HHS News

People with high-risk medical conditions in Group 4 will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 17

People who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk or who live in certain congregate settings eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on March 17
Additional members of Group 4 eligible April 7

RALEIGH: Today, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. announced beginning on March 17, people in Group 4 who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk of serious illness and people who live in certain congregate settings will be eligible for vaccination. The rest of Group 4, which includes other essential workers will become eligible April 7. (See Deeper Dive)

“This move to Group 4 is good news,” said Governor Cooper. “I know there are many efforts across the state getting vaccines to people as quickly and fairly as possible and I want our providers to know that their work is making all the difference.”

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is in constant contact with providers across the state and surveys both their vaccine capacity and supply. The state was able to update its timeline today based on provider feedback and expected supply. As with previous eligibility changes, some vaccine providers may not be ready to open to Group 4 on March 17 if they are still experiencing high demand for vaccines in Groups 1 through 3.

“We are very fortunate to now have three tested, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that keep people out of the hospital and prevent death from this virus,” said Secretary Cohen. “With improving supplies, North Carolina can get more people vaccinated sooner and meet our goals to provide equitable access to vaccinations in every community in the state.”

More than 1.1 million North Carolinians have been fully vaccinated as the state works with local health departments and providers to distribute this vaccine quickly and equitably. While supply is still limited, the increased federal allocation of doses is helping providers administer vaccines to more people.

North Carolina has continued to emphasize equity in the vaccine distribution process. In the last four weeks, more than 20 percent of the state’s first doses have been administered to Black North Carolinians. On Sunday, Bloomberg News recognized North Carolina as the leader in the nation for reporting demographic data on who has been vaccinated down to the county level.

On Wednesday, Governor Cooper attended the opening of a federally supported community vaccination center opened 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 is in addition to North Carolina’s weekly allotment from the Centers for Disease Control. The site 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.

Detailed information about each vaccine group is online at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov (English) or vacunate.nc.gov (Spanish). North Carolinians can find vaccine providers in their community through the NCDHHS online tool, Find a Vaccine Location. The COVID-19 vaccine help center is available to answer vaccine questions at 888-675-4567.

North Carolina will move into Group 4 on March 17

Today, Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen are announcing that, beginning on March 17, people in Group 4 who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk and people who live in additional congregate settings will be eligible for vaccination. The rest of Group 4, which includes other essential workers, will become eligible on April 7.

North Carolina follows the recommendations of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as to who is at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, sickle cell disease, obesity, or smoking (A complete list is available in our Deeper Dive). In addition, this population includes anyone who is living in higher risk congregate or close group living settings who is not already vaccinated, including people experiencing homelessness or living in a homeless shelter and people in a correctional facility, such as jail or prison.

More information can be found online in our Deeper Dive Group 4: Adults at Higher Risk of Exposure and Increased Risk of Severe Illness (Higher-Risk Conditions and Additional Congregate Settings).

Currently eligible groups – health care workers, long-term care staff and residents, people 65 and older, and child care and school staff – will continue to be prioritized. Some vaccine providers may not be ready to open to people with a medical condition on March 17th if they are still experiencing high demand for vaccines in Groups 1, 2, and 3.

Deeper-Dive-Group-4-Higher-Risk-Conditions

 

Invasive Zebra Mussel found in NC pet store – here’s how you can help

N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with wildlife agencies across the country, is urging pet and aquarium stores as well as aquarium owners to remove and safely dispose of any moss ball plant designed for aquariums, after invasive zebra mussels were discovered inside the products labeled as “Marimo Moss Ball Plant Grab & Go” and “Mini Mariom Moss Balls” (see packaging: Pic 1; Pic 2; Pic 3).
 
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with wildlife agencies across the country, is urging pet and aquarium stores as well as aquarium owners to remove and safely dispose of any moss ball plant designed for aquariums, after invasive zebra mussels were discovered inside the products labeled as “Marimo Moss Ball Plant Grab & Go” and “Mini Mariom Moss Balls” (see packaging: Pic 1; Pic 2; Pic 3).
 
In addition to being illegal to possess in North Carolina, zebra mussels clog pipelines used for water filtration, render beaches unusable, and damage boats. They also negatively impact aquatic ecosystems by harming native organisms.
 
Zebra mussels have been confirmed in moss balls sold at retailers in North Carolina, including PetSmart. If you have purchased moss balls within the past month, please follow the instructions below about how to properly destroy them and clean your aquariums. Known packaging reads ‘Marimo Moss Ball Plant Grab & Go’ and ‘Mini Marimo Moss Balls’, but there are likely more brands that contain the mussels. An overabundance of caution is suggested if you’ve purchases ANY moss balls recently.
 
Any aquarium owner who has purchased moss balls should dispose of it immediately and carefully by:
• Placing them in a plastic bag and freezing them overnight; or,
• Boiling them or soaking them overnight in a bleach solution (one cup bleach per gallon of water).
 
After freezing or boiling, moss balls should be bagged and disposed of in the trash. Living moss balls or untreated water should not be disposed of in any location where they can reach sewage systems or streams or lakes.
 
To treat your aquarium:
• Remove fish and apply the bleach solution and let it sit for at least one hour before disposing of the water down the sink or toilet.
• Disinfect filters, gravels, and structures as described above and dispose of water down the sink or toilet.
 
Learn more by reading the Wildlife Commission’s Frequently Asked Questions about Zebra Mussels flier.
• Remove fish and apply the bleach solution and let it sit for at least one hour before disposing of the water down the sink or toilet.

Gov. Cooper outlines timeline on Group 3 COVID-19 vaccine prioritization

Educators, school personnel and child care workers will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine beginning Feb. 24

North Carolina has administered more than 1 million first doses of vaccine

RALEIGH – Today Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. outlined a timeline for Group 3 frontline workers becoming eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, beginning with anyone working in child care or in PreK – 12 schools on February 24.

“I am grateful to all of our educators and school personnel for going above and beyond in this pandemic to care for children and help them continue to learn,” said Governor Cooper. “Starting with a smaller number of Group 3 frontline essential workers helps providers streamline vaccine distribution effectively and efficiently.”

Because vaccine supply continues to be limited and the Group 3 population of frontline essential workers is so large, the state needs to move to the next group gradually. Those working in child care and schools, such as teachers, bus and van drivers, custodial and maintenance staff, and food service workers, will be eligible first. This includes staff in child care centers and homes, Head Start Programs, Preschool and PreK programs, traditional public schools, charter schools and private schools. (See Deeper Dive for additional detail.)

States must vaccinate people in groups due to limited supply. North Carolina is currently vaccinating people in Groups 1 and 2, which include health care workers, long-term care staff and residents and people 65 and older. In the coming weeks, providers will continue to vaccinate these groups. More than 40 percent of North Carolina’s residents 65 and older have been vaccinated.
Under the timeline outlined today, the state plans to move to additional frontline workers on March 10th.

“Vaccine supply limitations continue to impact how fast we can get all North Carolinians vaccinated,” said Secretary Cohen. “Keep doing the 3Ws. Wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart, and wash your hands often. And be sure to visit YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov for accurate information.”

NCDHHS is working with partners to develop operational guidance to support child care and school staff in accessing vaccines. However, current prevention measures will not change. Schools can and should be providing in-person instruction. Under robust safety measures, all students can be in classrooms, with middle and high school students also following six-feet social distancing protocols.

As of today, North Carolina has administered more than 1 million first doses of vaccine and more than 1.5 million total doses.

North Carolina is expected to received more doses of vaccine over the coming weeks heading into March. This increase and certainty of advance knowledge into the supply chain several weeks out has allowed the state to plan to open vaccinations to group 3. As state officials receive more supply information, additional operational guidance will continue to be provided.

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

COVID-19 vaccination appointments available TODAY online or by phone

PENDER COUNTY – COVID-19 Vaccination appointments are now available for TODAY, Wednesday, Feb. 10, at the Pender County Health Department, 803 S. Walker St. in Burgaw.

Citizens 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.

 

COVID-19 vaccination appointments available online or by phone

PENDER COUNTY – COVID-19 Vaccination appointments are now available for Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Pender County Government Annex in Hampstead.
 
Citizens may schedule an appointment online on the county’s website, pendercountync.gov, and click on the red banner across the screen.
 
Citizens also have the option of scheduling an appointment by calling 910-663-4200.
 
There is a 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.

Online COVID-19 vaccination appointments coming soon

Pender County Health Department prepares for online appointments

BURGAW – This week Pender County Health Department will begin offering online appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations based on vaccine availability.

You may also schedule via phone by calling 910-663-4200.

We are currently following NC DHHS Vaccine Guidance for Priority Groups 1 and 2.

  • Group 1 – Healthcare Workers
  • Group 2 – Anyone 65 years and older.

Please monitor this website, Facebook page, and the local news for updates on available appointments.

 

Count On Me NC- Join and Support the Effort!

The Count On Me NC program is focused on providing the necessary knowledge and information needed to manage COVID-19 within businesses as restrictions are relaxed. These free courses provide a consistent approach based on state and national guidelines. The voluntary program is designed to incorporate the best available science in social and physical distancing, employee health and cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection and is presented in an easy format in both English and Spanish. Each of these short training sessions are under 30 minutes and delivered online in an engaging and interactive format. Participating businesses will be recognized on the website CountOnMeNC.org

NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Highlights of Phase 1

On May 5th, Governor Cooper modified North Carolina’s Stay At Home Executive Order, transitioning the state to Phase 1 of slowly easing COVID-19 restrictions. Executive Order 138 begins on Friday, May 8 at 5:00 pm.

 

Highlights of Phase 1 include:

 

  • Any retail business may open at 50 percent capacity. Businesses will be required to practice social distancing, perform frequent cleanings, provide hand sanitizer when available, screen workers for symptoms and more.
  • People may leave their homes for commercial activity at any business that is open.
  • Certain businesses remain closed, including bars, personal care businesses, entertainment venues, and gyms. Restaurants may only continue to serve customers for drive-through, take-out and delivery.
  • Teleworking is still encouraged for businesses that can practice it.
  • Cloth face coverings are recommended when you leave the house and may be near other people who are not family or household members.

 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) created several materials to help businesses navigate Phase 1, including:

 

  • NCDHHS Checklist for Business Owners
  • Interim Guidance for Owners, Staff, and Patrons of Businesses
  • Symptom Screening Checklist
  • Templates to Meet Required Signage

 

DHHS also previewed a new campaign, Know Your Ws! While North Carolinians should still stay home, if they go out, they should know their Ws: Wear. Wait. Wash.

 

  • Wear a face covering,
  • Wait 6 feet apart from other people.
  • Wash your hands often and

 

A Know Your Ws flyer is available in English and Spanish. More materials will be coming.

 

Executive Order 138

FAQ about the Executive Order

Presentation from May 5th Press Announcement

Fact Sheet on What’s New in Phase One

FAQ on Cloth Face Coverings

Business Materials

Translate »