COVID-19 Updates

The COVID-19 outbreak has been accompanied by a flood of misinformation from unreliable sources. Be thoughtful about what you read or hear about the virus and make sure you are separating rumor from fact before you act. Below are the latest updates from the state of North Carolina.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

  • Anyone 16 years and older who wants a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination is eligible to get one, beginning April 7.
  • North Carolina continues to focus on distributing vaccines quickly and equitably. To date, the state has administered more than 5.2 million doses – 39% of those 18 and up is at least partially vaccinated, and 26% of those 18 and up have been fully vaccinated.

Past Updates

March 2021

March 2021

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

  • Gov. Roy Cooper extended three executive orders on evictions moratoriums, processing unemployment benefits and to-go cocktails that will continue to provide relief to families and economic support amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Executive Order 205 extends the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission’s authorization to permit the delivery or carry-out of mixed beverages as an alternative to on-site consumption through April 30, 2021.
  • Executive Order 206 extends North Carolina’s statewide residential eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021, in coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recent extension of the nationwide moratorium through the same date. 
  • Executive Order 207 expedites the processing of unemployment insurance claims and is also effective through June 30, 2021.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Thursday, March 25, 2021

  • Citing more supply than anticipated, Gov. Roy Cooper announced an accelerated timeline for all North Carolina adults to become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. The remainder of Group 4 – who were previously eligible on April 7 – can begin receiving doses on March 31. Those in Group 5 will become eligible on April 7.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

  • Gov. Roy Cooper announced that the state will continue to ease some COVID-19 restrictions under Executive Order 204, which becomes effective March 26 at 5 p.m. The order keeps the state’s general mask mandate in place but fully lifts the 11 p.m. curfew for on-site service of alcohol, increases mass gathering limits and increases occupancy limits in museums and aquariums, retail businesses and shops, barbershops, salons, restaurants, breweries, gyms, bars, sports arenas and other public places.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

  • Wednesday marked the opening of vaccine eligibility for people in Group 4 who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk for severe illness or who live in certain congregate settings.
  • North Carolina continues to focus on distributing vaccines quickly and equitably. To date, the state has administered more than 3.4 million doses – 25.7% of those 18 and up is at least partially vaccinated and 16.5% of those 18 and up have been fully vaccinated.
  • Gov. Cooper and Secretary Cohen also discussed state health officials’ ongoing efforts to monitor the presence of COVID-19 variants and stressed the importance of continuing with safety precautions across the state. Recent data shows an increase in these more contagious variants among those infected in North Carolina. People should continue to protect themselves and those around them by practicing the 3 Ws – wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart and wash hands often.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Thursday, March 11, 2021

  • Beginning March 17, people in Group 4 who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk of serious illness and people who live in certain congregate settings will be eligible for vaccination, Gov. Roy Cooper announced. The rest of Group 4, which includes other essential workers will become eligible April 7. The state was able to update its timeline based on provider feedback and expected supply. As with previous eligibility changes, some vaccine providers might not be ready to open to Group 4 on March 17 if they are still experiencing high demand for vaccines in Groups 1 through 3.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

  • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has expanded its vaccine data dashboard to provide more demographic data on people who are partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Users will be able to see vaccinations by race, ethnicity, gender and age group by county, by week and since vaccinations began.
  • Gov. Roy Cooper announced that 1.1. million people in North Carolina have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 but that more work remains to provide vaccinations for the nearly 8 million adults in the state. "This is not the time to abandon our prevention efforts,” he said. “In fact, until the vaccine is widely available, preventing the spread of this virus must continue to be a focus."
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said that even though the percent of positive COVID-19 has been consistently around 5%, cases and hospitalization numbers remain elevated. “With the introduction of new variants of the COVID-19 virus that are more contagious, we need to safeguard our progress and keep protecting each other while we get everyone a spot to get their shot,” she said. “So, keep doing the three Ws for now – wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart and wash your hands.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

  • New COVID-19 cases in North Carolina long-term care facilities have declined rapidly in the last several weeks. Case rates are down more than 15-fold in skilled nursing facilities, adult care homes and other licensed facilities since the peak of transmission in January 2021. Given the rapid decline in new cases, most facilities currently meet criteria to resume indoor visitation while continuing to follow infection prevention recommendations.
  • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is expanding access to COVID-19 rapid testing in K-12 public schools to protect students, teachers and staff from COVID-19. When schools implement testing combined with the state's strong mitigation strategies, they can detect new cases to prevent outbreaks and reduce the risk of further transmission.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

  • Frontline essential workers in Group 3 will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination beginning Wednesday, March 3, Gov. Roy Cooper announced. The expedited timeline follows federal approval of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine and an expected increase in vaccine supply to North Carolina.
  • Gov. Cooper also outlined an expected timeline for beginning Group 4 vaccinations. Beginning on March 24, people at higher risk from COVID-19, due to underlying medical conditions, will become eligible to receive a vaccine, as well as people in certain congregate-living settings.
  • A federally supported community vaccination center will open in Greensboro on March 10 with options for drive-through service and walk-in service. The center will operate seven days a week with the capacity to provide up to 3,000 vaccinations per day.

Monday, March 1, 2021

February 2021

February 2021

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021

Monday, Feb. 22, 2021

  • The latest update of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services' COVID-19 County Alert System shows 27 red counties – a decrease from 61 since Feb. 4 – and the fewest red counties in the state since the start of the County Alert System. The update also lists 40 orange counties and 33 yellow counties — both changes from 33 orange counties and 6 yellow counties on Feb 4.

Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021

  • The federal government has notified the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services of continued delays in some shipments and deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine this week due to severe weather. Both first- and second-dose shipments have been affected. NCDHHS is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as vaccine providers to help minimize the potential effects of these delays.
  • As of Feb. 18, 2021, North Carolina has administered almost two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The state continues to make progress in equity of vaccine distribution. Last week, 23% of doses were administered to Black North Carolinians, up from just 13% five weeks ago.

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021

Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021

Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

January 2021

January 2021

Friday, Jan. 29, 2021

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021

  • North Carolina’s Modified Stay At Home Order, requiring people to be at home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., has been extended until at least Feb. 28, 2021. Face covering requirements and restrictions on individuals gathering in both indoor and outdoor settings are still in place. 
  • Gov. Roy Cooper also issued executive orders extending the sale of mixed beverages “to-go” or for delivery until March 31, 2021. He also issued an executive order extending until March 31, 2021, North Carolina’s moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent. 

Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

  • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services expanded its vaccine data dashboard to provide information about vaccine doses promised to and received by the state. Users also will be able to see the percent of doses received that have been administered.

Monday, Jan. 25, 2021

Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021

Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021

Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

  • Gov. Roy Cooper and Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen provided an update on vaccines for COVID-19. Helping local health departments, hospitals and other health care providers get vaccines in arms as quickly and equitably as possible remains the top priority. The state is continuing to see a steady increase in vaccination rates. There was a 113% increase in vaccinations over the past seven days compared to the week before. More than 100,000 doses were given in just the past seven days.

Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021

Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021

Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021

  • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported new records for COVID-19 key metrics for Jan. 1 and Jan. 2. On Jan. 1, North Carolina reported its highest one-day number of COVID-19 cases with 9,527 new cases reported, exceeding the state’s previous highest day set on Dec. 18, 2020, by more than 1,000. Cases remained high on Jan. 2, with 9,365 new cases reported.
December 2020

December 2020

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020

Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020

  • More than 90% of North Carolina counties are now designated as red or orange -- the highest tiers in the state's COVID-19 County Alert System, meaning there is critical community spread in 65 counties and substantial spread in 27 counties. Gov. Cooper and Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen urged the public to reconsider holiday plans that involve traveling.

  • Cooper and Cohen urged those who must gather to keep get togethers small and outside with social distancing and masks. People can also get a COVID-19 test ahead of gathering.

  • The state is expecting approximately 60,000 additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 176,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, state leaders said at a news conference. The Moderna vaccine does not require ultra-cold storage and is slated to go to 59 hospitals and 97 local health department sites. 

Monday, Dec. 21, 2020

  • Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 183, authorizing the North Carolina ABC Commission to permit the delivery or carry-out of mixed beverages as an alternative to on-site consumption. The order is effective until at least 5 p.m. Jan. 31, 2021.

Friday, Dec. 18, 2020

Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020

Monday, Dec. 14, 2020

  • Gov. Roy Cooper, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen and Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks have written a letter to local elected officials imploring them to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in their communities by considering additional enforcement measures.

Friday, Dec. 11, 2020

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020

Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020

Friday, Dec. 4, 2020

  • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is launching a pilot program to deploy COVID-19 testing in K-12 public schools to quickly identify students and staff who might have the virus to help slow its spread. Public school districts, charter school networks or individual charter schools currently offering any in-person instruction – either Plan A or Plan B – are eligible to apply.

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

November 2020

November 2020

Monday, Nov. 30, 2020

Monday, Nov. 23, 2020

  • A new executive order that goes into effect Wednesday until Friday, Dec. 11, tightens the existing statewide mask requirement and requires large retail businesses to have an employee stationed near entrances to ensure masks are being worn.

Friday, Nov. 20, 2020

  • In response to the impact COVID-19 is having on schools and students, North Carolina has launched N.C. Education Corps, a partnership to provide emergency relief to public schools by employing talented community members — including current college students and recent graduates experiencing financial strain or loss of employment — to provide wraparound services to K-12 students across the state.

Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020

  • Gov. Roy Cooper and Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, announced the new COVID-19 County Alert System to pinpoint North Carolina counties with the highest levels of viral spread and to offer specific recommendations to bring down the numbers. This system will help give local leaders another tool to understand how their county is faring and to make decisions about actions to slow viral spread. The map will be updated every four weeks. 

  • North Carolina communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic will have access to $5 million in grants to help address food insecurity needs, Gov. Roy Cooper announced. 

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020

  • Effective 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13 until at least Dec. 4, North Carolina’s indoor mass gathering limit will be lowered to 10 people under Executive Order 176 in an effort to drive down North Carolina’s key COVID-19 metrics.  The order does not change the reduced capacity limits for certain businesses that have already been laid out.  View frequently asked questions about the executive order.

  • Gov. Roy Cooper announced that full-service restaurants may now apply for up to four months of rent or mortgage through the Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief Program. More information is available at the N.C. Department of Commerce’s website.

  • The N.C. Department of Revenue is now awarding $335 Extra Credit grants to families with qualifying children. For those who filed a 2019 state return and reported a qualifying child or completed an application, payments will be mailed through Dec. 15.

Monday, Nov. 9, 2020

October 2020

October 2020

Friday, Oct. 30, 2020

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020

Friday, Oct. 16, 2020

  • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,684 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases, the state’s highest one-day increase to date. The department also reported 1,148 hospitalizations, the second highest number to date.
  • North Carolina submitted its COVID-19 vaccination plan to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The plan reflects five principles to guide the planning for and distribution of one or more COVID-19 vaccines in the state:
    • All North Carolinians have equitable access to vaccines.
    • Vaccine planning and distribution is inclusive; actively engages state and local government, public and private partners; and draws upon the experience and expertise of leaders from historically marginalized populations.
    • Transparent, accurate and frequent public communications is essential to building trust.
    • Data is used to promote equity, track progress and guide decision-making.
    • Appropriate stewardship of resources and continuous evaluation and improvement drive successful implementation.

Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020

Friday, Oct. 2, 2020

  • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services updated its COVID-19 guidance for places of worship and shared a toolkit to support faith leaders in slowing the spread of the virus. The toolkit is available in English and Spanish. It includes talking points, sample language for websites and newsletters, social media posts, flyers, information to host a community testing event and to request personal protective equipment and FAQs.

Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020

September 2020

September 2020

Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020

  • The N.C. Pandemic Recovery Office has distributed more than $2.6 billion in coronavirus relief funds (to 75% of the $3.5 billion allocated by the N.C. General Assembly) to local governments, state agencies, nonprofits, hospitals, educational institutions and research organizations.
  • Since establishing telehealth flexibility policies in early March, North Carolina Medicaid has processed claims for more than 1.1 million telehealth and 350,000 telephonic visits during the COVID-19 pandemic, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced.

Monday, Sept. 28, 2020

Friday, Sept. 25, 2020

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020

Monday, Sept. 14, 2020

Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020

  • Gov. Roy Cooper announced nearly $40 million in funding for NC Student Connect, a new partnership created to address internet connectivity gaps that are a barrier to remote learning for many North Carolina students. When school resumed in August, superintendents estimated that at least 100,000 students still lacked a reliable internet connection at home.
  • Gov. Cooper and Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen met with White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx.. The governor and Dr. Birx also participated together in the call with the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and the governor spoke about the need for elected leaders and candidates to lead by example on the campaign trail this fall by holding events with face coverings and social distancing.

Friday, Sept. 4, 2020

Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020

Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020

Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020

  • Gov. Roy Cooper announced a careful step forward, moving North Carolina into “Safer At Home Phase 2.5” beginning 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4. (View FAQs.) Under Executive Order 163:
    • Mass gatherings will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. 
    • Playgrounds will be allowed to open. 
    • Museums and aquariums may open at 50% capacity. 
    • Gyms and other indoor exercise facilities may open at 30% capacity. 
    • The age requirement for mask wearing will include children down to age 5. 
    • Capacity limits at restaurants and personal care businesses, such as hair and nail salons, will stay the same. 
    • Some places will remain closed, including bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, indoor entertainment and amusement parks. Large venues will still be subject to the mass gathering limits. 
Older Updates

Older Updates

View COVID-19 archives.