RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — For the first time, North Carolina’s county alert system shows no counties in the red zone when it comes to the spread of COVID-19.
In an update Thursday, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services noted there was an increase of four counties in the orange zone, going up from 17 two weeks ago to 21 in the latest update.
Orange signifies “substantial” community spread as opposed to red which signifies “critical” spread.
To view the map, click here.
State health officials also added two new classifications, including light yellow and green representing moderate community spread and low community spread, respectively.
Alleghany County, where the 14-day percent positive rate is 1.4 percent, is the only county to have the green designation.
The updated map comes as the state sees an increasing supply of vaccines and has been administering hundreds of thousands of shots each week.
This week, the federal government allocated North Carolina 547,000 doses of the various vaccines. Two weeks ago, the allocation was about 449,000. It’s expected to climb in the weeks ahead, as the state opens up vaccinations to all adults starting April 7.
One of Wake County’s vaccination strike teams administered about 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine at Bible Way Temple in Southeast Raleigh Friday.
Bishop Darnell Dixon said he wanted to bring the vaccine to the church as a way to help build confidence in the community, saying it’s a place people trust.
“I felt like it was very important to have this event at the church to reach the community but mostly Black and brown people who have been underserved,” he said.
Wake County officials noted the southeast area of the city has seen a higher COVID-19 positivity rate compared to the county as a whole.
Dixon said his church also has served as a testing site. He recalled entire families coming to get tested and later learning they’d all contracted COVID-19.
He’s trying to encourage the community to get vaccinated and received the first dose himself on Friday.
“The reason that I made up my mind to take the vaccine above the skepticism that I had is because of the collateral effect. I lead people. I work with people,” he said. “We have to really consider, first of all, the science and consider the lives of others we may expose.”
There will be another event that is appointment-only on Saturday at the Herbert Young Community Center in Cary being organized in conjunction with Sri Venkateswara Temple. Wake County Public Health plans to administer 500 doses at that event.
As of Friday, state health officials report 36.5 percent of the adult population is at least partially vaccinated. Additionally, 23.5 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated.
The progress comes as health officials warn of another potential surge of COVID-19 cases. Earlier this week, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters she’s “scared” and described a feeling of “impending doom.”
Rep. Deborah Ross (D-NC 2nd) toured a vaccination site in Raleigh Friday, urging people to get on the waitlist but is encouraged by the progress so far.
“The most important thing is that we keep it up, though. We’re really afraid about a spike after the Easter weekend. So, we have got to get more and more people vaccinated,” she said.