Gov. Roy Cooper said during a briefing Tuesday that the state will use its current COVID-19 data to forecast where the state may be come the July Fourth holiday so people can make plans.
Cooper said that forecast will likely come next week because he knows there are venues and people who want to be able to plan their July 4 holiday.
Cooper said cases in the state have remained steady but warned that people can’t let their guard down. He said everyone needs to continue to be cautious, even as cases are rising in other areas of the U.S. and world.
“The work isn’t over yet,” Cooper said.
Cooper has continued to encourage vaccinations against the virus. Starting Wednesday, all those 16 years old and older are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.
“The more people we vaccinate the more we can safely do,” Cooper said about summer.
On Monday, Burke County’s total number of virus cases was at 9,770. The county health department is sending out briefings on Mondays and Fridays.
The Burke County COVID-19 dashboard showed 213 active cases on Tuesday, down from 216 active cases Monday, and six people hospitalized due to the virus.
The health department said in a release the dashboard will not be updated from Wednesday through Sunday. The next dashboard update will be April 12 or sooner, the department said.
The county has reported a total of 147 deaths due to the virus.
The Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge COVID-19 dashboard showed two people hospitalized Tuesday, but none of them were in the intensive care unit. The dashboard also showed 20 COVID-19 patients in its virtual hospital. And it showed the county’s daily percent positive rate is at 2.2%.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 807 new cases on Tuesday for a total of 923,430 COVID-19 cases with a daily percent positive rate of 7%. It also reported 982 people throughout the state hospitalized and a total of 12,189 on Tuesday, up from 12,173 deaths Monday.
The state reported Monday that of the total cases reported since the first cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina, 887,724 people have recovered.
Starting Wednesday, the state moves into the next phase of vaccination, which is anyone 16 years old or older.
People in previous priority groups who have not been vaccinated can still make an appointment to get their shot, say health officials.
The vaccination team in Burke County is planning large vaccination clinics on Thursday, April 15 and Saturday, April 17 starting at 8 a.m. at Freedom High School. People can call the Community Call Center at 828-358-4454. It’s open Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
There are multiple locations for getting vaccinated in Burke County. Vaccines are free to all individuals, even those without insurance.
The homebound can discuss their options with the health department by calling the main line at 828-764-9150.
There are multiple local pharmacies offering the vaccine.
Ingles Pharmacy at the store on Carbon City Road in Morganton also is now offering the vaccine. To make an appointment, visit ingles-markets.com/vaccinations/main.php.
Morganton Drug is offering vaccines by calling 828-433-6353.
Table Rock Pharmacy is offering the COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments can be made online at burkecovid.as.me/schedule.php. Those who do not have access to the internet can leave a message at 828-414-8025.
East Burke Pharmacy is accepting vaccination appointments at bit.ly/3bPi4cf.
Walgreens also is vaccinating members of the public, and appointments can be scheduled at walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said Tuesday the state is now bringing on more primary care physician offices and pharmacies to get the vaccine out and make it easily accessible to people.
The health department is reminding people that even though someone receives the COVID-19 vaccine, they will still need to practice the three W’s — wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart and wash hands frequently — for a while until more people receive the vaccine.
Anyone with questions about COVID-19 can call 828-764-9150. The line is answered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If a call is made after hours, on the weekends or on holidays, the caller should leave a message and the call will be returned.