Gov. Cooper urges people to get tested ahead of holiday gatherings

COVID-19 vaccine (Photo: U.S. Air National Guard / Jacqueline Marshall)

NORTH CAROLINA (WWAY) — During a news conference on Monday, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen provided an update on the state’s COVID-19 key metrics and trends.

“With holiday gatherings, COVID cases beginning to rise and a new highly contagious variant on the way, it’s important everyone takes steps to protect themselves and their families,” Cooper said. “With every vaccine dose, we get closer to turning the tide of sickness and death brought on by this pandemic.”

Secretary Cohen has issued a Secretarial Advisory urging people get vaccinated, tested, and wear a mask.

“This is a moment to act. We can keep people from becoming really sick and make sure there is hospital care for everyone who needs it. Early evidence shows that boosters provide a significant level of protection against Omicron,” Cohen said. “I urge everyone who has been vaccinated to get your booster soon as you are eligible. Getting a booster is particularly critical for people who are 65 and over or with underlying medical conditions.”

Incoming NC DHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley also shared updates on how the state is handling the logistics of an expected wave of Omicron COVID-19 cases.

“Testing before you gather can help slow the spread of Omicron,” Kinsley said. “And if you test positive, quickly seeking out treatment can help reduce the risk of severe disease.”

To date, North Carolina has administered over 14 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 69 percent of the adult population fully vaccinated. 73 percent of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, including 95 percent of North Carolinians 65 and over.

Information on testing locations, free tests and home tests is available at ncdhhs.gov/gettested.

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