The NC Department of Health and Human Services has shared new information regarding vaccine distribution. Specifically, they provided new guidelines and timelines regarding access to the vaccine for those who fit within Group 3, Frontline Essential Workers. As a reminder, the priority framework is as follows:
- Group 1: Health Care Workers and Long-term Care Staff and Residents
- Group 2: Older Adults (65 and older)
- Group 3: Frontline Essential Workers
- Group 4: Adults at High Risk for Exposure and Increased Risk and Illness
- Group 5: Everyone
Efforts to vaccinate members of Groups 1 and 2 continue as the vaccine becomes available for allocation across the state. In order to support the ability of childcare providers and Pre-K to 12 schools to safely get children back into early learning environments and classrooms, on Wednesday the State announced that individuals who work in these organizations will be eligible to receive the vaccine beginning on February 24. We are currently working to identify the members of our community who meet these criteria (e.g., our Moss Street faculty and staff, CCEP faculty and staff, student teachers, and faculty supervisors) so we can facilitate their access.
Our current understanding is that other members of Group 3, including higher education employees, will become eligible to be vaccinated on March 10. We hope to announce a detailed plan soon for hosting a vaccination clinic on campus, and will continue to update you as we learn more. To help us better plan, please take a few minutes and complete this anonymous survey. As a reminder, if you are 65 or older, you now qualify to be vaccinated under Group 2 and can make an appointment on your own.
Clarified Guidance on Face Coverings
The Centers for Disease Control issued clarified guidance on Wednesday regarding the use of face coverings. This guidance highlights the two factors that contribute to the effectiveness of face coverings are 1) wearing a face covering that fits well; and 2) wearing a face covering that has multiple layers.
We have received a good number of questions about whether wearing two masks is a safer approach.
- If the face covering you are currently using does not both fit you well and have multiple layers, the CDC guidance clarifies that wearing a cloth face covering over a surgical (disposal) face covering can increase protection.
- The CDC also clarifies that two masks should NOT be worn in some circumstances: people should not wear two surgical masks together, and an N95 or KN95 mask should be fitted properly and worn alone.
Again, the critical factors for keeping you and others safe are to wear a face covering with multiple layers and one that fits well. It’s important to note that gaiters are often one layer and therefore not effective; and that surgical (disposal) masks do have multiple layers even if they appear otherwise.
We anticipate that new or revised guidance will continue to be issued as the vaccine is more widely distributed over the next several months. For the most up-to-date information, please monitor your email frequently, regularly visit the UNCG COVID-19 website, follow our @uncg social media channels, and download the UNCG Mobile app from the Apple or Google app store to receive push notifications directly to your phone.
Thank you for everything you are doing to support our students and to keep our community safe.