We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in North Carolina. Check back for updates.
Over 3,100 new cases added
At least 1,446,881 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 17,456 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday reported 3,182 new COVID-19 cases, down from 3,761 on Thursday.
At least 46 additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported Friday. Health officials don’t specify the dates on which data newly reported deaths occurred.
At least 2,074 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday, including 564 adult patients who are being treated in intensive care units, health officials said.
On Wednesday, the latest date with available information, 6.1% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Health officials say 5% or lower is the target rate to slow the spread of the virus.
Roughly 70% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 65% have been fully vaccinated. State officials round vaccination numbers to the nearest whole number.
Football game postponed after player tests positive for COVID
A football game between C.E. Jordan High School and Northern High School in Durham has been postponed after a Northern High athlete tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Contact tracing is continuing and families of close contacts will be notified today,” Jordan High Principal Susan Stewart Taylor said in a statement on Twitter.
State fair staple backs out over COVID safety concerns
An iconic booth at the North Carolina State Fair that served ham biscuits isn’t open this year after volunteers expressed some concern about the lack of COVID-19 precautions.
Instead, the space typically occupied by First United Methodist Church of Cary and White Plains United Methodist Church is being used to administer free coronavirus vaccines, The News & Observer reported. The decision not to open the booth at this year’s fair was based on keeping the church volunteers who staff it safe.
Rob Phillips, the pastor of invitation and engagement at White Plains United Methodist Church, said “a lot of our volunteers at both churches were very nervous about it” after learning no proof of vaccination or masks would be required.
“We will miss it,” Phillips said, “but in the end we thought it was the best decision to make to do no harm for our volunteers.”
‘No Patient Left Alone Act’ signed into law
Gov. Roy Cooper signed the “No Patient Left Alone Act” into law on Friday, which ensures patients are allowed visitors in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice care and adult care homes.
The law takes effect Nov. 1 and was penned in response to the thousands of coronavirus patients who died alone during the pandemic while visitors were barred from seeing them out of fear of spreading the virus.
Under the new law, visitation rights won’t be impacted during a state of emergency or disasters, The News & Observer reported. The bill acknowledges that health care facilities were making decisions to keep patients and employees safe, but said those measures had unintended consequences for people who didn’t have the virus.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused great uncertainty and anxiety across our State and has significantly affected patients and residents in health care facilities,” the bill states.
Volunteers help health care workers through the pandemic
UNC Health’s Helping Hands program has recruited volunteers from the community to help ease the burden on beleaguered health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some are retirees, like long-time nurse Robin Deal. Others are students and faculty at medical and nursing schools or lay people who can help with clerical work and running samples to the lab, The News & Observer reported.
Deal is currently giving flu shots to UNC Rex hospital employees.
“Giving flu shots is old hat for me,” she said. “But it’s a way I can take the burden off the employee health nurses, so they can continue to do the volume of work that they’re doing, which is a lot, especially with people still being exposed to COVID.”
Elizabeth Ramsey, who oversees Helping Hands at the UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, said they’ve signed up more than 500 volunteers. Though hospitals have always had volunteers, she told The N&O this time is different as they look for individuals who are qualified to work with patients or can relieve staff members who do.
Wake says no to air purifiers in every class
School district officials in Wake County said in a presentation Wednesday that other steps to improve air quality in schools have negated the need for air purifiers in classrooms.
The presentation came after a parent advocacy group and members of N.C. State’s environmental engineering department pushed for widespread installation of air purifiers in classrooms to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, The News & Observer reported.
But officials said they’ve upgraded the filters installed in HVAC systems, run those HVAC systems for long periods of time before and after school to increase air flow, and put portable HEPA filters in rooms where students are unable to wear face coverings.
“Evidence that this is working is that a majority of our schools are having the 0 to 2 (COVID) cases weekly,” said Jim Martin, chairman of the school board’s facilities committee. “If we were having substantial issues in our air systems, those numbers would not be at that level.”
Raleigh government workers threaten to sue over vaccine requirements
More than 100 government workers have threatened to take legal action against the city of Raleigh over vaccine requirements.
In a letter to Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, attorney James Lawrence said incentives, policy that only vaccinated workers can be promoted and testing requirements for those who are unvaccinated are examples of a “discriminatory COVID-19 mandate.”
City of Raleigh Freedom to Choose — which is made up of police officers, firefighters and other city employees — isn’t “anti-vax” but supports workers being able to make their own medical decisions, Lawrence said.
Raleigh officials had no comment on the letter. In a statement, Baldwin backed the city’s current rules.
“Our goal is to encourage vaccinations and reduce the spread of COVID — for the safety of our community and our employees,” she told The News & Observer.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/covid-vaccine-live-updates-here-e2-80-99s-what-to-know-in-north-carolina-on-oct-15/ar-AAPyUWn1204