After three weeks of consecutive decline, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Lee County once again increased over the previous seven days.

The county Health Department reported 146 new cases since Feb. 22, bringing the total number of county residents who have tested positive over the past year to 5,465. Seventy three people have died in that time period. Details about patients are not disclosed in accordance with federal health privacy laws.

While the 146 new cases were up from last week’s 107, they were still fewer than the 162 and 166 new cases reported in the weeks prior.

The Health Department has begun registering individuals eligible in Group 3 (Essential Workers) for the COVID-19 vaccine.  Essential workers will not be vaccinated until or after March 10 based on eligibility guidelines outlined in the NCDHHS vaccine rollout plan. The county continues to register and vaccinate those eligible in Groups 1 and 2, which includes healthcare workers that have direct contact with patients, staff and residents of long-term care facilities, and adults aged 65 and older. The department is also registering and vaccinating K-12 educators and childcare workers who are also eligible under current guidelines. 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 to register may call (919) 352-3360 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Due to high call volume, individuals may need to call more than once to reach department staff. To register and speak with a staff member in Spanish, please call (919) 718-4640 and select option 8. Eligible individuals may also choose to complete a pre-registration form online at; Health Department staff will contact those that pre-register within five business days to complete the registration process and provide information for the next available vaccine clinic.