Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported Tuesday that North Carolina has reached a sobering milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic — more than 10,000 North Carolinians have died from the virus. The state also surpassed 800,000 total cases on Tuesday.
Some 184 people who tested positive for COVID-19 in Iredell County have died. There have been a total of 15,286 cases in Iredell, including 70 new cases reported Tuesday.
Forty people who have tested positive in Iredell County are currently hospitalized.
“Together we grieve with the family and friends of the North Carolinians who have lost their lives to this terrible pandemic,” said NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy K. Cohen. “Each one of these numbers represents a daughter or son, a parent or grandparent, a neighbor or friend — people who are deeply loved and who were part of the fabric of our community”
Both CDC and NCDHHS guidelines say everyone should keep wearing a mask, waiting at least six feet apart and washing hands often to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We are still seeing very high levels of spread across North Carolina,” Cohen said. “Our most powerful tools to help protect ourselves and our loved ones are to practice the 3Ws and get vaccinated when it’s your turn.”
North Carolina’s goal is to vaccinate as many people as quickly and equitably as possible. As of Tuesday, North Carolina has administered more than 1.4 million doses of the vaccine. Over 100% of first doses received by the federal government for N.C. providers have been administered, as well as 50% of second doses.
Vaccine supply is limited; therefore, states must vaccinate people in groups. North Carolina is currently vaccinating people in Groups 1 and 2, which include health care workers, long-term care staff and residents, and people 65 and older. Group 3 will include frontline essential workers; Group 4 will include adults at high risk for exposure and increased risk of severe illness; and Group 5 will include everyone.
Recently, NCDHHS launched a new online tool to help North Carolinians know when they are eligible to get their vaccine. Find My Vaccine Group walks users through a series of questions to determine which vaccine group they are in. People can then sign up to be notified when their group can get vaccinated.