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Gov. Cooper tours COVID testing site organized by Kinston Teens

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 7:38 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2022 at 1:42 PM EST
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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - A youth-led organization is hosting two COVID-19 vaccination clinics on Thursday and Gov. Roy Cooper stopped by for a tour.

Kinston Teens is hosting the clinics to give out first vaccination doses and booster shots. The event will also feature music, educational resources and mask and hand sanitizer giveaways. The events are happening at the following locations:

  • 10 AM to 5 PM at Holloway Recreation Center, 101 North Myrtle Avenue in Kinston, in partnership with the City of Kinston. COVID-19 rapid and PCR tests will also be available at this location.
  • 2 PM to 6 PM at Kinston-Lenoir Public Library, 510 North Queen Street in Kinston, in partnership with Neuse Regional Libraries.

Governor Cooper was at the Holloway Community Center site to tour the clinic. “It’s always great to be in Eastern North Carolina where I grew up,” Cooper said.

Cooper thanked the healthcare workers who he says are having to shoulder a lot of the burden of the pandemic.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley also toured the clinic and spoke at the event. He said there have been more than 11,000 cases of COVID-19 in Lenoir County since the start of the pandemic and 600 in the last week alone.

“Unfortunately the omicron variant is incredibly contagious,” Kinsley said.

Cooper echoed Kinsley’s thoughts on keeping children in schools. “Keeping children safely in the classroom is one of the most important things that we have to do,” Cooper said.

The governor also spoke of the importance of communities like Kinston that build up each other and work to keep each other safe, informed, and engaged in society.

One Lenoir County healthcare worker and caregiver got her booster shot at the event, and urged others to do the same.

“This is very serious, and everyone needs to be precautious,” said Tonia Hawkins. “Everyone needs to booster up if you haven’t gotten your booster yet.”

Kinston Teens, which focuses on empowering young people through service, leadership, and civic engagement, has been working to fight the pandemic since March of 2020.

CEO Chris Suggs says they plan to continue their work to support the community throughout the year.

“We’ve been working very hard as a community, here in Kinston, to navigate this crisis and we’ve done a lot of it because of the support and the investments of our state leadership,” said Suggs.

After Cooper visited the Holloway Community Center, the Kinston Teens team moved their PPE distribution to the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library.

For more information, click here or call (252) 522-8012. Appointments or pre-registration are not required.

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