RALEIGH, N.C (WNCN) – For the last several weeks, North Carolina’s COVID-19 metrics have trended downward. This comes as the state completely relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.
Did that move come too soon?
Mark McClellan, a former FDA commissioner and head of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy said, “The answer so far seems to be no. We’re still seeing cases decline and what the loosening of the masks requirements did.”
He said the recommendation for vaccinated people to unmask may have given some people a reason to get the vaccine.
“It’s a reminder that when people see there are consequences to getting vaccinated – like being able to do what they want to do with more confidence, and being more confident they aren’t going to spread infections, like getting back to travel and spending time with others, that’s added a boost to our vaccination rates. That in turn is helping to keep the decline in cases continuing for now at least,” McClellan said.
McCellan said the state’s vaccination rate, people currently immune from previous infections and nice weather drawing people outside created a healthy combination to draw COVID-19 numbers down at this time.
“I don’t think there is all would have been the same earlier and we do still have some reasons for concern,” said McClellan.
That concern lies in the uncertainty of variants and in whether the country can keep the pace of vaccinations up.
Large concerns may stem from outside the country.
“We’ve done a lot of work at Duke with our colleagues on how to accelerate vaccine availability around the world. That’s where the risk of new variants and further complications down the road comes from,”McClellan said.
If infections start looking bad again in the states, he expects them to be more localized. He said the U.S. is better at containing and directly addressing outbreaks now than in the early days of the pandemic.
“That should be our expectation now, not that we’re ever going to have to get to a big kind of lockdown again,” McClellan said.
Free childcare during vaccinations
- Bright Horizons: Free child care for 10 million workers who’s employer offers Bright Horizons Back-Up Care or you have previously used Bright Horizons Back-Up Care. Click here for details.
- KinderCare: Free child care for parents and caregivers. Click here or call (866) 337-3105 to sign up.
- Learning Care Group: Free child care for parents and caregivers. Click here or call (833) 459-3557 to sign up.
- YMCA: Contact your local YMCA for details on
Extended pharmacy hours
The White House announced pharmacies across the country will have longer hours every Friday in June to allow more people to get their COVID-19 shot. The administration said it will make vaccinations easier for people with less flexible hours.