Coronavirus local updates: UNCW student studying abroad tests positive after flying in to Charlotte Douglas

Coronavirus local updates: UNCW student studying abroad tests positive after flying in to Charlotte Douglas
(Lynne Sladky/AP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The United States has more than 20,000 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 Saturday:

10:25 p.m.

Officials confirm 4 additional cases of COVID-19 in Carteret County.

This brings the total number of cases in the county to 5 and the total number in North Carolina to 273 cases.

9:30 p.m.

The Christmas lights will be turned back on in McAdenville, also known as Christmas Town USA, to help spread cheer during these challenging times.

They will be on for a limited time from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

7:12 p.m.

Health officials confirmed 17 additional cases of the coronavirus in Wake County and one additional case in Durham County.

Wake County now has 49 positive cases and Durham County has 40 cases, according to officials.

This brings the total cases in North Carolina to 269.

7:02 p.m.

A University of North Carolina at Wilmington student who just tested positive for COVID-19 flew in to the Charlotte Douglas International Airport on their way home from studying abroad, university officials said.

The university said the student flew in March 14 and went directly home from the airport, but didn’t say where their home is. They said it is not in New Hanover County, though.

UNCW also confirmed another student tested positive, as well. The student left campus March 10 for spring break and returned to Wilmington on March 17 but has not been back on campus since leaving, the university said.

UNC Chapel Hill also confirmed cases at its university, and Elon University said a student studying in Europe tested positive after they returned home.

6:15 p.m.

Officials have confirmed the fifth and sixth cases of the coronavirus in Brunswick County. Both people are in isolation at home.

The cases are not related and both people recently traveled, officials said.

The total cases in North Carolina are now at 251.

5:14 p.m.

Officials with American Airlines said a person tested positive for COVID-19 days after flying through the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Officials said they were informed Friday that the passenger tested positive, several days after flying on one of their regional planes.

According to officials, the plane was cleaned in Charlotte and they have been in contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health departments.

American Airlines has not said where the person was flying to or from or on what day they flew.

4:50 p.m.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said it is investigating 46 additional cases of the novel coronavirus.

This brings the total number of cases in South Carolina to 173.

“We can all take steps every day to help limit the spread of this virus,” said Dr. Michael Kacka, DHEC physician and medical consultant. “As the number of positive cases throughout the state is expected to increase, we’re continuing to focus our efforts on preventing spread of the disease with special attention to those who are most high-risk for contracting the virus.”

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

  • Anderson County: 4
  • Beaufort County: 4
  • Charleston County: 4
  • Colleton County: 1
  • Darlington County: 1
  • Dillon County: 1
  • Edgefield County: 1
  • Greenville County: 5
  • Greenwood County: 2
  • Horry County: 1
  • Kershaw County: 6
  • Lexington County: 4
  • Marlboro County: 1
  • Newberry County: 1
  • Orangeburg County: 1
  • Richland County: 6
  • Spartanburg County: 1
  • Sumter County: 2
  • York County: 1

3:34 p.m.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced the state’s income tax deadline has been extended to July 15, which is also the new federal income tax deadline.

All other state taxes will remain delayed until June 1.

The governor also asked construction contractors and anyone else who works in the skilled trade industry to donate personal protective equipment to health care professionals and state agencies.

McMaster also issued an executive order to allow restaurants to include sealed containers of beer and wine for curbside pickup or to-go orders only. This order does not authorize or apply to open containers or delivery services.

“Team South Carolina is constantly reviewing the COVID-19 situation, and all plans and contingencies to contain this virus remain on the table,” said McMaster. “That includes shelter-in-place, a drastic action that other states with larger population centers have taken. It is my hope that this will not be necessary here, and I believe it to be much less likely, as long as South Carolinians follow official instructions and take recommended precautions now.”

3:07 p.m.

Health officials have confirmed cases of COVID-19 in multiple counties across North Carolina. This brings the total number of cases in the state to 249.

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

  • Cherokee County: 3
  • Davie County: 1
  • Henderson County: 1
  • Hyde County: 1
  • Union County: 3 new cases (9 total cases)

2:45 p.m.

The North Carolina Air National Guard, based in Charlotte, is sending 24 airmen to help in warehouses and ship supplies needed due to COVID-19.

2:42 p.m.

Health officials confirmed there is an additional case of COVID-19 in Cabarrus County.

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

2:18 p.m.

Officials said the four Cumberland County cases of COVID-19 are in Fort Bragg.

According to officials, two of the people are in their 20s.

2:15 p.m.

New Hanover County has identified three additional positive cases of coronavirus, bringing the county’s total to four.

Officials said all three cases appear to be travel-related. One case traveled to New York and returned by way of Myrtle Beach International Airport. They were not symptomatic while traveling, but started to feel sick after returning to Hanover County.

The second traveled to Florida and became symptomatic there. They traveled back by car and began self-isolating at home before being tested at their physician’s office.

The last case traveled to Colorado, came back to the area on March 9, became symptomatic on March 11 and was tested on March 17. This person did not self-isolate so health officials are working to determine if there are other people who may have come into contact with the virus.

Health officials said all three patients are self-isolated at home and are doing well.

In addition, Robeson County identified its first positive coronavirus case.

Officials said the person traveled to Washington D.C. and then, became symptomatic. Now, the Robeson County Health Department is working to determine if anyone may have come into contact with the virus.

With these cases, the statewide case total sits at 239.

12:30 p.m.

In a tweet Saturday afternoon, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said a “shelter in place” is not under consideration for residents.

“If we all work together, act responsibly and take necessary precautions, lives can be saved now,” McMaster said.

This comes one day after health officials announced two more deaths in the state.

South Carolina has reported 125 positive cases, including 3 deaths.

11:00 a.m.

A University of South Carolina student who was living in one of the residence halls has tested positive for coronavirus, according to school leaders.

Officials said the student, along with 17 other residents of the building, are in quarantine as a preventative measure. The students who were living in the building had applied for special permission to remain on campus during the closure.

The university said it is providing meals and staff is helping the students with any academic or health needs.

Health officials said they are working to determine if there are other people who may have contact into contact with the virus.

School leaders said as of Saturday morning, they have 11 students and a faculty member who have tested positive for coronavirus. They are all living in other states or off-campus.

10:45 a.m.

Health officials say there are now 77 positive coronavirus cases in Mecklenburg County.

Officials also said all gyms and fitness centers were required to close this week across the county, regardless of the number of occupants.

They said this is critical to the health and safety of the county’s residents.

The Department of Health and Human Services also updated their statewide cases and as of Saturday morning, North Carolina sits at 184 cases.

The latest statewide case count does not include Mecklenburg County’s cases. Based on county health department reporting numbers, North Carolina’s total known cases sits around 235.

County-by-County breakdown:

Mecklenburg: 77

Durham: 39

Wake: 32

Forsyth: 8

Harnett: 7

Brunswick: 4

Cumberland: 4

Franklin: 4

Guilford: 7

Orange: 6

Chatham: 3

Johnston: 3

Craven: 2

Iredell: 2

Moore: 2

Pitt: 2

Rowan: 2

Union: 6

Watauga: 2

Wilson: 2

Alamance: 1

Cabarrus: 5

Carteret: 1

Catawba: 1

Davidson: 1

Gaston: 1

Hoke: 1

Lee: 1

Lincoln: 1

New Hanover: 1

Onslow: 1

Pasquotank: 1

Sampson: 1

Stanly: 1

Wayne: 1

Granville: 1

Scotland : 1

Officials reported 832 tests were completed in the state lab while 5,276 tests were completed across North Carolina.

The state lab has supplies for 1,575 patients, but this number does not include supplies at university and commercial laboratories.

10:30 a.m.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has waived restrictions in order to increase access to child care and elder care during the coronavirus outbreak.

In addition, Cooper said Division of Motor Vehicles offices can enact social distancing protections and waive registration requirements to make sure proper resources can be delivered throughout the state.

“Doctors, nurses, first responders and other critical personnel need to know their children are safe so they can continue to respond during this time of crisis,” Cooper said. “And we’re loosening trucking requirements so important medicine and equipment can get quickly to the the people in all 100 counties that need it.”

In terms of better access to child care, the governor’s order:

  • Improves access to safe, flexible child care for first responders, emergency personnel, food preparers and others
  • Transfers authority to local health departments to be more flexible with mandates during the crisis, so they can prioritize the most needed services
  • Lifts some restrictions so that volunteers and other caregivers may care for children and elders during the crisis.

For transportation, the waiver includes:

  • Allow DMV offices to ensure appropriate social distancing including requiring appointments and making sure offices have enough space for DMV customers
  • Postpone DMV hearings that can reasonably be delayed during the crisis response
  • Offers clarity around regulations so that critical supplies can get where they are needed throughout the state

10:19 a.m.

Even though the North Carolina Zoo is closed to the public, zookeepers wanted to let everyone know they are still there taking care of the animals and making sure the zoo’s residents still to their daily routines!

9:45 a.m.

A U.S. Navy Sailor who was assigned to the U.S. Central Command headquarters had tested positive for coronavirus.

According to the U.S. Central Command, the sailor had returned home in Tampa, Fla. from overseas travel and immediately went into precautionary quarantine at his home.

He started showing symptoms on March 18 and met healthcare professionals outside Macdill Air Force Base for a test.

He is now undergoing treatment and recovering at home in Florida.

8:50 a.m.

Health officials say they are now investigating 5 positive coronavirus cases in Cabarrus County.

According to the Cabarrus Health Alliance, two of the cases appear to be travel-related and the other three cases are still under investigation.

Your daily update from Cabarrus Health Alliance. Today, Erin Shoe updates the community on the status of COVID-19 in Cabarrus County. She reviews the State of Emergency and what it means to residents. Erin also clarifies Executive Order 118 regarding restaurants. For more information, visit, call the Health Information Line at 704-920-1213 or email

Posted by Cabarrus Health Alliance on Friday, March 20, 2020

This brings the statewide case total to 193.

Cabarrus County also declared a state of emergency Thursday due to the ongoing threat of the virus in the area.

8:30 a.m.

Officials confirmed four additional cases of the coronavirus in Union County, bringing the total number of cases to six.

The health department said they identified individuals who contracted the virus through community spread, which means the source of the infection is unknown.

Authorities did not say how many cases were through community spread.

Health officials encouraged Union County residents to stay home as much as possible, avoid people who are sick and take measures to stay healthy.

9:56 p.m. (Friday)

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. (Friday)

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.