Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte to open at full capacity this summer, including Panthers games

Monday, May 24, 2021
Coronavirus NC: Latest updates on COVID-19 in North Carolina
Coronavirus NC: Latest updates on COVID-19 in North CarolinaCOVID METRICS: The latest numbers on COVID-19 in North Carolina.

Here are the latest updates about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in North Carolina.

4:34 p.m.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released some tips for traveling this summer, particularly for those who aren't vaccinated.

First, the CDC, not unexpectedly, recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated. But if you haven't gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC says these tips will help protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

  • Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip. Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
  • If you don't get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth, avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet from anyone who is not traveling with you.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Wearing a mask is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

2:05 p.m.

Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte will open at full capacity this summer.

That includes for Panthers games.

Masks and proof of vaccination will not be required. Hand sanitizer and mobile ticketing will be available.

2:01 p.m.

The Halifax County Health Department reports five new cases for a total of 5,627 positive COVID-19 cases. No new deaths (112 total) were reported.

1:15 p.m.

581 new COVID-19 cases were reported in North Carolina on Monday.

The state hasn't seen a daily number that low since August 17, 2020 with 431. Monday's number is a 15.5% decrease from last Monday.

The percent of positive tests is at 3.7%. That marks the sixth day in a row under 4%.

680 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in North Carolina. That's the fifth day in a row of a decrease and the lowest since June 4, 2020.

29 more deaths have reported since Friday. A total of 12,987 have died in the state as a result of COVID-19.

52.5% of the adult population in North Carolina has received their first dose.

1 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper announced $51.4 million in new funding that will help students access and complete postsecondary education as the state recovers from the pandemic.

The state will invest:

  • $44 million of the funds to help students access college and earn degrees starting this fall
  • $5 million to support mental health initiatives across state postsecondary institutions
  • $2.4 million into equity-focused initiatives for K-12 and postsecondary students and families

The funding is North Carolina's share of the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund, which are federal dollars that aim to help school districts, postsecondary institutions, or other education-related entities address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

11 a.m.

As Americans begin to travel at the highest rate since the pandemic started, United Airlines is encouraging people to get vaccinated by giving away a chance to win free flights for anyone who uploads a photo of their vaccine card.

The "Your Shot to Fly" sweepstakes gives entrants a chance to win a roundtrip flight for two, in any class of service, to anywhere in the world United flies. United will give away 30 pairs of tickets throughout the month of June. On July 1, United will pick five people for the grand prize: Travel for a year for themselves and a companion, in any class of service, anywhere in the world United flies. The sweepstakes runs May 24 to June 22.

10 a.m.

Cape Fear Valley Health is loosening visitation restrictions. Now, the majority of Cape Fear Valley Medical Center inpatients, Cape Fear Valley Rehabilitation Center patients, Bladen County Hospital and Hoke Hospital patients may have an unlimited number of visitors between noon and 8 p.m.

Visitors must be at least 12 years old, and no more than two visitors at a time are allowed in a patient's room.

9:25 a.m.

On Tuesday, the Wake County Eastern Regional Center in Zebulon joins three other locations across Wake County with vaccine appointments or walk-ins available.

The Eastern Regional Center, located at 1002 Dogwood Drive. It will offer Pfizer shots. For its first day of vaccination, hours will be 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for a soft opening.

9 a.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is offering $25 Summer Cash Cards at select vaccine sites.

From May 26 through June 8, select vaccine sites will offer Summer Cash Cards in Mecklenburg, Guilford, Rowan and Rockingham counties.

Anyone 18 and older who gets their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination - or drives someone to their vaccination - will receive a $25 cash card after vaccination at a participating location while supplies last, NCDHHS said in a news release.

The $25 Summer Cash card pilot is part of the state's campaign to get more people vaccinated. State Employees' Credit Union is providing the cash cards and waiving the card production fees.

More than 50% of North Carolina adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the state health department.

Monday morning storylines

COVID vaccinations

U.S. health officials say that most fully vaccinated Americans can skip testing for COVID-19, even if they were exposed to someone infected. That new guidance was announced last week but was all but eclipsed by the new, more relaxed guidelines on masks. Experts say the waning importance of testing reflects a new phase of the pandemic. People who are fully vaccinated face little risk of developing serious illness or passing the infection onto others. Experts now say that aggressively testing vaccinated people can lead to unnecessary worry and disruption at work and school.

Free rides to vaccine sites

The ride hailing companies Uber and Lyft have started providing free transportation to and from COVID-19 vaccination sites in the United States.

Uber said Monday that it will provide four rides valued at up to $25 each through July 4 while Lyft has said that it is offering two rides of up to $15 each.

The federal government said earlier this month that it would partner with the ride-hailing companies to encourage more Americans to get vaccinated as the pace of the shots nationally started to decline.

President Joe Biden has set a goal of delivering at least one dose of vaccine to 70% of adult Americans by Independence Day and fully vaccinating at least 160 million by then.

The latest in India

India crossed another grim milestone Monday with more than 300,000 people lost to the coronavirus, while a devastating surge of infections appeared to be easing in big cities but was swamping the poorer countryside.

The milestone, as recorded by India's Health Ministry, comes as slowed vaccine deliveries have marred the country's fight against the pandemic, forcing many to miss their shots, and a rare but fatal fungal infection affecting COVID-19 patients has worried doctors.

India's death toll is the third-highest reported in the world after the U.S. and Brazil, accounting for 8.6% of the nearly 34.7 million coronavirus fatalities globally, though the true numbers are thought to be significantly greater.


A pre-pandemic era work search guideline is being reinstated in an effort to transition North Carolina's unemployed back into the workforce.

In Gov. Roy Cooper's latest Executive Order 216 issued Friday, all existing claimants of unemployment benefits will be required to fulfill work-search requirements beginning June 6. All existing claimants will be required to register with a jobseeker account on during the next several weeks.

The order also directs the state's Department of Commerce to explore opportunities in line with federal law and using certain federal funds to establish a reemployment incentive program for those without jobs who can find and maintain employment.

Under the order:

  • Claimants must make contact with at least three different employers each week and keep a record of their work search, as is required by state law. One of the three weekly job contacts can be satisfied by attending an approved reemployment activity offered by a NCWorks Career Center or a partnering agency.
  • To continue receiving benefits, all unemployment claimants will be required to register with a jobseeker account on, North Carolina's online portal for employment and training services. Jobseekers can use to search and apply for jobs, access labor market information and find opportunities for workforce training. Over the next several weeks, existing claimants will receive notifications about registering for NCWorks.