RALEIGH, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced Friday that he signed an Executive Order to extend the COVID-19 State of Emergency until July 30.
“We are seeing tremendous improvement with fewer cases, hospitalizations, deaths and safety restrictions, but this is no time to hang up a “Mission Accomplished” banner in our fight against the pandemic,” said Gov. Cooper. “We are laser-focused on getting more shots in arms, boosting our economy and protecting unvaccinated people from the virus and this Executive Order is essential for those efforts.”
The governor’s office said that under the State of Emergency, North Carolina has easier access to federal funding, including FEMA Public Assistance reimbursements, and schools can follow uniform safety guidance.
It also allows NCDHHS to raise the number of people authorized to administer COVID-19 tests and vaccines. The department can also continue to expand access to healthcare and Medicaid services and food and nutrition programs until the end of the Executive Order.
Thursday, Gov. Cooper announced a cash drawing for people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 in the state.
There will be four drawings for $1 million, and each drawing will happen every two weeks for eight weeks. There are also four drawings for $125,000 scholarships.
“We are making progress, but still need more people vaccinated to keep this virus from rising up again. That’s why North Carolina is using federal Coronavirus relief funds for this program. After seeing the benefit in other states we believe this program will help get more North Carolinians vaccinated, making our state a safer place for everybody,” Governor Cooper said.
At the state’s current pace, North Carolina may not reach President Joe Biden’s goal of having 70 percent of adults in the U.S. with shots in their arms by the Fourth of July until Thanksgiving.
According to a study by the New York Times, it could take another five months for North Carolina to reach the 70 percent threshold – making it one of the last states to get there.
54% of adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of June 8, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service. 50% are fully vaccinated.