This week, some counties in NC are entering Phase 1B of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, meaning that adults ages 75 and over, followed by frontline essential workers(i.e. first responders, teachers, manufacturing, corrections officers, public transit, grocery store employees, food + ag workers, and postal workers) will be eligible for vaccines.
People eligible for vaccination in Phase 1A(healthcare workers and residents + staff at long-term care facilities) are also still receiving vaccines, and the state + Buncombe County are still officially in Phase 1A. Most counties should enter Phase 1B by Jan. 11.
Frontline workers in Buncombe County receiving their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine | Photo by @buncombecounty
NC’s per capita rate of vaccination is one of the lowest in the country, but there’s also currently not enough vaccine to administer to everyone in Phase 1B. Future vaccine shipmentswill also be dependent on how many people are receiving it locally, meaning the greater the demand, the more supply NC will receive. Shipments arrive weekly from the federal government.
While the vaccine rollout process so far has been criticized, the state is working hard to keep information flowing. Here’s the official word on when + how you might get vaccinated.
• NC’s rollout hasfour phases. In Phase 2, adults at high risk for exposure and at an increased risk of severe illness can get their shots. That means anyone 65+, people ages 16-64 who have underlying medical conditions (like cancer, serious heart conditions, or diabetes) that increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19, anyone incarcerated or living in a group setting, and essential workers who have not yet gotten a vaccine. • Phase 3 opens the vaccine to college, university + high school students age 16+. The vaccine has not yet been approved for younger children.Teachers are included in Phase 1B. • Phase 4 opens the vaccine to the general population. According to state officials, Phase 4 isseveral monthsaway. • If you’re currently eligible for a vaccine, you must have an appointment, no matter what county you live in. Your healthcare provider can help you make an appointment, and county health departments are working to do this as well. The NC National Guard will also be helping with vaccination. • The vaccine is free, regardless of whether or not you have health insurance. • As of yesterday, 2,428 initial vaccine doses have been given in Buncombe County.
Have questions about the vaccine itself? Click the button for answers.👇
Pass this on to keep your fellow North Carolinians in the loop.
Weather ○ 45º | Mostly cloudy | 10% chance of rain ○ Got your milk + bread sandwiches ready? Snowy weather could make its way to the WNC region this Thurs. + Fri. as a wintry mix arrives. Higher elevations could get heavy snow and lower elevations could see accumulation. ❄️(WLOS)
Stat ○ 10%.Asheville ranked in the top 10% of America’s most violent cities according to 24/7 Wall St, coming in at 329 worst out of 4,548 cities where violent crime was tracked by the FBI. Police Chief David Zack notes that the crime rate is high for a city of Asheville’s size, and plans to address the systemic causes that drive crime, including education, poverty, addiction, and access to mental health resources + care, to shift the ranking. (Asheville Citizen-Times) ○ 99.97%. The percentage of allergens + other pollutants in the air a HEPA Filter can help take in and trap. Learn more about home air purification. 🏠Ⓟ
Outdoors ○ Army veteran Kyle Curtin set the fastest known time for running the Pitchell, a trail that traverses the summits of both Mount Pisgah and Mount Mitchell. The 34-year-old finished the trail run in 11 hours, 47 minutes + 18 seconds, breaking the previous record (set last year by Black Mountain local Shaun Pope) by 32 minutes. He now holds the title for the first person to run the course in under 12 hours. 👟(Asheville Citizen-Times) ○ This February is for the birds. The North Carolina Arboretum will be hosting programs devoted to our feathered friends, including in-person and virtual experiences for birders of all levels and classes like gardening for birds + avian mate selection (both on Feb. 11). The kid-centric ecoEXPLORE ornithology session also continues through the end of February. Call (828) 665-2492 to register for the classes. 🦚
Region ○ Cherokee “Beloved Man” Dr. Jerry Wolfe, the tribe’s first member to receive that distinction since 1801, will be honored with a 4.2-mile section of US-441 dedicated to him in Swain + Jackson counties. Dr. Wolfe worked to preserve the Cherokee language, teach history and culture, and serve as a true Cherokee leader. He received the title of Beloved Man in 2013. 👏 (WLOS)
ForParents ○ Family Preservation Community Services is hosting an informational Zoom session on Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. for people interested in becoming foster parents. One attendee will win $100 in retail merchandise or one hour of dog training services from The Dog Door(1 Battle Sq.). Email to sign up.
Civic ○ Asheville Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting | Wed., Jan. 6 | 5 p.m. | Virtual | Free | The agenda includes amending a zoning text amendment to include new standards regulating hotels and a request to apply a new Hotel Overlay District to certain properties in the city. 🏨
Cause ○Bolts Blood Drive| Wed., Jan. 6 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | The Franklin School of Innovation, 21 Innovation Dr. | Sign Up | Donate blood + save a life. 💉
FeaturedEvent ○The Healthier + Happier Series | Wed., Jan. 6-Wed., Feb. 17 | 4-5 p.m. | Atelier Maison + Co., 121 Sweeten Creek | Free | Join Dr. Brian Asbill as he leads discussions on taking a broader look at how to live a healthier, happier life. This is a 7 part series taking place each Wednesday at Atelier Maison & Co.’s wellness studio. Ⓟ
Find more of this week’s local events in our January PlanAhead.
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.