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Local News Roundup: First Vaccines Arrive In NC; COVID-19 Deaths Rise; Long Road Ahead For Transit Plan

Roy Cooper
NC Department of Public Safety
NC Gov. Roy Cooper removes his face mask before speaking at a Dec. 8 press conference.

Friday, Dec. 18, 2020

North Carolina received the first shipments of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this week. A Charlotte doctor, Katie Passaretti, says she became the first person in the state to receive the vaccine on Monday. Pending FDA approval, Moderna will also be sending doses of their vaccine to the state next week.

COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths continue to break records in North Carolina, with 98 additional coronavirus-related deaths and 2,811 people hospitalized as reported on Wednesday.

Charlotte City Council discussed a transportation plan Monday night that would fund several transportation projects, but could cost up to $12 billion. A new 1-cent sales tax would pay for the local share, although some Mecklenburg County Commissioners are skeptical of raising taxes amid a pandemic.

The CATS Blue Line will move to a reduced service schedule for the rest of the month due to a staff shortage – 12 employees attended a private, non-work-related event and one has since tested positive for the coronavirus.

Those stories and more as Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into this week’s top news on the Charlotte Talks local news roundup.


Jonathan Lowe, anchor/ reporter for Spectrum News

Katie Peralta, senior editor for Charlotte Agenda

Claire Donnelly, WFAE health reporter

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV reporter

Jesse Steinmetz is Assistant Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.