Gov. Cooper: Change your holiday plans if you haven’t already to help slow spread of COVID-19

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper urged North Carolinians on Tuesday to change their holiday plans to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Cooper’s comments come as North Carolina set a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations with 3,001.

“North Carolina needs to drive down our numbers. To do that, we need to change our holiday plans if you haven’t already. The best and safest option is to connect virtually or by phone,” he said.

But Cooper said if you gather in-person, keep it small and outside.

“Get a COVID-19 test before you go. Spread out the tables and chairs. Follow the modified Stay at Home Order and be home by 10 p.m. And as always, always wear a mask,” he said.

The governor said 92 of the state’s 100 counties are designated as red or orange in the County Alert System map.

“In the last week, we saw a daily case record of 8,444 with the percent of tests positive coming back at more than 10 percent. This virus continues to spread quickly. Don’t get numb to these numbers,” Cooper said.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine went to 53 hospitals across the state and the Moderna vaccine will go to 59 hospitals and 97 local health department sites.

“The federal government tells us how many doses to expect each week and the state decides where to send them. We expect about 60,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week and 176,000 of the Moderna vaccine,” Cooper said.

On Monday, Cooper, along with Dr. Mandy Cohen with the state health department, witnessed frontline healthcare workers receiving the vaccine at Duke Health.

“And Dr. Cohen and I were told yesterday at Duke Health that the most common side effect of the vaccine they are seeing is joy. Joy that is a good kind of contagious,” Cooper said.

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