Novant Health to host ‘Welcome Back’ street festivals across NC

North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – We have reached a monumental milestone in the fight against COVID-19.

Officials at Novant Health say more than 50% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of the vaccine and that’s a number that’s starting to turn things back to normal.

So far, more than 500,000 doses of the COVID vaccine have gone into people’s arms. Dr. David Priest with Novant Health says the shots seem to be working against COVID-19 and other variants.

“There are groups that are a little more vaccine-hesitant and we’re working through that, we know that Republicans, some Latinos, and those who have lower income are a little less likely to get vaccinated.” Priest said. “But we’re addressing those really with those personal conversations.”

Right now, officials aren’t anticipating another spike in cases following Memorial Day weekend. Health officials are turning to local doctors to address any disparities.

“We continue to move more vaccines into our physician’s offices, we have vaccines in roughly 18 offices now and ten to 15 more going live every two weeks,” Priest said.

So far 39% of people in the state are fully vaccinated, 53% of adults have received at least one shot followed by 80% of people 65 and older who have also gotten the first dose. All numbers health officials like Jesse Cureton say are worth celebrating.

“These festivals are a way to acknowledge all that we’ve been through over the course of the pandemic and to welcome each other back to a new normal,” Cureton said.

Novant Health will be hosting three Welcome Back Festivals in Charlotte, Winston Salem, and Wilmington in July and August. The events will be free and feature live music, local food, and entertainment for the whole family.

“These welcome back festivals will allow us to support local businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic,” Cureton said. “These festivities and festivals will also honor our health care heroes who have been working around the clock for the last 16 months now.”

The events will also be to thank the community for their support. Locations will be announced in a few weeks and pop-up vaccination sites will be featured at these welcome back events.

Health officials say they are continuing to monitor any spikes in COVID cases. If you’re a small business owner and interested in being a vendor for the events click here.

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