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The Durham County Health and Human Services building under construction in downtown Durham NC

To Your Health


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Now that the COVID-19 numbers (infections, hospitalizations, deaths, etc) are going down substantially, we’ll be hearing less and less about the pandemic (unless the numbers start rising again). May 11 marked the end of the official COVID emergency declaration, which means that the White House has shut down its COVID response team. Some activists feel that those actions were premature. Vaccinations will still be available at the Durham County Department of Public Health free of charge.


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has stopped publishing its COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review, but you can still view the main tracker, which will run indefinitely. Click here for the national numbers, and click here to see what’s happening here in Durham County.

Parents, please note that the updated Pfizer COVID-19 booster vaccines are now available for children ages six months through four years at the Durham County Department of Public Health (414 E Main St). The clinic is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9am to 4:30pm (and closed for lunch from noon to 1pm). Walk-ins are welcome.


The NAMI* Connection Recovery Support Group is a free, peer-led support group for those age 18+ who are living with a mental illness. Group members will be able to share successes with each other and discuss challenges with the help of NAMI-trained facilitators. This month’s meetings will be held on Tuesdays, September 12 and 26, 7:30–9pm; click here to register in advance for this Zoom meeting.

     * National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI Durham hosts an online Stress & Anxiety Support Group for African-Americans every Thursday from 7 to 9pm. Black people often push down their fears and problems because they’ve been told that seeking help is a sign of weakness. Lorraine Childs leads the weekly confidential discussions that encourage African-Americans to reach out and to realize that “You are not alone.” Share experiences without judgment, exchange tips, and gain access to helpful resources. Click here for more info; if you’d like to attend a meeting (on Zoom), click on “Calendar” and then click on the particular Thursday to register for that day’s meeting.

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Image by Tim Mossholder

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is offering the Hope4NC helpline for people needing mental-health support due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone can get free and confidential emotional support and helpful resources 24/7 via telephone, text, or chat. This service is also available in Spanish. The Hope4NC helpline number is 855-587-3463; click here for more info, to start a chat, send a text message, and to get help in Spanish.

Feel free to explore the NCDHHS’s COVID-19 website here for more resources and information on staying both physically and mentally healthy during the pandemic.

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Formed by a partnership of Safe Kids North Carolina, the Riverkeepers of North Carolina, NC State Bureau of Investigation, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of North Carolina, and local law enforcement agencies, Operation Medicine Drop is an initiative that helps people safely dispose of expired and unused medications. A common practice is to flush them down the toilet, but that poisons the waters and endangers wildlife. Simply tossing them in the trash is also a bad idea. Someone could come along, fish them out, and use them as recreational drugs. Many overdoses and other drug-related problems happen because someone didn’t get rid of over-the-counter medications properly.

Operation Medicine Drop provides safe dropoff points for those who want to get rid of their old medications easily and safely. Here are the Durham County locations:

  • Durham County Justice Center (510 S Dillard St, in the lobby,         919-560-0854)—weekdays 8:15am–5pm

  • Durham County Sheriff’s Office, North Station (11821 US Hwy 501 N, in Rougemont, 919-560-0930)—weekdays 8am–4:30pm

  • Durham District 2 Police Substation (5285 N Roxboro Rd,                 919-560-4322)—weekdays 8am–5pm

  • Durham District 3 Police Substation (#8 Consultant Pl, Shannon Rd near MLK Pkwy)—weekdays 8am–5pm

  • Durham Police Department Headquarters (602 E Main St,                919-560-4600)—anytime (24/7).

Click here for more info.

Here are some additional locations, as provided by the Lincoln Community Health Center:

  • Durham County Department of Public Health (414 E Main St,         919-560-7632)—pharmacy 1st floor, Clinic 3 dropbox in the lobby

  • Central Pharmacy (2609 N Duke St, Suite 103, 919-220-5121)—weekdays 9am–5:30pm, Saturdays 9am–noon; no sharps

  • CVS (3573 Hillsborough Rd, 919-383-0171)—no sharps, aerosols, inhalers, or chemotherapy waste

  • CVS (2103 TW Alexander Dr, 919-957-2989)—no sharps, aerosols, inhalers, or chemotherapy waste

  • Triangle Pharmacy (1700 E Hwy 54, 919-544-1711)—weekdays 8am–8pm, Saturdays 8am–6pm, Sundays noon–6pm; no sharps

  • Walgreens (3905 N Roxboro St, 919-471-1534)

  • Walgreens (6405 S Fayetteville Rd, 919-544-6430, 919-544-6395).

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The American Red Cross will host the following pop-up Blood Drives. (Blood/platelets can also be donated just about every day at the American Red Cross office (4737 University Dr).) Click here for more info and to set an appointment.

Friday, September 1

  • Streets at Southpoint (6910 Fayetteville Rd), noon–6pm

Wednesday, September 13

  • Bryan Center (120 Science Dr), 11am–4:30pm

Thursday, September 14

  • Bryan Center (120 Science Dr), 11am–4:30pm


Friday, September 15

  • Streets at Southpoint (6910 Fayetteville Rd), noon–6pm

Saturday, September 16

  • Alpha Phi Alpha at Peace Missionary Baptist Church (2608 Hwy 55), 9am–2pm

Tuesday, September 19

  • North Carolina Central University’s New Student Center (511 Nelson St), 11am–4:30pm

  • Pleasant Green United Methodist Church (3005 Pleasant Green Rd), 10am–3pm

  • Duke Regional Hospital (3643 N Roxboro Rd), 10am–3pm; look for the bus

Wednesday, September 20

  • North Carolina Central University’s New Student Center (511 Nelson St), 9am–2:30pm

  • Westminster Presbyterian Church (3639 Old Chapel Hill Rd), 1–6pm

Friday, September 22

  • Durham Regional Association of REALTORS (4236 University Dr), 10am–3pm

Tuesday, September 26

  • Durham Plant Maintenance Division (1600 Mist Lake Dr), 11:30am–4:30pm

Friday, September 29

  • Streets at Southpoint (6910 Fayetteville Rd), noon–6 pm


Saturday, October 7

  • Holy Infant Catholic Church (5000 Southpark Dr), 8am–1pm.


The Blood Connection hosts mobile Blood Drives throughout Durham. Here’s a partial schedule of the pop-up locations (in the most public spaces). Click here to see the full list of locations and dates:

Friday, September 1

  • SECU (2421 E Hwy 54), 10am–2pm

  • Kohl’s (5241 McFarland Rd), 4–6:30pm

Friday, September 8

  • Sprouts (105 W Hwy 54), 11am–7pm

  • Elizabeth Street UMC (1209 N Elizabeth St), 1–5pm

Saturday, September 9

  • Burn Boot Camp (3702 Hillsborough Rd), 9:30am–1:30pm

  • Kohl’s (5241 McFarland Rd), 4–6:30pm


Tuesday, September 12

  • Durham County Courthouse (510 S Dillard St), 10:30am–1:30pm; look for the bus


Friday, September 15

  • Duke University American Assembly for Men in Nursing (307 Trent Dr), 11am–4pm


Saturday, September 16

  • Durty Bull Brewery (206 Broadway St #104), 2–5:30pm

Tuesday, September 19

  • Durham Technical Community College (Wynn Center Bldg, 1637 E Lawson St, in 10 Multipurpose Rm), 1–5pm

  • O2 Fitness University Hill (3103 Shannon Rd), 5–8pm

Tuesday, September 26

  • Charles River Laboratories (4025 Stirrup Creek Dr #150), 10am–2pm

Wednesday, September 27

  • Museum of Life and Science (433 W Murray Ave), 10am–2pm

  • Kohl’s (5241 McFarland Rd), 3:30–6:30pm

Thursday, September 28

  • Duke Health Technology Solutions (14 Moore Dr), noon–5pm

  • Bonefish Grill (7820 Hwy 751), 4–8pm

Friday, September 29

  • Delta Sigma Theta’s Alpha Lambda Chapter (North Carolina Central University’s Eagle Landing Residence Hall, 408 Brant St), 10am–3pm

Friday, October 6

  • Duke Primary North (5102 N Roxboro Rd), 11am–2pm

  • Kohl’s (5241 McFarland Rd), 4–7pm

Saturday, October 7

  • Belk (6910 Fayetteville Rd, in the Streets at Southpoint), 11am–1:30pm

  • Hi-Wire Brewing (800 Taylor St, in Golden Belt), 3:30–7:30pm.

Click the graphic and add

your ZIP code to find out.

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The National Library Service in Washington DC, in cooperation with libraries across the country, hosts the That All May Read program. People with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that keeps them from reading or holding a book can have braille or audio books delivered to them free of charge. You can choose physical books or free downloads. Click here to get started.


211 E Six Forks Rd, Suite 103, Raleigh,


The North Carolina Reading Service is a free service helps blind and visually impaired people keep up with the news and entertainment worlds. Volunteers read local news stories, editorials, obituaries, books, and advertisements from a variety of publications. They also read special programs that discuss specific topics like education, tech tips, and legal matters. Users can then listen via their smartphone and tablet apps, the NCRS website, or with any “Alexa”-enabled device.

Listeners who don’t have internet access can borrow specially tuned receivers free of charge. Donations to NCRS help cover the average price of $70 per receiver, and some listeners make donations if they’re able to. Click here to see the various ways of enjoying the broadcasts and to see the list of podcasts included with the service. Visit the website if you’d like to make a monetary donation or if you’d like to be a volunteer reader.


​Hersey Pharmacy (4711 Hope Valley Rd, in the Woodcroft Shopping Center) offers free vitamins for kids, adults, and seniors. Stop by and sign up for your 30-day supply; you can pick up free vitamins every month. Call 919-346-4008  for more info.


4206 N Roxboro St, Suite 100, 919-748-1022, website:

Project Access connects people who don’t have health insurance with medical services that are affordable or free of charge, and HELP, the Health Equipment Loan Program, helps everyday folks gain access to medical equipment that they couldn’t otherwise afford. 


If you any have walkers, wheelchairs, bedside commodes, canes, knee-scooters, reachers (pickup or grabber sticks), tub-transfer benches, etc, it would be greatly appreciated if you can donate them. Everything will be sanitized and repaired if necessary so they can be loaned out to people for easily renewable 3-month periods regardless of their insurance status. HELP is open Tuesdays (10am–2pm) and Fridays (1–5pm). Visit the website or call and ask for the manager, Amy Armstrong, for more info.

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