RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Here's the latest news and information on COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 testing locations resume normal operation today in Durham County after many closed Saturday due to winter weather.
Also, a brand new testing site is set to open Monday at DPAC. The new mass testing site will be open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily.
Free N95 masks are now available across the Triangle region.
"I think it's awesome. I work at a child care center and I know that these cloth ones do not provide the level of protection that these fancy N95 masks do, and I don't want to miss anymore work so I appreciate this," Jemma Brodney said.
National pharmacy chains like Walgreens and CVS have signs on their front doors to say if they do or don't have masks. Some county health departments are also receiving the N95 masks from the federal government and passing them out at various locations. Check with your local health department for specific details.
Wake County announced an update to all the places you can go to get tested for coronavirus.
Radeas has opened testing at its Radeas Laboratories site in Wake Forest.
All Mako Medical/NCDHHS sites will remain open through March 1. Its WakeMed Soccer Park hours are changing - they're now 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting Monday. Mako is also opening a seventh location on Tuesday at Springfield Baptist Church in Raleigh (helping to serve Garner, Knightdale, Raleigh & Clayton - right off US Hwy 70, I-40 40, Amazon and Pepsi plants
Radeas Labs has partnered with Baptist on Mission to offer drive-thru testing in Wake County AND Radeas has opened back up its Wake Forest drive thru-site. No appointments, no pre-registration, and no out-of-pocket costs. Insurance accepted, but not required.
(Note: The Southbridge Fellowship Church testing location on Strickland Road in Raleigh has MOVED):
Ottendorf Labs has partnered with Martin Street Baptist Church to provide walk-up testing in their parking lot. There is no cost.
Martin Street Baptist Church at 1001 E. Martin St., Raleigh 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday
NCDHHS and its testing vendor, Mako Medical, have seven drive-thru testing sites in Wake County. These sites run Monday through Friday. No appointments are needed, registration is required. Results in 24-48 hours.
These sites will remain open through March 1:
Because of the winter storm coming, COVID-19 testing at Optum Serve testing locations at El Centro Hispano, Wheels Fun Park, Durham County Memorial Stadium, and 414 E. Main St. will open at noon on Saturday. These locations to return to regular operations on Sunday.
Beginning Tuesday, free N95 masks will be available for pickup at Durham County Libraries and for all people receiving COVID-19 testing at Optum Serve testing locations in Durham.
All masks are available for free, and no identification is needed for pickup.
N95 masks will be available at all Durham County Libraries locations except the Stanford L. Warren Library, which is closed for repairs. At these library sites, each household may pick up two bags of five free N95 masks, for a total of 10 masks per household.
"As COVID remains active in our community," said Tammy Baggett-Best, Durham County Library Director, "we are thrilled to partner with the Durham County Department of Public Health to assist in providing convenient locations for mask distribution. Our commitment to the community goes beyond library related resources, and we are thrilled to offer assistance with this initiative."
Masks will also be available for people receiving COVID-19 testing at Durham County Optum Serve testing locations at Wheels Fun Park, El Centro Hispano, Durham County Memorial Stadium, and 414 E. Main Street. These masks will be available for pickup only at the drive-through testing booth after completing testing.
"We are beyond pleased to be able to partner with our libraries, testing sites, and local businesses and organizations to get these free N95s out into the community," said Durham County Public Health Director Rod Jenkins. "Through these partnerships we are making pickup available at convenient locations throughout Durham, and we hope all of our residents will take advantage of this opportunity to help better protect themselves and others from COVID-19."
Masks are currently required while in public indoor spaces in Durham County.
Because of continuing issues with testing supplies, Cape Fear Valley Health's drive-through COVID-19 testing site at Cape Fear Valley Health Pavilion North will remain closed next week. The testing site, which is at 6387 Ramsey St., Fayetteville, was also closed this week because of supply issues. The vaccination clinic at the same location will remain open.
Other outpatient testing locations in the health system, such as primary care clinics and Emergency Departments, are only offering COVID-19 testing to patients who are symptomatic. Patients who would like a COVID-19 test for travel, return to school, or possible exposure will not be tested at these locations.
COVID-19 testing and public health service startup Curative announced the deployment of a new testing site in Downtown Durham at DPAC.
"As we continue our 2021 / 2022 season, DPAC's commitment to health and safety remains steadfast," said Bob Klaus, General Manager of DPAC. "We are proud to serve as a testing site for the Durham community through our partnership with Curative, adding another layer to DPAC's Safety First Commitment."
Curative offers shallow nasal PCR testing for COVID-19. Once the patient completes the test, the patient seals the test within a secure container and returns it to be processed in the lab.
On-site registration for testing is available.
NCDHHS figures show that 22,631 new cases were reported in North Carolina. The daily percent positive is 30.4%.
With 71 more deaths reported, there have been 20,595 deaths since the start of the pandemic
Starting Monday, Orange County residents can get a free N95 mask at two locations while supplies last:
The most recent data available shows 37% of new COVID-19 cases were among fully vaccinated people in North Carolina.
Those numbers are from the week ending January 15 and it shows a decrease in the percentage of vaccinated breakthrough cases from the week before.
For COVID-19 patients in the hospital, under 32 percent of them are vaccinated. Of those COVID-19 patients in the ICU, just 21 percent are vaccinated.
Remember, nearly three out of every four North Carolinians are vaccinated. So if the vaccine was not providing any protection against the virus, you would expect to see around 75 percent of all positive tests and hospitalizations to be of vaccinated people.
In addition, the NC Department of Health and Human Services reports that the omicron variant made up 97 percent of the sequenced positive COVID-19 tests during the week ending on Jan. 15.
FRIDAY MORNING HEADLINES
Winter weather is once again causing changes to the hours of COVID-19 testing centers.
Wake County Public Health said its five testing locations will close Saturday. Anyone with an appointment should have already received an email notifying them of the change.
Those people will be allowed to reschedule their appointment either for today or Monday.
Wake County Public Health said extreme wind chill and possibly slick roads were the main reasons for the decision to close the testing centers Saturday.
The U.S. is now reporting an average of 627,000 new COVID-19 cases per day -- an 18% drop over the last two weeks, according to federal data.
Most states are seeing cases decreasing or at a plateau, according to federal data. Just 10 states are seeing at least a 10% increase in cases: Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Despite this positive news, cases in the U.S. are still extremely high. Since the beginning of January, more than 17.4 million new cases have been reported -- that's nearly three times the number of cases reported in every other month of the pandemic.