NORTH CAROLINA – Vaccinations are underway in North Carolina as the state battles an increase of COVID-19 cases.
In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Governor Roy Cooper detailed the grim toll coronavirus has taken in the state as health officials say cases have doubled from this time last month.
“We’ve had 446,601 cases, 2,735 people in the hospital and sadly, 5881 who’ve died,” said Cooper.
But a ray of hope is now here for some of the most vulnerable populations.
The governor says the first vaccines arrived Monday. Meanwhile, eight hospitals received shipments of the vaccine Tuesday and another 42 hospitals will get the vaccine Wednesday.
Cooper says healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients, along with the staff and residents of long-term care facilities, will get the vaccine first says because supply of the vaccine is so limited right now.
In light of worsening statistics, Cooper is asking local government officials to help enforce executive orders to slow the spread of coronavirus.
“Local governments can enforce safety protocols with civil penalties, including fines for violations instead of criminal charges, which we believe will be more effective.”
The governor says hospitals are just now seeing the Thanksgiving spike, and he says the Christmas holiday could be even worse.
The state is asking people to take a moment and think about the impact to friends, neighbors, family members and loved ones before making holiday plans.
“With an end in sight, let's come together and work hard these next few months to keep our friends and family safe. I know we can do this,” said Cooper.