Live coronavirus updates in North Carolina: COVID-19 Blog

NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said larger vaccine events will start happening next week.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Get the latest COVID-19 updates from Gov. Roy Cooper and the state task force, health departments, universities, school districts, and more in this story. We’ll put North Carolina’s COVID-19 numbers in context for you, and explain what it could mean for the reopening process. 


1:00 p.m. — COVID update with NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen and NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry

NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said, “This is the most worried I’ve been for our state.” The state hit a second day in a row with more than 10,000 newly-reported COVID cases. 

“We’re working hard to get vaccines out to people as soon as possible,” Cohen said.

NC Director of Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry said the National Guard will head to Forsyth County early next week to help the health department start getting vaccines distributed faster.  

Health officials said the state is moving forward with starting large vaccine events next week. However, Cohen cautioned that vaccine supplies are very limited. 

“It will take many months to vaccinate everyone who wants it,” Cohen said. 

More than 180,000 vaccine doses have gone into arms statewide so far. 20,000 shots went into arms in the last 24 hours. 


  • Newly-confirmed cases: 10,028
  • Percent positive: 13.9{50531db320f8e8a316d79d6a285e47c71b6e4f6739df32858cb86474d7e720e9}
  • Total cases (including presumed recoveries): 602,774
  • Total deaths: 7,328
  • Current hospitalizations: 3,960
  • Testing turnaround: 2.6 days

12:30 p.m. — Guilford County says it has been inundated with phone calls for the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 11,000 calls have come in on Friday. The phone line crashed earlier this morning before they even started taking appointments. Phones are up and running again, but be patient while you wait to make an appointment.

11:30 a.m. — Guilford County says phone lines are up and running again for people to making COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The demand is high, so you may need to wait until another shipment of doses comes next week. 

8:30 a.m. — Guilford County Health Department is experiencing phone line issues Friday morning, just as the department was preparing to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments for adults over 75. 

Guilford County Government shared this statement:

“We are currently experiencing issues with our phone carrier. Technicians are working to clear the issues now and we should have the lines reopened very soon. We appreciate your patience.”

Other Triad health departments have experienced similar issues this week, as their phone lines have been inundated with calls about COVID-19 vaccine appointments.


11 a.m. — North Carolina hit yet another record day of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Newly confirmed coronavirus cases in North Carolina topped 10,000 for the first time Thursday, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Statewide hospitalizations reached yet another consecutive record high.

Cone Health has a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU patients. It expects to be consistently over capacity by Jan. 20.

  • Newly-confirmed cases: 10,398
  • Percent positive: 13.5{50531db320f8e8a316d79d6a285e47c71b6e4f6739df32858cb86474d7e720e9}
  • Total cases (including presumed recoveries): 592,746
  • Current hospitalizations: 3,960
  • Total deaths: 7,213
  • Testing turnaround: 2.7 days

Alamance: 11,275 cases, 124 deaths

Davidson: 9,749 cases, 87 deaths

Davie: 2,341 cases, 14 deaths

Forsyth: 22,248 cases, 233 deaths

Guilford: 26,969 cases, 326

Rockingham: 4,849 cases, 30 deaths

Surry: 4,955 cases, 86 deaths

Wilkes: 6,034 cases, 77 deaths

Yadkin: 2,658 cases, 28 deaths

10 a.m. — Dr. Christopher Ohl Wake Forest Baptist Health COVID-19 press conference. Dr. Ohl gives updates on the state of the coronavirus in the Triad and provides new information on the COVID-19 vaccination.

Watch the full press conference:


2 p.m. — Gov. Roy Cooper and the state’s COVID-19 task force gave an update on coronavirus in North Carolina.

  • Cooper extended the modified stay-at-home order for three more weeks. North Carolina will remain under curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. 
  • Cooper said, “all options remain on the table” when it comes to enacting more restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID. 
  • 96 North Carolina counties are either orange or red, meaning there is significant or critical spread. Cooper said, “we’re at a critical point” in the fight against COVID. 
  • Cooper said North Carolina needs to double-down on wearing masks to help prevent the spread of the virus, especially because of the new, stronger strain of the virus that has been detected in other states. That new strain of COVID has not been detected in North Carolina. 
  • North Carolina is seeing its highest COVID numbers since the start of the pandemic. 
  • NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen went over our four COVID metrics — COVID-like syndromic cases (the number of people going to the hospital with COVID-like symptoms), the trajectory of new cases, percent positive, and hospitalizations. All four metrics are rising. 
  • Cohen issued a secretarial directive for North Carolinians to not leave their homes for non-essential activities. She advised that people over 65 should opt to have their groceries and prescriptions delivered, and you should not gather indoors where people aren’t wearing masks. 
  • County health departments and hospitals are starting to give COVID vaccines to adults over 75. Supply is limited, so doctors’ offices don’t currently have them. 
  • The state will modify where vaccines go, based on how many vaccines have been given in each county. 
  • 50 National Guard members are assisting with distributing COVID vaccines statewide. Some will be administering vaccinations.
  • Cohen addressed concerns about some long-term residents refusing the vaccine. The vaccine is 95{50531db320f8e8a316d79d6a285e47c71b6e4f6739df32858cb86474d7e720e9} effective and does not contain the COVID-19 virus.

12 p.m. — North Carolina hit another record day of COVID hospitalizations on Wednesday, surpassing Tuesday’s numbers by more than 100 patients. Nearly 3,900 people are in hospitals statewide fighting COVID-19. More than 800 of them are in the ICU. Cone Health is caring for 246 COVID patients at this time. The hospital predicts it will exceed its bed capacity before the end of the month. A morgue truck has been parked at the Moses Cone hospital campus as hospitalizations continue to rise. 

  • New cases: 6,952 
  • Total cases: 582,348 
  • Hospitalizations: 3,893 (new record)
  • Percent positive: 17.8{50531db320f8e8a316d79d6a285e47c71b6e4f6739df32858cb86474d7e720e9} 
  • Total deaths: 7,076 
  • Testing turnaround time: 2.8 days

11:30 a.m. — Alamance County remote recycling centers temporarily closed

Both remote recycling centers in Alamance County are closed due to staffing issues related to COVID-19, county officials announced Wednesday. The recycling centers at Pleasant Grove Recreation Center and Danieley Waterwheel Road, both in Burlington, will be closed until further notice. 

The Recycling Center at the Alamance County Landfill in Graham will remain open. The Graham location accepts corrugated cardboard, newspaper, plastic bottles, aluminum & steel cans, mixed paper, and glass bottles and jars at no charge.

10 a.m. — COVID-19 vaccinations for Phase 1B (adults over 75) are beginning Wednesday in Alamance County. The health department tweeted those wanting the vaccine, who are eligible for it under this phase, can go to CTEC, 2550 Buckingham Road in Burlington, at 1 p.m. People can start lining up at 12:30 p.m. and it is first-come, first-serve. 

See the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan here. 

RELATED: Where and when to get the COVID-19 vaccine under Phase 1B

RELATED: VERIFY: How soon can you get a COVID-19 vaccine after having COVID-19 or getting a monoclonal antibody treatment?

RELATED: ‘We’ve had days where we have hit capacity in our morgue’ | Morgue truck parked at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital


Remember facts, not fear when talking about the coronavirus. You should take the safety measures recommended by health leaders to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Abide by the three W’s. That means wearing a mask, washing your hands, and waiting at least six feet from another person. You also want to avoid touching your face and make sure to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw it away.


It is important to make sure the information you are getting about the coronavirus is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. Be careful not to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media.

For more information visit the CDC OR NCDHHS website.


The state also has a special hotline set up where you can call 866-462-3821 for more information on the coronavirus. You can also submit questions online at or select chat to talk with someone about the virus.

You can also text keyword VIRUS to WFMY News 2 at 336-379-5775 for the latest.

Stay connected to local, national, and breaking news: Download the WFMY News 2 app. 

Text the word APP to 336-379-5775