 2021

2:25 p.m.

Cone Health is delaying most non-essential surgeries requiring an overnight stay. This is effective starting Monday, August 30. Cone Health will move many surgeries to day surgery centers to avoid taxing hospitals. Those already scheduled for procedures and surgeries are being informed if their surgery is affected.  

Data will be used to adjust operations to cope with current trends and expected conditions. Officials say this is a proactive and temporary measure. Projections show this latest COVID-19 surge peaking in September. 

Cone Health has developed guidelines for determining what procedures are considered medically necessary, and which procedures could be delayed. The health care provider urges the public not to delay emergency care when needed.

August 23, 2021

3:41 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has launched TeenVaxFacts.com – a website dedicated to providing teens with the information, tools and resources they need to educate themselves, their friends and their family members about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines.

With access to materials such as a COVID-19 vaccine discussion guide, vaccine locations and informative videos, this site serves as a place for teens to get the facts about COVID-19. 

3:27 p.m.

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist is updating its visitor guidelines for adult inpatient, maternity and surgical services and procedural areas, effective Tuesday, Aug. 24.

These changes apply to all patients, except those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are considered persons under investigation, and all inpatient and surgical and procedural areas. Find more information here.

August 20, 2021

3:43 p.m.

Novant Health is adjusting its visitor restrictions to help protect the health and safety of patients and team members. As of Tuesday, Aug. 24, all patients except those with COVID-19 or who are patients under investigation for COVID-19, may have one overnight visitor. All hospital visitors must be 12 or older, healthy, pass COVID-19 screening questions and wear a mask while on-site.

2:05 p.m.

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge across North Carolina, the use of monoclonal antibodies for treatment of COVID-19 increased by 18-fold since late June from 100 administrations for the week of June 23 to 1,874 for the week of Aug. 11. Statewide, there are more than 130 sites offering monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 as this treatment can decrease the likelihood of hospitalization related to COVID-19.  
 

August 19, 2021

2:45 p.m.

Cone Health is now providing COVID-19 booster shots at all of its community vaccine clinics. These additional doses are for immunocompromised people only. Booster doses for the general population will not begin until the week of Sept. 20, per government rollout.

This is in line with the FDA authorization and the CDC recommendation that people with weakened immune systems receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Locations, schedules, and appointments are available at conehealth.com/vaccine. The eligible can also call 336-890-1188 Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

It is suggested for individuals to bring their COVID-19 vaccination card, but Cone Health can also check the state’s database to confirm vaccination status.

As with first and second doses, there is no cost for receiving a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

August 18, 2021

5:15 p.m.

State officials say they’re not planning to tighten COVID-19 safety restrictions right now, despite new data showing increased spread of the virus. 

At a press conference earlier today, state officials presented a map from the Centers for Disease Control showing every North Carolina county in the red – indicating the highest level of COVID-19 transmission. Case numbers and hospitalizations are also rising sharply. 

Governor Roy Cooper says he has no plans right now to reinstate a statewide mask mandate or force school districts to enact masking requirements. Instead, he says, they are encouraging local districts and governments to make those decisions. 

“I think you get more effective buy-in when it is done at the local level and decisions are being made at the local level, particularly now with all of the knowledge that we have. A lot of our medical providers have been on the phone with the local boards, they're educating them on this. They're becoming more and more receptive to the need to do this. I think it's a better way to do it right now.”

Guilford County, Winston-Salem and Boone are among several North Carolina municipalities that have recently reinstated indoor mask mandates.

Cooper says state health officials are now calling school districts that have opted out of mask requirements to encourage them to change their policies. He says 75% of North Carolina students will be under a mask mandate this school year. 

2:25 p.m.

Governor Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force are holding a media briefing at 3:00 p.m. Watch live here or listen on 88.5 FM.

August 17, 2021

5:35 p.m.

Novant Health’s hospitals are filling up with COVID-19 patients. 

Chief epidemiology officer Dr. David Priest says the health system's ICUs are now 97% full. And he says the overwhelming majority of patients are unvaccinated. About 9% of those hospitalized have received their shots though, and Priest says they have a few characteristics in common. 

“On average, those individuals are 77 years old, they were often vaccinated very early in the pandemic. They typically have a number of other chronic medical problems. So it just speaks to the need for boosters in that age group.”

Though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given health care providers the go-ahead to begin administering boosters shots to immunocompromised people, Novant isn’t offering them yet.

Novant officials say they are working through logistical details, but they “anticipate administration to begin soon.”

1:30 p.m.

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines has issued a new mask mandate for the city. Joines is ordering that face coverings, masks, or shields be worn inside all buildings within the city limits, other than an individual’s home, as of 5:30 p.m. this Friday, August 20. This includes grocery stores, pharmacies, businesses, restaurants, bars, gyms and fitness centers.

The order exempts children under two years of age and lists 14 situations that exempt citizens from wearing a mask, including religious beliefs, medical or behavioral conditions or disabilities, and eating, drinking or exercising strenuously.

Joines signed the order Aug. 16 as the eighth amendment to the State of Emergency declaration he initially issued on March 13, 2020.

According to a city press release, the mayor issued the mandate out of concern that the surge in COVD-19 cases caused by the delta variant could overwhelm the city’s hospitals if nothing is done.

“I have been asked to take this step by the Forsyth County health director and other medical experts,” Joines said. “And I believe this step is warranted by the alarming increase in COVID-19 cases.”

10:45 a.m.

A third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is now available for immunocompromised people at Wake Forest Baptist Health and Forsyth Public Health. The CDC is now recommending that those with moderately or severely compromised immune systems get an additional dose if they’ve already received two doses of either Moderna or Pfizer. 

The third dose should be of the same vaccine as the first two doses. This guidance only applies to Moderna or Pfizer and does not apply to the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine. According to a press release from Forsyth County Health and Human Services, those who are not immunocompromised will not be given a third dose. 

Individuals should consult with their physician and are encouraged to make an appointment with their health care provider. According to the CDC, individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised include those who: 

  • Have been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood 

  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system 

  • Chronic renal disease and asplenia 

  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system 

  • Have moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome) 

  • Have advanced or untreated HIV infection 

  • Have active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response 

Wake Forest Baptist Health offers COVID-19 vaccinations daily at locations in Forsyth County and across the region. Scheduling for first and second doses are available at www.wakehealth.edu/vaccine, via myWakeHealth, and by calling 336-70-COVID. 

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health, located at 799 N. Highland Ave., offers COVID-19 vaccinations the following times: 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. on Thursdays, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Fridays, and 9:00 a.m.-12 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month.

Cash card incentives are for first doses only and do not apply to third doses. 

August 16, 2021

4:31 p.m 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced today that residents who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines can now begin receiving an additional dose. This comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday expanded the Emergency Use Authorizations to allow for the additional doses in some immunocompromised people. A full list of the conditions that apply can be found at the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC reports that data suggest that people with a compromised immune system may not build the same level of immunity after the second dose of a vaccine, compared to people who are not immunocompromised. Some smaller studies suggest immunocompromised people who are fully vaccinated account for a large proportion of the hospitalizations post-vaccination.

The additional dose is available for immunocompromised people as soon as 28 days after completion of the initial two-dose round. Moderna is available to those 18 and older and Pfizer is available for those 12 and older. It is not recommended that those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to get an additional dose right now, as there is not enough data on its safety or effectiveness. 

Immunocompromised people eligible for an additional dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines should contact their health care provider or they can visit MySpot.nc.gov or call 888-675-4567 to find a vaccine location near them.

August 13, 2021

2:55 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says providers in the state have now administered more than 10 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. NCDHHS also says that vaccinations are trending upward as the highly contagious delta variant of the virus continues to spread through the state.

Last week, overall doses administered for COVID-19 vaccines were up more than 16 percent and first doses increased more than 30 percent compared to two weeks prior.

Sixty-two percent of adults 18 and older in the state have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 58 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from the virus

The delta variant is currently spreading rapidly throughout the state and cases and hospitalizations are increasing – particularly among those ages 18-49.

An average of more than 5,100 new cases have been reported each day over the last week, more than doubling since July 31.

9:40 a.m.

Cases of COVID-19 among younger children are rising in North Carolina, according to data from the state Department of Health and Human Services. Just over 1,200 children between the ages of 5-9 tested positive for COVID-19 last week — more than double the number from two weeks earlier. 

Wake Forest Baptist Health infectious disease specialist Dr. Christopher Ohl says while more children are getting sick, they still are unlikely to be hospitalized or develop severe symptoms. He's urging school districts to adopt strict masking policies to head off potential outbreaks. 

“I really think that those school boards who have said that masks are optional, I feel very strongly right now that they need to reconsider that decision," said Ohl. "Otherwise, you're not going to get through two, three weeks of school. It's just it's not going to be possible."

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools has already announced plans to require masks this year. Governor Roy Cooper is encouraging other districts to do the same, but he has not issued a mandate.

August 11, 2021

1:07 p.m.

The Guilford County Division of Public Health (GCDPH) is advising that effective Friday, August 13 at 8:00 a.m., community members will be required to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at the following clinic locations:

• Greensboro Public Health Clinic: 1100 E Wendover Ave. Greensboro, NC 27405
• High Point Public Health Clinic: 501 E. Green Drive, High Point, NC 27260

Due to an increased demand for COVID-19 vaccination appointments, and to ensure that patients can remain safe and socially distanced inside the clinics, walk-in visits will no longer be accepted.

August 10, 2021

6:52 p.m.

Guilford County Commissioners approved a countywide mask mandate during an emergency meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Guilford County’s current COVID-19 metrics show a spike in infection rates and hospitalizations. That prompted Tuesday’s meeting with the full Board of Commissioners. They approved the indoor mask mandate by a vote of 7-2. It applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status. But there are some exceptions. For example, children under five and those with medical or behavioral conditions are exempt.

Guilford County’s mask mandate will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Friday.

The local health department will oversee the enforcement of the measure. A warning will be issued for the first violation. After that, officials say repeated violations could result in civil penalties ranging anywhere from $50 to $1,500.

 

5:48 p.m.

North Carolina saw the largest single-day jump today in COVID-19 related hospital ICU admissions since the beginning of the pandemic. Hospitalizations among people ages 20-49 are at an all-time high.

Overall, 2,179 North Carolinians are hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 272 people admitted in the past 24 hours. 

According to a press release from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the state’s other key COVID-19 metrics are also increasing, including the percent of tests that are positive — which has been over 10% for the past week. 

State public health officials are encouraging North Carolinians to wear masks in indoor public spaces and get vaccinated to slow the spread of the virus. 

The state is offering $100 cash cards to unvaccinated residents who come in for their first shot this month. 

2:18 p.m.

UNC Greensboro announced Tuesday it will now require all students taking at least one class to require proof of vaccination or participate in periodic COVID-19 testing. In a statement from the school, the move comes as the cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, and amid concerns about the spread of the delta variant. Students who live in residence halls already were required to do so. The frequency of the testing will be determined on several factors, including case counts on campus and within the larger community. UNCG is requiring the same of university employees. More information on the new policy can be found here

August 9, 2021

5:40 p.m.

Due to heightened demand, Cone Health will offer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations by appointment only, effective immediately. It is also opening three additional testing locations. 

At the beginning of July, Cone Health staff administered roughly 30 COVID-19 tests a day. Over the course of the past month, that number has increased to around 200 tests a day. 

Those seeking testing or vaccination can sign up for appointments on the Cone Health COVID-19 Information website conehealth.com/covid-19-information.

August 5, 2021

4:00 p.m. 

The University of North Carolina System has announced it will require all students attending any of the state’s 16 public colleges and universities to get a COVID-19 vaccine or face weekly testing. The standard will also soon apply to faculty and staff. Young adults are less likely than older North Carolinians to have gotten the vaccine thus far. But more residents appear to be coming for the shot as the delta variant surges across the state. More people came in for an initial dose last week than on any given week over the past two months.

The Associated Press

August 4, 2021

2:50 p.m.

Starting Wednesday, August 4, the Forsyth County Department of Public Health will begin offering $100 gift cards to anyone 18 and older who receives their first dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.  

A $25 gift card is still being offered for non-commercial drivers 18 and over who transport individuals to get their first dose. The cards will be available for vaccinations at the health department and Public Health’s community vaccination events. 

All cards are for first doses only, and each patient’s COVID vaccination history will be checked before the shot is administered or the cash card is given. The cards can be used anywhere a debit Mastercard is accepted. Cards will be given while supplies last. 

Appointments and walk-ups for COVID-19 vaccinations are accepted during the week at the Public Health Department, 799 N. Highland Ave:   

  • Appointments are available at Bit.Ly/FCNCCovidVaccine or by calling 336-582-0800 from 8 a.m. -5 p.m. Mon-Fri. 

  • Walk-ups are accepted Mon-Tues. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Thurs. 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 

  • Saturday vaccinations at the health department will be held the second Saturday of the month from 9 a.m-12 p.m. 

1:30 p.m.

Governor Cooper and the COVID-19 Task Force are giving a press briefing. Watch live here or listen on 88.5 FM.

11:16 a.m.

Beginning Saturday, August 7 through August 31, the Guilford County Division of Public Health (GCDPH) will distribute $100 cash cards for first-time COVID-19 vaccinations while supplies last.

Now, individuals 18 years and older are eligible to receive:
• $100 cash card for receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
• $25 cash card for transporting someone to a first dose appointment (limit of one cash card per visit).

Cash cards will be available at all GCDPH, first-dose community and mobile clinics. For a list of upcoming community and mobile GCDPH vaccine clinics, visit www.GuilfordVaccination.com.

Cash cards will also be available at both Guilford County Public Health clinics located at:
• 1100 E. Wendover Avenue, Greensboro, 27405
• 501 E. Green Drive, High Point, 27260

August 3, 2021

3:15 p.m.

North Carolina is now offering $100 summer cash cards at some vaccine sites across the state to offset the time and transportation costs of getting vaccinated. This is part of a state effort to help residents protect themselves against COVID-19 and the highly contagious delta variant.

The $100 cards, which come in the form of a prepaid Mastercard, are available August 4-31 to anyone 18 and older who gets their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a participating site.

The state is also continuing to offer $25 summer cards to people who drive others to a vaccination appointment. There is no limit on the number of times someone can receive the benefit, but it is limited to one card per trip.

To find a participating location call 888-675-4567 or check the NCDHHS website.

August 2, 2021

12:37 p.m.

The City of Greensboro is reinstating its mask mandate in City facilities on Thursday, August 5, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent its possible spread.

Based on the latest CDC recommendation, employees and the public will be required to wear a mask indoors in an area of substantial or high transmission. Guilford County is considered an area of high transmission with a current 14-day positive COVID-19 test rate of 5.5 percent. If the positivity rate continues to rise, the City will consider implementing additional safety measures.

“It’s imperative for the City to be vigilant and maintain the focus on public safety. I encourage the continued cooperation and understanding from our employees and the public to do their part to help us get through this pandemic,” said Interim City Manager Chris Wilson.

Under the revised guidelines, the City will require face coverings or masks for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals entering all City facilities. Employees, residents and visitors are asked to wear masks when indoors for their protection and the protection of others.

July 30, 2021

10:05 a.m.

North Carolina received more than $4.9 million federal funds for small rural hospitals in the state to provide COVID-19 testing and mitigation, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced today. The program will provide increased COVID-19 testing to rural populations ensuring an equitable distribution across the state.  
 
Nineteen hospitals will receive up to $258,376 to increase COVID-19 testing efforts, expand access to testing in rural communities and expand the range of COVID-19 mitigation activities to meet community needs. All 19 hospitals have fewer than 50 beds or are critical access hospitals.

July 29, 2021

4:18 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper is requiring some state employees to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, in response to rising cases and hospitalizations.  

At a press conference today, Cooper called the move “a big step.”

“We believe that this will encourage a lot more state employees to get vaccinated," he said. "So we want to make this step. I think a lot of people are seeing more and more that this delta variant is a big problem."

Cooper said the state will require about 50,000 employees of cabinet agencies such as the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to show proof of vaccination or wear a mask and submit to weekly COVID testing. He stopped short of saying that noncompliance would lead to termination. 

Cooper also announced the state will now encourage school districts to require masks for all K-12 students — a reversal of guidance issued just a week ago. The original guidelines called for masking for students in grades K-8 only. 


1:30 p.m.

Governor Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force are holding a media briefing at 3:00 p.m. to share updates on COVID-19. Listen on 88.5 WFDD or watch live on our blog.

9:49 a.m.

Guilford County has announced that its mandatory mask policy has been reinstated for anyone who is in a county facility, regardless of their vaccination status. Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 215 authorizes local jurisdictions to establish COVID-19 safety measures appropriate for their communities.

County Manager Michael Halford says the decision was reached based on the county's rate of community spread and hospitalizations related to COVID-19.

July 21, 2021

4:49 p.m.

North Carolina health officials and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper announced they will eliminate the statewide mask mandate and ease masking requirements in schools. The new recommendations released on Wednesday urge K-8 schools to require masks for students and staff while they are indoors but allows fully vaccinated high school students and staff to be unmasked. The mask mandate expires at 5 p.m. on July 30. That's the same time the updated school reopening guidance takes effect. The easing of masking restrictions comes as the state is seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations fueled by the delta variant.

11:46 a.m. 

Gov. Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force will share an update on COVID-19 at 2 p.m. Watch live or listen to 88.5 WFDD.

 

July 20, 2021

1:02 p.m.

In its effort to provide all with access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with Piedmont Triad Regional Council Area Agency on Aging (PTRC AAA) to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations to people with limited mobility who cannot leave their home. This new initiative expands PTRC AAA’s successful local at-home vaccination program to communities across the state.

The At-Home Vaccination Hotline at 1-866-303-0026 allows caregivers, providers and individuals across North Carolina to schedule an at-home vaccination. An online registration form is also available at www.ptrc.org/covid. A PTRC Vaccination Specialist will follow up to schedule an at-home vaccination.

June 30, 2021

10:51 a.m.

The City of Greensboro will begin relaxing its mask mandates in City facilities on Tuesday, July 6, based on data available from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Guilford County Health Department.

Under the revised guidelines, the City will no longer require face coverings or masks for fully vaccinated individuals in most City facilities. Unvaccinated individuals are asked to wear masks when indoors for their protection and the protection of others. Signs will be placed at the entrance to City facilities and masks will still be available at entrances staffed by security personnel should a visitor want one. No employee or visitor will be required to show proof of vaccination. 

June 22, 2021

9:26 a.m.

Yesterday, NCDHHS hosted a Spanish-Language Livestream to discuss COVID-19 vaccines for teens and adults. You can watch here: 

June 17, 2021

2:35 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting four new cases of COVID-19 today. The total number of cases is 36,843. There have been a total of 409 deaths from the novel coronavirus reported in the county. 

Click here for more information and FAQs.

2:30 p.m.

The Guilford County Department of Public Health is reporting 18 new COVID-19 cases, and 14 current hospitalizations. GCDPH has verified a total of 711 COVID-19 deaths.

The total case count for the county is 47,352.

June 16, 2021

4:55 p.m.

The Guilford County Department of Public Health is reporting 17 new COVID-19 cases, and 15 current hospitalizations. GCDPH has verified a total of 711 COVID-19 deaths.

The total case count for the county is 47,334.

2:56 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced the state is expanding availability of its at-home COVID-19 test collection. Any North Carolina resident may receive a Pixel by Labcorp® COVID-19 PCR Test Home Collection Kit that is shipped overnight directly to their homes at no cost. Tests can be used on people age 2 and up.

Residents 18 and older can request a test collection kit for themselves online or through several community partner organizations. Parents or guardians of residents under 18 can request a test collection kit for those aged 2-17.

2:44 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 today. The total number of cases is 36,839. There have been a total of 408 deaths from the novel coronavirus reported in the county. 

Click here for more information and FAQs.

June 15, 2021

5:09 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 7 new cases of COVID-19 today. The total number of cases is 36,839. There have been a total of 406 deaths from the novel coronavirus reported in the county. 

Click here for more information and FAQs.

4:52 p.m.

The Guilford County Department of Public Health is reporting 5 new COVID-19 cases, and 13 current hospitalizations. GCDPH has verified a total of 711 COVID-19 deaths.

The total case count for the county is 47,317.

3:21 p.m.

Novant Health announced today that it has administered over 500,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, which represents more than 253,000 fully vaccinated individuals.

12:40 p.m.

The Yadkin County Public Health Department is hosting a COVID-19 vaccine drive-thru event on June 17 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. There will be 100 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine available on a first come, first serve basis.

The drive-thru will be located at Union Cross Friends Church at 2533 Union Cross Church Road, Yadkinville, NC. Event organizers are asking the public to not arrive until 4 p.m.

11:00 a.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is launching an expanded COVID-19 screening testing program to support public, charter and private K-12 schools. It will provide access to COVID-19 rapid tests as well as additional testing options, and also give financial support to hire additional school health staff. A statewide vendor providing testing services will be available to all schools.

Registration for the program will begin in July, and it will roll out this fall. It is supported by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This summer, NCDHHS will pilot the expanded COVID-19 screening testing program in several summer school programs and work with a team of community stakeholders in preparation for the 2021-22 school year.

June 14, 2021

3:20 p.m.

The Guilford County Department of Public Health is reporting 43 new COVID-19 cases, and 14 current hospitalizations. GCDPH has verified a total of 711 COVID-19 deaths.

The total case count for the county is 47,312.

2:52 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 11 new cases of COVID-19 today. The total number of cases is 36,832. There have been a total of 406 deaths from the novel coronavirus reported in the county. 

Click here for more information and FAQs.

June 11, 2021

3:55 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper has issued an Executive Order extending measures currently in place to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic until July 30. These include current mask rules and gathering limits.

It also continues the state of emergency which allows regulatory flexibility for the NC Department of Health and Human Services. This allows for an increase in the number of people authorized to administer COVID-19 vaccines and tests.

3:00 p.m.

The Guilford County Department of Public Health is reporting 14 new COVID-19 cases, and 22 current hospitalizations. GCDPH has verified a total of 711 COVID-19 deaths.

The total case count for the county is 47,250.

2:25 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 17 new cases of COVID-19 today. The total number of cases is 36,790. There have been a total of 401 deaths from the novel coronavirus reported in the county. 

Click here for more information and FAQs.

11:17 a.m.

As of June 8, the City of Greensboro has provided 1,000 Greensboro households a total of more than $4 million for unpaid rent and/or utilities under the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), adopted to assist people financially affected by COVID-19. More people will receive assistance as about $7 million in additional funding has been allocated to Greensboro under the American Rescue Plan.

The additional $7,081,065 will be rolled into the same application process the City’s Neighborhood Development Department has been using since kicking off ERAP more than two months ago. Individuals may apply here

June 10, 2021

5:55 p.m.

The Guilford County Department of Public Health is reporting no new COVID-19 cases, and 22 current hospitalizations. GCDPH has verified a total of 711 COVID-19 deaths.

The total case count for the county is 47,236.

5:50 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 11 new cases of COVID-19 today. The total number of cases is 36,773. There have been a total of 401 deaths from the novel coronavirus reported in the county. 

Click here for more information and FAQs.

3:55 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper has announced a cash drawing to motivate North Carolinians to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Four vaccinated residents 18 and older will win $1 million each, and four North Carolinians ages 12 to 17 will win $125,000 for post-secondary education. The tuition prize can be used at any institution and will be awarded in the form of a NC 529 account.

North Carolinians who have already received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be automatically entered into these drawings for a cash prize.

The $4 Million Summer Cash and Summer Cash 4 College Drawings will run from June 23 through August 4. 

North Carolina joins other states that announced million-dollar drawings to promote vaccinations. Ohio, the first state to launch this type of program, reported a 28 percent increase in vaccinations among those 16 and older in the first two weeks following the announcement. 

Executive Order 219, which has concurrence from the North Carolina Council of State, authorized the drawings.

2:20 p.m.

Governor Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force are holding a media briefing at 3:00 p.m. to share updates on COVID-19. Listen on 88.5 WFDD or watch live on our blog.

June 9, 2021

5:40 p.m.

The Guilford County Department of Public Health is reporting 28 new COVID-19 cases, and 22 current hospitalizations. GCDPH has verified a total of 711 COVID-19 deaths.

The total case count for the county is 47,236.

3:50 p.m.

Wake Forest Baptist Health has updated its visitation policy. These changes apply to all Wake Forest Baptist locations, with the exception of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are considered a patient under investigation.

All visitors undergo screenings for symptoms of respiratory illness and must continue to properly wear a mask that covers the nose, mouth and chin while in any Wake Forest Baptist facility. Children may not visit hospitalized patients but families with special situations should contact their care team and attending physician.

Adult inpatients:

One healthy adult family member or support person may stay overnight with adult patients who are hospitalized. Two healthy adult family members or visitors may accompany or visit the patient between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Family members and visitors may switch during the same day.

Pediatric patients:

Two healthy parents or legal guardians may continue to stay with pediatric patients at all times. This includes children who are hospitalized, undergoing same-day procedures or surgeries, or visiting the Brenner Children’s emergency department or outpatient clinics.

Expectant mothers:

Two healthy adult family members or visitors are permitted for the patient’s entire stay. Family members and visitors may switch during the same day. A labor coach or doula counts as one of the two visitors. For cesarean section deliveries, only one visitor may accompany the patient during the C-section and a labor coach is not permitted. Once patients are moved to a room, they may have two healthy adult visitors.

Adult emergency department patients:

Adult patients visiting the emergency department may have one healthy adult visitor accompany them as long as the lobby remains at a safe seating capacity. Visitors may switch during the visit.

If the lobby exceeds a safe seating capacity, only essential visitors who are assisting with mobility or communication needs may remain in the lobby, and all other visitors must remain outside the emergency department until the patient is placed in a treatment space.

Full visitation guidelines can be found at wakehealth.edu/Coronavirus/Visitor-Restrictions.

2:10 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 65 new cases of COVID-19 today. The total number of cases is 36,762. There have been a total of 401 deaths from the novel coronavirus reported in the county. 

Click here for more information and FAQs.

1:15 p.m.

A pandemic rent and utilities assistance application fair will be held this Saturday, June 12, in Winston-Salem. Qualifying residents who are behind on these bills can apply for assistance from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Benton Convention Center.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides assistance with rent and utilities including electricity, water, natural gas, propane and internet. The program is open to all renters in Forsyth County who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and have a household income 80 percent or less of the area median income. The median varies by household size but is $53,400 for a family of four.

Organizers are requesting that applicants with last names starting with letters A through H come between 9 and 10 a.m..; letters I through P between 10 and 11 a.m..; and letters Q through Z between 11 a.m. and noon. The fair will run through 1 p.m.

Applicants should bring identification, proof of income, lease agreement, and any eviction notices or utility bill statements. A self-written explanation of financial hardship is also encouraged.

More information, including a chart of income limits by household size and FAQs, is posted at CityofWS.org/ERAP. The webpage also has a link to apply directly online or by telephone.

June 8, 2021

5:05 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 26 new cases of COVID-19 today. The total number of cases is 36,697. There have been a total of 401 deaths from the novel coronavirus reported in the county. 

Click here for more information and FAQs.

3:39 p.m.

The Guilford County Department of Public Health is reporting 17 new COVID-19 cases, and 22 current hospitalizations. GCDPH has verified a total of 711 COVID-19 deaths.

The total case count for the county is 47,208.

3:21 p.m.

Wake Forest Baptist Health is now offering COVID-19 vaccinations at a number of adult and pediatric primary care clinics throughout the region and plans to make the vaccine available at more of its primary care locations in the coming weeks.

People who wish to receive the vaccine do not need to be Wake Forest Baptist patients.

An updated list of locations, vaccine type and age availability can be found at www.wakehealth.edu/vaccine. Appointments are required and can be scheduled online through myWakeHealth or by calling 336-70-COVID (336-702-6843).

June 7, 2021

4:10 p.m.

The Guilford County Department of Public Health is reporting 59 new COVID-19 cases, and 20 current hospitalizations. GCDPH has verified a total of 711 COVID-19 deaths.

The total case count for the county is 47,191.

2:43 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 12 new cases of COVID-19 today. The total number of cases is 36,671. There have been a total of 401 deaths from the novel coronavirus reported in the county. 

Click here for more information and FAQs.

11:53 a.m.

The Yadkin County Public Health Department will be holding a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Friday, June 11th from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. The Department will be giving the single-dose at the Yadkin County Medical Clinic located at 320 West Maple Street, Suite B, in Yadkinville, NC.

June 4, 2021

3:59 p.m.

The Guilford County Department of Public Health is reporting 44 new COVID-19 cases, and 21 current hospitalizations. GCDPH has verified a total of 711 COVID-19 deaths.

The total case count for the county is 47,132.

3:46 p.m. 

Forsyth County is reporting 13 new cases of COVID-19 today. The total number of cases is 36,635. There have been a total of 395 deaths from the novel coronavirus reported in the county. 

Click here for more information and FAQs.

9:41 a.m.

Guilford County Parks will host the 14th annual Fireworks Extravaganza at Northeast Park, 3441 Northeast Park Dr., Gibsonville. Now that North Carolina has lifted all indoor and outdoor capacity requirements and masks and social distancing are no longer required, the annual Fourth of July event will take place on Saturday, July 3. The fireworks were canceled in 2020 as part of pandemic restrictions.

June 3, 2021

5:09 p.m.

The Guilford County Department of Public Health is reporting 42 new COVID-19 cases, and 23 current hospitalizations. GCDPH has verified a total of 711 COVID-19 deaths.

The total case count for the county is 47,088.

4:18 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 today. The total number of cases is 36,622. There have been a total of 389 deaths from the novel coronavirus reported in the county. 

Click here for more information and FAQs.

3:34 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced more than 80% of adults 65 and older in the state have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

"Achieving 80% of older adults vaccinated is an important milestone in our fight against COVID-19," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. "We are not done yet. Let's continue to protect each other by taking our shot against this virus and bringing summer back to North Carolina."

9:38 a.m.

Guilford County Parks will open all aquatic centers at full capacity beginning June 5. The county suggests using the facilities on weekdays to avoid large crowds. The centers also encourage wearing a mask during ticketing and sale transactions, and while walking on the pool deck. Masks are not required while on pool chairs and prohibited while swimming. 

For more information on Guilford County Parks aquatic centers, visit the website or call 336-641-7275. 

June 2, 2021

4:57 p.m.

The Guilford County Department of Public Health is reporting 18 new COVID-19 cases, and 23 current hospitalizations. GCDPH has verified a total of 711 COVID-19 deaths.

The total case count for the county is 47,046.

4:05 p.m

The N.C. Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program is open for a second application period to assist very low-income renters that are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Very low-income is defined as earning less than or equal to 50 percent of the area median income for the county where the renter lives. The HOPE Program provides rent and utility bill assistance to prevent evictions and utility disconnections.

The current HOPE Program is serving renters in 88 North Carolina counties. Twelve additional counties and five tribal governments received money directly from the federal government to operate their own programs.

According to a press release from Governor Roy Cooper’s office and the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency, in the last two weeks, more than 8,000 people have applied for this financial assistance and as of Wednesday, $9.5 million has been awarded. Payments are expected to continue to go out on a rolling basis every business day. Previous applicants who received help can re-apply if they still need assistance.

3:45 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting four new cases of COVID-19 today. The total number of cases is 36,617. There have been a total of 388 deaths from the novel coronavirus reported in the county. 

Click here for more information and FAQs.

2:30 p.m.

Governor Cooper, members of the Coronavirus Task Force, and the NC Office of Resiliency and Recovery are holding a media briefing at 3:00 p.m. to share updates on COVID-19 and rent and utility assistance. Listen on 88.5 WFDD or watch live on our blog.

8:40 a.m.

The Guilford County Division of Public Health (GCDPH) has been selected by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) as one of four counties to host a COVID-19 vaccine incentive program.

Beginning Tuesday, June 1 through June 8, the GCDPH will offer $25 cash cards to anyone aged 18 and older who:

- Completes a first-dose vaccination appointment.
- Transports an individual to their vaccination appointment (limit of one cash card per visit).
- Those transporting individuals to the vaccine clinic must attest that they are not a driver for a transportation service such as Uber, Lyft, or a taxi company.

Cash cards will be provided to the GCDPH by the NCDHHS and will remain available while supply lasts.

Cash card incentives will only be available at the Guilford County Greensboro Coliseum vaccination site (1921 W. Gate City Blvd, Greensboro, NC 27403).

Community members should note that cash card incentives are only available on the Guilford County side of the Greensboro Coliseum site. Cash cards will not be distributed to those scheduled for appointments through Cone Health, who also hosts vaccine clinics at the Greensboro Coliseum.

June 1, 2021

4:15 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 6 new cases of COVID-19 today. The total number of cases is 36,613. There have been a total of 388 deaths from the novel coronavirus reported in the county. 

Click here for more information and FAQs.

3:34 p.m.

The Guilford County Department of Public Health is reporting 105 new COVID-19 cases, and 24 current hospitalizations. GCDPH has verified a total of 710 COVID-19 deaths.

The total case count for the county is 47,028.

Click here for previous updates.

Copyright 2021 WFDD. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.
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