WNC COVID-19 Regional Community News- May 14, 2021

May 14, 2021




Friday, May 14, 2021


More than 50% of North Carolina adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but the number of new people getting vaccinated each day is slowing down even though it is easier to find a vaccine. This pace may increase with the FDA’s & CDC's authorization this week to use the Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds.

Last week, Governor Cooper announced that all COVID restrictions could be lifted once at least two-thirds (66%) of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine. If you are still considering getting a vaccine, you could help North Carolina move closer to that goal.


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Five Things


In this month’s news report you’ll find

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WNC Trends

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Top 3 Must Reads


Preparing for The Conversation

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Community Resources


Online Education

WNC COVID-19 Trends




For the past few weeks, the number of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been stable. North Carolina’s daily positivity rate has remained around 5 percent and is ranging from 3 to 6% across Western North Carolina. In response to these positive trends and vaccination progress, Governor Cooper relaxed outdoor mask mandates and mass gathering limits on April 30.

Masking: Under the Governor’s new new order, face coverings are still required in indoor public spaces but are no longer required outdoors. Masking is still recommended (but not required) in crowded outdoor spaces where social distancing is difficult.

The CDC just announced that fully vaccinated people can safely go most places—indoors or out— without a mask except for higher risk settings like doctor’s offices and hospitals, public transportation, and high-density settings homeless shelters or jails.

Gathering: Up to 50 people can now gather indoors and up to 200 can gather outdoors while practicing other safety precautions. If trends continue to improve, the state hopes to ease more restrictions as part of their Bringing Summer Back vaccination campaign.


May “Must Reads”




Choosing Safer Activities (CDC) updated guidance on what activities can be done safely without a mask once fully vaccinated and when mask wearing is still recommended. For a deeper dive, explore this recent article in MedPage Today, “You're Fully Vaccinated. Do This, Not That.”

Dear Pandemic. “Nerdy girl” scientists and docs answer common COVID-19 questions like “can pregnant women get the vaccine?” and “do I need a vaccine if I’ve had COVID-19” and “how can I support my mental health” and much more, some posts in Spanish. Follow them on FB and Instagram too.

Made to Save. A national grassroots effort to ensure communities hardest hit by the pandemic have access to the COVID-19 vaccines and accurate, timely information. Partners include the Black Coalition Against COVID-19, NAACP, National Hispanic Medical Association, and many others.


Have You Had “The Conversation?”




If you’ve already gotten your vaccine, there’s one more thing you can do to help protect your family, friends, and community: share your reasons for getting vaccinated and resources to learn more.

The decision to get vaccinated is a very personal one. Many of us may want to talk to a trusted family member, friend, faith advisor, or physician before we make up our minds. Others may be ready but may need help finding a vaccine location. If you’ve already been vaccinated, sharing your experience can help build confidence and remove unnecessary obstacles.

Not sure what to say? In addition to sharing your own reasons, here are some fact-based talking points:

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective
  • You may have side effects after vaccination, but these are normal
  • Available to every person 12 and older
  • Free of charge, whether you have health insurance or not
  • Available regardless of immigration status and will not affect your current or future immigration status

Still feeling tongue tied? These resources can help:


I’m Ready. Now What?




Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is now much more convenient. Odds are there is a vaccine provider close by, and some locations offer walk-in service (no appointment needed). And while the best vaccine is the one that goes in your arm, you may be able to choose your brand now that supplies and local providers have increased. You may even be able to get your vax at your healthcare provider’s office (be sure to ask!).

To find a provider near you, use a vaccine locator or visit one of the locations below:

WNC Vaccine Locations (walk-in**)

Vaccine Locators

Need a Ride?

  • Mountain Mobility (Buncombe County)
  • Public Transit, free transportation to vaccine sites
  • Ride United NC (United Way, NCDOT partnership) free rides to vaccine sites via Lyft for low-income residents; call 1-844-771-RIDE
  • Vamos Carolina, roundtrip transportation to vaccine sites across WNC; call 828-989-5248


COVID-19 Community Resources




COVID-19 Information

  • Dear Pandemic is a group of female scientists and physicians who answer common questions related to COVID-19 and the vaccines on a searchable website, FB and Instagram
  • Care For Your Coronavirus Anxiety (Shine) online self-care toolkit by women of color to support mental health in uncertain times
  • COVID-19 Central (MAHEC) testing, treatment, and vaccination services in Buncombe County
  • COVID-19 Library Guides (MAHEC) includes a variety of resources arranged by topic
  • Made to Save. Resources vetted by BIPOC organizations to ensure communities of color have access to the COVID-19 vaccines and accurate, timely information
  • NC COVID-19 Dashboard (North Carolina) includes current trends and information on COVID-19 testing, treatment, vaccines, and resources
  • Surviving and Thriving (Black Women’s Health Imperative) COVID-19 pandemic survival guide for Black women and their families
  • We Can Do This national COVID-19 public education campaign includes social media assets, toolkits, flyers, FAQs, tip sheets, talking points, videos and more 


Children & COVID-19




Pandemic Relief

  • Buncombe County Residents may be eligible for assistance with rent, utilities, food, medical coverage, child care and other needs; call (828) 250-5500 for more information
  • Lifeline National Verifier is a temporary federal program that can help lower the monthly cost of your phone and/or internet service


Vaccine Information


Online Education




Bystander/Anti-Harrassment Training | Hollaback
Multiple dates

Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) 2-Day Workshop | Vaya Health
Monday & Tuesday, May 24-25, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Wednesday & Thursday, June 2-3, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

COVID-19 and the Vaccine: African American Health Webinar Series | MAHEC

COVID-19 and Beyond Series for Youth (Black Coalition Against COVID)

Let’s Talk COVID-19: The Vaccine Part I and Part II | YWCA of Asheville & BCHHS







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