Weekly Newsletter — March 26, 2021 | Beaufort County Now | Governor Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Cohen announced an accelerated vaccine timeline.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Press Release:

Governor Cooper Announces Accelerated Vaccination Timeline for All Adults

    Governor Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Cohen announced an accelerated vaccine timeline. All of Group 4, including additional essential workers and people living in congregate settings, are eligible beginning March 31st. Vaccine eligibility will open for all adults on April 7th.

    "I'm grateful for North Carolinians who are taking this seriously and getting the shot when it's their turn and I'm encouraged that North Carolina will be able to open eligibility to all adults well ahead of the President's May 1 goal," said Gov. Cooper.

    The move allows the state to continue administering vaccines quickly and fairly, an approach which has earned national recognition.

    North Carolina was named the only state to collect and publicly report race and ethnicity data for nearly 100% of vaccinations. The state has also been ranked by the CDC in the top ten for equitable vaccine coverage and featured in Bloomberg News for its data-driven approach to reduce vaccine disparities.

    Governor Cooper also announced Healthier Together, a new public private partnership with the NC Counts Coalition. The collaboration will help increase vaccination among historically marginalized populations and build a long-term framework for health equity in the state.

    Healthier Together will implement strategies to increase access to vaccines to historically marginalized populations through outreach efforts, grants, transportation assistance, translation services and local vaccine events at accessible locations. To support these efforts and promote transparency, NCDHHS has also released a report outlining the state's equitable vaccination progress.

    Read the Press Release on Group 5 eligibility.

    Read the state's Report on its vaccine equity progress.

    Visit HERE (English) or HERE (Spanish) to learn about the state's vaccine distribution.

    Read more about Healthier Together.

    Read the Deeper Dive on Essential Workers Not Yet Vaccinated and Other Group Living Settings.

Gov. Cooper Proposes Budget To Invest in a Strong, Resilient and Ready North Carolina

    On Wednesday, Gov. Cooper released a recommended budget that will strengthen North Carolina to emerge from the pandemic and ignite recovery for all North Carolinians. The Governor's plan recommends significant investments in schools, action to increase health care access and expanded economic opportunities.

    "With the right priorities, we will not only beat this pandemic, but build lasting success for North Carolina," said Governor Cooper. "The most important recommendations today will invest in North Carolina's people so they can learn, get healthier, and get the right kind of training for great jobs."

    The Governor's budget is a blueprint to help North Carolina build a stronger, more resilient future by investing $27.4 billion in 2021-2022 and $28.5 billion in 2022-2023 in areas including education, economic development and health care. These vital investments are made without raising taxes.

    The Governor's budget will invest in our state's recovery to help people get back on their feet, support our schools and teachers, create good jobs and rebuild critical infrastructure, increase access to quality health care, invest in clean energy and advance equity to allow fair opportunities.

    Read the Press Release on the budget recommendation HERE.

    Read Gov. Cooper's budget recommendation HERE.

    Read more HERE about the Governor's plan for stronger schools.

    Read more HERE about the Governor's investment in teachers and state employees.

    Read more HERE about the Governor's plan for a more prosperous economy.

    Read more HERE about the Governor's plan to fight climate change and increase economic development in clean energy.

Gov. Cooper Announces Easing of Some COVID-19 Restrictions

    On Tuesday, Governor Cooper announced that North Carolina will continue to ease some COVID-19 restrictions. This decision comes as our state's trends continue to show improvement and 31.7% of North Carolinians 18 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The Executive Order will take effect March 26 at 5 pm and is set to expire April 30 at 5 pm. The state-wide mask mandate will remain in place.

    "Our fast and fair vaccine distribution and our sustained progress with the COVID-19 metrics tell us we can move forward with easing restrictions if we do it safely," said Gov. Cooper.

    Executive Order No. 204 will increase the number of people who may gather indoors from 25 to 50 and the number of people who may gather outdoors from 50 to 100. The Order also fully lifts the restriction on the late-night sale and service of alcoholic beverages on bars, restaurants, and other establishments. All businesses are required to continue to maintain the 6 feet of distance requirement between patrons and implement other safety protocols as they expand their capacity.

    Under the Order, museums, aquariums, retail businesses, salons, personal grooming businesses and tattoo parlors can open up to 100% capacity. Restaurants, breweries and recreational and fitness centers can re-open indoor capacity up to 75% and outdoor capacity up to 100%. Bars, movie theaters, sports arenas and live performance arenas can operate at 50% indoor and outdoor capacity.

    North Carolina is continuing to get shots into arms in a way that's fast and fair. The state has administered over 4.1 million doses, as of Tuesday. Vaccine equity efforts remain a priority, with 18% of first doses administered to Black North Carolinians and 8% to members of the LatinX community last week.

    DHHS also released updated guidance to K-12 schools. Schools should return to in-person learning to the fullest extent possible, while following all public health protocols detailed in the StrongSchoolsNC toolkit.

    Read the Press Release on Executive Order No. 204.

    Read Executive Order No. 204.

    Read Frequently Asked Questions.

    Read the StrongSchoolsNC toolkit.

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