RALEIGH, N.C. -- Here's the latest news and information on COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines.
The Atlantic Coast Conference announced its updated 2021-22 COVID-19 Game Rescheduling Policy.
The COVID-19 Game Rescheduling Policy now applies to men's and women's basketball and wrestling in addition to previously announced sports of football, field hockey, men's and women's soccer and volleyball:
If a 2021-22 ACC game cannot be played on its originally scheduled date by a team unable to play due to an insufficient number of available players related to COVID-19, that team shall be deemed to have forfeited, with a loss assigned to the team unable to play and a win assigned to its scheduled opponent, with both the loss and win, respectively, applied to the conference standings.
If a 2021-22 ACC game cannot be played on its originally scheduled date due to any factor(s) directly associated with a Game Discontinuation Consideration as listed in the current ACC Medical Advisory Group (MAG) Report, the Conference's sport rescheduling policy shall apply.
If a 2021-22 ACC game cannot be played on its originally scheduled date due to both teams being unable to play due to an insufficient number of available players related to COVID-19, both teams shall be deemed to have forfeited, with a loss assigned to both teams and applied to the conference standings.
Robeson Community College in partnership with CORE will offer COVID-19 vaccinations during the Made in Robeson Day and Job Fair on October 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. No appointments are necessary.
Fewer than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in North Carolina on Monday.
Monday's numbers show a continued optimistic decline in COVID-19 metrics. The state reported 1,786 new cases Monday, last week that number was 2,219, two weeks ago it was 2,665, and three weeks ago it was 3,257.
Hospitalizations also saw a significant decline, with 315 fewer people reportedly hospitalized from the virus. The total number currently sits at 2,152.
Unfortunately, another 103 people died from the virus, rising the virus total death toll in North Carolina to 17,207.
Nearly all 10,000 employees at state-operated healthcare facilities in North Carolina are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the state announced.
16 people were fired for non-compliance with the policy's vaccination deadline of Sept. 30.
The department's Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities (DSOHF), a state-operated health care system comprised of 14 facilities, moved to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in July.
About six percent of employees received exemptions from the policy with medical, religious, and other reasonable accommodations, NCDHHS said.
Drugmaker Merck asked U.S. regulators Monday to authorize its pill against COVID-19 in what would add an entirely new and easy-to-use weapon to the world's arsenal against the pandemic.
If cleared by the Food and Drug Administration - a decision that could come in a matter of weeks - it would be the first pill shown to treat COVID-19. All other FDA-backed treatments against the disease require an IV or injection.
A number of pediatric hospitals across the country are warning about an increase in the number of cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, a rare condition in which different parts of the body, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs, become inflamed.
The uptick follows the country's most recent summer delta surge in pediatric infections.
MIS-C, which most often appears four to six weeks after a COVID-19 infection, can be serious and potentially deadly, but most children who are diagnosed with it recover with medical care, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Federal data shows that there have been at least 46 confirmed MIS-C deaths and 5,217 confirmed MIS-C cases -- and about 61% of the reported cases have occurred in children who are Hispanic/Latino or Black. Children between the ages of 6 to 11, who may soon be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, have reported the highest number of MIS-C cases since the onset of the pandemic.
Nearly 5.9 million children have tested positive for COVID-19, and MIS-C infections represent only 0.0009% of COVID-19 pediatric cases. However, between July and August, the average number of daily MIS-C cases nearly doubled.
Dayton Children's Hospital told ABC News they too have seen an uptick in recent weeks. And it is not just in Ohio where officials are seeing increases. In Tennessee, the number of MIS-C cases has more than tripled since early February.
Earlier this week, officials from Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, said at a press conference that their physicians have seen an uptick in MIS-C in recent weeks as more children test positive.
On Wednesday, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, which houses Mississippi's only pediatric hospital, reported that the state is still seeing acute cases of COVID-19 and MIS-C in children.
At this time, severe illness due to COVID-19 remains "uncommon" among children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.
MONDAY MORNING HEADLINES
UNC is reducing COVID-19 testing requirements for students.
Students who have not gotten vaccinated will now only have to e tested once a week. The change comes as the university sees a decrease in positive test rates.
Statewide COVID-19 numbers also showed improvements at the end of last week. Hospitalizations, cases and positive test rates all continued to show declines.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will release new metrics around noon.
Help is scheduled to arrive Monday for Wake Count's strained EMS crews. Four FEMA ambulances will start running calls in the county today.
Wake County EMS said it has received more than 10,000 calls each of the last five months and needed help responding to all of them.
Meanwhile, child care centers can start applying Monday for grant money.
The American Rescue Plan is sending about $805 million to help day care centers in North Carolina. The money can be used to hire new employees or retain employees considering other job opportunities.
Each care center can get between $3,000 and 60,000 per quarter.
The government's top infectious diseases expert says families can feel safe trick-or-treating outdoors this year for Halloween as COVID-19 cases in the U.S. decline, especially for those who are vaccinated.
Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that it's an important time of year for children, so "go out there" and "enjoy it."
He added that people wanting to enjoy Halloween on Oct. 31 should consider getting the shots for that "extra degree of protection" if they are not yet vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccines so far have been approved for people 12 years and older. The Food and Drug Administration plans a meeting in late October to consider Pfizer's request for emergency use authorization of its vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.
Nationwide, there are about 95,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. Fauci called the downward trend "good news" but cautioned against declaring a premature victory since cases have bounced back in the past.
He said he'd like to see cases drop to fewer than 10,000 a day before dropping COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, such as shedding masks indoors in public places.
UNC-Chapel Hill will reduce required testing for students who have not attested to COVID-19 testing.
Those who do not attest their vaccination status will now only have to be tested once a week.
The change comes as the university reports a decrease in asymptomatic and symptomatic positivity for the virus.
Data shows the asymptomatic positivity rate has decreased from .54% to .44% and symptomatic positivity has decreased from 3.3% to 2.5%
The university said most of the positive cases on campus have been mild and Campus Health has not received any reports of student hospitalizations for COVID.
The differences were far more pronounced in some states. In California, 67% of the children who lost primary caregivers were Hispanic. In Mississippi, 57% of the children who lost primary caregivers were Black, the study found.