Coronavirus local updates: North Carolina officials extend tax filing deadline

Coronavirus local updates - Friday evening

The United States has more than 14,000 cases across all 50 states, and businesses, education, sports and more are being impacted as leaders continue to move to stricter measures to contain the coronavirus.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has declared a State of Emergency. Following the statewide declaration, Mecklenburg County declared a state of emergency. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster also declared a State of Emergency.

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President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency, opening up more avenues to battle the outbreak. In addition, the federal government has slashed regulations around testing development in order to try and speed up testing.

The president has also signed a coronavirus relief package into law. That package includes free coronavirus testing for people who need it and paid emergency leave from work, among other things.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the United States here.

Important Links & Updates:

Live local updates from Friday:

9:56 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Revenue announced that the tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15 for individual, corporate and franchise taxes.

“Taxpayers need relief during this difficult time and my administration is bringing it,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. “I will work with both Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature to provide additional help.”

The department said tax payments received after April 15 will still be charged accruing interest over the period from April 15 until the date the payment is made.

Officials said these changes do not apply to trust taxes, such as sales and use or withholding taxes.

8:15 p.m.

Officials have confirmed a third and fourth presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Brunswick County.

The third person recently traveled to New York, officials said. They are in isolation at home.

Officials said the fourth person was tested in Tennessee after recently traveling through the state. They returned to their home in Brunswick County and are in isolation.

This brings the total number of cases in North Carolina to 189.

7:42 p.m.

Officials have confirmed four additional cases of the coronavirus in Union County.

This brings the total number of cases to six in Union County.

7:24 p.m.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has announced two more deaths due to COVID-19.

One patient was an elderly person with an underlying health condition. They lived in Florence County.

The other patient was an elderly person with an underlying health condition. They lived in Charleston County and were a resident of Harmony Assisted Living Facility.

“Sadly, our state has suffered the loss of two of our own,” said Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist. “In the case of both deaths, the patients had recently been reported to have been diagnosed with COVID-19. On behalf of all South Carolinians, we want to express our deepest sympathy for the families and loved ones of these two individuals.”

This brings the total number of deaths in South Carolina due to the coronavirus to three.

6:51 p.m.

Officials have confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19 in Fort Bragg.

The first person is a 57-year-old Department of the Army civilian medical professional who works in the dental department at Womack Army Medical Center. They are in isolation at their home in Cumberland County.

The second person is a 29-year-old dependent of a service member on Fort Bragg. They are being isolated at WAMC.

Health officials are investigating if these two people had contact with anyone.

6:18 p.m.

All passenger parking at Charlotte Douglas International Airport will be temporarily moved to the hourly decks starting March 23, officials said.

All other passenger lots will be closed to incoming cars but will remain open for cars to leave.

According to airport officials, the hourly deck has parking that is within walking distance of the terminal. The change is to help follow social distancing recommendations from health officials.

At this time, the cost for the hourly deck has been reduced to $10 a day and the first hour will remain free of charge for short-term parking.

5:26 p.m.

Officials announced that the confirmed case of COVID-19 in Cleveland County was actually a resident of another county.

Officials said the person used a Cleveland County address when they got tested so the positive result was reported to the Cleveland County Health Department.

After investigating, officials said they determined the person did not live at that address and lived in another county.

“We encourage people to take the same precautions they would take if we did have a confirmed case in our county, including staying home as much as possible, especially when sick; practicing social distancing; washing hands frequently; avoiding contact with people who are sick and covering their mouth when sneezing or coughing," said DeShay Oliver, interim Health Director at the Cleveland County Health Department. “While this particular individual ended up not being a resident of Cleveland County, it is likely that we will have confirmed cases in the county as testing capabilities increase."

At this time, Cleveland County does not have any confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The health department of the county the person lives in has been notified, according to officials.

5:10 p.m.

The Office of the Tax Collector in Mecklenburg County announced that it is extending the deadline to file and pay County Gross Receipt Taxes by 60 days.

The extended deadline affects the following taxes:

  • Room Occupancy Tax 
  • Prepared Food & Beverage Tax 
  • Retail Short-Term Rental of Motor Vehicles Tax 
  • Short-Term Lease or Rental of Heavy Equipment Tax 

5:04 p.m.

Officials confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Carteret County. The person is in isolation at home.

Health officials said the person traveled internationally.

This brings the total number of cases in North Carolina to 169.

4:50 p.m.

Gov. Henry McMaster has directed SLED and local law enforcement to disperse crowds gathered on South Carolina beaches. He said residents can still enjoy the state’s beaches while maintaining social distancing.

4:40 p.m.

American Airlines waives change fees through May 31.

4:09 p.m.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is investigating 45 additional cases of the coronavirus.

This brings the total number of cases in South Carolina to 125.

“The public needs to take our recommendations to prevent spread seriously so we can best protect our family, friends and neighbors,” said Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist. “Unfortunately, these case numbers will continue to increase. The agency is working around the clock to prevent the spread of this disease, focusing on those who are most high-risk for experiencing severe illness from the disease."

County-by-county breakdown of new cases in South Carolina:

  • Aiken County: 1 new case
  • Anderson County: 3 new cases
  • Beaufort County: 1 new case
  • Berkeley County: 1 new case
  • Charleston County: 1 new case
  • Clarendon County: 1 new case
  • Darlington County: 1 new case
  • Florence County: 1 new case
  • Greenville County: 5 new cases
  • Horry County: 2 new cases
  • Kershaw County: 7 new cases
  • Lexington County: 3 new cases
  • Orangeburg County: 2 new cases
  • Pickens County: 1 new case
  • Richland County: 14 new cases
  • Sumter County: 1 new case

3:58 p.m.

North Carolina coronavirus cases

Total: 168

County-by-county breakdown:

  • Mecklenburg: 43
  • Durham: 35
  • Wake: 25
  • Harnett: 6
  • Chatham: 3
  • Forsyth: 7
  • Brunswick: 2
  • Cumberland: 2
  • Guilford: 4
  • Iredell: 2
  • Johnston: 2
  • Union: 2
  • Watauga: 2
  • Wilson: 2
  • Cabarrus: 1
  • Craven: 2
  • Davidson: 1
  • Gaston: 1
  • Hoke: 1
  • Lincoln: 1
  • Moore: 2
  • New Hanover: 1
  • Onslow: 1
  • Pasquotank: 1
  • Rowan: 2
  • Sampson: 1
  • Wayne: 1
  • Catawba: 1
  • Cleveland: 1
  • Alamance: 1
  • Pitt: 2
  • Orange: 4
  • Stanly: 1
  • Franklin: 4
  • Lee: 1

3:35 p.m.

Health officials confirmed the first positive case of the coronavirus in Stanly County.

Officials said the person is in isolation at home. They are working to identify close contacts of the infected person to contain the potential spread of the virus.

2:45 p.m.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office announced it will not evict anyone from their home at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials said they are suspending their enforcement of court-order evictions until April 17.

“Removing people from their homes during this crisis is simply not in the best interest of our community or public safety. I hope that this temporary delay of evictions will provide some relief to those facing hardships as we weather this pandemic,” said Sheriff Garry McFadden.

2:04 p.m.

North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said officials are planning to bring in some National Guard soldiers to help with warehousing and transporting supplies and equipment where it is needed.

Dr. Elizabeth Tilson said North Carolina is transitioning from containment to mitigation of the coronavirus to help flatten the curve and spread of the infection.

According to Tilson, it is important for everyone to remember that the majority of people who get the coronavirus will have a mild illness and will recover at home.

Tilson also said a letter was sent to every doctor in the state to recruit volunteers to help the health care workforce.

1:56 p.m.

Make-A-Wish-related travel and 49 wishes just in North Carolina have been postponed due to COVID-19, while 970 wishes have been impacted nationwide, according to the organization.

Officials with the organization announced how the public can support and send messages to children with critical illnesses. People can send photos, write and record messages to send encouragement to children waiting for wishes.

“‘Messages of Hope’ calls upon people looking to do something positive and impactful during these uncertain times to bring hope and joy to children and families who need it most,” said Richard K. Davis, Make-A-Wish America president and CEO.

To share messages, people can post them to any social media channel along with the hashtag #WishesAreWaiting and tagging @ncwish on Facebook or @makeawish_cwnc on Twitter and Instagram.

1:40 p.m.

Gov. Roy Cooper said they are not issuing a shelter in place order or an additional closure of businesses at this point.

1:15 p.m.

David Tepper, John M. Belk Endowment and David Belk Cannon Foundation have donated a combined $1 million to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund.

The money will be used to buy 6,000 mobile hotspots with six months of prepaid internet services for students without access to home connectivity.

12 p.m.

Update on Catawba County case:

The patient is hospitalized and is doing well in isolation. How the person acquired the infection is being investigated.

Catawba County Public Health is working closely with the assisted living facility where this individual resides to ensure that any contacts there are identified and notified of any measures they need to take.

11:25 a.m.

Catawba County emergency officials confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in Catawba County. Patient is from a local senior living center and is hospitalized.

11:12 a.m.

Mecklenburg County says there are now 43 cases of COVID-19, up from 32 yesterday

11:03 a.m.

11 a.m.

On Day 1 of CMS serving meals this week, they served 19,000 meals. Starting this coming week, bus drivers will be driving food into communities for those that can’t come pick it up

10:56 a.m.

The Airport has temporarily suspended its volunteer program, but Chaplain George and nine other chaplains can’t bring themselves to stay home.

10:50 a.m.

North America’s leading operator of discount variety stores, plans to hire 25,000 full- and part-time associates at Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores and distribution centers across the U.S.

The open positions include full- and part-time managers at the Company’s more than 15,000 store locations, along with flexible part-time shifts for cashiers and stockers. Positions in the Company’s 24 distribution centers include order fillers, equipment operators, and warehouse associates.

For a full list of available positions or to apply online, please visit www.DollarTree.com/careers or www.FamilyDollar.com/careers.

10:45 a.m.

UNC Charlotte’s May commencement ceremony will be postponed. https://commencement.uncc.edu/

10:43 a.m.

York County Government developed an online interactive COVID 19 Resource Center that provides the public with real-time updates via dashboards. The Resource Center web address is as follows: www.yorkcountygov.com/covid19.

10:36 a.m.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved Governor Henry McMaster’s request for the agency to offer South Carolina’s small businesses with disaster assistance. Governor McMaster requested the disaster declaration in a March 17 letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.

The disaster declaration means that South Carolina’s small businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 virus may qualify for low-interest federal disaster loans. All 46 counties are included in the disaster declaration.

“These low-interest loans are of monumental importance to our business community," said Gov. Henry McMaster. "There's no doubt that our state's small businesses have suffered losses throughout this incredibly difficult time, but help is on the way. To have Administrator Carranza approve our request so quickly shows that President Trump’s administration is fully committed to helping our businesses recover from the impact of this virus.”

South Carolina’s businesses can apply online at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

10:30 a.m.

Salisbury VA Health Care System (HCS) is committed to protecting staff and patients and limiting the spread of the COVID-19 transmission by taking preemptive precautions.

Effective immediately the Salisbury VA HCS is prohibiting all visitors accompanying patients in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. No visitors are allowed with inpatients or outpatients except for compassionate cases. For example, an end-of-life situation, where someone is close to the end of their life, an exception would be made, but that will be done on a case-by-case basis. Visitors accompanying outpatients are prohibited unless the patient needs assistance.

10:12 a.m.

UPDATE as of 5:26 p.m. -- Officials announced that the confirmed case of COVID-19 in Cleveland County was actually a resident of another county. At this time, Cleveland County does not have any confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to officials.

“I know that people are worried about this virus, and I want to assure Cleveland County residents that the local health department and other community partners, including other healthcare providers, are working together to prevent and mitigate the spread of the virus in our community as much as possible,” said DeShay Oliver, Interim Health Director, Cleveland County Health Department. Local health department officials are identifying close contacts to monitor symptoms and contain spread. To protect individual privacy, no further information will be released.

9:47 a.m.

NC based LabCorp announces it has the ability to perform 20,000 COVID-19 tests a day

9:35 a.m.

North Carolina’s COVID-19 case count has climbed to 137, according to NC DHHS.

8 a.m.

Boone-based charity Samaritan’s Purse has set up a huge mobile hospital in a city outside Milan, Italy. It is fully stocked with medical equipment, including a 68-bed emergency room. More than 30 respiratory therapists, doctors and nurses will work there.

(Samaritan's Purse)

6:15 a.m.

Winthrop University moves to remote instruction for rest of semester; postpones spring commencement

Message sent Thursday night from interim president George W. Hynd:

"Per Governor McMaster’s update earlier today, Winthrop University will extend our move to remote instruction for all courses for the remainder of this semester. In this way, all students will have the opportunity to complete their spring 2020 courses while maintaining safe and healthy precautions against COVID-19. Despite it being challenging, Winthrop’s strength is our family-like concern for each other and our tradition of delivering a student-centered experience.

"The move to remote instruction may create new and unexpected difficulties, but we will face them together. Our talented faculty and staff are working diligently to accommodate student needs and expectations. Faculty, staff, and students should continue to monitor email and our website for information regarding when residence halls will be open for retrieving belongings, access to technology while away from campus, decisions about student refunds and/or credits, and other important updates.

"We know our seniors and graduate students are faced with unprecedented events that are taking away from what should be a joyous time as they conclude their academic career at Winthrop. Because of that, we will postpone our spring commencement ceremonies. Although these circumstances are beyond our control, we can assure our students that their Winthrop experience will not end without recognizing and celebrating that they will be Winthrop graduates. At this time, we cannot say when or how commencement will happen, but we will rejoice in their accomplishments and honor our graduates in a way and time that is safe to do so.

“Thank you for your hard work, understanding, and continued patience as we move forward in these uncertain times.”

4:30 a.m.

Former South Carolina Governor David Beasley says he’s tested positive for coronavirus. Beasley posted a statement on Twitter, saying that he began feeling unwell after a trip to Canada. He said he chose to self-quarantine for the past five days.

3:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump says a “game-changing” drug that’s used to treat malaria will soon be used to treat coronavirus patients.

Drug-maker Bayer is donating $3 million tablets of a possible coronavirus drug to the U.S. government for potential use. It also is used to treat malaria and autoimmune diseases.

Bayer says the drug is not currently approved for use in the U.S. but it’s working with the FDA on an “emergency use authorization.”

2:30 a.m.

The State Department is now warning all Americans to not travel outside the country. If you have a loved one who is outside the U.S. for business or vacation, they need to return immediately.

2 a.m.

The number of cases in North Carolina now stands at 133 (Thursday morning that number was 73). Mecklenburg County accounts for 32 of those cases.

We also learned about a second case in Union County, and Rowan County confirmed its first case yesterday as well. That patient is a student at Livingstone College. The president of the college said the student is isolating at home, and that they are now preparing to shut down the campus starting Monday through April 14 to allow everyone to self-quarantine at home.

In South Carolina, cases have spiked to 81.

A new case was announced in Lancaster County, bringing the total there to three. There is also a case in York County.

1 a.m.

Forty million people living in California have been ordered to stay in their homes, with a few exceptions. Gov. Gavin Newsom called on a lockdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

12:30 a.m.

North Carolina coronavirus cases

Total: 133

County-by-county breakdown:

  • Brunswick: 2
  • Cabarrus: 1
  • Chatham: 3
  • Craven: 1
  • Cumberland: 2
  • Davidson: 1
  • Durham: 35
  • Forsyth: 3
  • Gaston: 1
  • Guilford: 2
  • Harnett: 6
  • Hoke: 1
  • Iredell: 2
  • Johnston: 2
  • Lincoln: 1
  • Mecklenburg: 32
  • Moore: 1
  • New Hanover: 1
  • Onslow: 1
  • Pasquotank: 1
  • Rowan: 1
  • Sampson: 1
  • Union: 2
  • Wake: 25
  • Watauga: 2
  • Wayne: 1
  • Wilson: 2

South Carolina coronavirus cases

Total: 81

County-by-county breakdown:

  • Abbeville: 1
  • Anderson: 3
  • Beaufort: 7
  • Calhoun: 1
  • Charleston: 4
  • Dorchester: 1
  • Fairfield: 1
  • Greenville: 7
  • Horry: 6
  • Kershaw: 29
  • Lancaster: 3
  • Lee: 1
  • Lexington: 5
  • Richland: 8
  • Saluda: 1
  • Spartanburg: 1
  • York: 1