The number of Lee County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 crossed 5,000 in the past week, but the increase was significantly smaller than the ones reported throughout January and early February.

The Health Department reported 166 new cases since Feb. 1, bringing the total number of reported cases to 5,050. It was the first week since the start of 2021, though, that the number of new weekly cases was under 200. Twice in January that number was above 300.

Sixty six residents have died from the virus, including 22 since the start of January. Information about individual cases is not released by the Health Department in accordance with federal health privacy laws.

The Health Department continues to register individuals for the COVID-19 vaccine eligible under Groups 1 and 2 of the NCDHHS vaccine rollout plan. This includes healthcare workers that have direct contact with patients, staff and residents of long-term care facilities, and adults aged 65 and older. Individuals not eligible under these criteria will not be registered for the vaccine at this time. For a complete description of the state’s rollout plan including a description of the rollout phases and eligibility, please visit

The Health Department has opened a temporary call center for vaccine registrations in Lee County.  Individuals currently eligible under Groups 1 and 2 may call (919) 352-3360 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The two phone numbers previously used for registrations will be reassigned; phone calls to these numbers will be directed to call (919) 352-3360. Due to high call volume, individuals may need to call more than once to reach department staff. Alternatively, individuals eligible under Groups 1 and 2 may complete a pre-registration form online at; Health Department staff will contact those that pre-register within five to seven business days to complete the registration process and provide information for the next available vaccine clinic.

The county will hold a Second Dose COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination clinic at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center in Sanford on Tuesday, February 9.  All scheduled participants for the February 9 clinic received an automated phone call reminder to confirm participation and assigned time for arrival. Those planning to attend are asked to bring their vaccine record card.