COVID vaccine live updates: Here’s what to know in North Carolina on June 19

·4 min read

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

20 additional deaths reported

At least 1,010,113 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 13,340 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 220 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, down from 362 on Thursday.

Twenty additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported Friday. Deaths don’t necessarily occur on the day the state reports them. The state health department revises its daily figures as information becomes available.

At least 475 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Friday, down from 485 the day before.

As of Wednesday — the latest day with available data — 1.9% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Health officials say 5% or lower is the target rate to slow the spread of the virus.

Roughly 55% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine and about 51% have been fully vaccinated. State health officials round vaccination numbers to the nearest whole number.

No significant boost in vaccines with lottery

Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday the state has not seen a significant uptick in vaccinations since he announced a $1 million vaccine lottery last week.

“Not significantly,” Cooper said when asked if vaccine numbers are increasing. “We’re hoping over the next few days and few weeks that we will see some significant improvement in our numbers.”

Under the $1 million cash incentive program called “Summer Cash,” anyone who has gotten vaccinated is automatically entered to win. People who are vaccinated after the announcement are entered twice, The News & Observer reported.

The number of adults in North Carolina who have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine climbed from 54% to 55% since the lottery was announced. But Cooper said the overall rate has been trending down.

North Carolina will hold its first drawing on June 23.

Cafecito to tout COVID vaccine safety for teens

N.C. health officials will discuss the safety of approved COVID-19 vaccines for ages 12 to 17 and adults during a livestream, Spanish-language Cafecito, 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, N.C. Health and Human Services secretary, will host the event. Dr. Edith Nieves Lopez will join Cohen. Lopez is a community pediatrician, advocate and grass-roots organizer. Carol Bono, LatinxEd communications director, will be the moderator.

The livestream will be shown on the NCDHHS Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts and the LatinxEd Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram accounts.

Households also can listen to the event and ask questions by calling 855-756-7520, extension 74266.

“The Cafecito comes as the state continues its push to ensure everyone ages 12 and older are vaccinated, protected and helping reduce the spread of COVID-19,” according to an NCDHHS news release on Friday. “To date, more than 53% of the Latinx/Hispanic population 18 years and older have been vaccinated with at least one dose.”

Hawaii COVID rules turn NC couple’s vacation into nightmare

A south Charlotte couple is warning fellow fliers about COVID-19 travel restrictions after their dream Hawaii vacation ended as a nightmare before it began.

With negative COVID test results and COVID vaccination cards in hand, Melanie and DaJuan Savage boarded their nonstop, eight-hour American Airlines flight from Charlotte to Honolulu on June 3. A day later, they were headed back home after the Hawaii government quarantined them.

After they stood in line at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu for about two hours, the couple said, a government official told them Hawaii couldn’t accept their negative COVID results. The tests they’d gotten within the required 72 hours of their trip weren’t done through one of that state’s “trusted (travel) partners,” the official told them.

Melanie Savage, left, and her husband, DaJuan Savage’s dream vacation in Hawaii turned nightmare. ‘My heart is so broken.’ Melanie Savage said. The couple are at home in Charlotte on Friday, June 11, 2021.
Melanie Savage, left, and her husband, DaJuan Savage’s dream vacation in Hawaii turned nightmare. ‘My heart is so broken.’ Melanie Savage said. The couple are at home in Charlotte on Friday, June 11, 2021.

And Hawaii doesn’t accept proof of vaccination as a qualifier for admission for travelers, according to the state’s COVID-19 travel rules.

Melanie Savage said she then called Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s office, among others, to see why the state wouldn’t accept fliers who’d received a COVID vaccine “highly recommended” by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and President Joe Biden.

“The president don’t run Oahu Island,” she said the woman replied.

Some wary in Charlotte’s least vaccinated neighborhoods

Some people in the Charlotte area’s least vaccinated neighborhoods won’t get shots to help protect them against COVID-19.

As health officials urge people to get their vaccines, some parts of Mecklenburg County lag behind. The gap in vaccination rates is evident when comparing predominately white neighborhoods to areas where mostly Black and Latino residents live.

In interviews with The Charlotte Observer, some residents in areas with lower vaccination rates said they didn’t have transportation or time to get to vaccine sites. Others had doubts about the science behind the shots.

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