CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The U.S. has more than 1,000 cases 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 declared a State of Emergency on Tuesday.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster declared a State of Emergency for the state on Friday.
President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday, opening up more avenues to battle the outbreak.
Health officials announced Thursday two people in Mecklenburg County tested presumptive positive for coronavirus, but later said the second person was connected to the first case in Cabarrus County.
Mecklenburg County reported a second presumptive positive case on Saturday, saying the individual had recently come back from the United Kingdom.
Live local updates for Saturday:
Western Piedmont Community College said it is canceling classes from March 16 to March 20.
The school said classes will resume online on March 23 with limited student attendance on campus.
Walmart announced that starting March 15, stores and Neighborhood Markets will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. until further notice.
Officials with the store said the reduced hours will help associates have time to clean and stock products.
Stores that are already operating under more reduced hours will keep those hours.
Health officials have confirmed two more presumptive positive cases of the novel coronavirus in North Carolina.
Officials said they are investigating a case in Johnston County. The person is in isolation at home.
Officials said they are investigating another case in Harnett County and the person is at home in isolation.
These two counties each have two presumptive positive cases now.
This brings the total number of cases in the state to 26.
Concord and Monroe parks and recreational facilities will close due to COVID-19 concerns, city officials said.
Concord Parks and Recreation will be closing all recreation centers, including Lake Fisher, from March 16 until March 30.
Monroe Parks and Recreation facilities will close until Thursday.
The closure affects all Monroe recreation centers, community centers, Parks and Recreation programming, facility rentals, the Monroe Aquatics and Fitness Center and the Ellen Fitzgerald Senior Center.
The city of Lenoir will close city recreational facilities through March 9.
The centers closed include the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, the Mulberry Recreational Center and the Lenoir Aquatic & Fitness Center. This also includes the indoor pool and gym in the aquatic center.
T-Mobile is working with other companies and the Federal Communications Commission to increase network capacity for customers for the next 60 days.
Sprint customers will also get expanded roaming access to the T-Mobile network.
“In trying times like this, we understand how important it is for people to remain connected – to family and friends, to resources and information, to their jobs via teleworking or schools via virtual classrooms. And we take our responsibility to keep our customers connected incredibly seriously,” said Neville Ray, president of technology for T-Mobile. “We can’t thank these partners and the FCC enough for coming together to provide people across the country with the critical connectivity they’re relying on right now.”
Bishop Peter Jugis with the Diocese of Charlotte said all pastors of churches with a seating capacity of 100 or more to cancel all public Masses.
The diocese’s 19 Catholic schools will also suspend classes and move to remote learning from March 16, until March 27.
Blumenthal Performing Arts has suspended all public events in facilities from March 14 to April 12.
The facilities affected include Belk Theater, Booth Playhouse and Stage Door Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center; McGlohon Theater and Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square; and Knight Theater.
Events at Blumenthal-managed facilities from March 14 to April 12 have also been postponed or canceled.
Health officials have confirmed an 11th person has tested positive for COVID-19 in Wake County. The person is being isolated at home.
This brings the total number of cases to 24 in North Carolina.
“We are evaluating every case that comes and focusing on contact tracing to reduce the risk of exposure to the community,” said Wake County Medical Director Dr. Kim McDonald. “By establishing a detailed timeline, we can trace their movements and better understand who was within 6 feet of the individual for more than 10 minutes, which we consider to be close contact.”
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order to stop mass gatherings of more than 100 people across the state.
The order does not apple to restaurants and retail stores, according to Cooper.
Cooper issued this as guidance Thursday but said venues continued to hold events, which led to him making it mandatory.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said it is investigating six additional cases of the novel coronavirus.
This brings the total number of cases statewide to 19, according to DHEC.
“We emphasize the importance of practicing disease prevention measures and following recommendations for social distancing to protect our community as a whole,” said Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist.
Officials said three new cases are from Beaufort County. Two of those cases are close contacts of each other and had known exposure to a confirmed case in another state. These two people are in isolation at home.
The third case has no known connection with other cases and recently traveled internationally. This person is in isolation at home.
Two new cases are from Kershaw County and have no identified source of exposure to the virus. Both of these people are in isolation at a hospital.
The sixth case is from Lexington County and is currently in isolation in a hospital. This person has no known exposure to another case and no recent travel history to an impacted area.
The Lexington County case was a resident of Lexington Medical Center Extended Care Skilled Nursing Facility. DHEC is working with the facility to identify anyone who came in contact with the person.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced all public K-12 schools in the state will close to students for two weeks starting Monday.
The decision was made to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“We appreciate Gov. Cooper’s careful consideration of all the impacts a statewide closure of our public school system would have on educators, students, parents and the wider community. Ultimately, we think this is the correct decision, and we thank him for acting decisively in the best interest of everyone involved," said Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators.
Wake County public schools will be closed through March 27 to minimize the impact of the coronavirus, officials said. This includes all before-school and after-school programs.
Public health officials said they were notified Saturday about a staff member in the district associated with Fuquay-Varina Elementary School who tested positive for COVID-19.
Catholics in western North Carolina are excused from attending Mass until further notice, Bishop Peter Jugis announced.
Any activities with more than 100 people at all parishes and schools in the Diocese of Charlotte have been postponed or canceled, officials said.
“With concern and affection for all the faithful and the larger community,” Jugis said, “I ask everyone to consider not only their own well-being but also that of others.”
The South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners and the Board of Nursing announced they are issuing emergency temporary licenses to people to help combat COVID-19.
The medical board said it can give temporary licenses for out-of-state physicians, physician assistants and respiratory care practitioners. Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses can get a temporary license from the Board of Nursing.
“This is another great tool to combat this virus’s potential impact to our state,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “The ability to expedite this licensure process gives us greater assurance that we will have the medical health professionals and resources we need in order to keep South Carolinians safe.”
Biltmore is temporarily shutting down some of its operations because of ongoing coronavirus concerns.
Biltmore will suspend the following guest experiences through March 31, 2020:
- Tours of Biltmore House
- Retail stores and restaurants in the immediate Biltmore House complex
- Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, located at Amherst
- Estate trolleys, with the exception of ADA assistance shuttles
- Deerpark Restaurant
These guest experiences will remain open:
- All Biltmore gardens and grounds. Guests will be permitted to drive personal vehicles through the gardens March 17 – March 31.
- The Inn on Biltmore Estate
- Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate
- Antler Hill Village, including shops and restaurants
- Biltmore Winery
- Most outdoor activities
Officials said Biltmore employees who were scheduled to work during this time will be paid.
Cabarrus County Schools announced the Board of Education will have an emergency session on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
School leaders did not say what the meeting was about, but it comes after the county’s first positive coronavirus case and a student at Cox Mill Elementary School came into contact with someone who tested positive.
The Mecklenburg County Health Department said they are investigating the county’s second positive coronavirus case.
Health Director Gibbie Harris said the person recently returned from the United Kingdom and is being isolated at home, along with other family members who could have been exposed.
“I would emphasize that at this point in time we do not have any evidence that community spread is occurring here,” Harris said.
Officials said because of the international and the intrastate travel, the CDC is working to figure out if any else could have been exposed to the virus.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting 23 cases of coronavirus across the state.
Friday afternoon, health officials reported there were 15 cases in North Carolina, but overnight Channel 9 learned about new cases in Harnett, Brunswick, Wayne and Wake County. These new cases brought the total number to 19.
Authorities have not released information about the other four new cases.
Popular grocery chain Harris Teeter has announced it will be closing stores at 9 p.m. because of ongoing coronavirus concerns.
In a post on Twitter, the company said they are closing early to focus on cleaning the stores, restocking items and the health and well-being of the employees.
This will go into effect on Sunday.
Harnett County health officials said a resident who “traveled multiple places” before coming home has tested presumptive positive for coronavirus.
“This is not a surprise,” said Harnett County Health Director John Rouse. “It’s likely that more individuals will test presumptively positive for the virus.”
The individual is currently in isolation at home and is doing well.
Health officials said they are creating a timeline of the places the patient went and where they became symptomatic in order to know who may have been exposed to the virus.
Brunswick County health officials are reporting the area’s first presumptive positive coronavirus case. They are now waiting for official confirmation from the CDC.
Officials said the patient traveled to Louisiana, where they started showing symptoms. While traveling back to Brunswick County, they were still showing symptoms so they called their medical care provider about doing a coronavirus test.
The individual is at home in self-isolation and is doing well.
Brunswick County health officials said they wanted to reassure the public that this is an isolated case and currently, COVID-19 is not widespread in the area.
Late Friday night, officials announced new cases in Wayne County and Wake County.
In Wayne County, the person tested presumptively positive for COVID-19 and is quarantined at home.
The latest case in Wake County marks the ninth presumptive positive case in the area. Officials said the case is related to an existing cluster of positive patients who were tested earlier this week from Biogen.
At this time, there are 19 total cases in North Carolina.
Important Links & Updates:
- National Live Updates
- CDC: Tracking Cases in the U.S. here
- NC Dept. of Health & Human Service
- WSOC Special Section: Tracking Coronavirus
- CMS, other Local School District Updates
- Local Universities and Colleges Updates
- WHO: Advice for the Public
- WHO: Q&A