COVID vaccine live updates: Here’s what to know in North Carolina on Oct. 16

·6 min read

We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in North Carolina. Check back for updates.

Over 3,100 new cases added

At least 1,446,881 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 17,456 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday reported 3,182 new COVID-19 cases, down from 3,761 on Thursday.

At least 46 additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported Friday. Health officials don’t specify the dates on which data newly reported deaths occurred.

At least 2,074 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday, including 564 adult patients who are being treated in intensive care units, health officials said.

On Wednesday, the latest date with available information, 6.1% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Health officials say 5% or lower is the target rate to slow the spread of the virus.

Roughly 70% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 65% have been fully vaccinated. State officials round vaccination numbers to the nearest whole number.

Football game postponed after player tests positive for COVID

A football game between C.E. Jordan High School and Northern High School in Durham was postponed after a Northern High athlete tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Contact tracing is continuing and families of close contacts will be notified today,” Jordan High Principal Susan Stewart Taylor said in a statement on Twitter.

State fair staple backs out over COVID safety concerns

An iconic booth at the North Carolina State Fair that served ham biscuits isn’t open this year after volunteers expressed some concern about the lack of COVID-19 precautions.

Instead, the space typically occupied by First United Methodist Church of Cary and White Plains United Methodist Church is being used to administer free coronavirus vaccines, The News & Observer reported. The decision not to open the booth at this year’s fair was based on keeping the church volunteers who staff it safe.

Rob Phillips, the pastor of invitation and engagement at White Plains United Methodist Church, said “a lot of our volunteers at both churches were very nervous about it” after learning no proof of vaccination or masks would be required.

“We will miss it,” Phillips said, “but in the end we thought it was the best decision to make to do no harm for our volunteers.”

‘No Patient Left Alone Act’ signed into law

Gov. Roy Cooper signed the “No Patient Left Alone Act” into law on Friday, which ensures patients are allowed visitors in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice care and adult care homes.

The law takes effect Nov. 1 and was penned in response to the thousands of coronavirus patients who died alone during the pandemic while visitors were barred from seeing them out of fear of spreading the virus.

Under the new law, visiting rights won’t be impacted during a state of emergency or disasters, The News & Observer reported. The bill acknowledges that health care facilities were making decisions to keep patients and employees safe, but said those measures had unintended consequences for people who didn’t have the virus.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused great uncertainty and anxiety across our State and has significantly affected patients and residents in health care facilities,” the bill states.

Charlotte Thanksgiving parade will honor health care workers

The 75th annual Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade in uptown Charlotte, at 6 p.m. Nov. 24, will pay tribute to all front-line health care workers who served COVID and other patients during the pandemic.

In a statement Friday, Dr. David Priest said he is “proud and humbled” to represent those workers as the parade grand marshal. He is Novant Health’s senior vice president and chief safety, quality and epidemiology officer.

Five-year-old Desmond Kennedy blew his trumpet alongside the rest of the United House of Prayer Marching Band as they marched down Tryon Street in 2019 in the Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade. The 2021 version will be a night parade at 6 p.m. Nov. 24.
Five-year-old Desmond Kennedy blew his trumpet alongside the rest of the United House of Prayer Marching Band as they marched down Tryon Street in 2019 in the Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade. The 2021 version will be a night parade at 6 p.m. Nov. 24.

“As we celebrate this historic (75-year) milestone in person, we are reminded of the strides we have taken to get here and the sacrifices that our front-line workers have taken over the past year and a half to provide care for us and our families,” Priest said.

Spectators are “strongly encouraged” to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, and to practice social distancing where possible, parade organizers said in the statement.

The parade, which is at 6 p.m. on Tryon Street, will include floats, inflatables, marching bands and other local, regional and national talent and performers.

Funeral held for NC deputy who died of COVID complications

Family and friends gathered in Salisbury on Thursday for the funeral of Rowan County sheriff’s Master Deputy William “Billy” Marsh, who died of COVID-19 complications.

Family and friends gathered in Salisbury on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, for the funeral of Rowan County sheriff’s Master Deputy William “Billy” Marsh, who died of COVID-19 complications.
Family and friends gathered in Salisbury on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, for the funeral of Rowan County sheriff’s Master Deputy William “Billy” Marsh, who died of COVID-19 complications.

The 40-year-old Marsh died on Sunday at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte, according to his obituary on the Powles Station Funeral Home website.

It was unknown if he was vaccinated against the disease.

Outside the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, a Salisbury Fire Department truck raised a U.S. flag over the intersection of Liberty Street and North Main Street, The Salisbury Post reported.

The procession led from the funeral home in Rockwell past the Sheriff’s Office to Catawba College for the service, according to the newspaper.

Marsh was hospitalized on Sept. 30, WBTV reported.

Besides his parents, he is survived by his wife, Nicole Rollings Marsh, daughter, Kennedy Grace Marsh, two sisters, a niece and four nephews.

Volunteers help health care workers through the pandemic

UNC Health’s Helping Hands program has recruited volunteers from the community to help ease the burden on beleaguered health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some are retirees, like long-time nurse Robin Deal. Others are students and faculty at medical and nursing schools or lay people who can help with clerical work and running samples to the lab, The News & Observer reported.

Robin Deal, a retired registered nurse, left, prepares to administer a flu shot to Susan Grant at Rex Wellness Center of Cary Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. By giving flu shots this fall, Deal is helping other Rex respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Robin Deal, a retired registered nurse, left, prepares to administer a flu shot to Susan Grant at Rex Wellness Center of Cary Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. By giving flu shots this fall, Deal is helping other Rex respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deal is currently giving flu shots to UNC Rex hospital employees.

“Giving flu shots is old hat for me,” she said. “But it’s a way I can take the burden off the employee health nurses, so they can continue to do the volume of work that they’re doing, which is a lot, especially with people still being exposed to COVID.”

Elizabeth Ramsey, who oversees Helping Hands at the UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, said they’ve signed up more than 500 volunteers. Though hospitals have always had volunteers, she told the N&O this time is different as they look for individuals who are qualified to work with patients or can relieve staff members who do.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting