shows two people, both wearing masks to stop transmission of COVID, the women in this photo is in the foreground and out of focus
Gov. Roy Cooper and health and human services secretary Mandy Cohen pass one another during the middle of a press conference with reporters on Dec. 30 from the Emergency Operations Center. Photo credit: NC Dept of Public Safety

Throughout the first two years of the pandemic, we at North Carolina Health News published frequent updates on the coronavirus, health care during the pandemic and how it all affected North Carolina residents.

Our team produced more than 150 stories, keeping readers updated on briefings by the governor, the secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services and others with key details.

Below, you’ll find an archive of our Coronavirus Today articles, as well as the article about the 2022 NC Press Association awards, at which we won second place in General News Reporting for a series of posts from Coronavirus Today.

NC Health News takes home 17 NC Press Association awards

North Carolina Health News won 17 awards Thursday night during the North Carolina Press Association’s annual awards ceremony, including third place for general excellence among online-only new sites. Four of the awards were first-place prizes.  The total means NC Health News was the most-honored online publication in the state.  The Press Association honored work published…

Coronavirus Today – March 17 ‘The worst is behind us,’ NC and COVID

By Anne Blythe Gov. Roy Cooper and his top public health official told North Carolinians on Thursday that while they cannot say the COVID-19 pandemic is over, they believe the worst has passed. Cooper and Kody Kinsley, secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services, recalled the state of the state in March…

Coronavirus Today – Feb. 17 Making masks for school children optional 

By Anne Blythe On Thursday, Gov. Roy Cooper encouraged school districts and local governments to drop indoor mask requirements by March 7 to give people the option of baring their faces as the state moves toward a new pandemic phase. Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers who have often challenged the Democratic governor’s approach to the pandemic, especially…

Coronavirus Today – Jan 4 Omicron records; COVID testing woes; Requiring boosters for some state employees

By Anne Blythe As public health officials predicted in late December, North Carolina is seeing the Omicron variant of COVID-19 bring record-high cases counts and putting strains on systems across the state. Finding COVID-19 tests has become difficult again. Rapid tests are in short supply. Many testing sites have long lines and time-consuming waits. On…

Coronavirus Today – Dec 20: Dire plea for North Carolinians to ‘get boosted now’ as Omicron surge looms

By Anne Blythe The message was dire from Gov. Roy Cooper and Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services. “Get boosted,” they repeatedly told North Carolinians on Monday during a briefing with reporters broadcast on PBS North Carolina. In anticipation of a tremendous surge in COVID-19 cases in early January…

Coronavirus Today – Dec 14: One year with COVID-19 vaccine

By Anne Blythe On the anniversary of the first COVID-19 vaccine arriving in North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper and his top public health official, Mandy Cohen, took a look back on the coronavirus pandemic with a nod to the future that will place a new secretary of health and human services in the lead role.…

Coronavirus Today – Nov 30: What is and isn’t known about Omicron variant

By Anne Blythe Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, brought out her charts and graphs on Tuesday to update North Carolinians on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic. That latest COVID news, even as the Omicron variant adds new mystery about how long the pandemic will last, was dwarfed…

Coronavirus Today – Oct 27 Waiting for greenlight to get COVID vaccines into arms of children, ages 5 to 11; What about a booster?

By Anne Blythe Pediatricians, pharmacies and county health departments could be ready by the end of next week to start vaccinating children from 5 to 11 years old if Pfizer’s kid-size dose of COVID vaccine gets the federal nods it needs. A Federal Drug Administration advisory committee set the stage on Tuesday for the latest…

Coronavirus Today – August 4 Winston-Salem 18-year-old wins $1 million vaccine lottery; Mask debate in K-12 schools

By Anne Blythe Gov. Roy Cooper kept coming back to one word Wednesday during a COVID-19 update with reporters: Vaccines. The fast-moving, extremely contagious Delta variant has caused a crushing new wave of COVID-19 cases in some regions of the state, pushing many of North Carolina’s metrics closer to what they were at the height…

Coronavirus Today – July 29 Governor to require state workers in his cabinet to show proof of vaccination or wear masks and get tested

By Anne Blythe When Gov. Roy Cooper and Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, stepped up to the podium in the state Emergency Operations Center on Thursday, something was noticeably different. Both wore face masks to the COVID-19 briefing for the first time in several months. For nearly two…

Coronavirus Today – July 21 – New COVID recommendations for schools: Mask up in K-8, more leeway for vaccinated high school students.

By Anne Blythe Gov. Roy Cooper and his health and human services secretary issued new coronavirus guidelines for schools on Wednesday in which they strongly recommend face masks for children in kindergarten through eighth grade as districts reopen their classrooms next month for in-person learning. The StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit has been updated as North…

Coronavirus Today – May 19 Here’s how Gov. Cooper wants to spend $5.7 billion in federal COVID funds; A dose of fun with your vaccine

By Anne Blythe Gov. Roy Cooper issued his plan Wednesday for how he would like the state to spend the next $5.7 billion coming to North Carolina from the federal government for coronavirus relief and recovery, describing the injection of American Rescue Plan Act funds as having the potential to bring revolutionary change to the…

Coronavirus Today – May 14 – Shedding masks in NC

By Anne Blythe When Gov. Roy Cooper and Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, walked to the podium in the Emergency Operations Center on Friday something was noticeably missing. Their masks. Neither was wearing one, those symbols of the coronavirus pandemic that became a political flashpoint for some and…

Coronavirus Today – Apr. 28 — Peeling back the mask mandate for outdoors

North Carolinians will soon be able to go outside without wearing face coverings and not be in violation of the state’s mask mandate. Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday that after 5 p.m. Friday face masks will no longer be required in outdoor settings, though public health officials continue to recommend them for people not…