CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More than 6.2 million people worldwide -- including more than 1.8 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.
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***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 29,889 Tuesday. North Carolina is now reporting 921 deaths, 434,921 completed tests and 716 people currently in the hospital.
- Gov. Roy Cooper and the state’s coronavirus task force announced the state moved into a “safer-at-home” plan on May 22.
- 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.
Given the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL on Tuesday informed teams that they will be restricted from traveling to alternate sites for training camp this summer.
For the Panthers, that means camp will be held at team headquarters in Charlotte instead of Wofford College in Spartanburg.
“We are aware of the league’s decision regarding training camp and support its goal of ensuring the safety of fans, players, coaches and staff,” said Steven Drummond, Panthers vice president of communications and external affairs. “We value our longstanding relationship with Wofford College and the Spartanburg area and look forward to returning in 2021.”
The Panthers have held training camp at Wofford since the team’s inaugural season in 1995 and had planned to return for 2020 — a 26th consecutive year. Further details for training camp will be announced at a later date.
The number of people being tested in Caldwell County continues to increase. Between Friday afternoon and Monday afternoon 331 tests were completed. On Tuesday, another 165 people were tested.
SCDHEC today announced 285 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and one additional death. This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 12,415 and those who have died to 501.
Of the newly reported cases Tuesday, 27 were in Lancaster County and 7 more in York County.
Gov. Cooper held a news conference after days of protesting across North Carolina during the coronavirus pandemic.
Before discussing where the state stands in regards to COVID-19, Cooper addressed the protests across the state and country over the death of George Floyd. He said he hears those calling for justice and wants to work with them to make the necessary changes.
“Before we discuss COVID-19, I want to first address the protests in our state and our country after the recent killing of George Floyd. To those lifting up their voices, I want to say – I hear you. I am listening. And I want to help make the changes that we need,” he said.
He then went on to say that we cannot lose sight of the ongoing battle with COVID-19 as well and he wants people to protest safely.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen said the state is in the second week of Phase 2 and the state is continuing to make a cautious approach to reopening to ensure the healthcare system is not overwhelmed.
She said overall the state’s COVID-19 trends are stable, but there are warning signs that need to be monitored. Cohen warned that new cases are on the rise and it can’t all be attributed to increased testing.
“Day-over-day new cases are increasing,” Cohen said. “And notably, we’ve seen in the past week, this increase has even accelerated slightly. In the last 10 days, we have had three days with over 1,000 new cases reported on those days. I would have liked to see this trend starting to level, but unfortunately, it continues to increase.”
Cohen said the data shows that we’re “just having more viral spread in our community.”
According to Cohen, health leaders are looking at a combination of metrics because they cannot be viewed in isolation. She said the trends are looked at as package when making decisions.
Breakdown of current trends:
People coming into emergency room with COVID-like symptoms: Decreasing
New cases: Increasing and accelerating
Percentage of positive tests: Level
Hospitalizations: Slightly up
She said that testing is increasing as well. In the past week, 10,000 tests have been completed per day, according to Cohen.
There are over 400 testing sites across the state. Cohen said leaders are prioritizing testing locations within marginalized communities that have been hit the hardest during the pandemic.
Cooper said he knows COVID-19 has been a blow to economy and he will continue to work to keep jobs in North Carolina.
“As we work to get our businesses growing again, we’re still recruiting more good-paying jobs for North Carolina. Just in the past 2 weeks, we’ve announced over 1,000 new jobs in urban & rural communities across our state,” he said.
In regards to the Republican National Convention, Cooper said has offered to host a scaled-down convention but cannot guarantee a full-scale convention in August because of COVID-19 concerns.
Cooper said he is willing to work out a plan to keep the RNC in Charlotte, while protecting North Carolinians and those who travel to the state for the event.
NCDHHS has released updated data on COVID-19 for the state:
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 626 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 29,889. The state also reported 13,013 more completed tests, exceeding its daily goal of 5,000 to 7,000 tests. This brings the total number of completed tests in the state to 434,921.
There have been 23 new deaths attributed to COVID-19 since Monday, bringing the state’s total to 921.
The percent positive is 8%, which is level over the last few days.
The state reported 716 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19, which marks a new daily record high in that metric.
Mecklenburg County continues to lead the state in both cases and deaths with at least 4,519 and 95 respectively.
Confirmed cases by age:
75 or older (9%)
COVID-19 deaths by age:
75 or older (63%)
Cases by race:
Cases by gender:
(Men account for 53% of deaths)
Cases and deaths in congregate living settings:
There have been 93 outbreaks in nursing homes across the state, resulting in 3,312 cases and 485 deaths.
There have been 44 outbreaks at residential care facilities across the state, resulting in 839 cases and 70 deaths.
Two COVID-19 positive York County residents died this weekend. The deaths were reported to the Coroner’s Office per standing protocols. Both decedents had preexisting medical conditions and were being treated at a local hospital. Both were from the Rock Hill area.
These two deaths bring the total number of reported COVID 19 deaths to 10 for York County.
The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office learned over the weekend that three employees of Wellpath, our contract medical provider, have tested positive for COVID-19. While our investigation into potential exposures is ongoing, in addition to all other protocols which have, to date, prevented the COVID-19 virus from infecting any of our residents, in an abundance of caution, MCSO has issued face masks to all residents of Detention Center-Central and we are requiring that those masks be worn at all times when the resident is outside his/her cell. Also, for the time being, only essential movement of residents is allowed, and all meals will be served in individual cells. Attorney visits remain available both by confidential video (which is preferred) and in-person if necessary. MCSO remains hopeful that its protective measures previously implemented, as well as those detailed above, will continue to minimize the spread of the virus. Due to state and federal privacy laws, we are unable to discuss any specific staff, contractors or residents.
Sheriff McFadden says, “Keeping the staff and residents of MCSO safe are my duty as Sheriff. My commitment to keeping this virus out of my facilities is top priority, I want to ensure that everyone safely returns to their community and families.”
Belmont Abbey College Announces In-Person Opening for Fall 2020
Belmont Abbey College has made the decision to open its residential and commuter campus this Fall for in-person instruction. The President’s Cabinet has created sub-committees and working groups to plan and prepare for the Fall opening.
Effective June 1, 2020, the College established protocol and policy for the reopening of the campus. Belmont Abbey College will take reasonable precautions, abide by federal, state, and local government mandates regarding COVID-19 restrictions, and continue to monitor and respond to recognized health agencies regarding COVID-19 recommendations.
By employing prudent, reasonable, and practical measures along with the appropriate exercise of each member’s free will, personal responsibility, and concern for safety, the College intends to minimize the spread of the virus while continuing to build up its community. The College will also make special accommodations for students, faculty, or staff members with existing health or medical conditions.
RELEVANT FALL DATES (chronologically)
August 11, 2020: Student-Athlete Move-in. Conference Carolinas and its member institutions intend to play a full schedule including championships.
August 14, 2020: Orientation and New Student Move-in. Move-in procedures and residence life will incorporate physical distancing to promote both safety and hospitality. Dining services will minimize virus spread with modifications to eating spaces, take-out services, and server-provided meals.
August 17, 2020: Evening Classes Begin.
August 18, 2020: Day Classes Begin. Classrooms, laboratories, and library facilities will follow the College’s updated safety guidelines which include new flex classroom scheduling to increase physical distance while preserving instructional integrity.
November 20, 2020: In-Person Classes End. The College will conduct its remaining classes remotely with the last day of finals scheduled for December 11, 2020.
There have been no positive cases of COVID-19 within the College community. Should any member of the community test positive for COVID-19, the College administration will notify the community.
A detailed description of the specific actions and requirements for opening in the Fall semester, which the College will update throughout the summer, can be found at www.bac.edu/return2020.
As of this morning, there were 4,188 cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) with 96 deaths due to COVID-19 reported among Mecklenburg County residents. Data as of two days ago are further described below.
As of May 31, 2020, 3,962 cases of and 93 deaths due to COVID-19 among county residents were reported to Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH).
MCPH provides these routine updates about reported cases of COVID-19 to help our community better understand how this pandemic is developing in our county. These results only reflect laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 among county residents. Many individuals infected by COVID-19 have not been tested because they are asymptomatic. As such, these results are very fluid and only represent a fraction of the true burden of COVID-19 in our community.
Daily case counts provided by MCPH may differ from state and federal counts due to delays in reporting to the various entities. MCPH updates case counts after an initial case review and, where possible, a patient interview is conducted, which includes confirming county residency. Cases reported after 5 p.m. are counted in the following day’s case count.
Highlights about the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County as of May 31, 2020 include:
- About 3 in 4 reported cases were adults ages 20 to 59 years old.
- More than a third of reported cases are Hispanic – most of whom are younger adults. The high number of reported cases among young Hispanics over the last several weeks remains a significant concern. As previously noted, some factors influencing this trend include:
- Targeted testing occurring in neighborhoods with lower access to care, some of which have larger Hispanic populations;
- Higher proportions of Hispanics working in essential jobs that make social distancing difficult;
- Significant household spread among large families; and
- Pre-existing disparities in other social and economic determinants of health, like poverty.
MCPH continues to expand outreach to Hispanic members of our community, including increased dissemination of the outreach toolkit in Spanish for community partners, setting up targeted outreach to Hispanic owned- and serving-businesses, and partnering with local organizations and media outlets to spread key prevention messages.
- About 1 in 10 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 85 individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections were hospitalized at acute care facilities in Mecklenburg County. This represents an increase 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 9.4 percent of individuals who were tested were positive for COVID-19. This represents an increase over the last 14-days. These data only include tests conducted by Atrium Health and Novant Health.
- Ninety-three deaths due to COVID-19 occurred among reported cases.
- Almost all deaths were among older adults (≥ 60 years), 6 deaths were adults ages 40 to 59.
- All deaths, except one, occurred among adults with underlying chronic illnesses.
- Nearly 2 out of 3 were non-Hispanic Whites. The disparity 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 was a 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.
The latest data, maps and charts on local COVID-19 are available here on MeckNC.gov.
More than $3 billion has been paid out to unemployed people in North Carolina since March 15.
Due in most part to COVID-19, 987,072 people lost their jobs and filed for unemployment. So far, 660,553 of those have received unemployment benefits.
Avery County’s only 2 COVID-19 patients have recovered.
Greensboro College to end fall semester early amid virus
The president of Greensboro College in North Carolina said the school will end its fall semester before Thanksgiving in order to reduce the number of trips students make during the coronavirus outbreak.
A news release says the school’s fall semester will now end on Nov. 24. Final exams will be held online during the first week of December. Students will have class on Labor Day and fall break will be canceled to make up for the early fall dismissal. The spring schedule will remain as before.
The college also announced it has resumed “limited” in-person campus tours for prospective students and families.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced it is waiving all copays for primary care visit and behavioral health visits for Medicare Advantage members from June 1 through the end of the year.
Officials said the visits do not need to be COVID-19 related and can be done either in person or through telehealth.
The measure benefits Blue Cross North Carolina’s nearly 69,000 Medicare Advantage members. The company said all copays for in-network primary care and outpatient behavioral health visits will be waived in full when it is not already $0 through a member’s health plan.
“Blue Cross NC is committed to doing all we can to best serve our members during this public health crisis,” Rahul Rajkumar, chief medical officer at Blue Cross NC said. “By eliminating these copays, we hope that it will make it easier, and encourage our senior members to get the care they need.”
Morganton Parks and Recreation reopening some facilities with restrictions, will hold July 4th fireworks show
As communities throughout our state begin to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Morganton Parks and Recreation Department is excited to provide citizens with something to look forward to by reopening some facilities and holding its popular annual fireworks show.
The City will reopen its pools and skeet range with restrictions in June, and will hold a fireworks show on Saturday, July 4, at Freedom Park. The Collett Street Recreation Center and Mountain View Recreation Center will remain closed to the public, per Executive Order 141.
“We are very glad we feel we can safely reopen some facilities and offer options for fun activities this summer, but this does not mean the pandemic is over,” said City of Morganton Parks and Recreation Director Rob Winkler. “People using these facilities, or attending the July 4th fireworks show, should be vigilant and adhere to guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.”
There will be strict rules in place to help keep our community safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City will practice and enforce social distancing at all times. Throughout the day, multiple times per day, staff will clean and disinfect common areas, dressing rooms and other equipment at City facilities. If you plan to use City facilities or watch the fireworks show, you must adhere to the rules below.
JULY 4TH FIREWORKS
- Fireworks will be shot from Freedom Park.
- Freedom Park will be closed.
- This location should allow for a larger number of citizens to view the fireworks from safe parking areas. There are large amounts of parking available near Freedom Park.
- People should watch the fireworks from their cars while socially distancing themselves from surrounding groups.
- Due to restrictions, no concerts or festivities will be held, only a fireworks show.
COLLETT STREET POOL
- The City will open the Collett Street Pool on Saturday, June 13.
- The pool will be available for open swim only. The toddler pool will remain closed.
- Monday through Friday, swim sessions will be held from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- On Saturdays, the pool will open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for lap swim. There will be two times for swim sessions after lap swim: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- On Sundays, the pool will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Only 60 people will be allowed at a time (based on square footage of the pool).
- There will not be any classes, lessons or parties allowed.
- There will not be any concessions offered. There will be a drink machine with water available. Outside food and drink is not allowed at the Collett Street Pool.
- Dressing rooms will only be used for washing hands and using the bathroom. Showering and changing clothes will not be allowed. Patrons must arrive and leave in their swimsuits.
- Patrons will have to bring their own lounge chairs or a towel for the pool deck. We will enforce 6 feet of separation along the pool deck for groups that aren’t family.
- No summer passes will be available. Daily rates only. City resident rates are $2.75 for children, $4 for adults, and $3 for seniors. Non-City resident rates are $3.25 for children, $5 for adults, and $3.75 for seniors.
- Yearly memberships are prorated non-refundable.
- The Aquatic Center will open on Monday, June 8.
- The pool will only be open for classes and lap swim.
- There will be a max of 25 people allowed at any given time.
- The pool will only be open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- The Aquatics Center will be closed on weekends.
- No groups or parties will be allowed at this time.
- No summer passes will be available.
- Yearly memberships are prorated non-refundable.
- The Skeet Range will open on Saturday, June 13, and operate on normal hours Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
- Use will be limited to a maximum of 25 people at a time.
- City staff will be the only people allowed in the office. The building will be closed to the public.
- The City will provide a Porta John for participants to use while at the facility.
Small businesses in Charlotte area getting more help to recover -- the city started a new $2 million grant program Monday.
The city’s partners can use the fund the help small businesses with less than 50 employees.
They can apply for up to $250,000. Applications are due on the 11th and grants will be awarded by the end of the month.
In addition, we’ve seen more people out and about as businesses reopen, but the majority are hesitant to get back to normal.
Numbers from a new ABC News/Washington Post Poll show 58 percent said it is too early to go out to stores and restaurants like we did before the pandemic.
Fifty-seven percent said controlling the virus is more important right now than restarting the economy. Sixty-eight percent were worried about a second wave of COVID-19 cases.
9:45 p.m. (Monday)
Burke County is currently at 451 positive cases.
The cases consist of traveling, congregate living, and community spread. All positive cases are isolated and Public Health staff continues to investigate the cases and will be locating those close contacts to help contain the spread of the infection.
Numbers noted on the state website may fluctuate during the public health investigations when staff find out that some positive tests are truly not Burke County residents. Numbers listed above are correct numbers for Burke County.
Public information line has been opened Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm for those with questions can call 828-764-9388.
7:30 p.m. (Monday)
There are plenty of signs in the statistics that South Carolina is seeing a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. The past three days have seen more than 300 new cases reported, the only days where new cases have topped 300 since the coronavirus was first detected in South Carolina in early March.
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