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The original item was published from 3/4/2021 8:16:40 AM to 7/2/2021 12:00:01 AM.

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COVID-19 Media Releases

Posted on: March 4, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Media Release COVID-19 - March 4, 2021

For Immediate Release


COVID-19 Information

Phone: 980-432-1800

Vaccine Information

Onsite at vaccine clinics: Text rocopod to 888777 or tune into 88.7 FM for updates

Rowan County COVID-19 Case Information:

Gov. Cooper Announces Frontline Essential Workers Eligible for Vaccination Beginning March 3rd 

Group 4 vaccinations to begin March 24th for people who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk or who live in certain congregate settings

This past Tuesday afternoon, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. announced that additional frontline essential workers in Group 3 will be eligible for vaccinations beginning on March 3rd (please see chart below for eligibility). The expedited timeline follows the approval of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine and an expected increase in vaccine supply to North Carolina.

“The state and our providers continue to work extremely hard to get people vaccinated in a way that’s fast and fair,” said Gov. Cooper. “The third vaccine and improving vaccine supply will help us get more people vaccinated more quickly. Our essential frontline workers have remained on the job throughout this pandemic and I am grateful for their work.”

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine comes as the federal government has also increased vaccine in North Carolina beyond the state’s allocation. A new federally-supported site will open in Greensboro next week, and Walgreens is providing vaccine through the federal pharmacy program. While there is still not enough vaccine for everyone, the improved supply has contributed to providers reporting readiness to expand access to additional Group 3 essential workers. 

State officials continue to encourage providers to exhaust each week’s vaccine shipment before the following week’s shipment arrives. Some vaccine providers may not be ready to open to frontline essential workers on March 3rd, if they are still experiencing high demand for vaccines in Groups 1, 2, and 3.

Gov. Cooper also outlined an expected timeline for beginning Group 4 vaccinations. Beginning on   March 24th, people at higher risk from COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions will become eligible to receive a vaccine, as well as people in certain congregate-living settings. (See Deeper Dive for additional detail)

“This is a really exciting moment,” said Secretary Cohen. "A third COVID-19 vaccine means North Carolina can get more people vaccinated sooner and keep people out of the hospital and prevent deaths from this pandemic.” 

NCDHHS also shared clarifications for Groups 1 and 4. The definition of long-term care in Group 1 has been updated for people with intellectual and developmental disability. Higher-risk medical conditions for Group 4 include intellectual and developmental disabilities including Down Syndrome, and neurologic conditions, such as dementia.

Gov. Cooper will continue to advocate for an increase in vaccine supply in North Carolina. Since January 20th, the amount of vaccine received by the state has increased by 135%.

This week, the federal government authorized the distribution of Johnson & Johnson’s (Janssen) one-shot vaccine and more than 80,000 doses are expected to arrive in the state beginning on Wednesday. 

On March 10th, a federally-supported community vaccination center will open in Greensboro. This site -one of just 18 sites nationally - will help the state continue its effort to reach more marginalized and underserved communities. The federal government will provide the center’s vaccine supply, which will be in addition to North Carolina’s weekly allotment from the Centers for Disease Control. It will operate seven days a week with the capacity to provide up to 3,000 vaccinations per day, with options for drive-thru service in the parking lot and walk-in service.

Below, you will find a chart outlining who qualifies as a Frontline Essential Worker. Please also visit (English) or (Spanish) to see if you qualify for a vaccine under this new group.

Frontline Essential Workers are those who:

  • Must be in-person at their place of work
  • Work in one of the eight essential sectors listed below:
Critical ManufacturingEducationEssential GoodsFood and Agricultural
  • Workers manufacturing medical supplies, medical equipment, or PPE
  • Workers manufacturing products needed for food and agricultural supply chains
  • Colleges and university instructors and support staff
  • Workers in stores that sell groceries and medicine
  • Meat packing workers
  • Food processing workers
  • Farm workers
  • Migrant farm/fishery workers
  • Food distribution and supply chain workers
  • Restaurant workers


Government and Community ServicesHealth Care and Public HealthPublic SafetyTransportation
  • U. S. Postal service and other shipping workers
  • Court workers
  • Elected officials
  • Clergy
  • Homeless shelter staff
  • Veterinarians, veterinarian staff, and veterinarian students

  • Public Health Workers
  • Social Workers

  • Firefighters and EMS
  • Law Enforcement
  • Corrections workers
  • Security officers
  • Public agency workers responding to abuse and neglect

  • Public Transit
  • Division of Motor Vehicles workers
  • Transportation maintenance and repair technicians
  • Workers supporting highway infrastructure


Amy Smith

Download Media Release COVID-19 - March 4, 2021 (PDF)

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