We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in North Carolina. Check back for updates.
Case count reaches 929,000
At least 929,406 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 12,248 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,509 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, up from 2,087 the day before. The state health department doesn’t update COVID-19 figures on Saturdays and Sundays.
Twenty-four additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported Friday. Deaths don’t all occur on the day the state reports them, and the state health department revises its daily figures as information becomes available.
At least 977 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Friday, down from 1,010 on Thursday.
As of Wednesday, the latest day for which data is available, 4.6% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Health officials have said 5% or lower is the target rate to slow the spread of the virus.
More than 2.3 million people in North Carolina have been fully vaccinated. That includes more than one-quarter of the state’s adult population and one-fifth of all North Carolinians, health officials said.
Duke University to require vaccine proof
Duke University on Friday announced it would require students to show proof that they received COVID-19 vaccinations before enrolling in the fall semester.
“Looking ahead, we know that widespread vaccination will be the only way to facilitate a return to normal and robust campus life,” President Vincent E. Price wrote.
The school will have exemptions for religious and medical reasons.
On March 13, Duke issued a stay-at-home order that lasted about one week. The move came after more than 180 students were in “isolation for a positive COVID-19 test,” The News & Observer reported.
Vigil memorializes COVID-19 victims
Residents who lost loved ones to COVID-19 held a vigil in uptown Charlotte Friday night to memorialize all those who’ve died from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Shaleiah Sanders said her grandmother, whom everyone called “Miss Pearl,” was diagnosed with COVID-19 the day she was scheduled to get her first vaccine, Charlotte Observer news partner WBTV reported.
“We just need to know more about it, and how to keep other people from getting it and losing loved ones like we all have,” Sanders said at the vigil in First Ward Park.
Mecklenburg County on Friday reported that 922 people in the county have died as a result of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
NC mountain attraction reopens — with COVID limits
The famed Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock reopened this month after being closed by the state for much of the pandemic.
Visitors, including season pass holders, must make advance reservations due to the state’s COVID-19-related capacity limits on such attractions, according to the Tweetsie Railroad website. Everyone must wear masks and adhere to other coronavirus restrictions.
Some Tweetsie Railroad attractions remain closed, including the Blacksmith Shop and Face Paint on Miner’s Mountain.