Writer: Felipe Rivas
opens IMAGE file 2 min read January 2021— Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday the extension of the current modified stay-at-home executive order until Feb. 28. As part of the extension, the eviction moratorium and statewide order allowing to-go mixed drinks sales will stay in place through March. Although the vaccine roll-out has been slow, the governor urged North Carolinians to remain vigilant while remaining hopeful that vaccine supply will increase in the coming weeks.
As of Wednesday, Mecklenburg County reported the most COVID-19 cases with 83,816 and 741 related deaths, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Behind Mecklenburg County, Wake County reported 62,477 cases with 413 deaths while Durham reported 18,810 cases with 170 deaths, respectively.
“With more than 3,300 people in the hospital, and the percent of positive tests in double digits, we know this virus is still spreading,” said Cooper. “And with at least one new contagious variant of COVID-19 in our state, we still have work to do. We cannot let our guard down, especially in these cold winter months.”
The allowing of “to-go” or delivery of mixed beverages will continue to help struggling businesses in the service industry while the extension eviction moratorium will help families stay in their homes, a critical component of slowing the spread of the virus, the governor’s office said.
Gov. Cooper reminded North Carolinians to continue to stay home and only leave for essential purposes such as buying food, accessing healthcare and going to school or work. “The 3 Ws are as essential as they have always been,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen. “Remember people can have COVID-19 and not know it. The best way to protect those around you is to act as if you do have the virus and could be contagious. That means always wearing a mask – over your mouth and nose, always waiting apart from others, and always washing your hands frequently.”
North Carolina continues to administer COVID-19 vaccines across the state, the governor’s officer reported. As of Wednesday, 99.8% of all first doses received by the state were reported as being administered, with 859,695 total doses administered. Vaccine supply continues to be very low and the state is hopeful that more vaccines will be on the way. According to the governor’s office, on a call with Gov. Cooper and other governors, the Biden administration committed to increasing vaccine shipments to the states by 16% over the next three weeks.
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