COVID Strains County Resources As Officials Make Plans For Booster Vaccine Doses

COVID Strains County Resources As Officials Make Plans For Booster Vaccine Doses

The coronavirus continues to circulate and it doesn’t appear it’s going away anytime soon. 

Thursday afternoon, Wayne County Government hosted its second online COVID Connection, bringing together local leaders and health experts to give an update on the virus that has left thousands dead in North Carolina. 

Wayne UNC Health Care President and CEO Dr. Jessie Tucker say they have been stretched thin in their Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit and Respiratory Care.

Fortunately, Dr. Tucker says “traveler nurses” are coming to Wayne UNC, which will allow the hospital to open a few more beds for patients.

Wayne County Health Department Medical Director Dr. James Stackhouse says 9 out of 10 people in the hospital are unvaccinated, and those that are vaccinated are not getting as severely ill.

Dr. Stackhouse says the Health Department is getting ready to administer the booster doses of the COVID vaccine to eligible individuals as guidelines come down from the CDC.

Since the county is in the process of selling the Bussmann Building, Wayne County Manager Craig Honeycutt says they’re looking for a new location for testing and vaccine distribution.

Honeycutt says they’re close to leasing a building in Goldsboro, but have yet to finalize the deal.

Wayne County Government has been planning to hold the COVID Connection virtual events on a monthly basis.

Nearly 60% of Wayne County residents age 12-and-up have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  Thursday’s figures from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services show 60,717 people age 12-and-up have received one shot, representing 59% of the county’s population that are at least 12-years-old.  52,557 persons 12 and older have been fully vaccinated, which is 51% of Wayne County’s 12-and-up population.

Hundreds of new COVID-19 cases are being confirmed in Wayne County each week, with 748 new cases reported in the last 14 days.  Wayne County has now recorded 287 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began.

The COVID-19 vaccine is available at the Wayne County Health Department, and appointments are available at

From the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services