We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in North Carolina. Check back for updates.
More than 3,000 cases added
At least 1,460,801 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 17,696 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday reported 3,003 new COVID-19 cases, up from 2,610 on Wednesday.
Fifty-six additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported Thursday. Health officials don’t specify the specific dates for the newly reported deaths.
At least 1,763 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Thursday, including 498 adult patients who are being treated in intensive care units, health officials said.
On Tuesday, the latest date with available information, 5.1% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Health officials say 5% or lower is the target rate to slow the spread of the virus.
Roughly 71% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 66% have been fully vaccinated. State officials round vaccination numbers to the nearest whole number.
Cawthorn introduces bill to ban vaccine travel mandates
North Carolina Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn has introduced a bill called the ‘‘Let Me Travel America Act,’’ which would ban the government from instituting a vaccine mandate for people traveling in the U.S.
“Vaccine requirements for interstate travel are in direct opposition to the United States Constitution,” Cawthorn said in a release announcing the legislation. “The Biden Administration continues to flaunt their blatant disregard for the law in pursuit of their left-wing radical agenda.”
There are no vaccine mandates for travel currently in effect, The News & Observer reported, and the measure isn’t likely to pass in either the U.S. House or the Senate — where Democrats have the majority.
House votes on bill that would limit governor’s emergency powers
A bill that calls for limiting the North Carolina governor’s powers during emergencies passed the state House on Wednesday.
The proposal is similar to what other states have considered in response to orders issued during the pandemic.
The bill, which passed 65-45 mostly along party lines, “would limit the governor’s ability to declare long-running states of emergency without agreement from other members on the Council of State, who are the 10 statewide elected officials including the lieutenant governor, attorney general and labor commissioner,” The News & Observer reported Wednesday.
Now, the proposal goes to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who will likely veto it. A Cooper spokesperson said the governor must be able to quickly respond during emergency situations.