CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The U.S. has more than 4,660 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. Following the statewide declaration, Mecklenburg County declared a state of emergency on Sunday.
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.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools voted Monday to move its spring break back to April 13, which was the original spring break date.
They also put together supplemental learning packages for students, which are going to be optional lessons to keep kids engaged during the next two weeks.
They will not be graded.
Lessons will be available online and there will also be packets available for families to pick up at one of the 70 food distribution sites if they don't have internet access at home.
Staff members said they are preparing for long-distance learning options if the closures continue.
The board also said they’ll continue to meet as normal as they wait for more guidance from the state.
The new restrictions to keep people from gathering in large groups is adding an extra challenge for students applying to college and graduate schools. Standardized tests like the SAT and the ACT are being canceled, but many college admissions departments are also pushing deadlines.
Educational consultants are pushing schools to be flexible and adjust.
NASCAR postponed all race events through May 3 with plans to return racing in Martinsville.
“We appreciate the patience of our fans and we look forward to returning to the racetrack,” officials said in a statement. “We intend to hold all 36 races this season with future rescheduling soon to be determined as we continue to monitor this situation closely with public health officials and medical experts. What is important now transcends the world of sports and our focus is on everyone’s safety and well-being as we navigate this challenging time together.”
The Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 will airlift a 68-bed Emergency Field Hospital to northern Italy on Tuesday. The cargo plane will carry approximately 20 tons of medical equipment, a specialized respiratory care unit developed specifically in response to COVID-19 and 32 disaster response specialists.
There will be respiratory therapists, doctors and nurses.
The Emergency Field Hospital will be set up just outside of Milan, Italy, where the coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed the local medical infrastructure, leaving many families without access to critical care.
The country is now reporting hundreds of deaths each day.
The Samaritan’s Purse International Health Unit has closely monitored the COVID-19 outbreak since it began.
The Iredell County Health Department was notified on Monday afternoon about the first presumptive positive case of the novel coronavirus in the county.
The person is isolated at home and is willingly cooperating with public health officials.
“The Iredell County Health Department is making all efforts to protect the health and well-being of this individual and the general public,” said the Iredell County Health Director, Jane Hinson.
COVID-19 is currently not widespread in Iredell County, officials said.
“The mission of the Iredell County Health Department is to protect the personal, community, and environmental health of Iredell County residents,” officials said in a statement.
Officials have been working with community healthcare partners for several months to prepare for a potential case in order to properly detect and prevent the spread of this communicable disease.
“Due to the increasing emergence of Coronavirus in North Carolina, we want to assist our community in taking proactive steps to protect their health by sharing recommendations from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services meant to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak and reduce the number of people infected,” officials said. “We ask that our community remain calm and continue to follow health guidelines from the state and CDC that are being regularly updated on our website."
The Foundation for the Carolinas and The United Way in Charlotte announced The COVID-19 Response Fund to serve those in the area most in need as a result of this pandemic through a grants program.
Lending Tree announced a $1 million donation to the new fund in Charlotte and urges other companies to do the same. The City of Charlotte matched that $1 million donation.
This fund will assist individuals who suffer illness or face financial setbacks.
The Mecklenburg County Public Library has closed all of its locations and material drop boxes.
Novant Health announced it has new restrictions:
- Visitors must be immediate family or designated caregivers and not exceed two per patient at a time.
- Visitors must be 13 or older unless they need medical care
- Visitors must be healthy (no cough, fever or flu-like symptoms.)
The restrictions do not apply to those seeking care.
Monroe announced it is under a State of Emergency and officials imposed a curfew for people under 16 years old.
The hours will be between 11 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Those under 16 cannot be in a public place, including sidewalks, streets, parking lots, transportation facilities, restaurants, shops, parks, and more.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is investigating five additional cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. This brings the total number of cases statewide to 33.
- One new case is from Lexington County. The case is an elderly person who was a close contact to a previously reported case. This person remains in isolation at a healthcare facility.
- Four new cases are from Kershaw County. Three of the cases are middle-aged individuals who are known contacts to a previously reported case and are currently isolated at home. One case is an elderly person. Investigation is underway and further details are not currently available.
Tryon Medical Partners is opening a remote Covid-19 testing location for their patients at noon on Tuesday at 630 Matthews Township Parkway in a building that was formerly a Rite Aid Pharmacy.
North Carolina health officials said 329 tests have been completed in the state lab as of 11 a.m. Monday. They said the state lab has supplies to test 1,300 people.
The state has at least 36 cases in 14 counties, including seven in Mecklenburg County.
Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris announced three additional cases of COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County, bringing the total to seven.
Officials are investigating the source of the exposure.
There are 259 people in Mecklenburg County with pending test results, according to health officials.
Harris said she will sign an executive order that will prohibit events of more than 50 people.
Those exempt from the order include, private schools, the airport, churches, places where people are in transit, offices, hotels, residential buildings, grocery stores and retail stores.
Harris said there is no restriction on restaurants at this point, and the order does not apply to gyms.
Health officials have reported Sampson County, North Carolina’s first presumptive positive case of coronavirus.
The presumptive positive patient had traveled internationally and is isolated at home.
The Salisbury VA is postponing all non-essential procedures throughout the healthcare system for a minimum of 60 days, according to health officials.
“In keeping with CDC and White House recommendations for social distancing and isolation during this time, we are minimizing the need for interpersonal contact,” Joseph Vaughn, Director, Salisbury VA Health Care System said. “We are postponing practices that can be avoided, and rescheduling appointments for those services.”
Last week, facilities started restricting access and implemented screening those who do enter the buildings and clinics.
Lincoln County has declared a state of emergency to “ensure that the health and safety of the public is a top priority.”
There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 in Lincoln County.
Officials said at this time, the following is being done to help prevent the spread of the virus in the county.
- The Board of County Commissioners are encouraging events or other mass gatherings expecting more than 50 participants to be canceled or postponed.
- Suspension of all Lincoln County Senior Services activities until further notice.
- Suspension of all Recreation events and/or activities that include “high risk” groups in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Postponement of grand opening for the Lincoln County Public Library – Western Branch.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has reported the state’s first death related to the coronavirus.
Officials said the patient was from Lexington County, had recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 and lived at the Lexington Medical Center Extended Care Skilled Nursing Facility.
DHEC is working to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the virus as well as helping the facility with ways to prevent spread.
"We know that many South Carolinians are concerned about what impact this virus may have on themselves, their loved ones, and our state,” Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Physician Consultant said. “This is a rapidly evolving public health event, and DHEC takes every new infectious disease seriously. This is an example of the importance of taking precautions to protect those at higher risk, like the elderly and people with serious underlying health conditions.”
In a letter to parents and staff, Charlotte Country Day said a parent who was on the school’s Cannon campus and came into contact with one of the school’s teachers has since tested positive for coronavirus.
Officials said the parent is following CDC guidelines and the teacher is asymptomatic and monitoring their health in self-quarantine.
Here is the statement the school received from the Mecklenburg County Health Department:
“Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) has identified an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 who had some contact with others in the Country Day family. Our Department is working to contact the small number of individuals who had close contact with this person and need to take further action to protect themselves and others."
School leaders said they understand the news is unsettling, but the health and safety of the Charlotte Country Day community remains the top priority.
“I want to thank you again for your support and flexibility during this challenging time," Head of School Mark Reed said. "Please know that the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and Country Day family is always top of my mind and we are doing everything within our power to support our community.”
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office is suspending public fingerprinting for applications and new concealed carry permits for two weeks.
Officials said it will be re-evaluated on March 30.
The nonprofit Freedom Within Walls announced it is partnering with several Charlotte area churches to offer free meals to children under 18.
The first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Wilson County has been confirmed by county officials.
Officials said a woman who traveled out-of-state tested negative for the flu and then was tested Friday for the coronavirus. Health officials received the test results Sunday.
She is being hospitalized outside Wilson County.
“There is nothing to indicate this was a community-acquired transmission,” said Teresa Ellen, Wilson County health director. “All indications are that this was travel-related. We are following all protocols for contact tracing.”
This brings the total of cases in North Carolina to 33.
Several Charlotte area restaurants and businesses announced they are temporarily closing because of ongoing coronavirus concerns.
- Sophia’s Lounge
- Seoul Food Meat Company
- Hygge Coworking
- Girl Tribe
- 704 Shop
Schools across the Charlotte region are working to create a plan for students after governors Roy Cooper and Henry McMaster closed schools across North and South Carolina.
Here are district plans so far:
The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office said they will continue executing evictions.
Officials said they understand many jurisdictions across the country have suspended evictions after courts issued court orders to suspend them in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The sheriff’s office said evictions are court ordered and while there is a limited court schedule for the next 30 days, there are no specific limitations on filings for evictions.
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