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.

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

Past Updates

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. 
August 2020

August 2020

Monday, Aug. 31, 2020

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020

Monday, Aug. 24, 2020

Friday, Aug. 21, 2020

  • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services updated guidance for institutions of higher education, further emphasizing that colleges and universities must work to reduce risk of viral spread of COVID-19. both on and off campus. In compliance with existing executive orders, colleges and universities should be requiring and enforcing that students and staff wear cloth masks and limit on- and off-campus. The guidance also recommends limiting on-campus housing, closing communal dining settings and implementing procedures to isolate and quarantine cases appropriately.

Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020

  • Gov. Roy Cooper has announced $12 million to expand internet access in 11 rural counties. The funding, made available partly by the COVID-19 Recovery Act,  is expected to connect 8,017 families and 254 businesses, farms and community institutions to high-speed internet.
  • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has selected StarMed Urgent and Family Care, P.A to continue surging COVID-19 testing capacity in North Carolina. The new sites will be located in Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Onslow, Orange and Randolph counties. NCDHHS selected locations for the additional testing sites based on epidemiological trends and reports from local health departments.

    Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020

    Monday, Aug. 17, 2020

    • Returning to school looks different this year. If your child is returning to in-person learning, know what to expect and how to prepare them and yourself. Read more in English or in Spanish.
    • With schools opening in-person and remotely across the state under new health and safety procedures, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is expanding the Hope4Healers Helpline (919-226-2002) to serve teachers, school personnel and their families. Hope4Healers can provide mental health and resilience supports, and is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. When teachers, school personnel or family members call the helpline, they will speak to someone who is trained to listen and offer support.

    Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020

    Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020

    Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020

    Friday, Aug. 7, 2020

    Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020

    • The state has distributed approximately 3.5 million cloth face coverings, 4.5 million procedure masks and significant amounts of additional personal protective equipment to targeted settings across the state. The ongoing shipments support operations including schools, nursing homes, first responders, agricultural facilities, child care facilities and courthouses.

    Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020

    Monday, Aug. 3, 2020

    • Due to the threat of Tropical Storm Isais, some community testing events are being canceled or hours are being changed. Please contact the testing site before arrival to ensure that the site is open.
    • The COVID-19 pandemic will add additional challenges and changes to the 2020 hurricane season, which runs until Nov. 30. Find out what you need to know to be prepared.
    July 2020

    July 2020

    Thursday, July 30, 2020

    Wednesday, July 29, 2020

    Tuesday, July 28, 2020

    Monday, July 27, 2020

    • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has upcoming events for free community testing as part of the initiative to increase access to COVID-19 testing for African-American, LatinX/Hispanic and American Indian communities that currently have limited testing sites.

    Friday, July 24, 2020

    • Gov. Roy Cooper has issued Executive Order 152, returning regulatory authority for skilled-nursing facilities to the secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Under Secretarial Order 1, current restrictions remain in place, as NCDHHS collaborates with industry and advocacy organizations, monitors progress and evaluates options to best protect the health and well-being of staff, residents and their loved ones.

    Thursday, July 23, 2020

    Tuesday, July 21, 2020

    Monday, July 20, 2020

    Thursday, July 16, 2020

    • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services launched online tools to help Spanish-speaking North Carolinians determine if they should be tested for COVID-19 and help monitor their symptoms if they have tested positive for or been exposed to COVID-19. (En Español)

    Tuesday, July 14, 2020

    Saturday, July 11, 2020

    Thursday, July 9, 2020

    Tuesday, July 7, 2020

    • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) took action to decrease barriers to COVID-19 testing by issuing a statewide standing order for COVID-19 diagnostic testing as well as a state health director temporary order on COVID-19 diagnostic test reporting. 
      • The statewide standing order allows testing sites to collect and submit samples to a laboratory for COVID-19 testing without requiring a specific order.
      • The order also authorizes testing sites to receive results directly from laboratories.
      • This will facilitate community-based testing sites and reduce barriers to testing, especially for members of historically marginalized populations who might be less likely to have a medical home.
    • NCDHHS launched the Community Testing in High-Priority and Marginalized Populations (CHAMP) Initiative to increase access to no-cost COVID-19 testing for African American, LatinX/Hispanic and American Indian communities that currently have limited testing sites. As many as 300 temporary testing sites will be deployed throughout July, including drive-through and walk-up sites.
    • NCDHHS joined the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration in alerting consumers of adverse health effects associated with methanol-contaminated hand sanitizers. Learn more about ways you can stay healthy.
    Older Updates

    Older Updates

    View COVID-19 archives.