CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More than 4.7 million people worldwide -- including nearly 1.5 million people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals manage unprecedented patient surges.
>> Scroll below for live, local real-time minute-by-minute updates
***Possible news conferences scheduled for today***
Mecklenburg County: (TBA)
North Carolina Task Force: (2 p.m.)
South Carolina Task Force (TBA)
White House Task Force: (TBA)
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>> Here are the latest updates about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in North Carolina and South Carolina. Scroll below for real-time updates.
- The number of cases across North Carolina reached 19,023 Monday. North Carolina is now reporting 661 deaths, 255,755 completed tests and 511 people currently in the hospital.
- Gov. Roy Cooper and the state’s coronavirus task force announced a statewide stay-at-home order which is currently in effect.
- Gov. Henry McMaster lifted the home or work order in South Carolina on May 1.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the United States here.
One of South Carolina’s major universities is cancelling fall break next semester and ending in-person classes before Thanksgiving because of the coronavirus.
The University of South Carolina says it is ending in-person classes by Thanksgiving to avoid an anticipated second wave of COVID-19 cases and the typical flu season.
On Monday, Gov. Henry McMaster agreed to give the General Assembly final approval on spending $1.9 billion in federal COVID-19 relief money, but asked them to act quickly after he and his emergency group responding to the pandemic issue their list of recommendations.
Also Monday, shaggy people swarmed to the first day barbers and beauty salons could reopen.
Restaurant Owner Cited for Violation of North Carolina Governor’s Order
On May 18, 2020 a citation was issued to Carroll Dean Mitchem for openly violating North Carolina Executive Order 138, issued on May 5, 2020 by Governor Roy Cooper pursuant to NCGS 166A-1.30. Mr. Mitchem owns and operates Mitchem’s Kitchen located at 6649 West Highway 27, in Vale, NC.
After receiving complaints from the general public and conducting an investigation, Lincoln County Sheriff Bill Beam issued the citation.
Sheriff Beam said, “I may not personally approve of all the Emergency Orders issued by Governor Cooper but North Carolina General Statute allows provisions for Governor Cooper to issue orders during a State of Emergency. NC General Statute 166A states, local law enforcement SHALL enforce these orders”.
Sheriff Beam went on to say, “Governor Cooper has the authority under 166A to remove elected officials. No law enforcement officer has the authority to decide which laws are and are not Constitutional. The NC courts and ultimately the Supreme Court makes these decisions. I have written Mr. Mitchem a citation for violation of Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 138.”
Mr. Mitchem has a court date scheduled for Wednesday, September 9, 2020.
Statement: "It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of Matthews Alive for 2020. The Board of Directors of the Matthews Alive Festival, a Labor Day tradition in Matthews for over 27 years, made the unanimous decision to cancel this year’s festival scheduled for September 4-7, 2020.
"The Board agreed that the safety, health, and wellness of its partners and attendees was of utmost importance, and with so many uncertainties still surrounding the COVID-19 spread, they felt the decision was the best one to make at this time.
"The core mission of the Matthews Alive festival is raising money for local non-profits. Hundreds of volunteers from these local non-profits work alongside the event volunteers and staff at elements such as trash collection, ticketing, drink sales, parade production, game management, and more. The proceeds of the festival are then distributed to all of these groups. We plan to highlight them and their missions on our website and social media over the coming weeks—and if folks would like to contribute to them directly, we hope you will consider doing so.
“We will see you in 2021!”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is taking over the powerful Senate intelligence committee.
Republican leaders announced Monday that Rubio will temporarily become chairman of the panel. Rubio will replace North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, who said last week that he would step aside after federal agents examining his recent stock sales showed up at his home with a warrant to search his cellphone.
Rubio was a Republican presidential candidate in 2016 who eventually endorsed President Donald Trump. He also worked with Democrats on the panel on its investigation into Russian election interference
The North Carolina legislature resumed its annual session on Monday after a two-week break prompted by COVID-19, with lawmakers returning in part to address a state economy and government revenue socked by the pandemic.
The House and Senate held sparsely attended floor meetings before a Senate committee met to scrutinize unemployment benefit delays as massive virus-related layoffs and furloughs have stretched the state’s system.
While 60% of the 900,000 individuals who have applied for benefits since mid-March have received benefits, senators on the committee heard from displaced workers or their families who have been waiting weeks for assistance
Gov. Henry McMaster Signs Continuing Resolution, Issues Signing Statement Urging Swift Action
Governor Henry McMaster today signed H. 3411 into law. The bill, also called a continuing resolution, provides for the continued and uninterrupted operation of state government into the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020.
In signing the bill into law, the governor issued a signing statement addressing the federal CARES Act funding. The governor’s full statement can be found on the governor’s website.
“The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act urgently passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Trump provided South Carolina with over $1.9 billion dollars,” the governor’s statement reads. “Its sole purpose is the reimbursement of legitimate COVID-19 expenses incurred by state agencies, local governments, first responders, hospitals, school districts and institutions of higher education – to be done quickly but carefully to get them back on their feet. Time is of the essence and deadlines are approaching.”
The governor also addressed the work of AccelerateSC – a group created by the governor last month which serves as a coordinated economic revitalization effort involving business leaders, healthcare professionals, educators, local government officials, and others.
“Shortly, based on many of the AccelerateSC recommendations, I will propose to the General Assembly a listing of priorities for appropriating CARES Act funds,” the statement reads. “These relief funds belong to the people of South Carolina, not politicians, and we must deliver them to where they are needed. Consideration for their appropriation must be done expeditiously – but also wisely, transparently and with meticulous accountability.
The governor continued, “To that end – I ask that you call the General Assembly back into session soon after receiving these recommendations. Any delay will cost the people of our state the one thing they don’t have – time.”
SCDHEC today announced 126 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and 6 additional deaths. This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 8,942 and those who have died to 391.
Avery County announces its first COVID-19 case. Avery County was the last county in North Carolina to not have at least one positive case.
With the announcement, all 100 counties in North Carolina have now had a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19.
We’re pleased to share our Nordstrom SouthPark and Nordstrom Rack Carolina Pavilion stores in Charlotte will reopen to customers this Thursday, May 21. We are excited to bring our employees back to work and look forward to welcoming customers in our doors so we can continue serving them in our stores. You can see the full list of re-opening Nordstrom stores here, and additional info for each store by searching on our Store Locator Page.
Our stores have always been, and continue to be, a core part of our business. We’re taking a phased, market-by-market approach to reopening our stores. The health and wellbeing of our employees, customers and communities is our priority. We’ve been paying close attention to guidance and directives from local and national authorities, taking steps to ensure our stores and operations remain in alignment with those. We’re continuing that approach with our reopening and are only opening stores where:
- It is allowed by state and local governments
- We are prepared with the proper safety measures and protocols
- We have confidence we can ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees and customers
More than anything, we want our customers and employees to feel safe in our stores. We’re making some updates to our stores and the way we serve customers in them to help keep them and our employees healthy. Some of those updates include:
- Conducting health screenings for our employees before they come into work
- Providing face coverings for employees and customers
- Taking steps to allow for social distancing of six feet or more, including limiting the number of customers and employees in the store
- Increasing cleaning and sanitization
- Modifying the fitting room experience
- Continuing to offer contactless curbside services at our full-line stores
- Pausing or adapting high-touch services and customer events
- Keeping tried on or returned merchandise off the salesfloor for a period of time
- Altering hours of operation
Piedmont Medical Center to allow visitors for ER, Surgical and Hospitalized Patients
Piedmont Medical Center announced today that effective Monday, May 18, its visitation policy will be relaxed to allow patients to have one designated visitor. This policy change will allow visitors for patients who have been admitted to the hospital, Emergency Department patients, and patients that have a scheduled elective procedure.
Visitors will be screened for fever, respiratory symptoms or travel to high risk locations prior to entering the hospital, and required to wear visitor identification, a face mask, and sanitize their hands. Specifically designated waiting areas allow physical distancing for designated visitors and include additional cleaning protocols.
Any visitor not meeting screening criteria will not be permitted to enter the hospital. All staff, physicians, patients and visitors are screened for COVID-19 symptoms daily before entering the hospital.
The Piedmont Medical Center COVID SAFETY standards will offer peace of mind to patients and their loved ones receiving elective surgery or emergency care. Expanded visitation comes shortly after Piedmont Medical Center resumed elective care with extensive safety measures in place.
“Our COVID SAFETY standards were developed with key principles in mind to maximize safety – maintain vigilance of all potential risks, create separate care pathways and take a multi-factor approach to maintaining a safe environment for patients and visitors,” explained Piedmont Medical Center CEO Mark Nosacka.
Piedmont Medical Center’s COVID SAFETY standards are built upon deep clinical expertise and ongoing management of COVID-19, as well as continuous incorporation of CDC, CMS and state recommendations. They are a rigorous combination of infection prevention processes, training, testing, personal protective equipment and technology. Standards include the following components:
- Distinct COVID SAFETY Zones and COVID CARE Zones – separate areas with clear signage and protocols
- Rigorous physician and staff protocols – daily screening, universal masking and access to PPE
- Heightened sanitization – enhanced cleaning of surfaces and plenty of hand sanitization stations
- Access to COVID-19 testing – in-house, rapid testing for patients, physicians and staff who require it
- Precautions for patients and visitors – provision of face masks, hand sanitizer and physical distancing
- Enhanced virtual access – virtual care, remote monitoring as well as connectivity with loved ones
Gov. Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force gave an update on North Carolina’s response to the pandemic.
According to Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy K. Cohen, North Carolina saw its largest single-day increase in cases over the weekend. She said as the state increases testing, an increase in cases is expected. She said the most important metric to look at in that situation is the percentage of positive tests, which was about 7%. She said although the state saw a large increase from Friday to Saturday, the percentage of positive tests remains stable.
She also emphasized the 3 W’s: Wear a face covering, wait 6 feet apart and wash your hands often.
Cooper said an announcement on whether or not the state is ready to move into Phase 2 will likely come mid-week. He said leaders need more time to look at the trends before they can make a decision.
According to the governor, if we are able to move into Phase 2, a regional reopening approach will not be needed
Director of Emergency Management Michael Sprayberry said that hundreds of personnel are working to deliver personal protection equipment and supplies to counties around the state. He said 38 counties received PPE and supplies Friday. According to Sprayberry, the state’s gown supply is still lacking and leaders are working to get more.
This week is National EMS Week. Leaders thanked first responders for their service.
On reports of COVID-19 parties in the Winston-Salem area, Governor Roy Cooper says, “That is completely irresponsible and completely unacceptable.”
Cohen followed up by saying, “We are nowhere near herd immunity, a party is not going to help that.”
On pools, Cohen says the state is contemplating allowing pools to reopen in Phase 2. She says pools will likely need to have less capacity, spaced out chairs, face-covering requirements when out of the pool and social distancing while in it.
Cooper says he hopes to grow the number of testing sites soon. The state is negotiating for mobile testing units. Cooper says underserved communities need the mobile testing sites the most
Gov. Cooper’s remarks:
Since the start of this pandemic, we’ve worked hard to protect long-term care facilities like nursing homes. We know that in addition to having many residents who are at-risk for severe illness, the nature of these facilities makes the virus spread easier from person to person.
This week we are continuing a comprehensive push to distribute personal protective equipment to more than 3,800 licensed care facilities across the state, including nursing homes, adult care homes and more.
We are able to do this, in part, because of local manufacturers who have worked with the state to shift their production to make personal protective equipment. With their help, we are now able to share the equipment to where it is needed.
We are sending to them a two-week supply of face shields, procedure masks, gloves, shoe covers and hand sanitizer. I’m proud of and thankful for the emergency managers and National Guard members who are getting this critical gear to where it’s needed.
Our Phase 1 Executive Order runs through this Friday, but as I’ve said – we are continuing to monitor the data and the metrics that we’ve laid out for our state. We will ease restrictions and move to Phase 2 only if we are headed in the right direction with our data.
As we watch and examine the trends, we are working with public health and the private sector to determine how we can reduce the risk of spread in the next phase. Remember – we have flattened the curve, but the threat of COVID-19 is still here.
Approximately 275 testing sites are on the DHHS website. In the last 7 days, we’ve tested an average of about 7,500 people per day. With expanded guidance to health care providers on who ought to be tested and more sites available, we expect daily testing to continue to increase.
We know that life will look a little different for a while as we ease restrictions. As we all adjust, remember that patience and compassion will get us farther than hostility.
I know that a quick trip to the store can be more stressful these days, with social distancing, face coverings, and being mindful of everything you touch. But it’s critical to do all these things to slow the spread of the virus and to protect others as well as yourself.
Grocery store workers, delivery drivers, restaurant workers, shop owners – they’re on the front lines and taking important safety precautions to protect their customers.
Show your appreciation for these workers by doing what’s right — wear a face covering, wait 6 feet apart, and remember that a simple thank you can sometimes be exactly what someone needs to hear during a tough time.
The Catawba County Health Department is investigating a new outbreak at a residential care facility, where a staff member and a resident have tested positive.
Officials said Abernethy Laurels is the second congregate care facility in the county to be identified as an “outbreak” and the facility is working to inform all patients, their family members and staff.
The first outbreak in the county was reported last Thursday at Brian Center Viewmont. Health officials said they have conducted widespread testing on residents and staff at both facilities and are waiting on test results.
“We know facility residents and their loved ones are concerned about this news, and we are doing everything we can to assist administrators and staff as they work to protect the people in their care,” Catawba County Public Health Director Jennifer McCracken said. “We are also continuing daily monitoring of all congregate care facilities in our community in order to respond as quickly as possible to reports of potential illness.”
NC Becoming More Polarized Over Pandemic Threat, Survey Finds
North Carolinians are split over the risks posed by the coronavirus, a Duke survey finds. A statewide social distancing survey, now in its sixth week, also found fewer people are practicing social distancing across the state, but that most still believe they are responding appropriately.
The latest survey was conducted by phone May 9-11. It asked 1,684 North Carolinians about their social distancing behavior and attitudes during that time.
Findings: Forty-three percent of survey respondents said they felt most North Carolinians were responding appropriately, down significantly from the range of 52-57 percent seen in the survey’s first four weeks.
The share of respondents who think most North Carolinians are underestimating the risk is up nine points in the last two weeks to 42 percent, while those who think most are overreacting has increased from 8 percent in March to 15 percent in the latest survey. “We see increased polarization around how respondents view the risks of the coronavirus. This is a result of increases in both the share of respondents who think most North Carolinians are underestimating the risk, and the share of respondents who think most North Carolinians are overreacting,” says Nick Eubanks, an assistant research professor at Duke’s Social Science Research Institute, who worked on the survey.
Meanwhile, the survey found significant changes in social distancing behavior:
- The number of people reporting no face-to-face interactions with people outside their household has fallen by 10 percentage points to 23 percent.
- Twenty-eight percent of people reported at least one face-to-face interaction with someone outside their house in which they were unable to stay 6 feet from the other person, up by six points.
- The number of people who reported being in a group of 20 or more people in the last week has continued to rise slowly, up to 26 percent.
Despite these changes, the share of respondents who say they are practicing social distancing remains stable at about 95 percent, and the number of people reporting large changes in their routines since the pandemic began has stayed at about 60 percent.
NCDHHS has released updated data on COVID-19 for the state:
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting 19,023 cases of COVID-19 in 99 counties. That is up 511 from Sunday. Avery County is the only county in North Carolina to not see any cases of coronavirus so far.
There have been two new deaths attributed to COVID-19 since Sunday, bringing the state’s total to 661. NCDHHS reported that 511 people remain hospitalized and 255,755 tests have been completed. The state reported 6,811 total tests were done in the past 24 hours, which is between the benchmark to test between 5,000 and 7,000 people every day.
Mecklenburg County continues to lead the state in both cases and deaths with at least 2,652 and 63 respectively.
Confirmed cases by age:
65 or older (20%)
COVID-19 deaths by age:
65 or older (85%)
Cases by race:
Cases by gender:
(Men account for 52% of deaths)
Cases and deaths in congregate living settings:
There have been 77 outbreaks in nursing homes across the state, resulting in 2,523 cases and 352 deaths (Anson, Burke (2); Cabarrus (2); Catawba; Cleveland; Iredell; Mecklenburg (9); Rowan (4); Union (2))
There have been 28 outbreaks at residential care facilities across the state, resulting in 472 cases and 47 deaths (Cabarrus (2); Mecklenburg (6); Stanly; Union).
Highlights about the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County as of May 13, 2020 include:
About 3 in 4 reported cases were adults ages 20 to 59 years old.
About 1 in 7 reported cases were hospitalized due to their COVID-19 infection.
While everyone is at risk for severe COVID-19 complications, reported cases who were older adults (≥ 60 years) were more likely to be hospitalized compared to younger individuals.
About 2 in 3 reported cases have met CDC criteria to be released from isolation.
During the past week, an average of 54 individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections were hospitalized at acute care facilities in Mecklenburg County. This represents a decrease over the last 14-days. These data are based on daily census counts from acute care facilities in Mecklenburg County reporting to MCPH.
During the past week, an average of 7% of individuals who were tested were positive for COVID-19. This represents a slight decrease over the last 14-days. These data only include tests conducted by Atrium Health and Novant Health.
Sixty-three deaths due to COVID-19 occurred among reported cases. Almost all deaths were among older adults (≥ 60 years), 4 deaths were adults ages 50 to 59. All deaths occurred among adults with underlying chronic illnesses. Nearly 2 out of 3 were non-Hispanic Whites. The disparities in COVID-19 deaths among non-Hispanic Whites is related to differences in race/ethnicity of residents of long-term care (LTC) facilities actively experiencing an outbreak. More than half of the deaths were connected to active outbreaks at long-term care (LTC) facilities.
Based on publicly available mobility tracking data, there has been a slight decrease in social distancing in Mecklenburg County over the last 14-days. Despite this downward trend, social distancing remains significantly higher than before the Stay at Home Order became effective on March 26, 2020.
NCDHHS Expands Measures to Prevent and Respond to COVID-19 in Long-term Care Facilities
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is taking further action to prevent and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities. All long-term care facilities in the state will receive personal protective equipment (PPE) packs of needed supplies, and facilities will receive a limited increased rate for some Medicaid services to support infection prevention and management. “We have a team dedicated to supporting our long-term care facilities as they protect our aging family members and loved ones who require round-the-clock care and the staff who care for them,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “We want to help them do all that they can because once an outbreak occurs in a congregate living setting, it can be difficult to prevent the spread of the virus.” PPE packs will go to more than 3,000 state-licensed long-term care facilities and include a fourteen-day supply of face shields, procedure masks, gloves and shoe covers. Adult care homes, family care homes, nursing homes, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental health facilities will receive supplies. NCDHHS is partnering with North Carolina Emergency Management and the National Guard to deliver the packs at local distribution centers. In addition to the PPE distribution, NCDHHS is providing a time-limited Medicaid rate increase for nursing facility services such as skilled nursing and rehabilitation services. The increase is intended to support strengthening infection prevention and management capacities with technical support from NCDHHS. The increase will also apply to personal care assistance and home health services to help providers who support people being able to stay at home where there is less risk to exposure. NCDHHS also released updated testing guidance to clinicians that recommends testing people who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings such as long-term care facilities. These actions build on earlier measures North Carolina has taken to protect residents and staff in long-term facilities. Previous actions include:
- Issuing Executive Order 130, which codified public health and safety requirements for nursing homes, including requiring staff to wear surgical masks, screenings for all staff and residents for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 daily and closing communal areas.
- Conducting remote infection prevention and control consultation with skilled nursing and other long-term facilities across the state through a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North Carolina Statewide Program for Infection Control and Epidemiology.
- Providing targeted funding to support nursing homes and adult care homes to provide the more intensive care needed for residents with COVID-19 and limit the spread of the virus to other residents and staff.
- Providing a toolkit to support long-term care facilities in preparing for and responding to COVID-19 outbreaks in their facility. The toolkit contains an infection control assessment, infection staffing worksheet, infection prevention educational resources and other tools.
- Helping to fill staffing shortages in long-term care facilities and other health care facilities through a partnership with East Carolina University School of Nursing to match Registered Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants with facilities, particularly long-term care facilities, that are seeking to urgently hire staff for temporary, part-time or full-time roles. Interested health care employees can register at nc.readyop.com/fs/4cjq/697b.
- Implementing several temporary regulatory changes to assist providers in caring for their residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, including adopting an emergency rule granting reciprocity to nurse aides certified in other states to work as nurse aides in North Carolina, and allowing facilities to exceed the number of licensed beds if needed to provide temporary shelter and services to adequately care for residents with COVID-19.
- Providing virtual trainings for more than 2,000 staff working in long-term care sites. Trainings are available online at www.ncahec.net/covid-19/webinars
MACY’S WELCOMES CUSTOMERS TODAY IN THE CHARLOTTE AREA
Today, Macy’s is reopening to customers and communities in the Charlotte area, offering a curated assortment of must-have beauty, fashion, accessories and home, plus the perfect items to click and pick-up. Following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state and local guidance, select Macy’s stores will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., offering contact-free curbside pick-up. A full list of open stores by location is below.
“We are ready to welcome our customers back to Macy’s stores in the Charlotte community,” said Marc Mastronardi, chief stores officer at Macy’s. “We’re introducing new precautions to keep your family and ours safe and are now offering curbside pick-up to make getting what you want quick and easy. Our teams have come together and supported each other and our communities throughout this challenging time, and we look forward to safely serving our customers whenever they are ready to shop.”
Safety Measures In-Store
At Macy’s, the health and well-being of colleagues and customers is always the top priority. For customers shopping in store, Macy’s has implemented enhanced safety and wellness procedures to help combat any potential health concerns, complying with the CDC’s recommended protocol. This includes frequent and enhanced cleaning in heavily trafficked areas and on hard surfaces; implementing social distancing guidelines to maintain 6 feet between all customers and colleagues; installing sanitation stations in frequently visited locations throughout the store, as well as plexiglass at select registers. Macy’s is also asking colleagues to wear face masks to help prevent the spread of the virus and is guiding daily colleague wellness checks before reporting to work.
Contact-Free Curbside Pick-up
Customers who prefer the ease of pick-up can now utilize contact-free curbside service at select Macy’s locations. Items bought for Store Pick-Up on macys.com or the Macy’s mobile app will be eligible for free curbside pick-up Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Most orders placed by Noon will be available for same-day pick-up. Orders placed after Noon will be ready the following business day. Customers will call their local store once they arrive at the designated curbside pick-up location. Following social distancing guidelines, a Macy’s colleague will confirm their order and place the merchandise in the trunk of the car, limiting contact between customers and colleagues. At select locations open to the public, customers can also pick-up orders from the “At Your Service” desk inside the store, a dedicated location for seamless online pick-ups and returns.
Merchandise In Full Bloom
Floral prints are in bloom this season. Customers will find soft pastels, romantic florals and varied shades of neutrals in this season’s fashion and accessories. Freshen your home with the latest botanical styles of bathroom and bedroom sets, mixing and matching pastels and crispy silhouettes, for a garden-inspired home. Macy’s beauty selection offers a “clean slate” with everything needed to achieve the natural face and skin ‘no-makeup’ look, and fragrances to delight every sense.
Since 1998, Macy's Inc., colleagues and customers have donated millions of dollars to fight food insecurity, providing hundreds of millions of meals to those in need. In March, Macy’s Bag Hunger program raised $1.5 million, including more than $11,000 to provide year-round support to local food banks within the state of North Carolina. With help needed now more than ever, Macy’s invites customers to round up their in-store purchase to the nearest dollar (up to $.99) and donate the difference directly to a community food bank chosen by each local store.
Macy’s customers can also help provide a vital lifeline for vulnerable homebound seniors by donating to the Meals on Wheels COVID-19 Response Fund on macys.com. Of the more than $1 million raised to date, each $10 donation helps to provide a much-needed meal, along with routine wellness and safety checks to one of our nation’s most at-risk populations.
Macy’s fan favorite Star Rewards loyalty program makes it easier than ever for customers to earn rewards on every purchase, every day. To provide additional flexibility in this uncertain time, loyalty members’ current status will be extended through 2021. Silver and Gold members can still achieve a higher level status. Additionally, Macy’s is extending expiration dates on Star Money rewards. All unused rewards with an expiration date of March 1 or later will be extended until July 1. For additional information, customers can check their Wallet on macys.com or in the Macy’s mobile app.
Macy’s has extended its return policy allowing customers to return merchandise purchased online up to 60 days beyond the original end date noted on the receipt. Items purchased in a store must be returned to a store. If the last day to return merchandise fell within the store closure timeframe, customers will have an extra 30 days to make a return once the stores reopen. Returned merchandise that is in salable condition will be held aside in a separate Return Collection Depot before being returned to the sales floor.
Customers with additional questions about Macy’s response to COVID-19 can visit macys.com/social/COVID-19.
Customers can visit macys.com/stores for more information regarding their local store offerings.
Open Macy’s Locations in the Charlotte, NC Area:
Available In-Store Shopping, Curbside Delivery and In-Store Pick-up:
- Macy’s Northlake
- Macy’s Southpark
Tens of thousands of North Carolinians have struggled for months to get unemployment benefits they desperately need to feed their families.
Monday, the state is offering some relief so you can get your benefits faster.
State Senator Jeff Jackson said the Division of Employment is adding 350 people to help answer phones and an additional 100 people will help respond to their chat function.
For months, Action 9 has been investigating these issues and working to get answers. He found people have waited on hold for hours just to get through to home who can help them and people searching for the status of their benefits, have checked online, only to see their request “pending” for days.
The added staff should help clear the backlog of claims and fix some of the problems people have been experiencing.
Jackson said there are about 270,000 unemployment claims that have not been paid and the majority of those are more than 14 days old.
Northlake Mall opens to shoppers in north Charlotte for the first time in weeks Monday, but it might look a little different inside than how people remember it before the pandemic.
The mall asks that people practice social distancing in the parking lot and inside the mall, use hand sanitizer stations as you enter and exit the mall, and face masks aren’t required but are recommended.
Some stores may require a mask to enter and individual stores may also limit the number of people inside at a time. Hours at Northlake may vary per store and some stores may not even open Monday.
This also applies to restaurants -- some will be open, but you will not be allowed to eat in the food court.
Click here for more information.
MONDAY MORNING STORYLINES
This week, Gov. Roy Cooper will decide whether to move forward to starting Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan. The earliest Phase 2 could begin would be Friday. Under Phase 2, gyms, entertainment venues, playgrounds, bars and restaurants could all reopen under modifications and social distancing measures.
Cooper is scheduled to give an update Monday at 2 p.m.
More than 18,000 cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in North Carolina with 659 deaths. Health officials say the big uptick in cases comes from testing from a food processing plant. The specific plant was not identified.
The U.S. death toll is about to reach 90,000 with more of the country reopening Monday. There’s growing concern over crowds gathering at restaurants and beaches. Videos of big crowds at beaches and restaurants throughout the country circulated online over the weekend.
10:58 p.m. (Sunday)
The University of South Carolina announced it is canceling fall break and having in-person instruction until Thanksgiving.
After Thanksgiving break, the university said it will transition to remote learning because it is predicting a spike in COVID-19 cases in December.
9:11 p.m. (Sunday)
Brooks’ Sandwich Shop in NoDa announced it will temporarily be raising its prices due to the shortage and increased price of meat.
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