Secretary of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen will give a briefing and take questions from the media on Thursday at 2 p.m.
In the face of warnings from health experts, Youngsville plans to have its annual Christmas parade in person.
According to our newsgathering partners at the News & Observer, the town will have a 1-mile long parade with as many as 300 spectators along the route.
Town commissioners said they will have COVID-19 precautions in place but chose to go against warnings from state and local health officials because of the “overwhelming support” from the community.
THURSDAY MORNING STORYLINES
The U.S. Department of Defense has released a preview of COVID-19 vaccination kits and what they look like. One key element – vaccine recipients will get a vaccination record card to show others they’re received a vaccine and when the next dose is due.
The card will be small enough to fit in a wallet. It shows that you have had at least one dose of the shot; it also can serve as a reminder for when your second dose needs to be received.
Each vaccine will be reported to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Healthcare workers are expected to be among the first to receive the vaccine–possibly sometime in December.
“Everyone will be issued a written card that they can put in their wallet that will tell them what they had and when their next dose is due,” Immunization Action Coalition associate director Dr. Kelly Moore said. “Let’s do the simple, easy thing first. Everyone’s going to get that.”
Gov. Roy Cooper will tour a Morrisville facility playing a key role in fighting COVID-19 on Thursday. Gilero designs medical devices such as face shields and Gov. Cooper reached out to the company in March, asking for help in the state’s response to the virus.
A drive-thru testing event in Raleigh will happen on Saturday and Sunday at Gethsemane Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Sanderford Road. The testing lasts from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can register here.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association will meet on Thursday with basketball season scheduled to start next week. Recently, the NCHSAA made the choice to require all athletes to wear masks at indoor and outdoor events. Right now, only some sports are being allowed to play.
The State Board of Education will meet today to discuss the handling of COVID-19 along with several representatives from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Wake County will bring free COVID-19 testing back to Raleigh Gethsemane Seventh-Day Adventist Church, located at 2525 Sanderford Road in southeast Raleigh, this Saturday and Sunday with a no-cost drive-thru.
“We want to make testing easily available in the communities where access may be limited – such as southeast Raleigh or near downtown,” said Wake County Medical Director Dr. Kim McDonald. “Partnering with churches helps us bring COVID-19 testing to communities conveniently and safely.”
Those seeking a test can visit this link to secure a time slot. The slots will be between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
North Carolina Central University Athletics announced Wednesday afternoon that due to COVID-19-related concerns within the program it will not be playing its upcoming road games at Wofford (Thursday, Dec. 3) and USC Upstate (Dec. 5).
Officials said there have been no positive tests within the NCCU men’s basketball program at this time.
North Carolina reports record high single day increases in COVID-19 deaths and the number of people hospitalized with the virus.
The Department of Health and Human Services is also reporting what might be the highest percent positive rate of all time. The rate is noted as 11.4%. The state had an 11% rate back in July, but that was before the state started recording the number down to the first decimal point.
Another 4,199 people have tested positive for the virus. The virus’ death toll in North Carolina increased by 82, up to 5,366 since the beginning of the pandemic.
The state reports at least 2,039 people are hospitalized with the virus
Complete data can be found on the NCDHHS’ COVID-19 dashboard.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force issued its most urgent warning yet in a document to governors but not released to the American public.
In the document, which was obtained this week by ABC News, the task force advises older adults avoid all unmasked indoor gatherings and other Americans assume they were infected with the virus if they went to any Thanksgiving celebrations.
The task force’s new report said the COVID-19 risk to all Americans is at a historic high. ABC News obtained the briefing that was intended for governors and dated for November 29.
The task force recommends everyone over the age of 65 or with significant health conditions “should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked” and all Americans under 40 should “assume you became infected” if Thanksgiving involved anyone outside the immediate family.
“You are dangerous to others and you must isolate away from anyone at increased risk for severe disease and get tested immediately,”
“We are in a very dangerous place due to the current, extremely high COVID baseline and limited hospital capacity; a further post-Thanksgiving surge will compromise COVID patient care, as well as medical care overall.”
The report notes North Carolina is in the red zone for COVID-19 cases, meaning there are 101 new cases per 100,000 people in the population. NC is in the yellow zone for test positivity, which indicates a rate between 5.0% and 7.9%. Mecklenburg County, Wake County and Guilford County have had the highest number of cases in the last three weeks. These counties represent 23.3% of new cases in North Carolina.
Nearly all counties, 86%, in North Carolina have moderate or high levels of community transmission.
The report can be read here in its entirety.
WEDNESDAY MORNING STORYLINES
As Wake County keeps adding COVID-19 testing sites to keep up with demand, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the state is preparing for the coronavirus vaccine to be distributed.
UNC professor and former Wake County health director Dr. Leah Devlin said the goal is for 75% of North Carolinians to be vaccinated by summer 2021. Dr. Devlin is one of three co-chairs on the NC Institute of Medicine COVID-19 vaccine committee.
Pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and BioNTech say they’ve gotten permission Wednesday for emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine in Britain. The move would make Britain one of the first countries to start vaccinating its population.
Republican U.S. Rep. Ted Budd of North Carolina says he’s tested positive for COVID-19 and will complete his recovery at home. Budd said in a video message posted Tuesday on social media that he has “very mild symptoms” and will work remotely from his family farm with staff in the district and in Washington.
The state surpassed 2,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations Tuesday and reported a concerning 10.2% positive test rate. New figures are expected to be released around noon Wednesday.
Copyright © 2020 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.