WATCH: Breaking down the vaccination rate in North Carolina counties
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools also voted unanimously to require masks for students and staff this upcoming semester.
Our students and staff will indeed be wearing masks this year," Jeff Nash said to ABC11 Tuesday evening.
As of Tuesday, Durham, Cumberland, Hoke, Lee, Nash, Orange, Wilson and Wake counties are requiring masks this year. Clinton City, Harnett and Johnston counties have made masks optional.
The Wake County School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to mandate masks for the upcoming semester.
The universal masking mandate applies to Pre-K through 12th grade.
The board said it will reassess the policy quarterly.
More North Carolinians came in for a COVID-19 vaccine last week than on any given week over the past two months, according to data state health officials released Tuesday.
More than 74,000 people were vaccinated for the first time, an encouraging sign that residents are increasingly taking seriously threats posed by the more contagious delta variant and understanding the benefits of the vaccines, which are free, safe, highly effective and widely available. A push to get young adults vaccinated before the upcoming school year and an increase in the number of employers who are requiring their workers to get the shot are likely also fueling the rise in doses administered.
Vaccine providers at dozens of sites across North Carolina are currently providing $25 to unvaccinated residents who come in for a shot and drivers who bring people in for their initial dose. At a Tuesday news conference, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said his administration will raise that amount to $100 for people who get the shot this month starting on Wednesday, as President Joe Biden recommended. Drivers will still qualify for the $25.
"We are using every tool in the toolbox to get more people to get their shots," Cooper said.
COVID-related hospitalizations have nearly quadrupled in North Carolina over the past month.
Last week, Cooper announced that about 50,000 state employees who work for Cabinet agencies will have to show proof they are fully vaccinated. If they do not, they will be forced to wear a mask in many situations and get tested for COVID-19 every week. The executive order is set to take effect Sept. 1.
Major hospital systems across the state, including WakeMed Health & Hospitals, are requiring workers to get the shot. North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services confirmed last month that 14 state-run health care facilities will require workers and volunteers to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Sept. 30 unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows major transmission of the virus throughout North Carolina. In all but seven of the state's 100 counties, the CDC is recommending people wear masks in indoor public settings, even if they're already vaccinated.
NCDHHS announced that the state is now offering $100 Summer Cards at some vaccine sites across the state.
From Aug. 4 through Aug. 31, the $100 Summer Cards are available to anyone 18 and older who gets their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a participating site-while supplies last.
"Vaccination is how we end this pandemic and put our masks away," Governor Roy Cooper said in a statement. "The Delta variant is highly contagious, and the vast majority of severe cases are among those who are not vaccinated. We are using every tool in the toolbox to get more people to get their shots- don't wait until it's too late."
North Carolina also continues to offer $25 Summer Cards to those who drive others to their vaccination appointment.
More information about the participating locations here.
2,188 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Tuesday.
The daily percent of positive tests is at 10.8%.
1,465 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. That number continues to rise and is the highest it has been in recent months.
13,670 COVID-19 deaths have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic.
On Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 10 a.m., NCDHHS, with the help of the NC Education Lottery, will conduct the final random number generator drawings for the Summer Cash Drawing and Summer Cash 4 College Drawing.
New York City will soon require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone who wants to dine indoors at a restaurant, see a performance or go to the gym, making it the first big city in the U.S. to impose such restrictions.
The new requirement, which will be phased in over several weeks in August and September, is the most aggressive step the city has taken yet to curb a surge in cases caused by the Delta variant. People will have to show proof that they have had at least one dose of a vaccine.
"The only way to patronize these establishments indoors will be if you're vaccinated," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "The goal here is to convince everyone that this is the time. If we're going to stop the Delta variant, the time is now. And that means getting vaccinated right now."
Legal Aid of North Carolina is seeing strong demand for assistance from residents who cannot afford to pay their rent. The nonprofit law firm that helps low-income renters facing the threat of eviction is inundated with calls and struggling to keep up with demand. Pandemic-induced job loss, a COVID-19 surge fueled by the delta variant and a lack of awareness of state and local rental assistance programs are creating extra cause for concern. The state still has hundreds of millions of unspent dollars available to help cover rental costs. About 1 in 13 North Carolina tenants have no confidence they'll be able to make next month's rent.
Tyson Foods will require all U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1.
"Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the single most effective thing we can do to protect our team members, their families and their communities," Tyson Foods Chief Medical Officer Dr. Claudia Coplein said.
This decision makes Tyson the largest U.S. food company to require COVID-19 vaccines for all its employees.
Every state in the country has seen an increase in its average number of administered first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
That's according to ABC News' analysis of CDC data from the previous three weeks.
In the final weeks of July, 14 states saw an increase of 100% or more in their first-dose average. All of those states have vaccination totals below the national baseline of eligible Americans who have had one at least shot.
The five states which have seen the most significant increases in their vaccination rates are as follows: Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
To read more about this analysis, click here.
TUESDAY MORNING HEADLINES
Nash County Public Schools is teaming up with UNC Health to boost vaccination rates among students over the age of 12.
The school system is hosting a vaccine clinic at Northern Nash High School from 2-6 p.m. Tuesday.
The clinic will be distributing Pfizer vaccine doses to any student over 12, as well as their parents and any school employee.
That vaccine clinic comes as vaccination rates see a resurgence nationwide as the delta variant continues to send more unvaccinated people to the hospital.
White House COVID coordinator Jeff Zients said rates are up more than 200 percent in the hardest hit states.
He said 3 million Americans got their first shot in the past seven days--marking America's highest seven-day vaccine average since July 4. Zients said the biggest increases happened states in the deep south.
"Louisiana has seen a 302% increase in the average number of newly vaccinated per day, Mississippi, 250%, Alabama 215% and Arkansas 206%," Zients said.
Meanwhile, big box stores are tightening their mask guidelines for employees and customers.
Target and Walmart are now requiring all workers to wear a mask and strongly recommending all employees wear a mask in areas where COVID-19 transmission is high.
Both Home Depot and Lowes said it will require all of their associates, contractors and vendors to wear a mask while inside one of their stores, warehouses or other facilities, effective Monday. The rule also applies if the employees are working in a customer's home or business.
CDC COVID-19 Transmission Levels by U.S. County
Map not displaying correctly? Click here to open in a new window.
Health leaders in Cumberland County are urging people to wear their mask regardless of vaccination status when indoors. They are also encouraging vaccines as students head back to school.
On Monday, Reid Ross Classical school, a year-round middle and high school, confirmed a COVID case on campus.
The district did not say if the person infected was a student or staff member, but the administrators say the school is being cleaned and the 3 W's (washing, social distancing and masking) are being reinforced.
"That's not good enough," said Linda Burney a grandparent of a Reid Ross student. "If that child comes home and I get sick--I have underlying health conditions. That's unacceptable."
Dr. Jennifer Green, director of Cumberland County Health says 50 percent of people age 12 and older have received the vaccine, but she'd like to see that number closer to 80 percent.
"We encourage every parent, every guardian before your student--that is over the age of 12-before they step foot on campus to get at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine," said Dr. Jennifer Green.
School athletic programs begin practices this week. Monday, the district released a statement: District officials are reviewing safety protocols for student-athletes. We are reviewing guidance from the state and collaborating with local health officials and neighboring school districts. Once a decision has been made regarding COVID-19 safety protocols for student-athletes, we will share an update with everyone.
Green says the Delta variant is translating to a spike in cases, people going to the hospital and more deaths.
"I'm feeling like 2020 again. And that's not a feeling I want," said Dr. Green.
Jeff Bell, the Head of School for Cardinal Gibbons High School, emailed parents saying they "will be starting the year with masking indoors for all students, staff, and visitors."
He also said the school will consider shifting to a more mask-optional policy if two of the following three metrics are met:
- 5% or lower COVID test positivity rates in Wake County over a 10 day-period
- 50 or fewer people out of 100,000 having COVID in Wake County over a 14-day period
- 80% or higher vaccination rate among staff and students
The White House said Monday that the CDC was "unable to find legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium" and asked that states and local governments put in policies to keep renters in their homes.
Mass evictions could potentially worsen the recent spread of the COVID-19 delta variant as roughly 1.4 million households told the Census Bureau they could "very likely" be evicted from their rentals in the next two months. But the Biden administration said it is unable to take action, though it noted that state-level efforts to stop evictions would spare a third of the country from evictions over the next month.
"Our team is redoubling efforts to identify all available legal authorities to provide necessary protections," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a Monday statement.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is vaccinated, announced on Twitter he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is exhibiting symptoms.
"I started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night and went to the doctor this morning," he tweeted. "I feel like I have a sinus infection and at present time I have mild symptoms. I will be quarantining for ten days. I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now. My symptoms would be far worse."
It's summertime and airports are packed with vacationers again. And combined with bad weather popping up in places, that's causing problems for the airlines. The U.S. set another pandemic-era record for travel on Sunday, with more than 2.2 million people going through airport checkpoints. That's the biggest number in 17 months, although travel is still not quite back to pre-pandemic levels. The big crowds and summer thunderstorms are creating headaches for travelers, because thousands of flights a day are running late, and hundreds more are canceled. There are long lines at Spirit Airlines ticket counters in Orlando, Florida, after the discount airline canceled about one-third of its flights on Monday.
NCDHHS released COVID numbers for the weekend.
On Saturday, the state reported 3,131 new COVID-19 cases. On Sunday, the state reported 3,302 and on Monday it reported 2,190.
Sunday's number of 3,302 is the highest in recent months.
The number of people hospitalized in North Carolina also shot up to 1,359 on Monday. That number has been climbing since mid-July.
204 confirmed COVID-19 patients were admitted in the last 24 hours.
The percent of positive tests in the state is at 10.6%.
58% percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated.
It's nearly a month late, but the U.S. has hit President Biden's big vaccine milestone: 70% of adults ages 18 and up have at least one shot of the vaccine.
Cyrus Shahpar, the White House's COVID-19 Data Director, confirmed the news in a tweet this morning. President Biden is scheduled to give remarks on the vaccination progress Tuesday.
Evictions, which have mostly been on pause during the pandemic, were expected to ramp up Monday after the Biden administration allowed the federal moratorium to expire over the weekend and Congress was unable to do anything to extend it.
Housing advocates fear the end of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moratorium could result in millions of people being evicted. But most expect the wave of evictions to build slowly over the coming weeks and months as the bureaucracy of removing people from their homes restarts.
More than 99.99% of people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 have not had a breakthrough case resulting in hospitalization or death, according to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The data highlights what leading health experts across the country have highlighted for months: Covid-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing serious illness and death from Covid-19 and are the country's best shot at slowing the pandemic down and avoiding further suffering.
Eviction protections put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic have now expired.
That means a lot of people in North Carolina and across the country are trying to figure out what's next.
In the coming weeks, landlords will begin sending eviction cases to courts. The Census Bureau estimates eviction is likely for nearly 25 percent of adults living in North Carolina households.
'The calm before the storm': Communities brace for end of eviction moratorium
One Wake County property manager spoke to ABC11 to say they have helped renters apply for financial help. The property manager said they don't want to make anyone homeless but believes it's time to end the eviction moratorium.
North Carolina reports about $186 million remaining in federal assistance for renters.
Mask mandates go into effect at many local government buildings Monday.
The mandates include unvaccinated and vaccinated people alike and fall in line with CDC and federal guidelines.
The mandates include government buildings in Wake County, Raleigh, Durham and Garner.
Many businesses are re-evaluating their masking policies, with many issuing stiffer encouragements calling on every customer to wear a mask. Some, like Publix, have even gone back to requiring masks for anyone inside.
In three weeks, the majority of Wake County students will return to class.
The COVID-19 vaccine remains highly recommended but not required for students over 12 years old. All students and staff will be required to wear a mask at all times while at school.
However, there are lots of other vaccines that are required for students. Kindergarteners must have proof of a total of seven vaccines: DTap, Polio, Hib, MMR, Hepatitis B, Varcella and Pnumococcal conjugate.
Then by 7th grade, the students must also add the Tdap vaccine as well as meningococall conjugate.
I had COVID so I don't need the vaccine: Busting COVID myths
Ninety-two of North Carolina's 100 counties are at high COVID-19 transmission, according to the CDC.
As COVID numbers rise, the effort to get vaccines in arms also increases. In Raleigh, WakeMed administered more than 100 vaccines Sunday.
The CDC reports nearly 70 percent of adults in the U.S. are partially vaccinated.
The eviction moratorium in North Carolina has expired as of August 1.
As the Wake County Public School System decision on masks loom, there are dueling petitions circulating to make the choice optional -- more than 3,000 people support keeping masks while more than 2,000 others want a choice.
The US Food and Drug Administration insists it is working as quickly as possible to review applications for full approval of the COVID-19 vaccines as the number of cases continues to rise and vaccination rates decline across the country.
Though the FDA has yet to disclose a time line for when its work will be done, medical experts and sources familiar with the process tell CNN that full approval could come within the next couple of months. While that would amount to a record fast pace, the urgency is rising for a fully approved vaccine given the troubling surge in COVID cases sweeping the country.
The eviction moratorium in North Carolina is set to expire July 31, 10 months after it was enacted to protect renters amid the pandemic.
"We're kind of waiting with bated breath, but we are nervous about the potential impact that this is going to have," said Isaac Sturgill, a staff attorney with Legal NC, a nonprofit law firm that handles numerous eviction cases throughout the state.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates 96,000 North Carolina adults could likely face eviction or foreclosure in the next two months.
"All signs are pointing toward something really bad is about to happen," Sturgill said. "I hope that's not true and I hope it's not as bad as we think."
Deadline day for low-income SE Raleigh renters facing housing emergency