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COVID vaccine live updates: Here’s what to know in North Carolina on Oct. 26

·4 min read

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

More than 100 deaths added

At least 1,469,155 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 17,867 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday reported 1,183 new COVID-19 cases, down from 1,867 on Sunday and 2,695 on Saturday. The state doesn’t update case counts over the weekends.

There were 102 additional coronavirus-related deaths reported Monday. Health officials don’t specify the specific dates for the newly reported deaths.

At least 1,527 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday, including 434 adults who are patients in intensive care units, health officials said.

On Saturday, the latest date with available information, 5.6% 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.

State Fair sees low attendance

The North Carolina State Fair finished on Saturday with the lowest attendance record since 2008, according to preliminary totals.

About 821,463 people attended the fair — down 12% from 2019, which is the last time the fair was held because of the coronavirus pandemic. The last time attendance was that low was in 2008, when 765,067 visited the fair, The News & Observer reported.

North Carolina didn’t require guests to wear masks or show proof of vaccination at the fair. Still, N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said it “exceeded expectations.”

“It took a lot of hard work by a lot of people to put this on, but it was absolutely worth it,” Troxler said in a news release. “Seeing people enjoying themselves and experiencing a bit of normalcy was a great feeling.”

Some NC college workers required to get vaccines

Workers at some North Carolina universities are required to be fully vaccinated under President Joe Biden’s new rules.

N.C. State University and UNC-Chapel Hill employees “working on or in connection with a federal contract” or working in the same space as someone with a federal contract must get their COVID-19 vaccines by Dec. 8, The News & Observer reported.

East Carolina University on Monday also shared guidance for federal contractors, and UNC Greensboro said the mandate “will affect a very small number of our employees” with ties to federal contracts.

This vaccine mandate will be the first at UNC System schools, which have urged people to get vaccinated. In the Triangle, most workers at N.C. State and UNC-Chapel Hill have already gotten their shots, data show.

Airline workers at Concord airport must be vaccinated

Allegiant Airlines, the only commercial carrier at Concord-Padgett Regional Airport in North Carolina, is requiring all workers such as pilots and flight attendants to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The airline gave a deadline of Dec. 8 but didn’t share further details, The Charlotte Observer reported Monday.

A new federal mandate requires Allegiant Airlines and Transportation Security Administration employees to get fully vaccinated.

The city of Concord, outside of Charlotte, operates the facility and said it won’t require its airport workers to get their shots.

Cash incentives slowed drop in vaccination rates

Clinics that had cash incentives saw a lower drop in COVID-19 vaccination rates compared to other sites, North Carolina researchers said in a new study.

A team from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina Central University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill analyzed sites that were offering $25 to people who got vaccinated or drove someone to get their shot, The News & Observer reported. The clinics were in Guilford, Mecklenburg, Rowan and Rockingham counties.

The sites offering cash incentives saw only half the decline in vaccination rates that others in those four counties saw, according to results that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association. At the time the data was collected in June, the state had been seeing fewer people getting coronavirus vaccines.

“The study itself concludes that since the sites were not randomized, the causal effects between guaranteed cash incentives and vaccination are preliminary,” the N&O reported Monday.

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