Monday, June 17, 2024

Cooper eyes July 4 as possible return to some sense of normalcy

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced today that by next week he hopes to have a plan in place to safely reopen North Carolina by summer. As cases continue to decrease and vaccinations continue to rise, it’s putting North Carolinians in a better position to put Covid-19 in the rearview mirror, according to state officials.

“We’re consulting with health experts and businesses, and soon we will be giving you a forecast about some of the things we can safely do by July 4,” the governor said. “We are working on a prediction on where we are going to be, and hopefully by next week, it will be a little more definite. We know people want to plan — people who have venues and concerts need to know what kind of atmosphere and capacity they can return to.”

To date 5.2 million vaccinations have been administered, with 40% of the state’s population being partially vaccinated and one-fourth being fully vaccinated. Of those numbers, the governor said more than 65% of those 65 and older have been fully vaccinated.

On Wednesday, Apr. 7, the vaccination queue fully opens to every person in North Carolina who wants to secure a shot. The Pfizer vaccine also has been given emergency approval for those ages 16 and up.

“We are getting people vaccinated more quickly than we predicted,” the governor said. “Every person who gets a shot makes our whole state safe and healthier.”

This week North Carolina will receive 216,030 first doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and 149,800 doses of Johnson & Johnson, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

New Hanover County will receive the following:

  • New Hanover Public Health: 1,170 Pfizer (first); 2,340 Pfizer (second); 400 Moderna (second)
  • Med North: 400 Moderna (first); 300 Johnson & Johnson
  • New Hanover Regional Medical Center: 2,340 Pfizer (first); 4,000 Johnson & Johnson; 2,340 Pfizer (second)
  • Wilmington Health: 1,170 Pfizer (first)
  • Promina Health: 100 Moderna (first)
  • UNCW: 1,800 Johnson & Johnson
  • Market St. Pharmacy: 200 Moderna (first)

Pender County (only first doses listed):

  • Pender County Health Department: 800 Moderna 
  • Rocky Point Pavilion Pharmacy: 100 Moderna 
  • Village Pharmacy of Hampstead: 100 Moderna 
  • Coastal Carolina Care: 100 Moderna 
  • San Martin Medical, PLLC 100 Moderna: 100 J&J

Brunswick County (only first doses listed):

  • Brunswick County Health Services: 1,000 Moderna; 500 J&J
  • Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center: 2,340 Pfizer; 100 Moderna 
  • J Arthur Dosher Memorial Hospital: 200 Moderna
  • New Hope Clinic: 100 Moderna 
  • Galloway-Sands Pharmacy – Southport: 100 Moderna 
  • Galloway-Sands Pharmacy – Supply: 100 Moderna 
  • Harris Teeter – Olde Regent Way, Leland: 100 Moderna 
  • Hickman’s Pharmacy: 100 Moderna 

North Carolina’s top health official, Dr. Mandy Cohen, noted there are still “pockets” in the state that see more appointments available than others. “Certain areas see lower rates of vaccine, and other areas need more vaccines and providers,” Cohen noted.

The 100 counties in North Carolina are all out of the red zone on the County Alert System map, which has now added two lower tiers of viral spread, indicated by light yellow and green. Alleghany County is the only green county on the map, while 31 counties remain yellow, including New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender.

The four metrics the state follows to determine the viral spread have passed benchmarks, including trajectory of cases and positive tests. However, new cases (over 900 since yesterday) and hospitalizations are plateauing, which Cohen said they are keeping an eye on. There is still concern Covid-19 variants will be detected and spread more rapidly, though Cohen said North Carolina is seeing the variant much less than other states.

Cooper pointed to the time drawing near that the state will begin having more supply than demand when it comes to vaccines. He urged everyone in their communities — doctors, ministers, public servants, civic leaders, families, friends — to get out the message that vaccines are safe and effective.

“These tested safe Covid-19 vaccines will get us back to doing things we love,” he said.

“If you’re fully vaccinated, you can travel,” Cohen added, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcement on Friday that fully vaccinated people don’t have to worry over taking Covid tests or quarantining.

While “Vaccine Passports” are causing much debate among political party leaders in the U.S., as well as in the European Union and and British government, state officials didn’t side one way or another upon media requests on whether North Carolinians will need one. Cohen did say the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is looking into vendor partnerships to give vaccinated individuals quick and effective access to their vaccine information should they request it.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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