Craven County’s total lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases passed the 6,500 mark on Wednesday, with three new deaths also reported.

Craven County’s death toll from COVID-19 is now 92.

Craven County has 6,517 lab-confirmed cases, with 984 new cases emerging in the past two weeks.

Click for more New Bern Post COVID-19 coverage.

The county, like the rest of the nation, continues to experience a surge in new cases following the Christmas Break, when increased traveling and decreased social distancing led to higher exposure rates.

Although vaccinations have started in the fight against the virus, bottlenecks have hampered rollout of the vaccines, and as of the moment, the Craven County Health Department is out of stock.

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen visited a large-scale vaccine site at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Friday Conference Center to witness health care workers and North Carolinians over age 65 receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The number one priority right now is getting this vaccine administered to North Carolinians as quickly and as equitably as possible,” Governor Cooper said. “I’m grateful for the health care providers working tirelessly to get these shots into more people’s arms and helping us get to the other side of this pandemic.”

In accordance with federal recommendations, the state has given local entities the flexibility to begin vaccinating North Carolinians over the age of 65 and all health care workers who have in-person contact with patients.

In the last week, North Carolina has significantly increased the pace of vaccinations. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is supporting health systems, local health departments and community health centers across the state to host large community vaccine events for people currently eligible to be vaccinated. More than 45,000 vaccines are expected to be given through these events. A list of local vaccine providers is available on YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov.

With vaccines still in short supply, the state is implementing a phased distribution of the vaccine. But Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen are encouraging all North Carolinians to be informed about the benefits and safety of the COVID vaccine now so they can be ready when it’s their turn to roll up their sleeves.

Learn more about who is currently eligible to get vaccinated and where you can set up an appointment in your community at the NCDHHS Find Your Spot to Take Your Shot site

Meanwhile, the North Carolina Executive Mansion was illuminated on Jan. 19, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. in remembrance of the lives lost as in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the midst of the battle against this pandemic, we continue to mourn the hundreds of thousands of Americans we have lost and send our prayers to the grieving families and friends they leave behind,” said Gov. Roy Cooper said.

The call for memorial on January 19th was begun by the Presidential Inaugural Committee in an effort to find unity in a nationwide tribute honoring the lives taken by the pandemic. 

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