By Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice on March 2, 2021
At a 2 p.m. press briefing, Governor Roy Cooper was upbeat as he declared: “I’m pleased to report that North Carolina’s COVID-19 numbers have declined and remain stable.” On March 2, the state reported 1,239 cases of COVID, the fewest since Oct. 19. Hospitalizations have fallen under 1,400 and the percentage of positive tests reported today remains under 6%, at 5.7%.
Cooper also announced “more good news” with the impending arrival, as soon as March 3, of 80,000 doses of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot COVID vaccines in the state. And much of the talk at the briefing focused on progress on vaccine distribution.
Starting on March 10, a major FEMA vaccine site will open in Greensboro and, according to Cooper, will provide up to 3,000 shots a day for 8 weeks. North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cooper added that the federal allotment of vaccine to the state had also been increased, meaning it will receive about 300,000 first doses and 160,000 second doses of vaccine next week.
Cooper explained that starting on March 3, all frontline essential workers — from grocery store workers to first responders — will be eligible to start receiving the vaccine. (Cohen succinctly defined essential workers as those that “cannot be home to do their job”). In addition, the state plans to open vaccine eligibility to the next group — those with medical conditions that put them at the highest risk and individuals in some congregate settings — starting in three weeks on March 24.
“This is a really exciting moment,” said Cohen, summing up the general mood of the briefing.
Anyone who is an Essential Worker can complete the vaccination request form at www.darenc.com/covidvaccine.