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Be thoughtful about what you read or hear about the virus and make sure you are separating rumor from fact before you act.
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COVID information from across state government, including information about unemployment, can be found at www. In the face of nationwide competition for testing supplies and shortages of testing staff, NCDHHS is pulling all available levers to support existing testing sites, to open more sites across the state and to increase access to at-home collection kits.
NCDHHS contracted with two more testing vendors to expand local testing options and expanded the footprint of the existing 12 vendors to cover hundreds of no-cost testing sites across the state. More than a million professional rapid antigen tests, at-home rapid antigen tests and at-home collection kits are also on their way to the state.
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The CDC also recommends a third dose of Pfizer for children ages 5 to 11 who have compromised immune systems. In addition, the wait time for boosters for anyone who received Pfizer COVID vaccinations has been reduced from six months to five months.
COVID infections have skyrocketed to a seven-day daily average of more thancases per day in the United States, and the of children being hospitalized across the country is increasing.
Department of Agriculture approval is received. View All Updates by Date. Today, Gov. North Carolina is experiencing a ificant wave of COVID cases and hospitalizations due to the increasing spread of the Omicron variantwhich is more transmissible than the original virus and variants.
Kinsley are calling on all North Carolinians to get vaccinated and get a booster as soon as they are eligible to protect themselves from severe illness from the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID The booster is especially important for those over 65 or in other populations at higher risk for severe illness from COVID NCDHHS is closely monitoring hospital capacity and is urging North Carolinians to gather safely, get vaccinated and boostedand wear a mask indoors in public places.
However, those who are unvaccinated or who have underlying medical conditions are at highest risk of severe illness and hospitalization. Hospitalizations are likely to increase as the trend typically lags four to five days after an increase in cases.
The highly contagious variant, Omicron, is beginning to spread rapidly and is expected to cause the highest rates of COVID infections of the pandemic in the coming weeks. The Omicron variant is two to three times as contagious the Delta variant, making it four to six times as contagious as the original COVID virus. With the holidays approaching and people gathering, it is critical and urgent to act now to protect yourselves and your family and friends. Vaccinating and boosting against COVID remain the most effective ways for people to protect themselves from serious illness, hospitalization and death.
Early evidence shows that boosters provide a ificant level of protection against Omicron. Early evidence suggests that Omicron is two to three times as contagious the Delta variant, making it four to six times as contagious as the original COVID virus. Data collected so far show more rapid waning of protection after the primary vaccination series than was seen with Delta or other variants, although vaccines are still effective at preventing severe disease.
Eligibility for the program has changed. More information on eligibility and benefits can be found by visiting the P-EBT website. North Carolina plans to start issuing benefits to eligible students by the end of January and will announce when issuances begin. A temporary mobile vaccination unit that operated across Western North Carolina since July has ended its operations this week after providing more than 9, vaccinations, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced.
The mobile unit offered all three approved vaccines and administered 6, boosters, 2, first and second doses for adults and pediatric first and second doses. In addition, the state is once again classified as red by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicating high community transmission.
With the holidays approaching and people getting together, there is greater risk of getting and spreading COVID To reduce the risk, North Carolinians should get vaccinated as soon as possible and get a booster as soon as they are eligible. Health leaders also recommend getting testedeven if you are vaccinated, before and after you travel and before gathering with others.
Everyone should continue to wear a mask when in indoor public settings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends a booster for and year-olds following the U. Grants will fund activities to conduct vaccine outreach and education efforts to help people get connected to first, second, additional or booster vaccines. The equity initiatives also support activities to connect residents to transportation resources, community health workers and COVID testing resources. The funding period is November through February North Carolina is making progress increasing the of vaccinated people across the state.
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In North Carolina, 13 percent of children ages 5 to 11 have already received their first dose. Booster shots for those already vaccinated are widely available in North Carolina. The CDC recommends that everyone 18 years or older receive a booster shot to strengthen and extend protections against serious illness, hospitalization, or death from COVID Beginning Wednesday, eligible households that have had their water services cut off or have received notice that their water services are in danger of being cut off can apply for assistance in paying their bill through a new federal program called the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program LIHWAP.
This comes after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the boosters for such use today.
Households will be invited by phone to listen in and submit questions to help ensure everyone interested can participate. People can also dial into the event by calling Ext. From Saturday, Nov. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized a lower dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for children in this age group, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend all children 5—11 get the vaccine to protect against serious illness and help keep them healthy.
October Oct. Yesterday, the independent advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration recommended the use of Pfizer's vaccine in children 5 to 11 years.
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Once the CDC completes its review process, there will be ample vaccine supply across the state. More than locations are preparing to provide vaccines to this age group, including doctor's offices, pharmacies, local health departments, community vaccination events and family vaccination sites.
Additionally, individuals are now able to receive any brand of the COVID vaccine for their booster shot. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type they originally received and others may prefer to get a different booster. NCDHHS encourages individuals to speak with a doctor, nurse or pharmacist if they have questions about what booster is right for them. The decrease in cases and severe illness can be attributed to vaccination for residents and staff of long-term care facilities and to the work done by long-term care providers to implement measures to protect staff and residents from COVID North Carolina has been nationally recognized for the quality and transparency of its vaccine data dashboard.
COVID vaccines offer ificant protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death. People who are not fully vaccinated are more than 18 times more likely to die from COVID than people who are fully vaccinated. This protection will be strengthened and extended through booster shots for people who are 65 and over, Greensboro NC born chinese dating a high-risk medical condition, work in higher risk settings or live or work in a place where many people work together. Boosters are currently available for people who received their second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago.
Department of Defense, U. All other vaccine data is by county of residence. North Carolina was the first state to raise the issue to the CDC as most other states are not providing this level of data on their public dashboards. People who are 65 years or older, 18 years or older with underlying medical conditions or work in a high-risk setting like healthcare workers, teachers and childcare providers or food workers are eligible in North Carolina. As a next step, the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot must be reviewed and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC to further define these groups before it will be made available for use.
That meeting will take place Wednesday, Sept. These viral particles are no longer infectious in wastewater but can be measured if enough people are infected.
Since May, data from 10 wastewater treatment facilities in North Carolina have been updated weekly on the wastewater monitoring dashboard. The additional sites were selected to include wastewater monitoring sites in all parts of the state. This guidance is effective July 30th and local school leaders are responsible for requiring and implementing protocols in the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit in consultation with their local health departments.
The At-Home Vaccination Hotline at allows caregivers, providers and individuals across North Carolina to schedule an at-home vaccination. An online registration form is also available.
Masks will still be required in child care, schools and camps as most children are either not yet vaccinated or are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. NCDHHS will continue to have strong public health recommendations for individuals to continue to protect one another until more people are vaccinated.
People who are not vaccinated should wear a mask and maintain distance in all indoor public settings and in outdoor settings when they can't maintain six feet of distance. Read the frequently asked questions for more information. To date, the state has administered more than 7. The department is working to ensure receiving a COVID vaccine is easy and convenient for anyone 16 and older. The vaccine is widely available through a variety of providers, often with no wait time and without the need for an appointment.
To find a vaccine in your area, use the Find a Vaccine Location tool or call The more than organizations registered vary and include the business sector, medical organizations, health departments, faith-based organizations, community-based groups and various charitable organizations. Partner activities will vary and are set by participating groups. Groups plan to host vaccine clinics, distribute information about COVID vaccines, offer incentives to those who get vaccinated and participate in other ways that will resonate with their communities.
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Under the new Executive Order, masks will still be required indoors but are no longer mandated outdoors. Masks are still strongly recommended outdoors by NCDHHS in crowded areas and higher risk settings where social distancing is difficult. The Order will also increase mass gathering capacity limits. The of people who may gather indoors will increase from 50 to and the of people who may gather outdoors will increase from to Occupancy limits currently in place will remain the same. More thandoses of COVID vaccine have been administered through the federally supported vaccination center that opened March 10, in Greensboro, N.
The Greensboro clinic will be extended through May 27 and will continue to provide the Pfizer vaccine.