NC Department of Health & Human Services secretary gives update on pandemic as holiday season begins

Linda Rider

RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) — It’s tough to mention the COVID pandemic in North Carolina without the need of mentioning Dr. Mandy Cohen.

As cecretary of the North Carolina Office of Health and fitness and Human Expert services, she operates a section that has an yearly budget of $20 billion and 17,000 personnel.

On this page, see on-desire both of those the Newsmakers piece that aired in our 10 p.m. newscast on Nov. 15 as properly as the world wide web additional for the whole scope of my discussion with Dr. Cohen.

During the earlier 18 months, by way of her numerous print and broadcast interviews and her common appearances at Gov. Roy Cooper’s pandemic media briefings, Cohen has — in lots of strategies — become the public encounter of the pandemic in the condition.

“I hate they’re associating me with such a challenging time,” Cohen explained to me throughout our 1st deal with-to-facial area conference recently. (I interviewed her by using Zoom in November 2020.) “But top us through this hard pandemic, I desired to give people superior information and to speak a large amount since things are changing so normally. And so I acknowledge that I was in residing rooms. What an honor.” 

Now as the pandemic appears to be entering a new section after the delta variant upsurge and as we head into the holiday break period, right here are her requires on some of the key COVID subjects:


“When I believe back again to just a calendar year back and where we were being past November of 2020 traits have been going up, we did not yet have vaccines. We did not have greatly out there treatment method. So we are in so much of a better spot proper now, but are we accomplished with this? No, I do not. Sad to say, this virus is not performed with us but.”


“I do imagine we’re relocating into hopefully a new period. Items are heading in the suitable way. Our youngsters can get vaccinated. We have extra treatments, but — enable me just — a phrase of caution is we are going into the holidays. We are heading into wintertime. So I do assume individuals want to be careful as they are hunting at it.”

ON ENDING MASK MANDATES IN Educational facilities:

“So what I would say is it’s a great milestone we have arrived at that our 5- to 11-12 months-olds can get vaccinated. Wonderful. So now we need to have a tiny little bit of time although, proper? Try to remember, it’s a two-dose program and so our young children are just getting their initial dose and then it is a couple of months right after that that you are technically absolutely vaccinated. So we want to give people some time. Get vaccinated. Get your children guarded. Which is the most vital thing appropriate now. Then we must absolutely appear again and readdress what do we want to do with other levels of security. But I assume it’s far too early to know very nevertheless.”


“I have two daughters who are 7 and 9. I experienced the option to look at the scientific details myself and make positive to know that this vaccine is not just risk-free, but it is also productive. And I assume the other factor mothers and fathers will need to know is that little ones are vulnerable to COVID. We observed a whole lot of hospitalizations this summer in our kids from COVID and even some died. And so when you have a risk-free tool to help secure your kids, that is what I want them to listen to from he is take edge of this secure instrument now.”

ON Planning TO Visit Family members AS WE HEAD INTO THANKSGIVING:

“What I would say is certainly be vaccinated, appropriate? I hope that you are vaccinated, but also your family members users are vaccinated. So you could protect on your own and every other. I will say there is an further layer of defense you can just take which is also undertaking one of the property quick assessments or even a PCR exam forward of that spouse and children accumulating. Would use it as a belt and suspenders, get vaccinated and also get examined before you see your family customers.”

ON THE Applications WE HAVE Obtainable TO Prevent AND Handle COVID:

“So if you do have COVID signs and symptoms, get a check suitable away and make positive you are conversing to your medical professional about readily available solutions and then use other protections and levels of protection — masks, social distancing, washing your fingers. But matters are going in the proper direction so we can get back again to the individuals and sites we enjoy. We’re going in the proper course, but we’ve acquired to do and use some of these instruments that we know operate.”

For more information, head to the North Carolina Office of Health and Human Products and services COVID Dashboard

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