By Connie Leinbach
As COVID-19 cases continue to wane, the Ocracoke Health Center urges all island residents who want a vaccine to register to get one.
“We received our allotment this week, but we don’t have enough people who have signed up,” said Mandy Cochran, RN, who coordinates the COVID-19 vaccines.
She said that all people 18 and over should register, although they are still prioritizing by groups. That means that if an 18-year-old and a 65-year-old register, the 65-year-old will go first.
Cochran vaccinates in groups of 10 and does not want to waste the vaccines, which last refrigerated for 30 days. The health center has not wasted any vaccines, she said.
There are three ways to preregister.
PAPER FORM: You can get a copy at the Ocracoke Health Center or click on the above link.
PHONE: Call the designated phone number for COVID vaccines at 252-489-3622. Leave a message with your name, DOB, and phone number. Someone will call you back. Multiple messages will delay callback times.
To date, Ocracoke Health Center has vaccinated 500 islanders out of a population of about 1,100, she said.
Although people from the western part of the state and beyond have registered with the health center, they have to understand that if they want the shot, they have to come to Ocracoke.
“We’re not coming to them,” she said.
Off islanders who have property here can register with the health center. The Ocracoke Health Center has a special number, 252-489-3622, for COVID testing or prescription refill requests only.
As of March 22, Hyde County Health Department reports a total of 643 cases. There is one active case in the county and 634 recovered and eight deaths.
In the meantime, North Carolina’s COVID-19 trends continue to show improvement, according to Gov. Roy Cooper in a press briefing on Tuesday.
The statewide mask mandate is still in effect.
Vaccine distribution increases with 31.7% of North Carolinians over 18 having received at least one dose of vaccine,
Because of these favorable trends, Cooper eased more restrictions in a new executive order No. 204, which states:
All businesses must continue to maintain the 6 feet of distance requirement between patrons and implement other safety protocols as they expand their capacity.
Executive Order No. 204 will also increase mass gathering limits. The number of people who may gather indoors will increase to 50 and the number of people who may gather outdoors will increase to 100.
This order also fully lifts the restriction on the late-night sale and service of alcoholic beverages on bars, restaurants, and other establishments.
Indoors and outdoors up to 100% capacity, subject to masks and 6 ft. social distancing:
Museums and Aquariums
Salons, personal care and grooming businesses, tattoo parlors
Indoors up to 75% and outdoors up to 100% capacity, subject to masks and 6 ft. social distancing:
Breweries, wineries and distilleries
Recreation (e.g., bowling, skating, rock climbing)
Fitness and physical activity facilities (e.g., gyms, yoga studios, fitness centers)
Indoors and outdoors up to 50% capacity, subject to masks and 6 ft. social distancing:
Movie theaters (may operate up to 75% outdoors)
Gaming facilities (may operate up to 75% outdoors)
Meeting, reception and conference spaces
Lounges (including tobacco) and night clubs
Auditoriums, Arenas, and other venues for live performances
Sports Arenas and Fields (includes professional, collegiate, and amateur activities and settings are lower risk when they involve interacting with fewer people, being outside, keeping masks on the entire time, keeping interactions with people short (under 15 minutes), staying physically distant, and avoiding singing, yelling, and cheering, according to public health officials.
State health officials are continuing to monitor the presence of COVID-19 and its more contagious variants in North Carolina, which is why it is important to continue to have a mask mandate and continue to practice safety precautions, including the Three Ws: Wear a mask, Wait 6 feet apart, and Wash hands often.