Notice: NC Vaccination Updates - Taking a Deeper Dive into Group 3 (Frontline Essential Workers)

Thursday, February 11, 2021

The State of North Carolina has issued new COVID-19 vaccination guidance for Group 3 (Frontline and Essential Workers). Because vaccination supplies remain limited and the population of frontline essential workers is large, the state announced a staggered distribution plan scheduled to begin on Feb. 24 with anyone working in child care or PreK-12 settings 
University instructional and support staff who are “in-person at their place of work” will be eligible for Group 3 vaccination starting March 10, according to the NC Department of Health and Human Services. Please remember that some vaccine providers may not be able to transition to Group 3 on these dates if they are still vaccinating individuals from Groups 1, 2, and/or the child care and PreK-12 employees. 
As part of UNCW’s ongoing COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the 3Ws, physical spacing of furniture in campus buildings, limits on the size of gatherings, and extensive campus cleaning regimens will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Please wear face coverings indoors and outdoors. As a reminder, North Carolina is currently under a stay-at-home order in effect between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily. 
See the following FAQs for additional information about Group 3 vaccinations. 
Who is eligible in Group 3? 
Frontline and essential workers in eight business, education, government and service sectors who are “in-person at their place of work” are eligible for vaccination in Group 3. More information is available here (PDF). Graduate students who are teaching in the classroom would qualify as well. At this time, we don’t have definitive guidance about when graduate students and/or undergraduate students who are conducting research or working in administrative or programmatic roles on campus may qualify. The Student Health Center will consult local and state health resources for more information and share it when it becomes available. 
Where can I learn more about the plan for Group 3? 
Please see the NCDHHS information provided here (PDF). 
Are UNCW’s teacher interns eligible in Group 3?  
For those UNC campuses who have student teachers actively teaching in K-12 schools, student teachers are listed under “K-12 Roles” in the state’s Deeper Dive guidance, so UNCW’s teacher interns are eligible for the vaccine starting Feb 24. The Watson College of Education’s Office of Professional Experiences has communicated with the university's teacher and principal interns, letting them know that the office will provide a letter verifying their status as full-time student teachers. The Office of Professional Experiences will update interns if any additional guidance is received. At this time, we have no guidance about how the process will work in individual school systems. Please direct questions at the school and county level. 
Note: Non-teacher interns should check with their placement site to see when their industry is scheduled to be vaccinated. 
Are faculty and staff who work at UNCW’s lab school, D.C. Virgo, eligible starting Feb. 24?  
Yes. Monitor the New Hanover County Health Department website for details about signing up for a vaccination appointment. See below. 
Where can I sign up for vaccination? 
The NCDHHS website has a site service locater you can use to “find your spot to take your shot.”  
Like many aspects of the coronavirus pandemic, the vaccination process is fluid. Our state’s counties have different procedures to register and are moving at different paces. You should routinely check the resources for your county to be fully informed and ready to sign up for your spot when it’s time for your shot. If you live outside North Carolina, please check with the health department resources in your area.  
UNCW will continue monitoring this information for New Hanover County and will update the campus community, as well. In addition, the university continues to explore being a vaccination site in the future. 
Where can I learn more about all five of NC’s vaccination groups? 
Group 1 – Health care workers and long-term care staff and residents 
Group 2 – Older adults (anyone 65 and older) 
Group 3 – Frontline essential workers (includes college and university instructors and support staff who are in-person at their place of work) 
Group 4 - Adults at high risk for exposure and increased risk of severe illness 
Group 5 - Everyone who wants a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination (most students will be included in this group unless they qualify in previous groups). 
You can learn more at about each one at the NCDHHS website. 
Have additional questions? 
Please reach out to the Student Health Center via the inbox for assistance. Please be patient when awaiting responses, as this inbox receives many questions each day. 
Vaccination Resources  
Brunswick County Health Department  
New Hanover County Health Department   
Sign up for COVID-19 updates here  
Pender County Health Department