NC coronavirus update January 26: Durham set up to host COVID-19 vaccination clinic megasite – WTVD-TV

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — Here are the latest updates about
COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in North Carolina.

Have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine? Send them to us here

9:40 a.m.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is holding a virtual job fair on Tuesday to help those struggling with unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fair will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Job seekers will be able to speak with recruiters and hold one-on-one virtual interviews.

More information here.

9:30 a.m.
A new Brazilian variant of the coronavirus has made its first known appearance in the United States, in a person who had recently returned to Minnesota after traveling to that country, state health officials announced Monday.

The virus known as the Brazil P.1 variant was found in a specimen from a patient who lives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and became ill the first week of January, the Minnesota Department of Health said in a statement. Epidemiologists were re-interviewing the person to obtain more details about the person’s illness, travel and contacts.

There was no immediate indication that the variant was spreading in the state.

Viruses are constantly mutating, and new versions – called variants – often emerge. Health officials are also worried about variants that were first reported in the United Kingdom and South Africa. Researchers believe they may spread more easily than the virus that’s already caused nearly 420,000 deaths in the United States.

9 a.m.
Duke University’s COVID-19 testing continued last week, netting 82 positive results after testing 27,865 students and 2.716 faculty and staff.

There were 62 positive results among students, who recently started classes for the spring semester. Students are required to be tested before starting classes and on-campus activities. The total positivity rate is 0.27 percent.

More data about Duke’s testing can be found here.

8:45 a.m.
The Moderna company is reporting its supplied 30.4 million doses of its brand of the COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S. government so far

In a release, Moderna said its trajectory of 100 million doses by the end of March is on target as well as its track to deliver 200 million doses to the government by the end of June. Around 10.1 million doses have been administered so far, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

TUESDAY MORNING STORYLINES

A newly-conceived mass vaccination site in Durham will be able to vaccinate as many as 45,000 people per week.

“We are delighted to report the state of North Carolina and Fidelity have reached an agreement as far as hosting a mass vaccination site,” Durham County Health Director Rodney Jenkins said at a county commissioners’ meeting on Monday night. Dr. Mandy Cohen requested the site be placed in Durham.

Jenkins told the county that he’ll work with the state and Durham Public Schools to scout out possible locations for the site. More details on the site are forthcoming.

The North Carolina Healthcare Association is calling on Gov. Roy Cooper to do more when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine in the state. The group wants more regular vaccine allocations to deal with the surge in demand. They feel the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services gave providers little to no advance notice when they decided to move forward with vaccinating adults 65 and older.

“At the end of the day, we’re taking directives, which in many cases is last minute, and we’re doing the best we can with it,” said Steve Lawler with the NCHA.

NCDHHS is giving an update on its effort Tuesday and asking providers to “aggressively provide opportunities” for vaccinations. NCDHHS said as of Sunday night, providers have administered 88% of all available doses. Meanwhile, suppliers are struggling with getting enough doses from the state.

The Governor said the state’s top priority is getting vaccines out quickly and equitably. Federal officials are being urged to make more vaccines available. There’s a drive-thru clinic at the Crown Expo Center today in Fayetteville, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A food drive is happening Tuesday in Raleigh at PNC Arena to help families put food on the table. The North Carolina Community Action Association is holding the event, which starts at 10 a.m. A box with food, drinks and home goods will be given away while supplies last.

Cape Fear Valley Health clinics will no longer be able to accommodate walk-in vaccines for first-dose vaccinations at any of its four clinics. Appointments can still be made online.

Vice President Kamala Harris will receive her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday. Harris will get the shot at the National Institutes of Health.

MONDAY

11 p.m.
Duke University has identified a
cluster of COVID-19 cases at Berkshire Ninth Street apartment complex.

A “cluster” is defined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as five or more related cases that are deemed to be in close proximity of time and location, such as a residential hall or apartment complex.

Duke said the five students in this cluster have been identified and are now isolating in a separate location.

6:19 p.m.

As of Monday, Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point (NHCCP) began vaccinating authorized TRICARE beneficiaries aged 75 years and older.

Beneficiaries aged 75 years and older should call the NHCCP Appointment Line at (252) 466-0921 (Option 3). The clinic will coordinate appointment times with command officials of active duty and frontline personnel who are eligible according the phase definition.

The Naval Clinic is NOT accepting patients for walk-in vaccinations at this time.

4:49 p.m.
For the third week in a row, the Orange County Health Department has not received any first dose allotment of COVID-19 vaccines from the NCDHHS. The lack of first dose allotment will not affect or delay the second vaccines for community members who have already received their first shot, the health department said. Anyone who has received their first vaccine from the Orange County Health Department will be contacted to make an appointment for their second dose by phone or email.

“As of January 24, 2021, all first doses of vaccine have been exhausted and it is not clear when we will be receiving more vaccine from the state.” said Orange County Health Director, Quintana Stewart. “Until the vaccine supply is significantly increased it will be weeks or perhaps months until we can complete vaccinations for Phases One and Two. We understand this must be frustrating for our community members to hear and we want let you know that we share in your frustration.”

The Health Department is scheduling health care workers, long-term care residents and staff and older adults ages 65 and older for appointments (Phase One and Two). There are 1.6 million people older than 65 in North Carolina. In Orange County there are approximately 22,000 people who are 65 years of age or older.

4:45 p.m.
In response to a letter the North Carolina Healthcare Association sent to Gov. Roy Cooper with several specific requests to improve the COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the state, the governor’s office responded, saying there’s simply not enough vaccine in the state to meet demands.

“The Governor’s top priority is getting vaccines out quickly and equitably,” the statement said. “The state has directed vaccines to all 100 counties and deployed high-throughput sites. Unused vaccine here could lead federal authorities to cut future allotments, so NCDHHS has pushed providers to exhaust North Carolina’s supply of first doses. However, the reality is that there is not enough vaccine here for those eligible and we need more. North Carolina providers have shown they can distribute more than double the state’s current weekly allotment and the Governor will continue to urge federal officials to make more vaccine available.”

READ THE FULL LETTER BELOW:

NCHA President Steve Lawler said the letter was a result of various conversations he’s had with Cooper and Cohen but didn’t want the concerns of hospitals and health systems he’s representing to get buried.

Among those issues expressed in the letter, Lawler called for more transparency and better communication.

“What we’ve asked, specifically is, one, involve us. Let us help you make good decisions because no one knows our patients and our communities as well as we do,” he said. “I think there’s a difference between providing directives and asking the people that are doing the work to participate in the design and development so that it’s done well. Because at the end of the day we’re taking directives- hospitals, health systems, community providers, health departments are taking this directive, which in many cases is last minute and we’re doing the best we can with it.”

4:45 p.m.
The Cumberland County Department of Public Health will be giving second doses only of the COVID-19 vaccine during a drive-thru clinic scheduled for Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be available and appointments are not needed for second doses. First and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine and second doses of the Moderna vaccine will be available at
clinics scheduled on Wednesday, and Friday at the Crown from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., while supplies last. People seeking second doses will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis or by appointment this week.

The Health Department will receive 975 first doses of Pfizer this week. Because of the limited supply of first doses and already scheduled first-dose appointments for the week, there will be reduced first-come, first-served opportunities on Wednesday and Friday.

Visit the County’s vaccine website for information on how to request an appointment block.

4:45 p.m.
A drive-thru COVID-19 testing event has been scheduled for next week in Moore County on January 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Morganton Road Sports Complex at 190 Fire Lane in Southern Pines.

The testing event is open to all residents of Moore County with no physician referral required. Testing is sponsored by the Moore County Health Department and Goshen Medical Center.

Everyone who wishes to participate in testing should register by calling (910) 267-2044.

There will be no out of pocket cost for testing.

All testing participants are instructed to remain in their vehicle throughout the testing.

4:20 p.m.
Lee County health officials announced six more COVID-19 deaths, bringing the county death total to 56 since March. The county said 253 more COVID-19 cases have been reported since last Monday, bringing the total to 4,682.

3:25 p.m.

NCDHHS launched a new online
tool for North Carolinians to know when they are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Find My Vaccine asks a few questions to help determine what group you are in.

“Given the very limited supplies we currently have, there may be wait times, but every North Carolinian has a spot. A spot for accurate information. A spot in line. A spot to take their shot,” said NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy K. Cohen.

As of Sunday evening, 88 percent of all first doses have been reported as being administered, according to NCDHHS.

Providers reported administering more than 260,000 doses this past week. As of Monday, the CDC ranked North Carolina 10th in total vaccines administered and 29th in vaccines administered per 100,000 people.
Beginning on Jan. 27, North Carolina will have only 120,000 doses to allocate across the entire state. A large portion of those doses are committed to the large-scale events planned several weeks ago to address the backlog in vaccine. As a result, many providers are getting small or no allocations for the coming week. Through no fault of their own, they will be postponing appointments.

Answering your questions about when & where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine in NC

2:43 p.m.
Wake County is inviting health-care workers and anyone age 65 or older to join its COVID-19 vaccine waiting list. The county also is holding free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing events at Lake Benson Park through January 31.

1:47 p.m.
Because of a change in the number of COVID-19 vaccines that Cape Fear Valley Health has been allotted by the State of North Carolina, the health system has had to reconfigure the way in which it runs its COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

Effective Tuesday, the health system will no longer be able to accommodate walk-ins for first-dose vaccinations at any of the four vaccine clinics in operation at Cape Fear Valley Rehabilitation Center, Health Pavilion North, Hoke Hospital and Bladen County Hospital.

Appointments can be scheduled online to receive a first-dose vaccination. Appointments will be opened for a given week the Saturday before.

At this time, no appointment is required for the second dose, but this may change as supply levels fluctuate. Cape Fear asks that people return to the same location where they received their first dose to receive the second dose.

1:40 p.m.
The North Carolina Healthcare Association sent a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper with several specific requests to improve the COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the state.

The letter includes seven different bullet points that the group believes would help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the vaccine rollout.

READ THE FULL LETTER BELOW:

1:10 p.m.
Sampson County reports 16 new cases for a total of 6,076 positive cases.

There have been three additional deaths since Friday for a countywide total of 78.

12:53 p.m.
The Halifax County Health Department said that because of the limited allowance of vaccination from the state, it will vaccinate on Wednesday only this week. COVID 19 vaccinations will be offered at Halifax Community College Building 700 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. for group 1 and group 2 only.

If you are unable to walk, a health department worker will come and vaccinate you while you remain in your car.

Halifax County also reports 87 new cases and four additional deaths.

The county now has 4,058 total positive COVID 19 cases and 74 deaths.

Daily Lab Confirmed Cases
12:05 p.m.
Wake County Health Department reports it received less than 1,000 new doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week.

The department said it requested 3,000 doses, but instead only received one case of the Pfizer vaccine (975 doses).

Earlier today, UNC Health reported receiving just 10,000 doses of the vaccine, despite preparing for as many as 30,000.

ABC11 is working to see if other local agencies also received fewer vaccines than requested, and to get a comment from NCDHHS about the allocation decisions for this week.

12 p.m.
COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped yet again in Monday’s report–marking the lowest count of 2021.

The number of people hospitalized with the virus is listed at 3,287. That’s the lowest since Dec. 27.

The daily percent positive also decreased, falling to 10.2%. That number remains well above the state’s 5% goal, which we were achieving at times during the summer.

Since the start of the pandemic, 8,720 people have died from the virus in North Carolina. For a full look at the state’s latest numbers,
click here.

10:50 a.m.
The Carolina Hurricanes have rescheduled another game due to COVID-19.

The Hurricanes’ home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning originally scheduled for Tuesday will now be played Feb. 22. Last week, Carolina postponed games against Nashville and Florida due to COVID-19 safety measures.

10:30 a.m.
UNC Health will get 10,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the state this week, with that number being less than half of what was expected.

The UNC Health system said it would not cancel or postpone any appointments based on the news. The lower allocation meant fewer appointments were scheduled.

“We understand the frustration and disappointment of not being able to get an appointment for a vaccination more quickly,” said Dr. Ian Buchanan, UNC Health President of Ambulatory and Post-Acute Care. “This is truly an issue of supply and demand. We are very aware of the angst this is causing everyone who is eligible now to receive a vaccine and cannot get an appointment or who spends hours online trying to get one.”

UNC Health asks that patients call the state’s COVID-19 at 1-877-490-6642 or look online to find a vaccination location. UNC has given out more than 75,000 shots since the vaccination program started in December.

10:20 a.m.
Wake County has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at an assisted living home in Cary, the second one at the facility since September.

Brookdale MacArthur Park, on MacArthur Drive, has had its second outbreak of the pandemic. An outbreak is defined as a situation where two or more people – residents or employees – tested positive. No other information about the residents or employees was disclosed.

10:15 a.m.
The state has rolled out a COVID-19 Community Readiness toolkit to help those with disabilities and mental health issues. The toolkit contains resources for parents helping their children through remote learning as well as family-based needs.

The toolkit can be found here.

“These are unprecedented, stressful times, and we know families and individuals are being faced with existing and new mental health challenges,” said Victor Armstrong, Director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse Services. “We want to provide North Carolinians with this toolkit to give them all the support they need to navigate these difficult times to stay healthy physically and mentally.”

MONDAY MORNING STORYLINES

Three new COVID-19 testing sties will open in Wake County on Monday.

Jaycee Park and Sertoma Arts Center in Raleigh along with Lake Benson Park in Garner will be open for testing. All sites are reachable by public transportation and begin at 11 a.m. You don’t need an appointment, insurance or ID to get tested.

For the full, up-to-date list of Wake County testing sites (including hours of operation), click here.

Sunday marked the fourth straight day of more than 100 COVID-19-related deaths in North Carolina. Over the weekend, the U.S. passed 25 million cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

In Chatham County, more than 400 people (healthcare workers and those over 65) are expected to get vaccinated at the Chatham County Agricultural and Conference Center on Monday.

President Joe Biden is expected to reinstate the COVID-19 travel restrictions on non-US citizens who have been in Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and much of Europe

SUNDAY

6 p.m.
The grim numbers released over the weekend are cause for concern: 100 COVID-19 deaths for four days in a row. Wake County Health authorities recommend tests for anyone who notices signs of possible exposure.

“So if you have a fever, you develop a fever, you have nausea, you are vomiting, headache, and you lose sense of smell or taste. Those are typical signs of someone who may be symptomatic of COVID,” said Wake County Health testing clear Eugene Chalwe. “The county’s goal is to maintain six testing sites each week. So we are maintaining our three static sites, at Swinburne in Wake Forest at Departure Drive, and still doing a revolving three sites in each park.”

Wake County Health’s working with Raleigh and Garner to make those sites available on Monday: Jaycee Park and Sertoma Arts Center in Raleigh along with Lake Benson Park in Garner. They’re located in areas that are reachable by public transportation.

“Because their positivity rates are still very high throughout the county,” Chalwe said. “So we want people to respond to this access that they have and know the focus has turned onto the vaccine. They still need to be tested if exposed. We only know what your status is if you test. So if you do not test, and you’ve been in close contact and you’ve been contacted by the case evaluators, you need to test.”

The tests are free and you don’t need, insurance or ID to get tested. Check here for the latest location of testing sites.

12:15 p.m.
North Carolina is reporting 6,096 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 718,812 statewide.

Throughout the state, there are 3,303 people hospitalized with COVID-19. That is down 113 from Saturday.

In North Carolina, 109 more people have died from COVID-19. That brings the total to 8,695. This is the fourth straight day where more than 100 people in North Carolina died from the virus.
The state’s daily percent positive test rate is 10.5%. That is down from Saturday’s 10.9%.

11:04 a.m.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been 25,003,695 COVID-19 in the United States.

COVID in US: 40% of Americans live in areas running out of ICU space

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