NC gives COVID-19 update as health officials continue vaccine push

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RALEIGH, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is set to give an update on the state’s coronavirus response Wednesday as the state continues to encourage North Carolinians to get vaccinated.

The governor is expected to address opportunities for state residents experiencing financial hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In May, North Carolina’s emergency rental assistance program, NC HOPE, opened a second application period for low-income renters who are struggling. The program promotes housing stability during the pandemic by providing rent and utility bill assistance to prevent evictions and utility disconnections.

“As we begin to turn the corner on the pandemic, many people are still struggling with rent and utility payments,” Governor Cooper said in a written statement. “This effort will help tens of thousands of families stay in their homes with the lights on.”

People earning less than or equal to 50 percent of the area median income for the county they live in could receive up to 12 months of rent assistance. Utility assistance is also available for those that apply and qualify for rent assistance.

Complete details about the HOPE Program, including eligibility requirements, program benefits, and an online application, are available at www.hope.nc.gov. Applicants who cannot access the website may also call (888) 9ASK-HOPE or (888) 927-5467 to speak with a program specialist. The HOPE Call Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Health officials are also encouraging more North Carolinians to get vaccinated for COVID-19 through a new incentives program.

Four counties in the state, including Mecklenburg, Guilford, Rowan and Rockingham counties, will be offering $25 incentives for those who have yet to get their shot.

The “Summer Cash Cards” will be available through June 8 while supplies last.

Click here for a list of participating vaccine sites.

As of May 31, 43.1% of the total population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 38.9% have been fully vaccinated, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

FOX 46 Charlotte will carry the governor’s news conference live online at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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