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North Carolina shifts to ‘individual responsibility' phase of COVID-19 response



RALEIGH, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Governor Roy Cooper said Thursday that North Carolina is entering the next phase of its COVID-19 response, with an emphasis on “individual responsibility” as cases decline.

“In the last two years, we wrote a history of hardship and resilience, challenges and victories, setbacks and successes,” Governor Cooper said. “We enter the next phase of individual responsibility, preparedness & prosperity. It’s time to chart a new course. The virus will still be with us, but won’t disrupt us.”

State health leaders said they will shift the focus of their pandemic response to four principles: empowering individuals, maintaining health system capacity, collaborating with local partners and prioritizing equity.

Governor Cooper commended the efforts North Carolina made throughout the pandemic.

“We made the right choice. We got our children back to school. We kept our economy going. We saved lives. Now, we turn the page on the pandemic knowing that we now have the tools for people and businesses to make the right choice for themselves,” he said.

Health leaders stressed the importance of being prepared for future surges.

NCDHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley said the state will also shift away from certain measured COVID-19 metrics, listing seven methods that will be the main focus.

  • Wastewater surveillance
  • COVID-like illness
  • Hospital Admissions
  • Case Trends
  • Booster rates
  • Prevalence of Variance
  • CDC Community Level Measure

Kinsley said that the North Carolina coronavirus dashboard will eventually be moving to weekly updates with the above seven metrics as cases decline.

“Today, we can look forward with the belief that the worst is behind us. As we look ahead, it’s important to take stock of how far we’ve come,” said Governor Cooper.

Last week, 70 Republican lawmakers signed a letter calling on Governor Cooper to end the COVID State of Emergency that was put in place on March 10, 2020.

Cooper said that part of the order helps to assure that there are enough people to give out COVID vaccines.

The State of Emergency also allows the state to ask for federal help and access state emergency and disaster relief funds.

Even as case numbers around the world decline, WHO scientists are tracking a hybrid variant of COVID-19 that has been dubbed “deltacron.”

Researchers said they believe the variant combines genes from both delta and omicron.

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