Latest Updates

All North Carolinians should get the latest information on COVID-19 directly from reliable sources. The COVID-19 outbreak has been accompanied by a flood of misinformation from unreliable sources. Be thoughtful about what you read or hear about the virus and make sure you are separating rumor from fact before you act. COVID-19 information from across state government, including information about unemployment, can be found at Sign up for weekly email updates about North Carolina's COVID-19 response.

Latest Updates

Jan. 21

  • People who received their COVID-19 vaccine or booster in North Carolina from a pharmacy or grocery store participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program are now able to access their COVID-19 vaccine information in the NC COVID-19 Vaccine Portal.

    For security purposes, people will need to first activate their Vaccine Portal by calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Help Center at (888) 675-4567 to verify their identity. The help center is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

  • The COVID-19 mass testing site at the Greensboro Coliseum will be staffed by a new federally supplied testing services provider beginning tomorrow, Jan. 22, in response to a recent request from North Carolina state officials to the Federal government.

    The state submitted a request last month through FEMA to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for testing support through the Increased Community Access to Testing (ICATT) program. That request was granted, and the federally contracted vendor eTrueNorth begins providing testing services tomorrow, replacing Mako Medical, a vendor providing testing under a state contract. Mako Medical’s resources will shift to provide additional testing at other North Carolina locations.

  • The highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 is sending record numbers of people to North Carolina hospitals, straining hospital capacity. As hospitals continue to take steps to protect their ability to provide patient care in the face of nationwide COVID-19 related staffing shortages, NCDHHS and North Carolina Emergency Management are requesting federal support for the Charlotte region to help alleviate capacity constraints.

    The state is acting in partnership with Atrium Health, North Carolina’s largest health provider, with a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response for staffing support. Atrium Health reports it has employed numerous strategies to stretch its capacity, including redeploying staff from urgent care and outpatient centers; limiting non-urgent procedures; closing specialty centers; and using additional state-provided flexibilities, as outlined in a letter NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley sent to hospitals last week. Despite these actions, the health system is currently above 95% capacity.

  • Due to the Omicron variant, COVID-19 cases have been on a steep rise for the past three weeks, achieving a 7-day average of new cases of nearly 29,000 cases per day. This is more than four-times the 7-day average of cases during the prior wave, led by the Delta variant. Similarly, but not to the same degree, hospitalizations have exceeded peak levels more than all past waves, with over 4,700 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

    NCDHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley sent a letter to employers, thanking them for all they are doing to help their employees, customers and members of the community remain as healthy as possible and asking that they encourage vaccinations and boosters, as well as masking up, to help prevent viral spread in the workplace.

Jan. 20

  • The rate of COVID-19 infections is once again disproportionately impacting Black and Hispanic North Carolinians. Since Dec. 26, the rate of infections was twice as high among the Black population as compared to the white population and as much as 57% higher among the Hispanic population as compared to the non-Hispanic population, according to an analysis of positive cases reported to NCDHHS.

    Case rates in the Black community were lower than whites at the beginning of December but rose much more quickly with the Omicron variant. With greater rates of infection, disparities are now also showing up in hospitalizations. From Jan. 1 through Jan. 17, hospitalization rates were highest among Blacks, followed closely by American Indians, at nearly double the rate of whites.

    Vaccines, boosters and masks are the best tools that we have to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Two programs are connecting historically marginalized populations to vaccines: Healthier Together: Health Equity Action Network and NCDHHS’ Community Health Worker program.

  • NCDHHS has taken action to ensure NC Medicaid beneficiaries have access to free at-home tests for COVID-19. In alignment with the Biden administration’s requirement last week to provide free at-home tests for COVID-19, State Health Director and NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, M.D., signed an order on Jan. 14, 2022, enabling NC Medicaid beneficiaries to receive free at-home COVID-19 tests from their local pharmacies.

    Beneficiaries should select an at-home test at their preferred pharmacy and present their NC Medicaid ID card to the pharmacy for no out-of-pocket cost. The pharmacist will be able to bill Medicaid on the patient’s behalf.

Jan. 19

  • NCDHHS will host a live fireside chat and tele-town hall on Jan. 20 from 6 to 7 p.m. to discuss COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, testing and more. Key topics include: the recent surge in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations; steps to protect yourself and your household by masking, testing and more; new guidance on vaccines and boosters for kids ages 5 to 11, teens and adults; and when to isolate or quarantine, and how the two differ.

    The fireside chat will livestream from the NCDHHS social media accounts and will also include a tele-town hall feature. Households will be invited by phone to listen in and submit questions to help ensure everyone who is interested can participate. Watch a recording of the fireside chat and tele-town hall.

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