County alert map shows 86 North Carolina counties in red for critical community spread of COVID-19

According to the latest update from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services county alert map, 86 of North Carolina counties are in red for critical community spread of COVID-19, 13 in orange and 1 is in yellow.

North Carolina is experiencing record numbers of COVID-19 cases reported daily. Data obtained by the ABC11 data team shows the state currently ranks 47th in the country for percentage of COVID-19 vaccinations administered. Cumberland County is in red, while both Durham and Wake counties are in orange.

During a Jan. 21 media briefing, Dr. Mandy Cohen noted that North Carolina has administered 569,334 total doses of vaccine, the 10th most in the nation by that measure.

"Our goal is to run out of vaccine every week before the next shipment comes and that is what we have directed our local health departments and hospitals," said Dr. Cohen during a Jan. 21 news conference. "Yes, we are running out of vaccines in all places. I am not surprised that they don't know what they are getting next week- it's because they haven't gotten their allocations yet."

Cohen says the state is on a week-over-week schedule.

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"We are trying to forecast. We have said you should assume about what you get now is what you will get in the future assuming you get the vaccine out in a timely matter."

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In the Jan. 6 update, 84 counties were in red, 12 in orange and 4 were in yellow.

The County Alert Map divides counties into three groups based on the level of COVID-19 community transmission, calculated by the number of cases per capita and either the percentage of positive tests or the level of hospital capacity:

Red: critical community spread
Orange: substantial community spread

Yellow: significant community spread

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When it comes to vaccines, Cohen says don't waste any doses.

"If you are at the end of the day and you have 2-3 doses left, do not throw them away." She urges healthcare providers to keep a waitlist of people they can call at the last minute even if they don't fit the priority waitlist.

"If you can't find someone on that priority list, find an arm of someone that wants it and give it out."
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