An Open Letter to Faith Leaders - NCDHHS COVID-19 Updates - September 21, 2021
posted on September 21
Below you will find an important Open Letter to our faith communities from our Governor and our North Carolina DSHHS Secretary. This letter both thanks us and calls us to action. I would ask for you to read it closely and to try your very best to attend to the three items on which they ask us to take action. Please use your influence to share information, share your own stories, and continue your good work with vaccine clinics.
I would like to take a moment to share my own story. As you know, my husband and I both had COVID in January 2021. We believe that Jeff either contracted it at a funeral or perhaps at his Food Pantry. We were vaccinated by FEMA as soon as we had the opportunity, in March and early April. Out of an abundance of concern for our many constituents, our co-workers, and our own family, we have done all we can to avoid harm to others. Our extended families have done the same. Even so, my father-in-law (Jeff’s dad), who has been vaccinated, recently developed breakthrough COVID. He is still quite critical, and he has pneumonia in both lungs. There is no room at the hospital for him, and we are very concerned. We feel that if he had not been vaccinated, we would have lost him. He’s still not out of the woods, but we praise God he is still with us. I encourage you to use your influence to make a difference in the lives of those who might still be unsure about the vaccine. You may save someone’s life.
Blessings of Peace and Health,
Rev. Beverly B. Coppley
& Chief Missional Strategist
September 21, 2021
Governor Roy Cooper and NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen are asking for faith leaders help to keep people well, save lives, and end the pandemic.
In an open letter to faith leaders, Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen expressed their gratitude for the faith community’s support throughout the pandemic response and asked for their help reaching North Carolinians who have not yet been vaccinated.
“Getting vaccinated is one of the deepest expressions of our shared values to protect human life and love our neighbor. It is an act of love to our families and our communities. While we have made much progress in the state, too many people are needlessly getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and dying. Our hospitals are strained, and in other states we’ve seen that care is not readily available for people experiencing non-COVID life-threatening health crises. We need your help,” they write.
The letter outlines three actions that faith leaders can take, including directing their congregation and faith community to trustworthy sources about COVID-19 vaccines, serving as vaccine ambassadors, and hosting vaccination events.
The NCDHHS communications toolkit includes resources to support outreach efforts. And Healthier Together, a public-private partnership between NCDHHS and NC Counts Coalition, may be able to help support onsite vaccine logistics.
Thank you for your support.