Mecklenburg County health leaders to update COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Health Director Gibbie Harris will update the county’s COVID-19 metrics and vaccine distribution.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mecklenburg County health leaders will provide an update on the county’s COVID-19 metrics and vaccine distribution Thursday afternoon. 

Health Director Gibbie Harris and Dr. Meg Sullivan, the public health medical director, will speak at 1 p.m. at a virtual conference to give the update. 

This briefing comes two hours before North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is scheduled to update the state’s vaccine rollout. According to a report from WRAL in Raleigh, Cooper is in discussions with state health officials about speeding up the timeline for Group 4 vaccinations, possibly as early as next week. Originally, Group 4 vaccinations weren’t scheduled to start until March 24.

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Group 4 includes people with pre-existing medical conditions that put them at risk for serious illness from COVID-19. Some of these conditions include asthma, diabetes and obesity. It also includes essential workers who were not part of Group 3, such as retail employees and utility workers.

On Thursday, North Carolina’s General Assembly passed a bill that will require all public schools to open for in-person learning. The bill was a compromise between Cooper and Republican leaders, who agreed schools should reopen but were at odds over how to do so. The new bill requires elementary schools to open for full-time in-person learning with hybrid scheduling for middle and high school students.

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Mecklenburg County began its Group 3 vaccinations Wednesday, with thousands of people expected to receive their shot at an Atrium Health clinic at Bank of America Stadium. Starmed is also administering vaccinations at Bojangles Coliseum. 

The state’s COVID-19 trends have continued a steady trend downward since February. On Thursday, NC DHHS reported 2,061 new cases of COVID-19. Currently, 1,039 people are hospitalized statewide. 

Have a relative or friend in another state and want to know when they can get vaccinated? Visit NBC News’ Plan Your Vaccine site to find out about each state’s vaccine rollout plan.

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