Gov. Cooper announces frontline essential workers eligible for vaccination beginning March 3

Group 4 vaccinations to begin March 24 for people who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk or who live in certain congregate settings

RALEIGH: Today, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. announced that additional frontline essential workers in Group 3 will be eligible for vaccinations beginning tomorrow, March 3. The expedited timeline follows the approval of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine and an expected increase in vaccine supply to North Carolina.

“The state and our providers continue to work extremely hard to get people vaccinated in a way that’s fast and fair,” said Gov. Cooper. “The third vaccine and improving vaccine supply will help us get more people vaccinated more quickly. Our essential frontline workers have remained on the job throughout this pandemic and I am grateful for their work.”

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine comes as the federal government has also increased vaccine in North Carolina beyond the state’s allocation. A new federally-supported site will open in Greensboro next week, and Walgreens is providing vaccine through the federal pharmacy program. While there is still not enough vaccine for everyone, the improved supply has contributed to providers reporting readiness to expand access to additional Group 3 essential workers. Under the timeline outlined today, providers may move to vaccinating these individuals on March 3. Sec. Cohen also unveiled a Public Service Announcement encouraging vaccine use among Group 3 essential workers. (See Deeper Dive for additional detail)

State officials continue to encourage providers to exhaust each week’s vaccine shipment before the following week’s shipment arrives. Some vaccine providers may not be ready to open to frontline essential workers on March 3 if they are still experiencing high demand for vaccines in Groups 1, 2, and 3.

Gov. Cooper also outlined an expected timeline for beginning Group 4 vaccinations. Beginning on March 24, people at higher risk from COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions will become eligible to receive a vaccine, as well as people in certain congregate-living settings. (See Deeper Dive for additional detail)

“This is a really exciting moment,” said Secretary Cohen. “A third COVID-19 vaccine means North Carolina can get more people vaccinated sooner and keep people out of the hospital and prevent deaths from this pandemic.”

NCDHHS also shared clarifications for Groups 1 and 4. The definition of long-term care in Group 1 has been updated for people with intellectual and developmental disability. Higher-risk medical conditions for Group 4 include intellectual and developmental disabilities including Down Syndrome, and neurologic conditions, such as dementia.

Gov. Cooper will continue to advocate to increase vaccine supply in North Carolina. Since January 20, the amount of vaccine received by the state has increased by 135%.

This week, the federal government authorized the distribution of Johnson & Johnson’s (Janssen) one-shot vaccine and more than 80,000 doses are expected to arrive in the state beginning on Wednesday.

On March 10, a federally-supported community vaccination center will open in Greensboro. This site – one of just 18 sites nationally – will help the state continue its effort to reach more marginalized and underserved communities. The federal government will provide the center’s vaccine supply, which will be in addition to North Carolina’s weekly allotment from the Centers for Disease Control. It will operate seven days a week with the capacity to provide up to 3,000 vaccinations per day, with options for drive-thru service in the parking lot and walk-in service.

State officials continue to prioritize speed and equity in vaccine distribution as eligibility prioritization expands. On February 26, the Kaiser Family Foundation ranked North Carolina as first in the nation for vaccinating the largest share of its 65 and older population.

Detailed information about each vaccine group is online at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov (English) or vacunate.nc.gov (Spanish).

Watch the DHHS Group 3 Vaccine PSA Here.

COVID-19 vaccination appointments available online or by phone NOW

PENDER COUNTY – COVID-19 Vaccination appointments are NOW being accepted for Tuesday, March 2, at the Pender County Health Department, 803 S. Walker St. in Burgaw. Appointments can also be made for Thursday, March 4, at the Hampstead Annex, 15060 US Hwy. 17.

Citizens ages 65 and older and health care workers may schedule an appointment online on the county’s website, pendercountync.gov, and click on the red banner across the screen.

Citizens without the ability to make an appointment online can call 910-663-4200 for assistance.

There is limited vaccine available.

If citizens miss this opportunity to be vaccinated, continue to monitor the county’s website, Pender County’s Facebook page, and the local news for future vaccine appointments.

 

NC Forest Service uses fire to protect Hampstead from fire

HAMPSTEAD – On Monday, Feb. 15, a fire was reported at a debris landfill located on Running Deer Trail near Hampstead and Holly Shelter Game Land. Upon arrival, fire officials discovered that the 25- to 30-foot landfill consisting of woody debris and soil, approximately four acres in size, was burning despite several inches of rainfall during the previous few days. Despite future rainfall, this debris pile is expected to continue burning for months. Due to the composition and volume of the pile currently on fire, extinguishing the landfill is not feasible as it would pose unnecessary risk for personnel and equipment. Currently, the primary concern is proximity of this fire to Holly Shelter Game Land, the town of Hampstead, and associated communities. The traditional higher winds and lower relative humidity common to this area during spring could allow embers from the landfill to ignite the game land or wooded areas near Hampstead, areas already impacted by several historic wildfires.

N.C. Forest Service personnel used recent periods of wet weather to plan a burnout operation intended to eliminate woody fuels separating the landfill fire from areas of concern. On Feb. 24, the N.C. Forest Service, assisted by Pender County Emergency Management and Pender EMS and Fire, successfully burned 153 acres, now cold, to establish a firebreak. The landfill fire continues to burn and for how long will be determined by weather conditions. Rain will cause the fire to burn slower, extending the burn period while extended dry weather could result in acceleration.

Smoke from the landfill fire is a concern associated with wind direction, specifically winds coming from the west, north and east. Residents and travelers in the area could be impacted by smoke, and in the interest of safety, may need to allow for extra travel time or find alternate routes. The landfill fire and surrounding areas will continue to be monitored locally until the fire is no longer a threat. Smoke advisories may be issued before forecast smoke affects populated areas or roadways.

Flooding update, Feb. 25, 2021

The rivers in Pender County are continuing to drop across the county. More state roads include Shaw Hwy are back open. The Black River has dropped less than a foot to 9.21 feet since Monday. The Northeast Cape Fear River has dropped a little more than 2.5 feet since Monday. The Northeast Cape Fear River is still in moderate flood stage and will be until late tomorrow evening.
The weather forecast for Friday and into next week is a front will bring more rain to the area and possibly slowing the rate the river levels are dropping.
However, some roads remain impacted by flooding.
Roadways, as of 3 p.m., Feb. 25, that are known to be affected by flooding include:
• 2356-3276 block of the Old Maple Hill Rd
• 1600-3700 block Croomsbridge Rd
• 0-735 River Bend Drive
• All of River Birch Rd
• All of Bear Run Rd
• Riverview Drive along the river
• 485-510 block River Trail
• 500-5100 block Heading Bluff Road
• Patriots Hall Drive past the Ranger Station
• All of Caldonia Creek Rd
• 100-849 block Old Blake House Road
• Old Savanah Road 100 Yards west of Van Eden Rd (Wash Out)
• Juniper Lane at the turn
• Whitestocking Rd near Chorley Drive
• Whitestocking Rd at Mack Williams
• Lower end of Sandy Bend Rd
• 800 block to the end on Carl Meeks Rd
• 100 block to the end on Patriots Watch
• Lower end of White Tail Lane
• 300 block of Battleground Rd
• Morgan Road 200 yards north of the bridge
• 700 block to the end of Pinkney Rd
• 500 block to the end of Old Ramsey Rd
• All of Cape Fear Drive
• All of Thoroughfare Rd
• Bethel Church Rd

Gov. Roy Cooper announces easing of COVID-19 restrictions as North Carolina trends stabilize

Key indicators used to guide decisions throughout pandemic show state’s trends are moving in the right direction

RALEIGH: As North Carolina’s numbers continue to show improvement and vaccine distribution increases, Governor Roy Cooper announced today that the state will carefully ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions. Executive Order No. 195 will take effect February 26th at 5 pm and will expire March 26th at 5 pm.

“Today’s action is a show of confidence and trust, but we must remain cautious. People are losing their loved ones each day,” said Governor Cooper. “We must keep up our guard. Many of us are weary, but we cannot let the weariness win. Now is the time to put our strength and resilience to work so that we can continue to turn the corner and get through this.”

“Keep wearing a mask, waiting 6 feet apart, and washing your hands. We’ve seen in the past how fragile progress can be, so we need to keep protecting each other while we get everyone a spot to get their shot,” said North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.

Today’s Executive Order lifts the Modified Stay at Home Order requiring people to stay at home and businesses to close to the public between 10 pm and 5 am. The number of people who may gather indoors will increase from 10 to 25, while 50 remains the limit for outdoors. The curfew on the sale of alcohol for onsite consumption will be moved from 9 pm to 11 pm. Some businesses, including bars and amusement parks, will now be open for patrons indoors as they adhere to new occupancy restrictions. Many businesses, venues and arenas will have increased occupancy both indoors and outdoors.

Executive Order No. 195 has two general categories of occupancy restrictions: 30% capacity and 50% capacity. Because indoor spaces have a higher risk of spread for COVID-19, indoor facilities in the 30%-occupancy category may not exceed two hundred fifty (250) people per indoor room or indoor space.

30% Capacity Limit (may not exceed 250-persons in indoor spaces)
• Bars
• Meeting, Reception, and Conference Spaces
• Lounges (including tobacco) and Night Clubs
• Indoor areas of Amusement Parks
• Movie Theatres
• Entertainment facilities (e.g., bingo parlors, gaming establishments)
• Sports Arenas and Fields*
• Venues*

Indoor event venues with more than 5,000 seats may be excepted from the 250 person limit if they follow additional safety measures up to 15% capacity.
50% Capacity Limit
• Restaurants
• Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries
• Fitness and Physical Activity Facilities (e.g., gyms, bowling alleys, rock climbing facilities)
• Pools
• Museums and Aquariums
• Retailers
• Outdoor areas of Amusement Parks
• Salons, Personal Care, Tattoo Parlors

Safety protocols such as masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing will continue to be important as people adjust to the new order, health officials said.

Today marks the first day of eligibility for teachers to receive vaccination as the state begins to expand access to group 3 essential workers. Due to manufacturers’ shipping delays caused by inclement weather, DHHS continues to work with providers to administer both last week’s shipment and this week’s shipment this week and continue to exhaust first dose supply before next week’s shipment arrives.

Dr. Cohen also provided an update on North Carolina’s data and trends.

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is decreasing.

Trajectory of Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of cases is decreasing.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is decreasing.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is decreasing.

In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread in testing, tracing and prevention.

Testing
• Testing is widely available across the state.

Tracing Capability
• There have been more than 716,610 downloads of the exposure notification app, SlowCOVIDNC.

Personal Protective Equipment
• North Carolina’s personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable.

Read Executive Order No. 195.

Read Frequently Asked Questions.

View the slides from today’s briefing.

Updated list of roadways that are impacted by flooding, effective noon, Feb. 21

Substantial rainfall floods local roads, caution urged

PENDER COUNTY – Pender County Emergency Management urges motorists to stay alert to flooded roadways. As promised, Pender County Emergency Management issued an updated list of roads that are impacted by the recent heavy rains.

“We will continue to monitor roads within Pender County to keep our citizens informed,” Carson Smith, Interim Emergency Manager, said. “We urge motorists if they see swift-moving water on the roadways to turn around, don’t drown.”

Smith said currently the following roads are affected by flooding as of noon, Feb. 21:

  • Willard Railroad Street at the Bridge of the Pender/Duplin County line
  • 2356-3276 block of the Old Maple Hill Rd
  • 1600-3700 block Croomsbridge Rd
  • All of Cape Fear Drive
  • All of River Bend Drive
  • All of River Birch Rd
  • All of Bear Run Rd
  • Riverview Drive along the river
  • 485-510 block River Trail
  • 0-245 block Rebecca Kennedy Rd
  • 500-5100 block Heading Bluff Road
  • Patriots Hall Drive past the Ranger Station
  • All of Caldonia Creek Rd
  • All of Northeast Drive
  • 100-849 block Old Blake House Road
  • Old Savanah Road 100 Yards west of Van Eden Rd (Wash Out)
  • Juniper Lane at the turn
  • Whitestocking Rd near Chorley Drive
  • Whitestocking Rd at Mack Williams
  • Lower end of Sandy Bend Rd
  • Shaw Hwy at creek before Carl Meeks Rd
  • 800 block to the end on Carl Meeks Rd
  • All of N. & S. Holly Shelter Estate
  • 100 block to the end on Patriots Watch
  • Lower end of White Tail Lane
  • 300 block of Battleground Rd
  • NC Hwy 53 at River Bend Drive
  • Carl Meeks Road

“Flooded roadways can make a road surface unstable and drivers may not be aware of dangers beneath the water,” Smith said. “It’s safer to find an alternative route.”

Motorists can find travel alerts and road closures on the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s site, www.DriveNC.gov.

Visit www.FIMAN.nc.gov for the latest flood information from the state’s network of more than 500 river, stream and coastal gauges.

For more information, watch our Pender County Emergency Management website or Facebook. If you have not signed up for the CodeRed alert system, register for free at https://www.pendercountync.gov/em/notices-base/ or call 910-259-1210 for details.

Updated list of roads impacted by flooding, Feb. 20

Substantial rainfall floods local roads, caution urged

PENDER COUNTY – Pender County Emergency Management urges motorists to stay alert to flooded roadways. As promised, Pender County Emergency Management issued an updated list of roads that are impacted by the recent heavy rains.

“We will continue to monitor roads within Pender County to keep our citizens informed,” Carson Smith, Interim Emergency Manager, said. “We urge motorists if they see swift-moving water on the roadways to turn around, don’t drown.”

Smith said currently the following roads are affected by flooding as of noon, Feb. 20:

  • Willard Railroad Street at the Bridge of the Pender/Duplin County line
  • 2356-3276 block of the Old Maple Hill Rd
  • 1600-3700 block Croomsbridge Rd
  • 0-735 River Bend Drive
  • All of River Birch Rd
  • All of Bear Run Rd
  • Riverview Drive along the river
  • 485-510 block River Trail
  • 0-245 block Rebecca Kennedy Rd
  • 500-5100 block Heading Bluff Road
  • Patriots Hall Drive past the Ranger Station
  • All of Caldonia Creek Rd
  • All of Northeast Drive
  • 100-849 block Old Blake House Road
  • 1500 block of S. Shore Drive
  • 1600 block of S. Shore Drive
  • 1900 block of S. Shore Drive
  • 2400 block of S. Shore Drive
  • 2800 block of S. Shore Drive
  • 250 block of Horseshoe Loop
  • Old Savanah Road 100 Yards west of Van Eden Rd (Wash Out)
  • Juniper Lane at the turn
  • Whitestocking Rd near Chorley Drive
  • Whitestocking Rd at Mack Williams
  • Lower end of Sandy Bend Rd
  • Shaw Hwy at creek before Carl Meeks Rd
  • 800 block to the end on Carl Meeks Rd
  • All of N. & S. Holly Shelter Estate
  • 100 block to the end on Patriots Watch
  • Lower end of White Tail Lane
  • 300 block of Battleground Rd
  • Morgan Road 200 yards north of the bridge
  • 700 block to the end of Pinkney Rd
  • 500 block to the end of Old Ramsey Rd
  • All of Cape Fear Drive
  • All of Thoroughfare Rd

“Flooded roadways can make a road surface unstable and drivers may not be aware of dangers beneath the water,” Smith said. “It’s safer to find an alternative route.”

Motorists can find travel alerts and road closures on the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s site, www.DriveNC.gov.

Smith said, based upon the weather forecast, some areas in Pender County will experience river flooding through next weekend.

Pender County Emergency Management will update any changes in road conditions this weedend.

Visit www.FIMAN.nc.gov for the latest flood information from the state’s network of more than 500 river, stream and coastal gauges.

 

For more information, watch our Pender County Emergency Management website or Facebook. If you have not signed up for the CodeRed alert system, register for free at https://www.pendercountync.gov/em/notices-base/ or call 910-259-1210 for details.

 

Substantial rainfall floods local roads, updated list of roads

Updated road impacts

 

PENDER COUNTY – Pender County Emergency Management urges motorists to stay alert to flooded roadways. As promised, Pender County Emergency Management issued an updated list of roads that are impacted by the recent heavy rains.

 

“We will continue to monitor roads within Pender County to keep our citizens informed,” Carson Smith, Interim Emergency Manager, said. “We urge motorists if they see swift-moving water on the roadways to turn around, don’t drown.”

 

Smith said currently the following roads are affected by flooding as of 3 p.m., Feb. 19:

  • Riverview Drive along the river
  • 485-510 block River Trail
  • 0-245 block Rebecca Kennedy Rd
  • 500-5100 block Heading Bluff Road
  • Patriots Hall Drive past the Ranger Station
  • All of Caldonia Creek Rd
  • All of Northeast Drive
  • 100-849 block Old Blake House Road
  • 1500 block of S. Shore Drive
  • 1600 block of S. Shore Drive
  • 1900 block of S. Shore Drive
  • 2400 block of S. Shore Drive
  • 2800 block of S. Shore Drive
  • 250 Horseshoe Loop
  • Old Savanah Road 100 Yards west of Van Eden Rd (Wash Out)
  • Juniper Lane at the turn
  • Whitestocking Rd near Chorley Drive
  • Whitestocking Rd at Mack Williams

 

“Flooded roadways can make a road surface unstable and drivers may not be aware of dangers beneath the water,” Smith said. “It’s safer to find an alternative route.”

 

Motorists can find travel alerts and road closures on the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s site, www.DriveNC.gov.

 

Smith said, based upon the weather forecast, some areas in Pender County will experience river flooding through next weekend.

 

Pender County Emergency Management will update any changes in road conditions this Saturday and Sunday.

 

Visit www.FIMAN.nc.gov for the latest flood information from the state’s network of more than 500 river, stream and coastal gauges.

 

For more information, watch our Pender County Emergency Management website or Facebook. If you have not signed up for the CodeRed alert system, register for free at https://www.pendercountync.gov/em/notices-base/ or call 910-259-1210 for details.

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