We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in North Carolina. Check back for updates.
More than 100 deaths added
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday reported 2,665 new COVID-19 cases, down from 5,354 on Sunday and 5,469 on Saturday.
One hundred twenty-seven additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported on Monday. State health officials don’t specify the dates on which newly reported deaths occurred.
At least 3,012 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday, including 870 adult patients who are being treated in intensive care units, health officials said.
On Saturday, the latest date with available information, 9% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Health officials say 5% or lower is the target rate to slow the spread of the virus.
Roughly 69% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 64% have been fully vaccinated. State officials round vaccination numbers to the nearest whole number.
Music festivals return after COVID canceled in-person events
Two North Carolina live music events are returning after the coronavirus pandemic didn’t allow fans to meet last year.
The International Bluegrass Music Association is holding its street music festival and other programming this week in downtown Raleigh, The News & Observer reported. Anyone attending a ticketed event will be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine, and face masks are required indoors.
Last year, the World of Bluegrass went virtual due to COVID-19.
“After a tough couple years, everybody is looking forward to hearing live music again,” said Pat Morris, executive director of the International Bluegrass Music Association. “Live music is unique, it’s the interaction with the audience, the creativity, the spontaneity. You can try to duplicate it, but it’s not the same as being there.”
Also in Raleigh, the Dreamville Festival is scheduled to return in April after last year’s event was canceled, rapper J. Cole said Monday.
Proof of a vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test will be required for festival-goers, the N&O reported.
NC providers begin offering booster shots
Some North Carolina providers are offering booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine after they were recommended for some groups.
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended people receive third doses of the Pfizer vaccine if they are 65 or older, have a condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously sick or work in an environment where they could be exposed to the virus.
In the Charlotte area, Novant Health and Mecklenburg County Public Health will offer booster shots starting Monday. Atrium Health could start scheduling appointments for a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine next week, The Charlotte Observer reported.
In the Triangle, Wake County said it would offer the shots after they received approval. The News & Observer has asked Wake County when the boosters could be available.
The shots are also available at CVS, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, Walmart and Wegmans pharmacies. Additional information about vaccination sites is at MySpot.nc.gov.
Hospital system fires workers over vaccine rules
A North Carolina-based hospital system said it fired almost 200 workers who didn’t comply with a vaccine requirement.
Novant Health, which has a presence in the Charlotte area, had previously announced 375 employees were suspended and given a five-day deadline be compliant. Dozens of those workers later complied, The Charlotte Observer reported Monday.
Novant employees who have received their first Pfizer or Moderna vaccine dose must get their second one by Oct. 15. Workers who have been approved for a vaccine exemption must wear protective equipment and be tested for COVID-19 each week, officials said.
“We stand by our decision to make the vaccine mandatory as we have a responsibility to protect our patients, visitors and team members, regardless of where they are in our health system,” Novant Health said in a statement. “We couldn’t be prouder of our team members who made the choice to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and remain part of our team.”