The NC Department of Health and Human Services announced that anyone working or volunteering at state-run health care facilities will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of September or risk disciplinary action, including the possibility of job loss. Workers with approved medical or religious excuses will not have to comply with the vaccine requirement. Other health care systems, including Rex, UNC Medical Center and Duke Hospitals, are requiring that employees get vaccinated as a condition for employment.
On Thursday, Gov. Cooper announced that all state employees who work in agencies in his cabinet will be required to verify they have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or undergo weekly tests and follow mask mandates. While this order will impact some 50,000 workers, it does not encompass employees in state agencies under the direction of other elected officials, such as the Department of Labor, the State Treasurer’s Office, and seven others. Nor does it apply to the judicial branch, the state legislature, and the state’s university systems. Leaders in these agencies have all voiced support for voluntary vaccinations but as yet have not decided to mandate vaccinations.
In an effort to improve state and county election system security, the NC Board of Elections announced that all 100 North Carolina counties will move voter registration data from the current network of computer servers to a cloud-based storage system. The migration will be complete by the end of the summer and is the first critical step in a multi-year process to “upgrade state and county election systems to improve security, usability and efficiency” according to the NCSBE. However, these upgrades depend on federal funding from the Help America Vote Act, which the state Senate’s proposed budget would eliminate.