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STATE: Trends continue to stabilize as COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opens for Group 4 members

Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. gave an update on the state’s current data, trends and vaccination progress. Wednesday also marks the opening of vaccine eligibility for people who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk for severe illness or who live in certain congregate settings.

“With more students in the classroom and millions of people receiving vaccines, there is hope on the horizon,” said Cooper. “But with this virus and its variants continuing to spread, it is too early to let our guard down.”

North Carolina continues to focus on distributing vaccines quickly and equitably. To date, the state has administered over 3.4 million doses. 25.7 percent of those 18 and up is at least partially vaccinated, and 16.5 percent of those 18 and up have been fully vaccinated.

The state is also seeing progress in its continued efforts to emphasize equity in vaccine distribution. Wednesday, the CDC released a report that puts North Carolina among the top 10 states in the nation for equitable vaccine distribution.

“We are committed to using every lever we have to ensure that historically marginalized populations can easily access a COVID-19 vaccine — that includes how we allocate vaccines, who we allocate vaccines to, which events we can support, where we deploy state resources, and who we engage on the ground to help address barriers like transportation and internet access,” said Cohen.

Cooper and Cohen also discussed state health officials’ ongoing efforts to monitor the presence of COVID-19 variants and stressed the importance of continuing with safety precautions across the state. Recent data shows an increase in these more contagious variants among those infected in North Carolina. People should continue to protect themselves and those around them by practicing the Three Ws — wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart, and wash hands often.

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, however, with new, more contagious variants in the state, we need to keep our guard up.

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 790,406 downloads of the exposure notification app, SlowCOVIDNC.

Personal Protective Equipment

North Carolina’s personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable.