WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Gov. Roy Cooper urged North Carolinians to get the COVID-19 vaccine after visiting a vaccination clinic at New Hanover Regional Medical Center on Wednesday.
“That is the way for us to emerge on the other side of this pandemic,” Cooper said during a media briefing at the hospital. “The numbers are still astounding. The numbers of the people in the hospital, most of them are unvaccinated. The people that are in the ICU, most of the are unvaccinated. And, unfortunately, most of the people who die are unvaccinated.”
Cooper was joined by some local leaders from Wilmington and New Hanover County. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, Rep. Deb Butler and New Hanover Commissioner Rob Zapple also took part in the news conference.
Cooper said he was impressed by the staff at New Hanover Regional, who have worked tirelessly for nearly two years to try and curb the pandemic.
“To hear a nurse today who works full-time but then comes back and volunteers in the vaccine clinic is an astounding, amazing story that’s just an example of the dedication of healthcare workers who are here and across North Carolina,” Cooper said.
Even though two out of every three adults in North Carolina are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, local leaders echoed the governor’s statements by saying that the recent surge, brought on by the Delta variant of the virus, is a sign that we are not out of the woods yet.
“I would encourage you to put the guard up even more,” said Zapple. “We need more vaccinations. And to those parts of our community that have had COVID and have recovered — thank God — please remember that by getting another shot here, that booster shot will only double your chances of being able to avoid it again in the future.”
While Cooper says there are no plans for more statewide incentive programs like the vaccine lottery held over the summer, he still wants business owners to consider mandating vaccines for employees and customers.
“What we are encouraging employers to do is to say, ‘you need to verify that you’ve been vaccinated or you need to get tested every week and you need to wear your mask.’ And we’re encouraging employers, entertainment venues, restaurants and others to do things that will encourage people to be vaccinated,” said Cooper.
You can see the news conference below:
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