COVID vaccine live updates: Here’s what to know in North Carolina on May 17

·3 min read

We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in North Carolina. Check back for updates.

Cases surpass 989,000

At least 989,338 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 12,862 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,501 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, up from 1,394 reported the day before.

Nine additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported Friday. Deaths don’t all occur on the day the state reports them. The state health department revises its daily figures as information becomes available.

At least 926 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Friday, a slight increase from 925 the day before.

As of Wednesday, the latest day for which data is available, 3.8% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Health officials say 5% or lower is the target rate to slow the spread of the virus.

Roughly 51% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine and 45.9% are fully vaccinated as of Thursday.

The state health department does not update its COVID-19 dashboard on Saturdays or Sundays.

Some aren’t ready to go maskless after Cooper lifts mandate

Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday lifted North Carolina’s mask mandate in many settings.

The change came after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated people could resume activities without wearing a mask or social distancing. In North Carolina, masks will still be required on public transportation, in child care centers, schools, camps, prisons and certain health care settings.

The state health department still recommends that people who have not been vaccinated continue to wear masks, and many businesses still require them.

But some people in the state are continuing to wear masks despite the change.

“I’m going to keep my mask on,” Pat Parker, an attendee at the The Raleigh Market on Saturday, told The News & Observer. “I’m middle age, and I want to make sure I keep healthy.”

Some people at the market were wearing masks even outside while others were walking around without them.

Virginia Hopkins told The N&O she had been vaccinated against COVID-19 and wasn’t wearing a mask at her outdoor booth. But she said she’d continue wearing a mask indoors so people feel more comfortable.

“It’s protecting the people you’re around,” she said of wearing a face covering.

Indian community in NC suffers losses as COVID surges

India has reported more than 24 million COVID-19 cases and more than 260,000 deaths.

It’s second in the world in cases, behind the United States, and third in the world for coronavirus-related deaths, behind the United States and Brazil. About 40 million people out of the country’s more than 1.4 billion had been fully vaccinated as of May 13, according to Harvard University’s tracker.

And a variant of the virus that that spreads more easily and may resist vaccines has also emerged in India.

In the Triangle, people in the Indian community say they they don’t know anyone with family in India who has not been affected, The N&O reports.

Much of Anuja Purohit’s lives in India, but when her aunt’s family tested positive for COVID-19 in New Delhi, their children were living abroad and unable to care for them.

“My aunt had to face the situation alone in sickness,” she said during a candlelight vigil in Cary held by the Carolina Peace Center, the Desai Foundation and Manisha Daas for people in India who have died, according to The N&O.

Nitant Satghare said many of his relatives in India have tested positive for the virus and one died.

“I wish I was back home to hug them, pitch in my part, get them groceries, talk to doctors, get them medicine,” he said, according to The N&O.