NC coronavirus update Dec 15: Gov. Roy Cooper speaks hours after sending COVID-19 vaccine to North Carolina hospitals

RALEIGH, NC – Here are the latest updates on COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus in North Carolina.

Do you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine? Send them to us here


More local hospitals expect to receive their COVID-19 vaccine shipments on Tuesday. Hospitals in the Triangle will receive more than 85,000 doses this week. WakeMed is expected to receive its first shipment in the coming days. The Cape Fear Valley Medical Center could receive its first round of vaccinations on Tuesday.

“We need a critical mass of people to be immune to this virus to really change this,” said Dr. David Wohl from UNC Health. “Hopefully this vaccine will do that.” Wohl will be one of the first to have access to the vaccine.

Gov. Roy Cooper will provide an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 at 2 p.m. The briefing will be broadcast live on ABC11 and These are Cooper’s first comments since the vaccine was shipped. Cooper called the arrival of the vaccine on Monday “a remarkable achievement for science and health.”

Meanwhile, the Wake County Public School System is expected to vote on Tuesday to suspend in-person classes. The school board met on Monday to discuss increased cases among students and staff.

The proposed plan would return students to distance learning from January 4 to 15.


4:52 PM
Sampson County is reporting 81 new cases as of Friday.

A total of 12,257 tests have been conducted since the start of the pandemic, and Sampson County has had 4,362 positive cases.

Across the country, a total of 54 people have died from COVID-19 problems.

4:35 PM
Durham VA Health Care System has announced it has been selected as one of 37 VA sites to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

DVAHCS was selected for its ability to vaccinate large numbers of people and to store the vaccines at extremely low temperatures.

“We are very pleased to offer a vaccine that has the potential to control COVID-19 when used in addition to public health measures such as masking, physical distance and regular hand washing,” said Paul Crews, Durham VA Health Care System Executive Director.

Veterans seeking additional information can visit the VA Coronavirus FAQs webpage or contact their primary care team.

4:10 PM
Lee County said it has 159 new cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday, out of a total of 2,922 cases.

In Lee County, 2,542 people have recovered. Since the start of the pandemic, 36 people in the county have died from COVID-19, including a new death reported Monday of a patient admitted to Central Carolina Hospital in Sanford.

“We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends who lost their loved one to COVID-19 and ask the community to keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” said Heath Cain, director of the health department. “We know the holidays are typically a time of gathering, but with new cases of COVID-19 increasing in the state, we want to emphasize the importance of following CDC guidelines during this critical time. Follow the 3 W’s – wear a mask, keep a close eye on your distance, wash your hands and, if possible, avoid indoor gatherings with people outside of your immediate household. These actions will help to protect your family, friends and neighbors. “

16.00 hours
All locations of the Cape Fear Valley Health System, including hospitals and outpatient clinics, will be completely closed to visitors until further notice with the following exceptions: working mothers may have one support person / coach, pediatric patients, patients requiring a care decision-maker or communication support and need patients at the end of their lives.

3:47 PM
The United States crossed the threshold of 300,000 deaths On the same day, it launched the largest vaccination campaign in US history, with health workers rolling up their sleeves Monday for COVID-19 shots.

The US is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 confirmed virus deaths worldwide, far more than any other country, despite its wealth and medical resources.

3:34 PM
The Orange County Health Department hosts several free COVID-19 testing events during the week. Search for a location and get the latest information here.

3:10 PM
Moore County health officials report five deaths related to COVID-19. Three dead were residents of St. Joseph of the Pines.

The Moore County Health Department has been notified of five Moore County residents whose deaths were determined to be linked to the COVID-19 infection. Three of the individuals were residents of St. Joseph of the Pines

12:40 pm
Atrium Health in Charlotte has begun to vaccinate frontline workers against COVID-19.

The hospital group said that Dr. Katie Passaretti was the first person in North Carolina to receive the Pfizer vaccine since the FDA approved it Friday.

“I couldn’t be more excited. I feel fine; I haven’t had any problems with the vaccine,” said Passaretti.

12:57 pm
The Halifax County Health Department is reporting 87 new cases and one additional death.

In total, there are 2,350 positive COVID 19 cases and 41 deaths in the province.

11:55 am
After the initial drop in weeks, COVID-19 hospital admissions are ticking back to near record highs with 2,553 people currently battling the virus under the care of hospital staff.

292 patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases were included in the past 24 hours. 257 suspected COVID-19 patients were included in the same time frame.

The latest figures from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services show that an additional 32 people have died from the virus, raising the death toll since the start of the pandemic to 5,855.

The percentage of tests that returned positive remained at 11.6% and 4,770 new cases were reported. That’s a decrease from previous days, but that lowercase number is typically on Monday; the positive rate is what government officials will be concerned about as their goal has always been to keep that number below 5%.

The lead time for testing is 3.3 days and is steadily increasing.

You can view the numbers for yourself on the NCDHHS website.

11:15 am

Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Mandy Cohen, released a video message on Twitter supporting the state’s efforts to get as many people as possible vaccinated against COVID-19.

“There is good news in the fight against COVID,” said Dr. Cohen in the video. “Tested, safe and effective vaccines will be available to everyone, starting with those most vulnerable to the virus. Rest assured, you have a place and you will be able to do your best against COVID.”

A website was launched with more information about the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.

9:55 am
Gov. Roy Cooper confirms that the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have landed in North Carolina, calling it “a remarkable achievement for science and health.”

9:15 am
UNC Health does not expect to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine until Tuesday.

Thousands of doses of the newly approved vaccine were shipped across the country on Monday.

However, UNC Health tells ABC11 that the main campus does not expect a dose until Tuesday. Other campuses in the system expect to receive shipments later in the week.

UNC health statement:
UNC Health officials were informed by NC DHHS late Sunday that UNC Medical Center is expected to receive vaccines on Tuesday. Other hospitals in our system, including UNC REX, are expected to receive vaccines later in the week. We continue to work on the preparations so that we can start vaccinating our front-line personnel as soon as the vaccines arrive. “


The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines is expected on Monday in a hopeful update in the fight against the virus. Many doses of the vaccine will be shipped from a Pfizer facility in Michigan.

In the first round of shipping, 145 locations in 50 states will receive thousands of doses of the vaccine. Hospitals will receive 85,000 doses across North Carolina. UNC REX and Duke Hospitals each expect to receive 2,925 doses in their first shipments, with WakeMed expecting 3,900 doses between the Raleigh and Cary campuses.

Health workers on the front line could start taking their photos today. Families and the general public will not be vaccinated until early 2021.

The Wake County public school system will meet at 3 p.m. Monday to consider returning to virtual learning only.

The state reported more than 6,800 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the pandemic’s second-highest total.

Free drive-thru COVID-19 test sites are opening this week at Green Road Park, Barwell Road Park and Lions Park in Raleigh.


1:50 PM
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, has accepted an advisory committee’s recommendation that the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine should be given to people 16 and older, which means that shots of the vaccine can now be administered in the UK. States.

11:50 am
North Carolina health officials report an additional 6,819 COVID-19 cases, bringing the current total to 436,595. This is the second-highest one-day rise since 7,540 on Friday.

Statewide, 27 more people have died of the virus, bringing the total to 5,823.

With 95 percent of hospitals reporting, 2,520 people remain hospitalized for COVID-19. That’s a drop of 57 in the first drop the state has seen since late November. However, the number of hospital admissions remains one of the highest during the pandemic.

The daily rate of positive tests is currently 11.6%, slightly lower than the 11.7% on Saturday.

Nearly 6 million tests have been completed statewide as of March.
9:20 am
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 16 million COVID-19 cases in the United States since March.

7:30 am
Millions of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are loaded into containers at the drug manufacturer Pfizer’s loading facility in Michigan.

FIRST LOOK: COVID-19 vaccine doses leave the Pfizer facility in Michigan

Copyright © 2020 ABC11-WTVD-TV / DT. All rights reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.