Guilford County Board of Commissioners Chairman Skip Alston recently invited NC Gov. Roy Cooper to come and observe Guilford County health officials giving out vaccinations – and Alston found out on Wednesday, Feb. 10 that the governor was taking up the offer. 

On Thursday, Feb. 11, Cooper is scheduled to make a lunchtime visit to Mount Zion Baptist Church at 1301 Alamance Church Road where the county will be vaccinating people over 65 and others who qualify.

“I am glad he decided to come,” Alston said. “I think it will be a good thing for the community.”

Alston sent a letter to the governor just over a week ago after there were some major hiccups in the supply of COVID-19 vaccination doses to Guilford County.  One reason the county got left high and dry one week last month is because the state didn’t feel Guilford County was pumping out vaccinations fast enough. That was a misunderstanding about how appointments were scheduled and one point of the Thursday visit is for the governor to check out the county’s vaccination operations in person.

The visit will be brief; Alston said the governor is expected to be at the church for about 45 minutes. 

According to Alston, state officials have been very focused on making sure that COVID-19 vaccinations are getting out to minority and marginalized members of the community.  Guilford County has been doing exceptionally well in that regard whereas the state is trying to improve the numbers statewide.

“We’ve had 38 percent of vaccinations going to minorities,” Alston said of Guilford County’s efforts. “The state is at about 22 percent.”

The two men have a relationship that dates back about two decades.  Alston said that, when Cooper was first elected as the state attorney general in 2000, Alston, was president of the North Carolina NAACP and Cooper would always accept invitations to speak at those events.

 “I know he cares about equity,” Alston said of Cooper.