Live Updates: Coronavirus In North Carolina

Live Updates: Coronavirus In North Carolina

10:00am Aug 14, 2020

WFDD reporters will update this page with the latest news of the coronavirus in North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. 

 

Here's what we know: 

142,170 North Carolina residents have tested positive for COVID-19, 2,313 North Carolinians have died, and 1,877,402 tests have been completed, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services1,049 people are currently hospitalized. Last updated 12:09 p.m., August 14, 2020.

- North Carolina is under a state of emergency. On August 5, Governor Roy Cooper extended Phase 2 of reopening for five more weeks. In June, Cooper implemented a statewide requirement for face coverings. Under his executive order, the coverings are to be worn in public places where social distancing is not possible. The state has been in Phase 2 since May 22. Certain businesses are allowed to be open at limited capacity, including restaurants, personal care businesses, salons, barbers, camps, childcare facilities, and pools. Gatherings of up to 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors are allowed. In addition to wearing face coverings, residents are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and wait six feet apart.  

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August 14, 2020

3:55 p.m.

The Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 5,816 total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 152 deaths. There have been 544 hospitalizations and 3,475 recoveries to date.

3:00 p.m

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is setting up new programs to offer remote learning centers for students throughout the county.

Thirty sites are being planned. The centers will be located in places like churches and some local YMCAs. It’s part of the district’s CARES Team project.

The goal is to provide a safe and reliable place for students who have trouble connecting to the internet, have language barriers, or who don’t have an adult who can assist them at home during the school day.

“We do ask that families make a reservation because what we don’t want happening is we don’t want 50 to 60 students showing up for a place that can only accommodate 15 people,” says Michael Pesce, director of social work for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

The first day of remote learning for students is on Monday, August 17.

12:47 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 37 new cases of COVID-19 and three deaths since yesterday. There have been 5,477 laboratory-confirmed cases in Forsyth County. Of the 5,477, 4,654 are presumed recovered.

In the county's daily briefing, health officials stated, “Forsyth County Department of Public Health was made aware from StarMed, the provider that conducts COVID-19 testing at Public Health’s events, that approximately 100 individuals received a bill. The bills were sent in error from StarMed’s insurance clearinghouse. There is no payment for the nasal swab testing. If you received a balance-due bill related to Forsyth County Department of Public Health’s hosted COVID-19 testing, you may disregard the bill. StarMed is reaching out to individuals electronically to advise that no balance is due. If payment has already been made, StarMed will issue a refund within 24 hours. If you have any questions, please contact StarMed at
704-941-6000.”

11:33 a.m.

NCDHHS is encouraging North Carolinians who are enrolled in the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to use their food benefits during COVID-19 to support good nutrition for their families. All WIC participants are getting monthly food benefits automatically added to their eWIC account because of the pandemic.

More information can be found here.

*This post has been updated to address a potential error noted in a press release from NCDHHS.

10:45 a.m.

Guilford County Schools has confirmed that a nutrition worker tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

The worker was present at a small training session on Monday, according to Chief of Staff Nora Carr.  After the employee tested positive for coronavirus, several co-workers were sent home, and have since been contacted by the county health department. Those employees will need clearance from the department or a health care provider before they can return to work.

Carr wouldn’t identify which school was affected, saying that information will become public if there is a wider spread.

August 13, 2020

5:35 p.m.

The Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 5,760 total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 152 deaths. There have been 537 hospitalizations and 3,402 recoveries to date.

3:05 p.m.

Businesses and nonprofit organizations in North Carolina that have experienced interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic could qualify for up to $250,000 from a new state grant program. The Department of Commerce is now accepting applications for the Job Retention Grant Program (JRG) through the agency’s website.

“This program aims to help employers keep employees on the payroll," says Governor Roy Cooper.

The JRG initiative is supported by $15 million in federal COVID-19 funds, which the General Assembly appropriated for this use. Both for-profit and certain types of nonprofit employers may apply for grants through the program, which has an application deadline of September 1, 2020.   

To qualify for a grant award, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, which include:

  • The applicant cannot have participated in the federal Paycheck Protection Program, the federal Main Street Loan Program, or the state Rapid Recovery Loan Program.
  • The applicant must have maintained at least 90 percent of the number of full-time employees in North Carolina at the end of June 2020 as it did at the end of February 2020. 
  • The applicant must have had a reduction in sales (in the case of a for-profit business) or receipts (for nonprofits) of more than 10 percent when comparing March-May 2020 to March-May 2019 levels.

Applicants are eligible for a grant up to 125 percent of two months of its 2019 average monthly payroll costs, up to a maximum of $250,000.  All applicants that apply and are eligible may expect to receive some level of assistance, but the actual amount of the grant will depend on the total number of eligible requests received by the program. If requests exceed the $15 million that’s available, then individual grant amounts will be lowered on a prorated basis.

1:15 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force are holding a media briefing at 2 p.m. regarding COVID-19. Watch live here, or listen on 88.5 WFDD.

 

12:55 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 59 new cases of COVID-19 today. The total case count for Forsyth is 5,440. 4,539 county residents are presumed to be recovered from the disease. 

12:15 p.m.

Gov. Roy Cooper says he’s preparing to accept extended unemployment benefits for North Carolina that President Donald Trump ordered as part of the continuing response to the COVID-19 economic downturn.

The Democratic governor told top Republican legislators of his plan Wednesday. GOP leaders asked him on Tuesday to act quickly to ensure North Carolina workers can get an additional maximum weekly benefit of at least $300.

The legislature says it plans to authorize the state's share of matching funds the order requires next month. Cooper’s letter also blasted Republican lawmakers for state benefits he says are too long and don’t last long enough.

-The Associated Press

12:10 p.m.

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has ended his lawsuit against Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

The Republican had argued Cooper unlawfully issued executive orders limiting mass gatherings and business operations during the coronavirus pandemic without the necessary approval from the Council of State.

The two are competing in this year's gubernatorial election. The 10-member council includes both of them, Attorney General Josh Stein and other statewide elected officials.

A court ruled in Cooper's favor on Tuesday by saying the governor had sufficient emergency authority to act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

-The Associated Press

August 12, 2020

6:00 p.m.

The Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 5,724 total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 152 deaths. There have been 537 hospitalizations and 3,364 recoveries to date.

4:30 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper has issued Executive Order 156 extending, but not waiving, proof-of-immunization and health assessment documentation deadlines for school and child care facilities. With health care visits limited in some cases due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the order will give students and families more time to get their required vaccines and health assessments completed. 

The deadline is extended for students enrolled in public, private or religious educational institutions, including child care facilities and K-12 schools as well as colleges and universities. The Executive Order also extends the deadline for each child entering a North Carolina public school for the first time to submit a school health assessment.

In typical years, proof of required immunizations and health assessments are required within 30 days of the first date of attendance of school. After the 30 days, children are to be excluded from school until the family provides documentation of requirements. This year, the 30-day "grace period" for all students will begin on October 1, 2020.

Whether children are home-schooled or attend school in-person or by remote learning, they are required by state law to be immunized based on their age for certain vaccinations as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. School requirements are listed on the NCDHHS website according to school or grade level, as well as the requirements for young children who attend child care facilities. 

NCDHHS is collaborating with multiple partners, including the North Carolina Pediatric Society and the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians, on an awareness campaign to help ensure school-age children are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

3:45 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 64 new cases of COVID-19 today. The total case count for Forsyth is 5,381. 4,429 county residents are presumed to be recovered from the disease. 

There have been a total of 53 COVID-19 deaths in the county.

2:50 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has announced corrections to the state’s daily and cumulative completed COVID-19 test counts after discovering a discrepancy between electronic and manual reporting of testing data that had been submitted by LabCorp. 

The LabCorp data error resulted in a higher count of total COVID-19 tests performed. According to a press release from the state, the reporting error does NOT affect the key COVID-19 NC Dashboard trends North Carolina uses to monitor this pandemic, including the number of new positive cases and percent of tests that are positive. This error did not impact reporting of results to patients or doctors.

"Although this reporting error impacts our count of total tests completed, it does not alter our key metrics or change our understanding of COVID-19 transmission in North Carolina, which shows stabilization over the last few weeks," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D.

The error reduces NCDHHS’s official count of cumulative tests performed from 2,044,727 to 1,823,283. It did not impact the case count total or the percent positive calculation that NCDHHS reports. Going back to the beginning of the reporting error, the data will be updated to reflect the accurate number of tests performed.  

1:45 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper is directing over $95 million to help support North Carolina students affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new funding will benefit both K-12 and postsecondary students who have been most impacted by the pandemic. The money comes from North Carolina’s share of an education relief fund that is part of the federal CARES act.

According to a press release, about $40 million will go to the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction to hire more public school nurses, counselors, social workers, and psychologists.

Another $20 million will be directed to support the academic needs of at-risk students and those with disabilities.

August 11, 2020

5:50 p.m. 

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has won another legal victory defending his COVID-19 executive orders, this time involving a lawsuit filed by Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. A judge on Tuesday refused to block temporarily his orders limiting business activities and mass gatherings and mandating face coverings. Forest sued Cooper last month, saying the orders were unlawful because he failed to first get support from the Council of State. Cooper’s attorneys argued that Cooper used part of emergency management law that let him act unilaterally when local governments are unable to respond effectively.  Cooper and Forest are running for governor in November.

The Associated Press

3:58 p.m. 

Forsyth County is reporting thirty-one new cases Tuesday. The total number of cases in the county is 5,317. Of those, 4,230 are presumed recovered. The total number of deaths is 52. 

Public Health Director Joshua Swift commented, “The Forsyth County Department of Public Health is hosting another free COVID-19 testing event tomorrow, August 12th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, August 15th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Shiloh Baptist Church 916 E. 12th Street in Winston-Salem. Drive-thru testing is available for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Walk-ups are also allowed. Registration is not required but is strongly encouraged. To register and for more information on testing, visit http://www.forsyth.cc/covidupdate.”

2:07 p.m.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the North Carolina Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) network are launching a childcare hotline for families and caregivers of children under the age of 12. The number is 1-888-600-1685 and is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"This hotline can help connect families with child care options as this pandemic continues to affect our families. We need to do everything we can to support working parents as we work to beat this virus,” Governor Roy Cooper said.

Licensed child care providers who agree to meet NCDHHS health and safety guidelines will offer service. As of August 10th, 30,000 slots are available across the state. 

1:14 p.m.

NCDHHS has received its first reported case of a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive dog in North Carolina. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. The dog, unfortunately, succumbed to its acute illness. The client alerted staff that a member of the family had previously tested positive for COVID-19 and later was tested negative. If pet owners are concerned about the health of their dog, they should contact their veterinarian and discuss the dog’s symptoms before bringing them to the veterinarian office. Additional information can be found here

11:31 a.m.

The 2020 Woolly Worm Festival of Banner Elk has been canceled. A statement on the festival's website reads, "After careful consideration and guidance from local and state agencies as well as the Boards of Directors from the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk and the Avery County Chamber of Commerce the decision was made to cancel this year's onsite Woolly Worm Festival on October 17 and 18, 2020. We know it’s the right decision based on the information we have today." 

10:21 a.m.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced a new, expedited reimbursement program that aims to expand non-congregate sheltering options in communities across the state.

The new funding option allows local jurisdictions, agencies and community organizations to receive expedited reimbursements from NCEM for all eligible costs for non-congregate sheltering operations and associated wrap-around services (e.g., food, security, cleaning, transportation). Applicants will be considered regardless of whether they currently operate a non-congregate sheltering program.

NCDHHS recommends non-congregate sheltering options for individuals in need who:

  • Test positive for COVID-19 and do not require hospitalization but need isolation. This includes those discharged from hospitals.
  • Have been exposed to COVID-19 and do not require hospitalization but should be quarantined.
  • Are First Responders and healthcare workers who do not require hospitalization but need to avoid direct contact with their families due to exposure to COVID-19.
  • Are at high risk for COVID-19 and need to undertake social distancing as a precautionary measure, as determined by public health officials. For high-risk groups such as people over 65 or with certain underlying health conditions (respiratory, compromised immune systems, chronic disease), this may include those whose living situation makes them unable to adhere to social distancing.

More information can be found here.

August 10, 2020

4:45 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has 34 upcoming community testing events scheduled in Alexander, Bertie, Cabarrus, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, Greene, Hertford, Jackson, Lenoir, Nash, Northampton, Pitt, Randolph, Robeson, Wake, Wayne and Wilson counties.

This is part of an initiative to increase access to free COVID-19 testing for African American, Latinx/Hispanic, and American Indian communities that currently have limited testing sites.

There is no cost to get tested. Insurance, if available, will be billed, but there are no co-pays or cost-sharing for anyone seeking testing. Those who are uninsured are also tested at no cost. 

For an up-to-date list of events, visit the Community Testing Events page of the NCDHHS COVID-19 website. 

A disproportionately high percentage of North Carolina’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have occurred among historically marginalized populations, and mounting evidence shows the members of these populations experience higher rates of COVID-19 mortality and serious complications.

People who may not currently have symptoms but may have been exposed to COVID-19 should get tested, especially people from historically marginalized communities, including Latinx/Hispanic, Black/African American, and American Indian populations. In addition, testing is a priority for anyone who has symptoms or those who may have been exposed to COVID-19, including:  

  • Anyone who has attended a mass gathering including a protest.

  • Anyone who works in a setting at a higher risk of exposure such as a grocery store, restaurant, gas station, or childcare program.

  • People who live or work in high-risk settings such as long-term facilities, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, or food processing facilities.

4:30 p.m.

Forsyth County Public Health Director Joshua Swift says that the Crossing Preschool in Kernersville has been identified as having a COVID-19 cluster. A cluster is defined as a minimum of five laboratory-confirmed cases with illness onset or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiologic linkage between cases. 

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the outbreak involves four children and two staff members. 

Swift says the Public Health Department’s nursing team is currently collaborating with the preschool to ensure that CDC and State guidance is implemented.

3:10 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 13 new cases of COVID-19 today. Over the weekend, there were 65 new cases reported on Saturday, and 60 new cases reported on Sunday. The total case count for Forsyth is 5,286.

4,101 county residents are presumed to be recovered from the disease. There have been a total of 52 COVID-19 deaths in the county.

August 7, 2020

5:05 p.m.

The Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 5,513 total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 149 deaths. There have been 513 hospitalizations and 3,127 recoveries to date.

3:40 p.m.

Wake Forest Baptist Health, in partnership with Javara, has begun recruiting healthy adults for a Phase 3 clinical research study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of mRNA-1273, a vaccine candidate against COVID-19. 

It’s called the COVE Study. Participants will be 18 or older and in high-risk populations. This includes the elderly, racial and ethnic minorities at higher risk for COVID-19, and essential workers in close contact with potentially infected people.

The study will evaluate if mRNA-1273 boosts the immune system to produce enough antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, so it does not cause illness in case of infection

Volunteers must have no known history of SARS-CoV-2 infection or previous participation in an investigational coronavirus vaccine. Within this population, Wake Forest Baptist Health and Javara are prioritizing candidates whose locations or circumstances put them at higher risk of exposure to the virus.

12:55 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting fifty-seven new cases and one death on Friday. The total case count is 5,148. Of those, 3,853 are presumed recovered.

12:36 p.m. 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued an order Friday to require biweekly testing of nursing home staff and announced continued funding for the testing through November. The measure mandates previously recommended practices. NCDHHS is also adding ten regional infection control support teams to help nursing homes manage and prevent COVID-19 outbreaks. 

“North Carolina nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “These additional testing and infection control resources enhance the ongoing work to guide and support long-term care facilities as they take extraordinary measures to protect residents and staff during COVID-19.”

More information on the order here

10:31 a.m. 

The Winston-Salem Forsyth County School district was notified Thursday that a student athlete tested positive for COVID-19. This student had returned to voluntary summer workouts at West Forsyth High School with the men's soccer team. Monday, August 3rd was the last day the student attended the workout. West Forsyth and the Athletics Department at WS/FCS have worked with the Forsyth County Public Health Department to find and notify other students or staff who were in contact. 

10:01 a.m. 

An immigrant rights and relief organization is holding "drive-thru" events Saturday for Latino residents to receive masks and COVID-19 tests. It will also include voter registration events: 

Rockingham: Masks & Free COVID-19 Tests (with Cone Health)

Saturday, August 8, 9 am-12 pm 

Holy Infant Catholic Church 1042 Freeway Drive, Reidsville NC 

Randolph: Masks & Free COVID-19 Tests (with MERCE Health)

Saturday, August 8, 8 am-12 pm 

Eastern Randolph High School, 390 Eastern Randolph Rd, Ramseur NC

Siembra NC is partnering with MERCE Health in Ramseur and Cone Health in Reidsville on Saturday from 8 am-12 pm to distribute over 2,000 masks and dozens of coronavirus tests. According to a release from the group, Ramseur has been identified by the NC Department of Health and Human Services as having one of the highest rates of COVID-19 per capita in the state. 

 

August 6, 2020

5:50 p.m.

The Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 5,430 total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 149 deaths. There have been 509 hospitalizations and 3,054 recoveries to date.

1:32 p.m.

The state prison system has finished mass COVID-19 testing of inmates. The results show 2.1 percent were positive for the virus in a six-week period. According to a state press release, the percentage is lower than prisons in other states. 

“Our staff have worked tirelessly to prevent the virus from getting into our prisons, to contain it when it does get into a facility and to reduce its spread to other prisons,” said Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee. “These numbers confirm their hard work is paying off and reflect our ongoing commitment to the safety of all North Carolina prisons.”

The mass testing of the prison population began on June 22, at a cost of around $3.3 million.

12:58 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 63 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 5,091. Of those, 3,751 are presumed recovered. 

9:50 a.m. 

Gov. Roy Cooper says North Carolina's COVID-19 restrictions keeping high-risk businesses closed and mass gatherings severely limited will remain in place for another five weeks.

The governor's decision announced on Wednesday means the mandates under his current executive order set to expire later this week will be extended beyond Labor Day at least.

Bars, gyms, movie theaters, and amusement parks must remain closed and a face covering requirement in public places will continue.

He says the restrictions need to stay in place in part to counterbalance the start of classes at K-12 schools and university campuses this month. 

 

August 5, 2020

7:58 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health has confirmed 5,327 cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 149 deaths. There have been 508 hospitalizations and 2,993 recoveries to date.

3:55 p.m

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force will be available today for a dial-in media briefing at 4 p.m. regarding COVID-19. Watch live here, and you can also listen to the broadcast on 88.5 FM.

 

2:30 p.m.

UNCSA is one of nine campuses across the state to receive a grant that will go towards new programs designed to support students' mental health and emotional well-being as they study in the midst of a pandemic. The $19,500 grant comes from the University of North Carolina System Office. The goal is to increase retention rates and improve academic performance. 

1:05 p.m.

Carowinds, an amusement park on the North Carolina-South Carolina border, will be closed for the rest of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Charlotte Observer reports Carowinds vice president and general manager Pat Jones said he was disappointed over having to remain closed due to coronavirus, but said the safety of the park's guests and associates is its top priority.

He said continued uncertainty locally about COVID-19 led to the decision to keep Carowinds closed.

-The Associated Press

1:00 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 21 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 5,028. Of the 5,028, 3,643 are presumed recovered. Two additional death were also reported Wednesday. There now have been 51 COVID-19 related deaths in the county. 

12:55 p.m.

Passenger travel is inching up at Piedmont Triad International Airport, but numbers are still down dramatically from one year ago.

The Winston Salem Journal reports boardings more than doubled from May to June of this year. But, overall passenger traffic is down 83% from one year ago. Cargo service has decreased by about 33% from June 2019. 

August 4, 2020 

5:46 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health has confirmed 5,263 cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 149 deaths. There have been 494 hospitalizations and 2,885 recoveries to date.

4:56 p.m.

Salem Academy and College has decided not to offer residential education for fall 2020. Instead, Salem will operate remotely with online classes. The decision to pivot to full remote learning was made because of heightened concerns about the risks of exposure and transmission of the coronavirus in a residential school setting.

1:03 p.m. 

Forsyth County is reporting 52 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 5,007. Of the 5,007, 3,474 are presumed recovered. One additional death was also reported Tuesday. There now have been 49 deaths in the county. 

12:07 p.m

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest are heading to court over whether some of Cooper’s COVID-19 executive orders should be blocked because other elected officials didn’t consent to them. A state judge scheduled online arguments for Tuesday between lawyers for Forest and Cooper, who are also running against each other for governor this fall. The Republican lieutenant governor sued the Democratic incumbent last month, saying Cooper’s orders shuttering businesses and mandating face coverings needed the concurrence of the Council of State. Cooper contends he has other emergency powers that let him act unilaterally. 

-The Associated Press

11:29 a.m. 

Greensboro is joining the movement to close down a city street to allow a weekend of outdoor dining. 

Elm Street from Market to Lewis streets will be shut down this Friday and Saturday night. That will create a pedestrian-friendly space for dining and sidewalk sales.

The move is to help the downtown service and retail sectors that have been hard hit by the pandemic.

Downtown Greensboro says ten restaurants and more than a dozen shops are currently on board. Masks are required and social distancing is encouraged.

Winston-Salem hosted a similar event last month that was well attended, and more are planned.

Downtown Winston-Salem says Fourth Street between Trade and Marshall streets will be closed for the next two Saturday nights to again give restaurants a chance to expand their dining areas into the sidewalks and street.

August 3, 2020

4:32 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health has confirmed 5,113 cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 142 deaths. There have been 481 hospitalizations and 2,788 recoveries to date. 

1:40 p.m.

The CARES Act moratorium on evictions for federally-backed housing has now expired. 

Evictions had been put on hold at the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem, or HAWS, since early in the pandemic. But notices have continued to go out to keep residents informed of their balances.

HAWS says it also recently distributed pamphlets notifying individuals of the expiration, and a new 6-month repayment option. Tenants are now being given 30-day notices for non-payment, rather than the typical 14 days.

1:30 p.m.

30 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Forsyth County today. 50 new cases were reported on Saturday, and 42 were reported Sunday. There have been 4,955 laboratory-confirmed cases total. Of the 4,955, 3,380 are presumed recovered. There have been 48 deaths in Forsyth County.

11:45 a.m.

Forsyth County’s rate of positive COVID-19 tests is increasing, according to data presented by the county’s public health director. 

Of all of the county residents who have been tested so far, about 12 percent were positive for the virus. That’s higher than the current state average of 8 percent and more than double the World Health Organization’s recommended target of 5 percent or less. 

Public health experts say a high positivity rate could indicate only the sickest are being tested, meaning the county isn’t getting a full picture of how much the virus is spreading in the community. 

 

July 31, 2020

6:00 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 5,071 total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 140 deaths. There have been 476  hospitalizations and 2,755 recoveries to date.

4:41 p.m. 

As the state prepares for possible impacts from Hurricane Isaias, Governor Cooper declares a state of emergency that includes plans to protect residents from COVID-19. 

People should follow local evacuation orders should they be issued. Evacuees may find that sheltering looks different this year. Some changes may include:

  • Residents and visitors seeking shelter will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. If an individual has COVID symptoms, they will be redirected to a non-congregate sheltering option where they can more easily isolate. 
  • Social distancing means fewer residents in shelters, and if needed, more facilities and volunteers to shelter the same amount of people as in previous seasons.
  • Maximizing space requirements may mean not all shelters will offer cots. Be prepared to provide your own bedding and care items.
  • Meals will be served in sealed containers and shelters will move away from serving lines or buffets to minimize the potential exposure of everyone in the shelter.

4:31 p.m.

College students returning to their dorms aren't finding the typical mobs of students and parents. 

North Carolina State University staggered the return of its students over 10 days and welcomed the first 900 students to campus, where they were greeted Friday by socially distant volunteers donning masks and face shields. 

The university usually houses 10,000 students but will have 6,700 on its Raleigh campus this fall.

Elon University mailed testing kits to all 7,000 students ahead of their arrival in a few weeks.

Wake Forest University is also requiring its students to complete at-home COVID-19 tests. Students are also asked to self-quarantine for two weeks prior to accessing campus. 

3:04 p.m. 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is requesting applications for regional organizations to administer a program that will offer support for those in quarantine or isolation, such as food and transportation. 

“Quarantine is a critical part of slowing the spread of COVID-19, but we can’t ignore the strain it puts on people’s everyday lives,” Governor Roy Cooper said. “This program will ease the burden of isolation for North Carolinians in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this virus.”

The program will serve people in target counties who are directed to isolate, including nutrition assistance and home-delivered meals or groceries, relief payment for those without income, transportation, medication delivery, and masks and cleaning supplies. 

DHHS is prioritizing areas with high per capita COVID cases until August 7th. The RFA is available on the DHHS website.

1:00 p.m

Forsyth County is reporting 42 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday’s daily briefing was issued The total case count for Forsyth is 4,833. 3,294 county residents are presumed to be recovered from the disease. 

There have been a total of 48 COVID-19 deaths in the county. 

July 30, 2020

4:35 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper announced that an additional $150 million in federal funds provided for COVID-19 relief to counties has been disbursed this week. These funds are from the state-administered Coronavirus Relief Fund that was passed by Congress. The funds represent the second half of $300 million appropriated by statute to county governments. Counties are required to offer a minimum of 25 percent of their total allocation of the funds to municipalities.

According to a press release, the federal government did not require that the state share any of the $3.56 billion in the CRF to North Carolina local governments, but Gov. Cooper’s COVID-19 budget proposal recommended $300 million be allocated to counties and municipalities. HB 1023/S.L. 2020-80, Section 3.3(2), appropriated the additional $150 million to county governments. The full distribution of funds is listed here by county. Counties and municipalities have been given instructions about how the funds may be used.

The CRF funds may be used for:

  • Medical needs including the COVID-19 related expenses of public hospitals and clinics, including testing;

  • Public health needs, such as personal protective equipment and other medical supplies, as well as the cost of cleaning public areas and facilities such as nursing homes;

  • Payroll expenses for public safety or health-care employees dedicated to responding to the COVID-19 emergency; and

  • Expenses to protect public health, including teleworking, distance learning, food delivery, paid leave for public employees, expenses for maintaining prisons, and protecting the homeless population.

Under state law, 97 counties received a base amount of $250,000, with more distributed by population. Three large counties—Guilford, Mecklenburg, and Wake—received funds directly from the federal government. This disbursement of funds was coordinated by the state Office of State Budget and Management and the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office.

3:05 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 4,957 total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 140 deaths. There have been 468  hospitalizations and 2,687 recoveries to date.

2:00 p.m.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D., Director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services Victor Armstrong and Director of NC Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry will give an update on the state's response to COVID-19 at 2 p.m. Watch it live here.

1:25 p.m.

A state moratorium on shutting off utilities due to non-payment expires this week. Governor Roy Cooper says a new program is coming. 

According to data from the North Carolina Utilities Commission, more than 1.4 million residential and business accounts have not been paid.

Details are scant, but the governor said at a press conference this week he’s working on a plan. 

“I know that many families are concerned about rent and utility payments coming due,” said Gov. Cooper. “So my administration is putting in place an effort to help people with their rent and utility bills. We're putting together a plan using funding from the CARES Act and we'll be announcing this soon.”

1:00 p.m.

88 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Forsyth County, bringing the total number to 4,791. 48 county residents have died from the disease. One death was removed from the total because the individual was not a resident of Forsyth County. Of the 4,791 total positive cases, 3,243 are presumed recovered.

July 29, 2020

4:00 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health has confirmed 4,882 cases of COVID-19 and 139 deaths in Guilford County. There have been 459 hospitalizations and 2,604 recoveries to date.

3:15 p.m.

The 2020 Central Carolina Fair in Greensboro has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns and restrictions on mass gatherings. The event was scheduled to take place at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex September 11-20. 

1:45 p.m.

49 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Forsyth County, bringing the total number to 4,703. There were also five additional deaths reported. The death total is now 49 for the county. Of the 4,703, 3,220 are presumed recovered.

11:55 a.m.

The North Carolina State Fair has been canceled for this year due to safety, financial and attendance challenges from COVID-19.

State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler made the announcement Wednesday. The fair was first held in 1853 is one of the state’s largest annual attractions, bringing in roughly 1 million visitors every October.

The fair was last canceled during World War II. Troxler also cited the uncertainty of whether current mass gathering restrictions will be eased.

Otherwise, Troxler says a survey of past fair ticket buyers suggested that this year's fair wouldn't be well attended.

-The Associated Press

11:52 a.m.

The Guilford County Board of Education has approved a reopening plan.

Superintendent Sharon Contreras revised her original recommendation of starting the first five weeks of school with remote learning. Instead, she proposed nine weeks.

After a long, and at times contentious meeting on Tuesday evening, the measure passed with a 6 to 3 vote. This means buildings wouldn’t open for classes until October 20.

Contreras says the decision was based on several factors. Those include increasing COVID-19 cases in Guilford County, not enough staff, and funding to meet social distancing and other safety requirements.

Contreras says it’s a difficult decision for everyone involved.

“I know we want our lives back,” she says. “Some of the emails that I read and what we are asking for in terms of the school day. It isn’t going to be what we had before. One day we will get to that, but it’s not going to be in the near future.”

July 28, 2020

4:25 p.m.

In a continuing effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Governor Roy Cooper has signed Executive Order 153 which stops the sale of alcoholic drinks in restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries at 11 pm. North Carolina bars that are currently closed will remain closed. This order will take effect Friday, July 31.

The order will not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores, or other entities permitted to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption. Local governments that have implemented orders that end alcohol sales before 11 p.m. or that apply to other entities remain in effect.

3:45 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force are holding a media briefing at 4 p.m. regarding COVID-19. Watch live on our blog, stream on our website, or listen on 88.5 WFDD.

12:44 p.m.

Forty-seven new cases of COVID-19 are reported in Forsyth County, bringing the total number to 4,654. There were also three additional deaths reported. The death total is now 44 for the county. Of the 4,654, 3,093 are presumed recovered.

11:00 a.m. 

The city of Winston-Salem is canceling the Carolina Classic Fair due to the rising trend in positive COVID-19 cases and continued restrictions on mass gatherings. The annual event draws around 300,000 people and city officials say the risk of spreading the virus was too great.  According to a press release, Mayor Allen Joines said this was the right decision. 

 “Unfortunately, the numbers are not trending in our favor,” Joines said.  “We will look forward to celebrating the new name of the Carolina Classic Fair and putting on a fair second to none in 2021.  We want our citizens and visitors to Forsyth County to be safe and healthy so that we can look forward to this great event next fall.”   

This was the first year the fair would be under its new name, which was scheduled for October 2-11. Staff is looking for holding some virtual fair events. The city projects the loss will result in $670,000 for the year.

9:55 a.m. 

President Donald Trump was in North Carolina Monday, touring a biotechnology facility where work is underway on a possible vaccine for COVID-19. Last week Trump shifted his tone on the pandemic, with his poll numbers dipping in several key battleground states, including North Carolina. 

WUNC reports the President did not mention specifics but offered optimism on treatment breakthroughs while talking to reporters in Morrisville.

“Therapeutics,” Trump said. “I can tell you therapeutically I think over the next couple of weeks we’ll have some really great things to say. We’re just having great answers. So it is about that. And it's also the vaccine that we discussed today in great length is coming along really well.”

Trump visited the Fujifilm Diosynth facility where components for a potential COVID-19 vaccine are being manufactured.
 

July 27, 2020

5:45 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 4,653 total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 136 deaths. There have been 448 hospitalizations and 2,471 recoveries to date.

2:50 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has 39 upcoming community testing events scheduled in Bladen, Duplin, Johnston, Edgecombe, Henderson, Hertford, Northampton, Randolph, Robeson, Sampson, and Warren counties. This is part of an initiative to increase access to free COVID-19 testing for African American, LatinX/Hispanic, and American Indian communities that currently have limited testing sites.

So far, nearly 130 testing events have been coordinated through this initiative. There is no cost for testing. For an up-to-date list of events, visit the Community Testing Events page of the NCDHHS COVID-19 website. NCDHHS testing events are listed under the name of their coordinating vendor: NCCHCA, Orig3n, Inc, or Vidant Health.

A disproportionately high percentage of North Carolina’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have occurred among historically marginalized populations. Mounting evidence shows the members of these populations experience higher rates of COVID-19 mortality and serious complications.

People who may not currently have symptoms but may have been exposed to COVID-19 should get tested, especially people from historically marginalized communities, including Latinx/Hispanic, Black/African American, and American Indian populations. In addition, testing is a priority for anyone who has symptoms or those who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

1:45 p.m.

There are 51 new cases of COVID-19 being reported in Forsyth County today. Over the weekend, there were 45 new cases reported on Saturday, and 41 new cases reported on Sunday. There have been 4,607 laboratory-confirmed cases total. Of the 4,607, 3,008 are presumed recovered. There have been 41 deaths in Forsyth County.

12:20 p.m.

Organizers of the annual Barbecue Festival in Lexington have called off this year’s event amid the ongoing effort to control the spread of COVID-19. 

The planned festival was still three months away. But given that it annually attracts upwards of 100,000 people a year packed into the streets of Uptown Lexington, the decision was made to wait until next year.

Organizers say they talked with city leaders, healthcare officials, and law enforcement, and determined that cancelling the event was in the best interest of the health of attendees.

11:00 a.m.

Winston-Salem Recreation and Parks is closing all of its pools until further notice. This comes after the discovery that a Bolton pool employee who tested positive for COVID-19 had interactions outside of work with staff members from other pools.

According to a news release, all staff members who were in contact with the employee are being tested. One additional Bolton Pool staff member has received a positive report.

The city has partnered with the county Health Department to ensure CDC protocol regarding contact tracing is being followed. A decision about reopening pools will be made depending on the availability of sufficient staff.

July 24, 2020

4:45 p.m.

A juvenile housed at Pitt Juvenile Detention Center in Greenville has tested positive for the coronavirus. According to a press release, this is the first positive test for COVID-19 of a juvenile being held in a secure custody facility operated by the state Juvenile Justice section of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Earlier this month, test results indicated that all youths housed at that time were not infected with the coronavirus. Last month, officials began a policy of COVID-19 testing within 72 hours of entry to all young people coming into juvenile justice facilities.

The juvenile who tested positive for the coronavirus remains asymptomatic and is being monitored by medical staff. Out of an abundance of caution, and upon the advice of the center’s medical provider, all juveniles at Pitt JDC have been quarantined until they are retested for COVID-19 in the next few days.

“It is important to note this juvenile was infected not at the facility, but in the community before they came to us,” said William Lassiter, deputy secretary for Juvenile Justice. 

Officials say social distancing is possible within juvenile detention centers and youth development centers. 

4:00 p.m.

Today, Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order returning regulatory authority for skilled nursing facilities to the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Current restrictions remain in place as NCDHHS collaborates with industry and advocacy organizations, monitors progress and evaluates options related to protecting the health and wellbeing of staff, residents and their loved ones. 

To slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities, including combination skilled nursing/adult care assisted living facilities must continue to restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, including end-of-life situations. Communal dining and group activities also remain restricted.

Residents in nursing and adult care homes are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and the nature of long-term care facilities makes it difficult to control an outbreak. 

1:40 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 64 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total case count to 4,470. Of the those,  2,788 are presumed recovered. 41 residents have died from the disease.

The county health department is hosting a testing event today from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Shiloh Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. Registration is encouraged, but not required.

12:30 p.m.

University of North Carolina system officials have voted to keep tuition rates the same regardless of whether classes move online because of coronavirus concerns.

Thursday’s split vote by the school system’s Board of Governors also keeps the same fees for athletics and student activities. The boards resolution says the current rates are important in sustaining essential services.

The News & Observer reports the vote comes as the school system continues to prepare for different scenarios for its budget amid the coronavirus pandemic.

One board member who pushed back against the measure says the system would be overcharging tuition if classes were to move online. 

-The Associated Press

11:00 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump will visit North Carolina on Monday to tour a business that is participating in work on a COVID-19 vaccine.

The White House said Trump is expected to speak about the collaboration between the administration and the private sector to rapidly develop a vaccine and ensure rapid distribution once ready.

The biotechnology facility Trump will visit is the FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ Innovation Center in Morrisville, a suburb of Raleigh. The White House said the company is manufacturing key components of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate being developed by Novavax, an American vaccine development company based in Maryland.

Novavax has been chosen to participate in Operation Warp Speed, a U.S. government program that seeks to begin delivering millions of doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 next year. The company has been awarded $1.6 billion from the federal government.

North Carolina is a key battleground state in the coming election, and Trump’s visit marks his 10th trip to the state during his presidency. Trump is seeking to highlight progress on a vaccine and therapeutics as the country struggles to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

-The Associated Press

July 23, 2020

5:30 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health has confirmed 4,482 COVID-19 cases and 135 deaths in Guilford County. There have been 438 hospitalizations and 2,286 recoveries to date.

 

1:45 p.m.

North Carolina Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, Consul General of Mexico in Raleigh Claudia Velasco-Osorio and Consul General of Guatemala in Raleigh Jorge Archila are holding a joint press briefing to provide updates on the state's response to COVID-19 today at 2 p.m. Watch live here:

 

1:10 p.m.

The University of North Carolina is among the new sites for a COVID-19 vaccine trial. 

Teams at UNC-Chapel Hill are readying a new recruitment website for volunteers to take part in a Phase 3 clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine.

The News & Observer reports the test vaccine is being developed by Moderna, a private research company.

UNC has become a hot spot for COVID-19 research, with a number of clinical trials already underway. 

1:00 p.m.

The North Carolina NAACP has asked a judge to bar the use of a touch-screen voting machine in several counties due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Charlotte Observer reports the group made the request to a Wake County judge Wednesday. The injunction says the machines create risks to voters because they will be touched by many people.

The request comes more than three months after the civil rights organization filed a lawsuit against state and local election officials seeking to stop its use.

The Observer reports the state attorney general’s office has asked a judge to dismiss that lawsuit. A state election official says officials have been instructed about cleaning the machines.

-The Associated Press

12:55 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 59 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total case count to 4,402. Of the those, 2,771 are presumed recovered. 41 residents have died from the disease.

July 22, 2020

4:20 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health has confirmed 4,263 COVID-19 cases and 135 deaths in Guilford County. There have been 432 hospitalizations and 2,209 recoveries to date.

1:36 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting forty-six new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 4,343. Of the those, 2,714 are presumed recovered. The death count remains at 41. 

1:16 p.m.

Guilford County is expanding its coronavirus small business grant program, which will be relaunched in early August. The original aid program began in June, with more than 1,100 small businesses in Guilford County receiving funds of up to $10,000.

Guilford was one of three counties in the state to receive direct federal funds through the CARES Act.  Close to $7 million was distributed to businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. County officials say in a news release they are pausing the program to prepare for an expansion in grants to businesses in need.

The Small Business Grant hotline and website have been temporarily suspended while the county retools the application for the next phase. Both are expected to be relaunched on August 3.

Officials are urging local businesses to monitor the county website for forthcoming details about the program’s expansion.

11:20 a.m.

The High Point Market Authority has announced its plans for the fall market that stresses social distancing to keep attendees safe. 

The international furniture market is being extended to allow visitors to attend in phases. There will also be limits on the number of people who can be in showrooms at any given time. And market staff will be monitored for any symptoms of COVID-19.

The spring market didn’t happen this year. It was scheduled for late April but was postponed to June as things started to shut down with the spread of the coronavirus. 

11:03 a.m.

Road tests still aren't being performed by examiners from the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles due to COVID-19. So now certain adults are exempt from passing one to obtain a regular license.

The DMV announced that starting Wednesday it'll waive the road test for drivers 18 or older in several specific situations. This follows the General Assembly approving a law last month allowing drivers under 18 to defer the road test otherwise required to obtain a limited provisional license.

To qualify, adult drivers must make a license office appointment, then come in person wearing a face mask with the required documents. The waiver could apply to someone who's passed a North Carolina driving course in the past 12 months, who previously held a North Carolina driver's license that expired in the recent past or who has a license from another state. There are exceptions.

The waiver will continue until tests resume.

July 21, 2020

2:15 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is taking action to prevent and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks among the agricultural workforce, delivering personal protection equipment for use by agricultural workers across the state.

“Agriculture is vital to our economy and food supply and it is critical that we protect farmworkers and their families from this virus,” said Governor Cooper.

Farmworkers are deemed an essential workforce. To support prevention efforts that are proven to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, NCDHHS is implementing its plan this week to deliver over 900,000 masks and other infection control supplies to North Carolina Cooperative Extension county centers across the state for distribution to farms and agricultural operations. In addition to masks, the deliveries included hand sanitizer and cloth face coverings for workers to take home.

31 counties have been selected to receive the first delivery, including: Alamance, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Harnett, Henderson, Johnston, Lee, Lenoir, Lincoln, Martin, Mecklenburg, Nash, Pender, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Wake, Wayne, Wilson.

NCDHHS is partnering with N.C. Cooperative Extension, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the N.C. Department of Labor, and the N.C. Agromedicine Institute to expedite a delivery plan and raise awareness about this resource among the farming community.

1:33 p.m. 

Governor Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force will give an update on COVID-19 at 2 p.m. Watch live here, listen at 88.5 FM, or stream at www.wfdd.org.

 

1:03 p.m.

Forsyth County reported 77 news cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 4,297. Of those, 2,693 are presumed recovered. The total number of deaths remains at 41.

Public Health Director Joshua Swift commented, “As our cases continue to increase, we have noticed a trend of positive cases related to gatherings - birthday parties, cookouts, etc. With the summer season upon us, we all want to get together with friends, family, and neighbors. If you do gather at a home, please take precautions such as not visiting the home of your friends or family if you do not feel well, staying 6 feet apart, wearing a mask, and washing your hands frequently with soap and water.”

11:58 a.m.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are trending upward in the Triad, according to new data released by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. 

The state reports 258 people are hospitalized at facilities in a 16-county Triad region as of Monday, the second-highest number among eight defined regions across the state. Only Charlotte-area hospitals reported more.

But the Triad still has the capacity to treat more patients. The area has more staffed inpatient hospital beds than any other region. Right now, about 70 percent of them are occupied and about 25 percent of staffed ICU beds are empty. 

Some information is still missing from the newly-released NCDHHS data. So far, only 96 percent of hospitals in the Triad Healthcare Preparedness Coalition have reported their numbers to the state.

July 20, 2020

4:40 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has approved a third vendor, NC Community Health Center Association NCCHCA, to expand free COVID-19 testing to historically marginalized communities that currently have limited testing sites. So far, Vidant Health and Orig3n, Inc. have coordinated more than 60 testing events through this initiative. 

Under this new contract, NCCHCA will provide testing in 23 ZIP codes as part of the effort to increase access to no-cost COVID-19 testing for African American, Latinx/Hispanic, and American Indian communities. As many as 300 temporary testing events will be deployed by the vendors throughout the month of July, including drive-thru and walk-up sites in more than 130 ZIP codes.

No payment from the individual is needed for testing. Insurance, if available, will be billed, but no co-pays or cost-sharing will be asked of anyone seeking testing. Those who are uninsured have full access to free testing at these sites.

A disproportionately high percentage of North Carolina’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have occurred among historically marginalized populations. Mounting evidence shows the members of these populations experience higher rates of COVID-19 mortality and serious complications.

3:35 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 3,967 total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 133 deaths. There have been 422 hospitalizations and 2,086 recoveries to date.

1:50 p.m.

Forsyth County Department of Public Health is reporting 24 new cases of COVID-19 today. Over the weekend, there were 114 new cases reported on Saturday, and 74 new cases and one death reported on Sunday. There have been a total of 4,220 laboratory-confirmed cases and 41 deaths in Forsyth County. Of the 4,220, 2,624 are presumed recovered.

12:31 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services unveiled an updated COVID-19 Dashboard that includes more granular information about hospital capacity and hospitalization trends, both statewide and broken down by region. These new hospitalization data will provide additional insight into North Carolina’s hospital capacity in the COVID-19 pandemic.

New hospitalization-related indicators added to the COVID-19 Dashboard include hospitalizations by regions, trends in inpatient and ICU bed utilization over time and a breakdown of hospitalizations by suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases.

 

July 17, 2020

6:35 p.m.

Students in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools system will not head back to buildings at the start of the school year.

The local board of education made the decision during a special called meeting Friday at the recommendation of WS/FCS Superintendent Angela Hairston.

They approved her plan to start off the school year with Plan C, remote learning for all students in grades K-12. This will take place for the first nine weeks of classes.

After the first nine weeks, the local school board will revisit what’s known as Plan B, which uses a mix of in-person and remote learning.

4:15 p.m.

COVID-19 related hospitalizations are continuing to rise in the state.

The Department of Health and Human Services reports 1,180 people are hospitalized as of today, a new record. More than 2,000 new cases of the virus have been reported since Thursday. 

Earlier this week, Governor Roy Cooper announced the state will remain in Phase 2 of his economic reopening plan for at least another three weeks due in part to increasing case numbers.

4:05 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 3,904 total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 133 deaths. There have been 411 hospitalizations and 2,037 recoveries to date.

1:00 p.m.

62 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Forsyth County Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 4,008. Of those, 2,533 are presumed recovered. 

July 16, 2020 

5:50 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is taking measures to support the Latinx/Hispanic community with linguistically appropriate contact tracing.

Through contact tracing, local health department staff and other COVID-19 Community Team members reach out to people who may have recently come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 and connect them with the information and support needed to protect themselves and their loved ones. Half of all new hires to the Community Team are bilingual.

“We are prioritizing hiring bilingual staff to support our Spanish-speaking community. We are making progress, but still have work to do,” said NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.

According to a press release, all information provided to the Community Team is confidential, and personal information or names will not be released to anyone. Any information that is shared with the COVID-19 Community Team is a private health record and is strictly confidential. Personal information will not be shared with other government agencies, and the names of individuals and contacts will not be released or shared.

The Community Team will work to connect anyone who needs additional help as they monitor their symptoms or stay at home with the resources they need. Their name might be shared in this case, with their permission.

The Community Team will never ask for someone’s Social Security Number, bank or credit card numbers, or any other financial information. If you are asked for this information, please hang up and call your local health department to report the incident.

5:15 p.m.

The Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 3,844 total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 129 deaths. There have been 406 hospitalizations and 2,012 recoveries to date.

3:30 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is announcing new online tools to help Spanish-speaking North Carolinians to determine if they should consider being tested for COVID-19. The tools can also help individuals monitor their symptoms if they have tested positive for or been exposed to COVID-19.

North Carolina’s Latinx/Hispanic population is being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. As of mid-July, NC’s Latinx/Hispanic population represents 44 percent of cases where ethnicity is known, although they make up just 9 percent of the state’s population. Many in the Latinx/Hispanic community work in essential industries in North Carolina, such as construction, childcare, and food processing. Often, this work is in environments where social distancing can be challenging, health insurance is not provided, and for a sick person, staying home could create a significant financial burden.

These tools include:
 

  • Check My Symptoms (Comprobar Mis Síntomas), a public website that allows people to enter their symptoms to determine if they should consider getting tested for COVID-19. If a test is recommended, they will receive a link to a list of nearby testing sites via email or text.
  • Find My Testing Place, a public website that allows people to enter their county or ZIP code and access a list of nearby testing site locations online. To view in Spanish, users can select Spanish in the yellow box.
  • COVID-19 Community Team Outreach (CCTO) Tool, a password-protected online software that helps people track their own symptoms if they have been advised to do so by the COVID-19 Community Team.

3:00 p.m.

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines is ordering that masks, shields, or other face-coverings be worn by anyone inside city government buildings, including City Hall, the Stuart Municipal Building, and other enclosed city facilities and facilities that the city leases. The order also applies to city-owned parking decks, the Clark Campbell Transportation Center, and buses and other vehicles operated by the Winston-Salem Transit Authority.

The mandate does not apply to open-air facilities owned by the city, including basketball and tennis courts, golf courses, or picnic shelters. Masks are not required for pools and pool decks, but they are required in pool bathhouses.

Joines’ order was issued as a fourth amendment to the State of Emergency declaration he signed March 13. It will take effect at 5 p.m. today.

1:46 p.m.

NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. along with the members of the Coronavirus Task Force will be available today at 2 p.m. for a dial-in media briefing regarding #COVID19. Watch live. 

 

12:34 p.m. 

Ninety-six cases of COVID-19 have been reported since Wednesday, bringing the county's total number of cases to 3,946. Of the 3,946, 2,508 are presumed recovered. 

10:38 a.m. 

The city of Winston-Salem has scheduled a trial run for in-street dining on downtown streets. 

The city has teamed up with the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership to test a proposal that would close portions of downtown streets on weekend nights. This would allow restaurants to set up tables in the street and serve more patrons within the state’s Phase 2 restrictions.

Ken Millett, the city’s director of business inclusion and advancement, says in a news release that the July 25th trial run will allow officials to look at the benefits to restaurants, as well as how it would impact other businesses, residents, and people traveling through downtown.

The Downtown Partnership will be responsible for providing private staffing to monitor social distancing and arranging for off-duty police officers to ensure safety. 

If the test is deemed successful, the city would implement street closures on additional weekends and consider closing more downtown blocks on a case-by-case basis.  

July 15, 2020

4:30 p.m

Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 3,796    total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 129 deaths. There have been 395 hospitalizations and 1,980 recoveries to date.

3:45 p.m.

An inmate housed at Albemarle Correctional Institution who tested positive for COVID-19 has died. According to a press release from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, he passed away in the hospital as a result of pre-existing conditions complicated by COVID-19. 

This is the sixth coronavirus death of an individual in custody at a North Carolina state prison. 

The deceased was hospitalized on July 8, 2020. He was tested for COVID-19 and the positive results were received on July 11, 2020. His condition worsened, and he died at the hospital on July 14, 2020.

The prisoner was a male in his late 50s and had underlying health conditions.

3:00 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper named the members of the Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force. The Task Force, established by the Governor’s Executive Order 143, will address the social, environmental, economic, and health disparities in communities of color that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first meeting is anticipated in early August.

“Inequities in North Carolina are not new, but COVID-19 is shining a bright light on disparities that have gone unchecked in our health care and economic institutions for communities of color,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “This task force is the right way to address these inequities as we recover from the pandemic so that as we come back from this, we improve access to affordable healthcare and quality economic opportunities.”

12:41 p.m.

Sixty-five new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Forsyth County Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases to 3,850. Of those, 2,468 are presumed recovered. 

11:56 a.m.

A new report finds a "striking surge" in absentee mail-in ballot requests in North Carolina. Analysts say this parallels nationwide concerns about voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The report says that as many as four in 10 residents might vote by mail in the November election, which could amount to over 1.5 million absentee ballots being cast.

According to the findings, that amounts to 10 times the usual amount of mail-in ballots.

The numbers were compiled by Michael Bitzer, a political scientist at Catawba College. He tells The News & Observer that the uptick in absentee ballot requests has likely been fueled by people who don’t want to stand in line to vote during the pandemic.

July 14, 2020

5:50 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 3,659 total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 125 deaths. There have been 391 hospitalizations and 1,945 recoveries to date.

4:00 p.m.

North Carolina will allow K-12 public schools to reopen in the fall with limited in-person capacity. The plan announced by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper allows school districts to decide whether they want to offer online-only instruction.

A state law appears to prevent remote learning during the first week of school. Rotating students between live instruction and remote learning also wouldn’t be allowed for the first week.

K-12 schools teaching more than 1.5 million North Carolina students had received guidance for three different reopening scenarios, including full in-person classes, a mix of in-person and online, and online only. Plan B will remain in effect as public health officials caution against a more expansive reopening until coronavirus numbers improve.

2:40 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper and the Coronavirus Task Force will give an update on COVID-19 and plans for K-12 public schools at 3 p.m. Watch live on our blog, stream on our website, or listen on 88.5 WFDD-FM.

2:30 p.m.

North Carolina’s highest court has blocked temporarily a judge’s ruling that allowed dozens of North Carolina’s bowling alleys to reopen by overturning a portion of Gov. Roy Cooper’s COVID-19 executive order.

The state Supreme Court granted on Tuesday the request of state attorneys for Cooper, who says a preliminary injunction issued last week by a trial judge would make it harder to bring the virus under control.

The decision puts a temporary delay upon Judge James Gale’s order, meaning the bowling alleys must shut down again for now. The justices also agreed to review the content of Gale’s decision. 

1:21 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper has signed a law allowing businesses closed due to statewide COVID-19 precautions to delay renewing their alcohol permits until after they're allowed to reopen. ABC permits can cost thousands of dollars. The law allows businesses closed under executive order to apply for a refund for recent renewal fees. – Liz Schlemmer, WUNC

12:40 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 54 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total case count to 3,785. Of those, 2,418 are presumed recovered.

12:00 p.m.

Three people on the campus of Wake Forest University have tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement, university officials said “contact tracing steps have been undertaken and exposed individuals have been notified and are following the appropriate CDC guidelines for quarantine.”

Wake Forest will not release any further identifying information about those affected. 

10:00 a.m.

North Carolina teachers and parents as well as gym and bar operators are anxious to know what Gov. Roy Cooper will say about the path ahead with the COVID-19 pandemic. Cooper scheduled a media briefing for 3 p.m. today to discuss the state’s coronavirus response.

He said previously that he would announce this week how the state’s K-12 public schools would operate when classes begin Aug. 17.

Cooper also must decide what to do with his executive order expiring Friday that extended closings of bars, health clubs and movie theaters shuttered since March.

State virus death trends have been unfavorable in recent weeks.

-The Associated Press

July 13, 2020

5:10 p.m.

Guilford County Schools officials are testing a new app that could make boarding a school bus or entering a school building easier whenever students return to in-person learning.

The smartphone app takes a student’s temperature. The result can be shown to a bus driver or school official. Guilford County Schools leaders say the technology would ease some of the burden on its employees, as required COVID-19 safety measures are implemented. It would also help cut down on thousands of pieces of paper each day from additional forms.

4:17 p.m.

The Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 3,533 cases of COVID-19 and 125 deaths. There have been 387 hospitalizations and 1,889 recoveries to date.

1:40 p.m.

Forsyth County is providing guidance to employers who may be struggling to determine when an employee can return to work after contracting COVID-19. 

The county is advising business owners to consider two different approaches to make this decision: 

"The symptom-based strategy excludes the employee from work until all three criteria are met: 1. No fever for at least 72 hours since recovery (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) 2. Other symptoms have improved (e.g., coughing, shortness of breath) and 3. At least 10 days have passed since the first symptoms appeared.

Not all employees that test positive for COVID-19 will exhibit symptoms. In this case the employee should remain out of work until 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test. If they developed symptoms during the 10-day period, then the criteria above for individuals with symptoms apply."

The county is hosting a virtual question and answer session for businesses this Thursday at 1 p.m. 

1:25 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 151 new cases of COVID-19 since its last report. That total accounts for 42 new cases on Saturday, 53 on Sunday, and 56 on Monday. One resident died from the disease on Sunday. The county's total case count is 3,731. Of those, 2,303 are presumed recovered. 

The Forsyth County Health Department is hosting testing events this Friday, July 17th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, July 18th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Carver School Road Library. 

12:35 p.m.

Robeson County Republican Sen. Danny Britt told The Associated Press he tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, marking the first known public case for a General Assembly member.

The 41-year-old was on the Senate floor on Wednesday as the chamber debated bills and cast votes.

The entire legislature now isn't expected to return to work until early September.

-The Associated Press

July 10, 2020

4:50 p.m.

The NC Department of Health and Human Services has announced that up to 300 free COVID-19 testing sites will be deployed to underserved communities that currently have limited testing options. These free sites will increase capacity in roughly 100 zip codes across the state with a focus on historically marginalized populations, including Black, Hispanic, and Native American communities.

In addition, more than 480 contact tracers, half of whom are bilingual with a focus on Spanish speakers, have been added statewide. There are now more than 1,500 people working on contact tracing statewide. NCDHHS says if you get a call from a contact tracer, it’s important to work with them to protect your health, your family’s health and your community.

Also, a new NCDHHS initiative will lend support to people and families who have gotten sick with COVID-19. 250 Community Health Workers will be deployed to areas with high COVID-19 cases to partner with local health departments and tracers. They will help connect North Carolinians to medical and social support resources including primary care, mental health services, and COVID-19 related resources as well.

3:15 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 3,403  total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 120 deaths. There have been 386 hospitalizations and 1,852 recoveries to date.

2:36 p.m.

A North Carolina state senator has tested positive for COVID-19, making public the first known case involving a General Assembly member. Senate leader Phil Berger made the announcement on Friday about the Republican male senator, whose name wasn't released. The Senate held a floor session with recorded votes on Wednesday. The entire legislature isn't expected to return to work until early September. Building administrators at the legislative complex in Raleigh have initiated health and social distancing measures since April. But Democrats have complained they weren't strong enough and often criticized Republicans for failing to wear face coverings indoors. — The Associated Press

1:38 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 55 new cases and two deaths since yesterday’s daily briefing was issued. There have been a total of 3,580 laboratory-confirmed cases in Forsyth County. Of the 3,580, 2,200 have recovered.

 

11:31 a.m.

According to a news release, the 2020 Gears & Guitars music festival, the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic and Flow Auto Gran Fondo have been cancelled for 2020.  Organizers had hoped to have the rescheduled events, which usually take place in early summer, later this year in October.  However, public health trends associated with the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be problematic for large gatherings.

8:51 a.m.

As part of Forsyth County’s Coronavirus Relief Fund Plan, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners has approved the purchase of PPE items to distribute to local businesses who were required to close or drastically change their operations as a result of COVID-19-19 Stay at Home Orders. Known as the “Reopen Forsyth” initiative, PPE kits contain items essential for businesses to continue to operate safely during the pandemic such as masks, gloves, sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes and are free of cost to qualifying local businesses. The application can be found here.

July 9, 2020

5:20 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) today issued a Request For Proposals for an initiative that will send up to 250 Community Health Workers to historically underserved areas with high COVID-19 caseloads. Starting in August, teams of trained frontline public health professionals will connect North Carolinians affected by COVID-19 with needed services and support. 

3:50 p.m.

According to state law, North Carolina public schools cannot hold online classes the first week of the school year. As WRAL reports, that leaves plans for school districts that have said they will rotate students between online and in-person learning somewhat uncertain for the beginning of the school year. It remains to be seen whether Gov. Roy Cooper might override the decision through executive order. 

3:40 p.m.

Guilford Division of Public Health has been notified of 3,361 cases of COVID-19 and has verified 121 deaths. There have been 383 hospitalizations and 1,825 recoveries to date.

1:45 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force will hold a media briefing at 3 p.m. Watch live here or stream at 88.5 WFDD.

 

1:40 p.m.

UNC-Chapel Hill released a statement today saying 37 of its student athletes and other members of its athletics department have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of June. The Orange County Health Department is reporting a cluster of 5 or more related cases on the campus this week. Athletes, staff and coaches who have tested positive will isolate for two weeks. The Carolina football team is pausing its voluntary workouts for one week as a precaution. - Liz Schlemmer, WUNC

1:15 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 75 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total case count to 3,525. 2,170 county residents have recovered from the disease.

11:45 a.m.

North Carolina’s largest health insurer is projecting the coronavirus pandemic will cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars.  

Dr. Tunde Sotunde, CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, told The News & Observer the company has taken numerous steps to increase and streamline care during the last several months, including the elimination of co-pays for screening, testing and treatment for COVID-19.

He says the company is well-positioned to handle increasing costs but admits the pandemic has taken the insurer into “uncharted territory.”

It remains unclear how this might affect future insurance premiums.

July 8, 2020

4:37 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health has been notified of 3,275 cases of COVID-19. It has verified 119 deaths. There have been 381 hospitalizations and 1,803 recoveries to date.

  

3:39 p.m.

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education is considering a new plan that would allow for more students to return to their classrooms in August. They’re also discussing potential changes in transportation.

Superintendent Angela Hairston laid out her proposal to the school board on Tuesday evening.

Those in kindergarten through sixth grade would be back inside buildings and attend classes daily.

Students in seventh through ninth grade would be split into two groups, with each attending classes in person twice a week. Two other days would be used for remote learning and Wednesdays would be designated as a day for teachers to meet with students or for tutoring.

Social distancing and other requirements would likely mean some students could be placed in high schools.

Students in grades 10-12 would learn remotely.

1:00 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 27 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday’s daily briefing was issued. The total case count for Forsyth is 3,450. 2,133 county residents have recovered from the disease.

July 7, 2020

6:08 p.m.

North Carolina has announced that residents will no longer need a doctor’s referral to get a coronavirus test.

Tuesday's order, lasting until Gov. Roy Cooper’s current state of emergency is rescinded, aims to encourage more Black, Hispanic, and Native American residents to get tested.

Mandy Cohen, state secretary of Health and Human Services, also announced the creation of up to 300 free temporary testing sites throughout July.

The expansion comes even as Cohen said the state needs more testing supplies from the federal government. Cohen said she and Cooper discussed the need for more chemical reagents Monday with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

While test results previously took 2 to 3 days to get back results in June, Cohen said supply issues have increased current waits to a week in some cases.

North Carolina reported a high of nearly 1,000 coronavirus hospitalizations Tuesday, along with a two-week low in daily completed tests with less than 13,000 performed.

3:56 p.m. 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is joining with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to warn against hand sanitizers that contain methanol. This comes after the CDC reports seven people in New Mexico who experienced permanent blindness among other health problems after purportedly ingesting the methanol-contaminated hand sanitizers or rubs manufactured in Mexico. 

Most commercially available sanitizers contain ethanol or isopropanol. But methanol is a toxic alcohol that causes blindness or death when swallowed. 

The FDA has issued a voluntary recall on products containing large amounts of methanol. The CDC recommends never swallowing sanitizer and to only use for hand cleaning, and to keep it out of reach of children. 

Read the CDC’s official health advisory or visit www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitizers-methanol to view the FDA’s full list of testing and manufacturing recalls.

3:26 p.m. 

Guilford County Schools has received state approval to create two new virtual academies.  

An online option for families and teachers will be available even if schools open up for in-person classes in August. The News & Record reports that the Guilford eLearning Virtual Academy will focus on grades K-5, while the Guilford eLearning University Prep Academy will be made available for grades 6-12.

According to a news release, the district is planning for three possible options, with the likeliest being a blend of in-person and remote learning.

2:40 p.m. 

The annual Carolina Renaissance Festival in North Carolina has been canceled due to safety concerns amid the coronavirus outbreak. The festival said in a statement Monday that the event has been rescheduled to the fall of 2021. It was supposed to be held in October and November of this year. The Charlotte Observer reports the outdoor renaissance event has been held in Huntersville, North Carolina since 1994. A festival official told the newspaper the event draws more than 200,000 people to the town every year. 

2:33 p.m.

The City of Winston-Salem is applying for more federal funding to support those without stable housing during the coronavirus pandemic. 

At a meeting Monday, the council agreed to apply for over $700,000 in federal CARES act money. The funding would go in part towards rapid rehousing and homelessness prevention programs.  

If their application is approved, the city could receive the funds by early September. 

1:30 p.m.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. will hold a media briefing at 2 p.m. regarding COVID-19. Watch live here.

 

1:15 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 70 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total case count to 3,423. 2,105 county residents have recovered from the disease. 

July 6, 2020

4:10 p.m.

Guilford Division of Public Health has been notified of 3,149 cases of COVID-19 and has verified 118 deaths. There have been 372 hospitalizations and 1,755 recoveries to date.

 

1:45 p.m.

The Greensboro Police Department says five officers and two non-sworn employees have tested positive for COVID-19. According to a press release, all of the employees are recovering at home and doing well. GPD says they are following all Centers For Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and taking appropriate precautions to help reduce the risk of further spreading the virus to other employees.

The department has requested testing for employees that have had contact with the COVID-19 positive employees.

1:00 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 221 new cases of COVID-19 since its last report. That total accounts for 53 new cases on Friday, 48 on Saturday, 57 on Sunday, and 63 on Monday. The total case count for Forsyth is 3,353. There have been a total of 37 COVID-19 deaths in the county, and 2,040 residents have recovered from the disease. 

The Forsyth County Health Department is hosting a testing event on Friday, July 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at SouthEast Plaza Shopping Center, located at 3067 Waughtown Street, Winston Salem, NC, 27107.

July 3, 2020

12:29 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is reporting the state’s highest one-day number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases with 2,099 cases reported.

Hospitalizations are also at a record high with 951 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

Of today's newly reported cases, 11 percent were positive among labs that report both negative and positive tests into the state electronic reporting system – the highest percentage North Carolina has seen since late April when the state was doing more targeted testing.

As individuals head into the holiday weekend, NCDHHS and state leaders are urging people to wear a mask, wash their hands often, and follow social distancing guidelines.

 

July 2, 2020

4:08 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health has been notified of 2,909 cases of COVID-19 in the county. GCDPH has verified 117 deaths. There have been 366 hospitalizations and 1,711 recoveries to date.

1:30 p.m.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D., and Director of NC Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry are holding a media briefing at 2 p.m. regarding COVID-19.

1:10 p.m.

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health, in partnership with StarMed, will hold a free COVID-19 testing event on Friday, July 3, from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at Union Baptist Church, 1200 Trade St. NW.

Registering for testing at StarMed.care is strongly recommended due to the limited number of tests available. Patients can fast track the drive-thru by completing the virtual visit ahead of time. It will be available until one hour before the closure of the event. All patients must complete a virtual visit with StarMed prior to testing, and these will be available onsite during testing hours.

Tests will be done with no out of pocket cost, but patients should bring their photo ID and insurance card if they have one.

12:50 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 55 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total case count to 3,132. 1,952 county residents have recovered from the disease. 

There are also two new deaths to report, for a total of 37 COVID-19 deaths in the county.

July 1, 2020

6:00 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper and the Coronavirus Task Force addressed the public Wednesday, on the state's highest day yet of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The governor was expected to make an announcement on the reopening of public schools, but now says that will come later. He says the team needs more time to review recent studies, and get buy-in from education leaders.

He suggests that school districts use this time to continue planning efforts, using the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit that was released in June for guidance.

“Let me be clear. We want our schools open for in-person instruction in August,” said Cooper. “The classroom is the best place for children to learn. Recent reports recommend it, and I know many parents and children agree with this.”

The governor said that a two month supply of medical-grade protective wear is being deployed to schools, and districts will now have the ability to order health and hygiene supplies via statewide contracts.

2:30 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force will hold a media briefing at 3 p.m. Watch live here or stream at 88.5 WFDD.

2:15 p.m.

Guilford County Parks will not open any of its three aquatic centers, which are located at Hagan-Stone Park, Bur-Mil Park, and Northeast Park, due to COVID-19.

After consultation with public health officials, staff, and parks professionals across the state, the county decided it could not open aquatic centers while meeting public health guidance for a public swimming pool environment.

1:00 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 81 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total case count to 3,077. 1,952 county residents have already recovered from the disease. 

“Contact tracers reach out to people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have been near someone with COVID-19 to help slow the spread," said Public Health Director Joshua Swift. "People should answer the call when a contact tracer reaches out. If you prefer to screen your call, the contact tracer will leave a message, but please immediately call them back. The tracer will not share anyone’s name or personal information. This information is confidential and will remain private, nor will the contact tracer ask for a social security number or financial information.”

June 30, 2020

6:12 p.m.

Winston-Salem is opening select city pools and splash pads Wednesday with attendance limitations and modified schedules and rules to ensure safety.

5:30 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting a total of 2,808 COVID-19 cases in the county and 112 deaths. There have been 359 hospitalizations and 1,648 recoveries to date.

  

2:47 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) will partner with Omnicare, a CVS Health company, to make facility-wide testing available to residents and staff in all North Carolina skilled nursing facilities. There are over 400 nursing homes in the state with approximately 36,000 residents and more than 30,000 staff. Testing will begin in July and continue through August.

1:45 p.m.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. and Director of NC Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry will hold a media briefing at 2 p.m. Watch live here.

 

1:00 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 18 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total case count to 2,996. 1,920 county residents have already recovered from the disease. 

June 29, 2020

4:20 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 2,745 total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 112 deaths. There have been 356 hospitalizations and 1,598 recoveries to date. 

1:42 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 43 new cases of COVID-19 today. Over the weekend, there were 147 new cases. There have been a total of 2,978 in the county and 34 deaths. The Forsyth County Health Department will host its next testing event this Friday, July 3rd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Union Baptist Church 1200 N. Trade Street NW, Winston Salem, NC 27101.

 

June 26, 2020

5:25 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has expanded the COVID-19 Dashboard to include expanded county data on trends, demographics, and testing. The updated dashboard also includes a new report on COVID-19 clusters in child care and school settings.

The interactive NC COVID-19 Dashboard now includes county trends over time in cases and deaths, as well as demographic information on cases and deaths by race, ethnicity, sex, and age. It also displays percent of tests that are positive by county.

In addition to the expanded county data, NCDHHS will provide a biweekly report on COVID-19 clusters in child care and school settings. A cluster is defined as both a minimum of five cases in the same facility within a 14-day period and where there is a plausible epidemiological linkage between cases. 

The report will include the facility type, county, and the number of cases and deaths among staff and children. This information will be part of the outbreaks and clusters section of the dashboard, which also includes cases and deaths at long-term care facilities, other congregate care settings.

The dashboard can be accessed online at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard.

2:55 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has awarded grants to five local North Carolina organizations to help address the disparate impact COVID-19 is having among the state’s Hispanic and LatinX communities. 

Association of Mexicans in North Carolina Inc. (AMEXCAN), El Centro Hispano, Latin American Coalition, Qué Pasa Media Network, and True Ridge will each receive $100,000 to help support disease prevention measures in high-risk Hispanic/LatinX communities. The five organizations selected to partner with NCDHHS represent the eastern, central, western, and major metropolitan areas of North Carolina. 

Measures to be addressed include prevention practices such as wearing face coverings, social distancing and frequent hand-washing, access to COVID-19 testing, engagement with contact tracers, participation in quarantine and isolation measures, and coordination with NCDHHS messaging around these efforts.

In June 2020, North Carolina saw a sustained increase in its confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the general population, and a disproportionately high percentage of cases statewide are among historically marginalized populations. In particular, North Carolina’s Hispanic/LatinX communities are being hit hard by the virus, representing 44 percent of cases statewide where race and ethnicity are known. 

The grants will be funded through the end of 2020 by the NC General Assembly’s Department of the Treasury.

1:40 p.m.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. will be joined by leaders from the Hispanic/LatinX community for a media briefing at 2 p.m. today. Watch live here.

1:30 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 73 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths since yesterday. There have been a total of 2,788 laboratory-confirmed cases in the county.

12:59 p.m.

Schools in Guilford County are gearing up to begin sports practice this summer. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association recently issued guidelines for districts to follow as they begin restarting their programs.

Guilford County School officials plan to reopen fall sports and marching band activities on July 6. Other sports and middle school athletics may be phased in at a later date. The approach will give the district more time to secure protective equipment and train staff as they monitor the spread of COVID-19.

June 25, 2020 

6:15 p.m.

North Carolina’s Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest informed Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper Thursday he intends to sue over the way Cooper has imposed business restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Forest wrote a letter arguing the governor has violated state law by issuing executive orders curtailing business without seeking concurrence from a group of elected officials known as the Council of State.

Forest, who’s running against Cooper in the November gubernatorial election, cites multiple times during the pandemic that Cooper issued executive orders without formal assent from a majority of the council. Cooper's office accused Forest of playing politics.

The Associated Press

4:45 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 2,585  total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 111 deaths. There have been 340 hospitalizations and 1,505 recoveries to date.

1:55 p.m.

There have been nine confirmed cases of the coronavirus at Open Door Ministries, a men's homeless shelter in High Point.

The outbreak at the shelter was discovered in mid-June when a resident with underlying conditions went to a hospital and tested positive for the coronavirus.

The News & Record reports that all staff members and the other 23 residents have since been tested. Open Door Executive Director Ryan Ross says seven of the eight men who tested positive were asymptomatic.

12:45 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 36 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total case count to 2,715. Of those, 1,756 have already recovered.

Public Health Director Joshua Swift says the county will host COVID-19 testing this Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Carver School Library in Winston-Salem. More information can be found on the county's website. 

8:36 a.m. 

A North Carolina stock car racetrack must remain closed and propose a new social distancing plan after a judge sided with health officials in an effort to curb the coronavirus spread. The judge agreed with health officials who said large gatherings at the Ace Speedway could contribute to an increase spread of COVID-19. The Wednesday ruling continues to put an injunction on Ace, which requires the track to close and stop operations. Ace attorney Chuck Kitchen said the speedway will seek an appeal. An initial injunction came after the speedway held three events with fans in excess of a thousand. A county health director said one person attending a May 30 race contracted COVID-19.

The Associated Press

June 24, 2020

4:52 p.m.

North Carolina’s governor announced Wednesday that people across the state must wear masks or other face coverings in public to fight the spread of COVID-19, and he extended other restrictions by three more weeks to fight a surge in coronavirus cases.

Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order that people must wear face coverings in public when it’s not possible to maintain physical distance. The order also mandates face coverings for employees of businesses including retailers and restaurants, as well as state employees in the executive branch. Violations of Cooper’s executive orders are punishable by misdemeanor.

He also said restrictions limiting capacity at retailers, restaurants, and public gatherings will remain in place for three more weeks.

2:45 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force will hold a media briefing at 3 p.m. Watch live here or stream at 88.5 WFDD.

1:10 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting two additional COVID-19 deaths and 64 new cases of the virus. The county's total case count is now 2,679. 1,726 residents have already recovered from the disease.

In a statement, Public Health Director Joshua Swift advised residents to wear a face covering in public to slow the spread of the virus. 

 

12:00 p.m.

Winston-Salem may soon join the list of North Carolina cities that mandate face masks. 

The Winston-Salem Journal reports Mayor Allen Joines says the city will issue a face covering requirement if Governor Roy Cooper doesn’t announce a statewide mandate today. The governor is expected to discuss whether the state will enter into Phase 3 of his economic reopening plan at a press conference at 3 p.m. 

Greensboro, Raleigh, and Boone have all enacted similar measures.

11:45 a.m. 

The North Carolina General Assembly has finalized yet another Republican attempt to let more businesses reopen despite Gov. Roy Cooper’s COVID-19 restrictions on commerce.

Lawmakers also sent the Democratic governor a measure approved Tuesday that would prevent his executive order limiting outdoor gatherings from blocking July 4 parades or fireworks.

Cooper already has vetoed two bills pushed by the GOP-controlled legislature designed to overturn his executive orders that have kept bars and gyms shuttered since March.

Amusement parks, wedding reception venues and fairs and carnivals would be the latest entities targeted for reopening in a bill approved Tuesday.

-The Associated Press

June 23, 2020

5:40 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 2,482 total cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 101 deaths. There have been 323 hospitalizations and 1,418 recoveries to date.

5:00 p.m.

The NC Department of Health and Human Services released new online applications for Medicaid and Food and Nutrition Services to help both families and county Departments of Social Services during the COVID-19 pandemic. These revamped applications will reduce the administrative burden for county DSS and help applicants maintain social distancing when applying for these programs. 

 North Carolina’s online application portal for Medicaid and FNS is called ePASS. New and updated features in ePASS include:

  • More efficient processing for Medicaid applications

  • Improved look and feel making navigation easier on multiple device types

  • Fewer questions and enabling applicants to only answer questions applicable to them

  • Personalized dashboards with important account information and notifications

  • Guidance placed throughout the site based on frequently asked questions

  • Ability to attach documents easily

  • Links to relevant program information

  • Links to paper applications and voter registration

These improvements will remain in place beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and do not impact previously submitted applications. Questions about an existing application should still be directed to county Departments of Social Services.

3:45 p.m.

Cone Health and the High Point branch of the NAACP are partnering on COVID-19 testing. Tests will be available at Guilford Technical Community College at 901 S. Main Street on Friday, June 26. Testing will be conducted in parking lot A next to building H-1 on the GTCC campus from 2 p.m. and run until 6 that evening or until supplies run out.

People who want to be tested do not need a doctor’s order, insurance, or an appointment. Testing is free, though people are asked to bring an insurance card and a photo ID if they have them. People are also asked to wear a mask and to be aware of social distancing at the test site.

“The people we are trying to reach in this testing are working people. Their jobs often place them at high risk of catching COVID-19,” says James Adams, president, High Point Branch, NAACP. "Many also care for aging parents or others who are not only at high risk for getting COVID-19, but at much higher risk of dying from it.”

Testing will be done with a nasal swab. Most results will be available within two business days. People who have questions about testing should call 336-890-3792.

2:15 p.m.

The Guilford County Division of Public Health and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University are opening a COVID-19 testing site on the A&T campus. Free COVID-19 testing will be offered on the North Carolina A&T campus at Corbett Sports Center, 405 North Benbow Road, Greensboro, N.C., 27411 on:

• Monday, June 29 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

• Tuesday, June 30 from 10:00 a.m – 2:00 p.m.

• Wednesday, July 1 from 10:00 a.m – 2:00 p.m.

Testing will be done by appointment only and must be scheduled in advance by calling 336-641-7527. Confidential pre-screening will also take place during the call to confirm a person is a candidate for testing. Testing is available regardless of insurance status. If the individual has private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare they will be asked to bring their insurance card. If a person is uninsured, testing can still take place. The testing event is open to all Guilford County residents.

12:46 p.m.

40 new cases of COVID-19 were reported Tuesday and one death in Forsyth County. There have been 2,615 cases reported overall. Of those, 1,662 have recovered. 

11:48 a.m.

Greensboro Transit Authority is requiring face coverings for services beginning June 23rd at 5 p.m. Riders on GTA, SCAT, and SCAT I-Ride must wear approved face coverings on transit vehicles and property following Mayor Nancy Vaughan's emergency proclamation this week. The requirement remains in effect until modified or rescinded by the Mayor. Disposable masks are available at the Depot customer service office and from SCAT bus operators. 

9:32 a.m.

Cone Health has returned to full service, including the resumption of all office visits, operations, testing, and procedures that were put on hold during the pandemic. According to a statement, Cone Health officials say the hospital has adequate supplies of PPE and cases are at a manageable level. New safety measures are in place: employees and patients must wear masks, waiting areas have fewer chairs for social distancing, and acrylic sheets are installed between employees and the public. Employees will be screened daily and anyone admitted to the hospital will undergo a COVID-19 test. 

Cone officials say if cases climb or supplies become harder to obtain, a reduction in services may once again be necessary. 

8:46 a.m.

North Carolina's health chief says the state's COVID-19 case trends have worsened since the economy has reopened in recent weeks. But Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen wouldn’t say on Monday whether they would prevent more shuttered businesses from reopening when Gov. Roy Cooper's executive order expires this week. The number of virus-related hospitalizations remains near a record high for the pandemic, and the number of deaths has exceeded 1,200. The state prison system says about 60 offenders held in Stanly County have tested positive. And state courts will extend a prohibition on jury trials through at least the end of July.  

The Associated Press

June 22, 2020

5:02 p.m.

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan has issued an emergency proclamation requiring face coverings to be worn anytime a person will be in contact with other people in public or private spaces where it is not possible to maintain proper social distancing. This declaration takes effect at 5 pm, Tuesday, June 23. These places include grocery stores, pharmacies, business locations, parking lots, sidewalks, and public transit.

4:12 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health (GCDPH) is reporting 2,425 cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 101 deaths. There have been 318 hospitalizations and 1,327 recoveries to date.

  

2:49 p.m.

A Spanish-language eviction hotline is now up and running to help immigrants navigate the state’s legal system.

The advocacy group Siembra NC has teamed up with the UNC School Of Law to set up the CARES Act Eviction Information Line at 919-590-9165.

This comes following the expiration of a statewide moratorium on eviction cases. The hotline can help callers determine if they’re eligible for protection under the federal CARES Act. 

1:45 p.m.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. and Director of NC Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry will hold a media briefing at 2 p.m. Watch live here.

12:50 p.m.

51 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Forsyth County on Monday. Over the weekend, there were 34 cases and one death on Saturday, and 27 cases on Sunday. The individual who died was in their 70s and it was unclear if there were any underlying conditions. All the cases reported were Forsyth County residents. Of the 2,575, 1,572 have recovered.

10:54 a.m. 

The Town of Boone is requiring people to be masked when they are in public areas, joining a handful of other North Carolina municipalities who are taking the same step to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Last week the Boone Town Council approved a measure requiring anyone 11 or older to wear a mask at indoor businesses and town offices. It applies to customers as well as employees.

Violation of the order could result in a misdemeanor charge, but police are encouraged to educate people about mask use and issue warnings first.

A date for when the order will be rescinded has not yet been determined.

10:08 a.m. 

 A judge has left in place an injunction barring a North Carolina stock car racetrack from holding races. The injunction was issued last week against Ace Speedway in Alamance County. That came after the speedway defied restrictions on large crowds implemented to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. A crowd of roughly 2,000 attended a race held earlier this month when the speedway posted a sign saying the race was being held “in peaceful protest of injustice and inequality everywhere.” News outlets report that the judge left his injunction in place after a hearing Friday and said he will issue a final ruling on Wednesday.

The Associated Press

June 19, 2020

5:10 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed House Bill 594. The bill was written in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and would temporarily authorize existing indoor or outdoor exercise and fitness facilities, gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers to open and resume operations, provided specific conditions are met. 

Governor Cooper shared this statement on HB 594:

"Tying the hands of public health officials in times of pandemic is dangerous, especially when case counts and hospitalizations are rising. State and local officials must be able to take swift action during the COVID-19 emergency to prevent a surge of patients from overwhelming hospitals and endangering the lives of North Carolinians. The bill could restrict leaders who need to respond quickly to outbreaks and protect public health and safety."

2:45 p.m.

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health has begun a $200,000 enhanced outreach campaign to encourage everyone in the county to continue taking precautions against COVID-19. It has partnered with City of Winston-Salem Marketing and Communications to create ads for a multimedia educational campaign, which is funded with state Coronavirus Relief Fund money allocated by the Forsyth County commissioners.

According to a media release, half of the campaign will be aimed at the general public, and the other half will be specifically targeted towards the local Hispanic population to ensure the county is effectively communicating the necessity of wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and proper handwashing. Hispanic people currently make up 68 percent of COVID-19 cases in the county. Accion Hispana and Qué Pasa’s Marina Aleman are assisting the county with ensuring all Hispanic outreach efforts are culturally appropriate.

The enhanced outreach campaign will include ads on billboards, digital media, print media, radio, television, and city buses. The city will also be putting COVID-19 information on the side of its sanitation trucks. Direct mail will also be utilized, which can be directed at areas where COVID-19 cases exist or where additional testing opportunities become available.

This is part of a comprehensive county approach to use Coronavirus Relief Fund money to combat COVID-19. This includes $500,000 for testing by the Public Health Department to augment the many test sites already located across the community, $150,000 for sanitization stations at local government facilities and $300,000 for a PPE Kit Program for small businesses in partnership with Greater Winston-Salem, Inc.

1:10 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 91 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday. This brings the total for the county to 2,463 laboratory-confirmed cases. Of the 2,463, 1,514 have recovered.

The Forsyth County Public Health Department will be holding a testing event in partnership with StarMed Family and Urgent Care on Friday, June, 26th, and Saturday, June 27th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Carver School Road Library and FTCC Mazie Woodruff Center at 4915 Lansing Drive. Public Health Director Joshua Swift commented, “Those who want to be tested should pre-register online at StarMed.care.”

12:06 p.m.

A Wake Forest Baptist Health study shows nearly 10% of people tested in North Carolina had COVID-19 antibodies. 

WRAL-TV reports people develop these antibodies about one to two weeks after contracting the virus. 

Antibodies were detected in 8-10% of the 5,000 people who were tested for the project, which was funded by the state.  Just .4% had officially tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the study. Researchers say this indicates many infected people are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic. 

Officials say research is ongoing and additional data will be presented as it becomes available. 

11:45 a.m.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in North Carolina, a new study has found the state is in dire need of contract tracers.

The News and Observer reports the study by George Washington University estimates North Carolina would need 7,100 tracers to track the spread of the virus over the last two weeks. The Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday the state has just 1,500. 

309 tracers have been hired since April, and state officials have said they plan to bring on another 141 more. 

North Carolina has reported an average of 1,200 new COVID-19 cases per day in the last week. Hospitalizations have also been on the rise, with more than 850 reported on Thursday – a new record high. 

8:57 a.m. 

North Carolina legislators have sent another bill to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper designed to overturn parts of his executive order for COVID-19 that’s kept several types of retail businesses shuttered for months. The General Assembly finalized a measure to let bowling alleys and ice and roller rinks to reopen at a reduced capacity. Cooper has already vetoed one measure that sought to reopen bars by letting them serve patrons outdoors. Another bill already on his desk would benefit gyms in addition to bars. Cooper has said he'll announce next week whether he'll ease further commerce limits when his current order expires June 26.

Associated Press

June 18, 2020

4:05 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health has been notified of 2,244 cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 101 deaths. There have been 308 hospitalizations and 1,197 recoveries to date. 3:55 p.m.

North Carolina prison officials have initiated a plan to test all 31,000 offenders for COVID-19.

“We’ve done some mass testing at prisons with significant outbreaks of this awful virus, but now we are going to test them all, the entire offender population,” said Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee.

This testing of the population is estimated to require at least 60 days to complete, at a projected cost of more than $3.3 million. The tests will be analyzed by LabCorp, with the results transmitted directly into the Division of Prisons’ medical database, with the results being posted on the Department of Public Safety website.

COVID-19 tests are already being conducted on all new offenders when they arrive at the prison from the county jails.

1:45 p.m.  

Governor Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force to give an update on COVID-19 at 2 p.m. Watch live or listen to 88.5 WFDD F.M. 

 

1:19 p.m. 

North Carolina’s capital city is set to require people wear face coverings in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin's emergency proclamation takes effect Friday. It mandates face coverings over the mouth and nose when people come in contact with those who are not members of their household in both public and private spaces where it is not possible to stay at least six feet apart. All restaurant, personal care, and retail employees must wear the coverings while on duty. Violators won't be penalized, but law enforcement officers are being asked to encourage voluntary compliance.

Associated Press 

12:28 p.m.

39 news cases of COVID-19 were reported in Forsyth County Thursday and one death. That individual was in their 60s and it is unknown whether there were underlying health conditions. Of the 2,372 confirmed cases in the county, 1,475 have recovered. 

10:01 a.m.

A Winston-Salem Transit Authority employee has tested positive for COVID-19, according to city officials. Any coworker that came into contact with the employee is required to wear a face covering. Officials say WSTA has followed federal, state, and local guidelines including cleaning and sanitizing the buses. It also established free fare to passengers to limit additional contact with the driver. Assistant City Manager Damon Dequenne told the Winston-Salem Journal they don't believe the employee had any close contact with colleagues or passengers. 

8:50 a.m.

People trying to enter the two buildings operated by the North Carolina General Assembly will get their temperatures checked again after the COVID-19 protocol was discontinued this week. Senate Democrats complained after the checks by General Assembly police and nurses were discontinued. The legislative complex administrator said no one ever registered a temperature high enough to warrant a medical referral when the checks were performed for several weeks. But Paul Coble says the checks will return next week. Coble says cleaning and safety initiatives and other operating adjustments have resulted in over $1 million in added expenses.

Associated Press

June 17, 2020

5:45 p.m.

Winston-Salem City Council Member Annette Scippio has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating in her home. Scippio learned last week that she was exposed to the virus. In response, the council proactively chose to hold its June 15 meeting online instead of at the Benton Convention Center as planned. Scippio’s test results came back Monday. 

In the interest of transparency, she waived her right to privacy and asked that the city confirm that she contracted the virus. All city staff and council members who had close contact with Scippio were tested for the virus. Any positive results are being sent to the Forsyth County Department of Public Health for contact tracing.

3:20 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health has been notified of 2,194  cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 101 deaths. There have been 301 hospitalizations and 1,151 recoveries to date.

1:42 p.m. 

North Carolina has reached another record for daily hospitalizations caused by the coronavirus. The state department of health and human services reports almost 850 people are in the hospital sick with COVID-19. The state reports nearly 75 percent of hospital and ICU beds are in use.

Earlier today, Secretary Mandy Cohen told state legislators hospitals are not overrun. She also reiterated the importance of the three W's: wear a face covering in public, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands. Cohen says following the three W's is still one of the best ways to mitigate the spread of the virus, "so again, some worrisome signs, but I've been sharing that our fate is not sealed here and there's a lot we can do."

Cohen adds that there's increasing scientific research and evidence proving that face coverings are effective in curbing the spread of the virus.

-WUNC

1:18 p.m. 

Eight Greensboro firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19, and 21 others are waiting for results. Deputy Chief Dwayne Church told WXII  Wednesday that a group of six began exhibiting symptoms earlier this month. As of now, those employees with positive tests are not at the workplace. Church says the fire department has been working with the Guilford County Emergency director and Guilford County Emergency Management for support. Church says its trucks and stations are staffed and there have been no interruptions of services. 

 

12:55 p.m.

The Winston-Salem Open is canceling the 2020 tennis event. The 10th Anniversary will now take place in August of 2021. According to a press release, the Governing Board of the ATP made the decision to ensure the safety of the players and to maintain the viability of the U.S. Open. 

"While this is disappointing, we want our community and supporters to know that our decision has positively impacted the single most important tennis event in the U.S. The US Open funds the grassroots tennis programs across the country. This decision has enabled it to take place,” Winston-Salem Open Tournament Director Jeff Ryan said. 

The USTA says it will add safety measures to protect players and staff, including continuous testing, additional cleaning, extra locker room space, dedicated housing, and transportation. 

12:46 p.m. 

50 new COVID-19 cases and one death were reported Wednesday in Forsyth County. The overall county total of confirmed cases is 2,333. Of those, 1,411 have recovered. 

Public Health Director Joshua Swift says restaurant owners and operators can learn more about what to expect when an employee tests positive for COVID-19 at a video conference on Friday, June 19 at 10 a.m. or at 2 p.m. 

11:12 a.m. 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is allocating $35 million in federal funding to COVID-19 support for local health departments. Counties will be able to use the money for staffing, infection controls, testing, contact tracing, and data and IT support. 

According to a press release, counties will receive $90 thousand, with more money available based on areas with greater populations and the amount of COVID-19 cases. 

In the Triad, Guilford County will receive $1,337,228, followed by Forsyth at $1,234,016. A full list of county funding amounts is available here

10:55 a.m. 

Greensboro Transit Authority is offering reusable cloth masks to riders. One mask will be provided while supplies last. The event takes place Thursday, June 18 from 5 pm to 7 pm at the J. Douglas Galyon Depot transfer center, 236 E. Washington Street. More information on the campaign is available at ridegta.com.

8:46 a.m.

North Carolina Republican legislators have advanced bills to allow more types of businesses shuttered under Gov. Roy Cooper’s COVID-19 executive order to reopen and to limit lawsuits by some who’ve contracted the virus. The full House voted Tuesday to overturn Cooper’s orders that have kept bowling alleys and skating rinks closed. The Democratic governor already has vetoed a bill allowing bars to reopen, saying such legislation is not the way to address COVID-19 business activity. Another measure clearing the Senate Judiciary Committee would provide limited immunity to any business, government agency, or nonprofit that takes reasonable steps to reduce transmission risks.  

The Associated Press

June 16, 2020

5:50 p.m.

Schools across the state are planning ahead for the possibility of continued remote learning. Education leaders say the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how deep the digital divide is for families in rural North Carolina.

According to the most recent data from the Federal Communications Commission, about 14 percent of people in rural North Carolina don’t have access to broadband, and more than 19 percent lack access to a faster speed tier.

Governor Cooper launched a task force last March to address the issue. A proposed bill is also under consideration that would allow counties to build infrastructure for broadband and lease it to private companies, among other items.

4:00 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health has been notified of 2,148  cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 99 deaths. There have been 298 hospitalizations and 1110 recoveries to date.

1:14 p.m.

33 news cases of COVID-19 were reported Tuesday, bringing the total in Forsyth County to 2,283. Of those cases, 1,367 have recovered. 

Forsyth County Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 helpline is (336) 582-0800. For information on COVID-19 testing locations, symptoms, and prevention, as well as Safer at Home Order measures, visit:
https://forsyth.cc/covidupdate.

8:40 a.m.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says he’ll announce early next week a decision on whether businesses still shuttered because of COVID-19 will be allowed to reopen. Cooper’s current executive order expires June 26. It allows restaurants to have dine-in seating again and for barbershops and hair and nail salons to reopen. But bars, movie theaters, and gyms remain closed. The governor said Monday his decision will be based on science and data. He's worried about the recent upticks in cases and hospitalizations. But he's hopeful a “second wave” of cases can be stopped by the public practicing social distancing.

Associated Press

June 15, 2020

3:55 p.m.

Some North Carolina non-profit organizations are receiving additional funding to help low-income families affected by the pandemic.

In a press release, the state Department of Health and Human Services announced $26 million in federal funding is now available to designated Community Action Agencies to assist residents facing eviction, among other things. Families with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for funding.

More information can be found on the NCDHHS website.

1:50 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force will hold a media briefing at 2 p.m. regarding COVID-19. Watch live here or stream on 88.5 FM.

 

12:15 p.m.

199 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Forsyth County since Friday. On Saturday, 77 new cases were reported. 76 additional cases were reported on Sunday and 46 were confirmed Monday. The county's total case count is now 2,250. 1,325 county residents have already recovered from the disease. 

“For several months we advocated for more testing in areas of Forsyth County that need it most. I am happy to see more testing being made available, especially in East Winston," said Public Health Director Joshua Swift. "More testing locations in areas where health disparity exists will continue to grow over the next few weeks. While  testing is important, it is one moment in time. Please keep in mind, in addition to testing, wearing a mask and social distancing represent some of the most effective ways to stop the spread of COVID-19."

June 13, 2020

3:25 p.m.

Forsyth County health officials are expanding free testing for COVID-19 to increase access for minorities.

Forsyth County plans to use half a million dollars in relief funds for community testing. That includes a COVID-19 public event at the Carver School Road library branch this month for residents of East Winston.

The announcement comes amid reports that testing at pharmacies with Forsyth locations do not include stores in predominantly minority areas.

County leaders say they provide input for where those testing sites should go but don’t have the final decision. Data nationwide and in North Carolina indicate that minorities have been particularly hard hit by the outbreak.

In a release, county health officials say they have been working to enhance testing in the 27105 zip code. They say about 6 percent of residents in the area have been tested. Only Rural Hall’s rate is higher, according to county testing statistics. 

June 12, 2020

6:05 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health has been notified of 1,941 cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 94 deaths. There have been 281 hospitalizations and 1015 recoveries to date. 

5:00 p.m.

A COVID-19 outbreak has been reported at the Forsyth County Jail. 

In a social media post, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s office said five detention officers have tested positive for the virus. The statement said no inmates have tested positive, though it did not specify how many have been tested. 

1500 cases of COVID-19 have been reported at correctional facilities throughout the state.

4:35 p.m.

North Carolina’s top public health official says the state’s COVID-19 trends are going in the wrong direction.

At a press briefing earlier today, Cohen noted the state’s case numbers and hospitalizations are on the rise. Over 1700 new cases were reported today, North Carolina’s largest single-day jump. 

While testing has increased, Cohen said that it doesn’t fully account for the spike. 

“We had been very stable and hospitalizations, around 550 people in the hospital day over day for many weeks. Very stable," Cohen said. "And really in the last two to three weeks, we've seen that go from the mid 500s, to now over 800. That is a significant change. And again it tells me that the virus is spreading more.”

Cohen said the increases are linked to the state’s reopening. She said state officials are taking these trends into account in deciding whether to further loosen restrictions. 

2:02 p.m.

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) will receive $1 million from the UNC Board of Governors and the N.C. Policy Collaboratory at UNC-Chapel Hill to fight COVID-19. The UNC Board of Governors announced that it is making six such $1 million awards to the UNC System’s six historically minority-serving institutions. The funding will be awarded on July 1 and must be spent by December 30, 2020.

WSSU will use its funding to build on a current NIH-funded pilot study that explores the feasibility of training HBCU students as community health workers to deliver evidence-based interventions to address chronic disease.

1:38 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force will hold a media briefing at 2 p.m. Watch live here or stream on 88.5 WFDD.

12:55 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 84 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday. There have been 2,051 laboratory-confirmed cases. Of the 2,051, 1,254 have recovered.

The kick-off concert planned for Sunday, June 21 at Tanglewood Park has been canceled to comply with crowd restrictions contained in the Governor’s COVID-19 Phase Two Order. The concert planned for Saturday, July 4 at Triad Park has been canceled as well.

The Forsyth County Public Library system is expanding its To-Go Library hours to accommodate its summer reading push and community interest in expanded services. Beginning on Monday, June 15, new To-Go Library hours will be:
● Monday-Thursday, 10am-7pm
● Friday, 10am-5pm
● Saturday, 10am-2pm

12:20 p.m.

Greensboro Transit Agency is distributing free reusable face masks to riders. The giveaway will take place Friday, June 12 from 12-2 p.m. at the J. Douglas Galyon Depot transfer center, 236 E. Washington Street. One cloth mask will be provided per person while supplies last. The giveaway is being conducted in support of GTA’s “Stay Safe…Mask Up!” campaign encouraging riders to use face coverings while using public transportation.

9:09 a.m.

Guilford County courthouses in Greensboro and High Point have been closed after several employees tested positive for COVID-19.

The facilities will remain closed until June 22nd while the buildings are sanitized.

The county health department has initiated contact tracing to determine who may have come into close contact with the infected workers.

There is no word on how many courthouse employees tested positive.

June 11, 2020

7:03 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health has been notified of 1,891 cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 93 deaths. There have been 274 hospitalizations and 972 recoveries to date. 

6:21 p.m.

A Latino advocacy group will distribute masks and hold voter registration events this weekend. This comes as the Hispanic community makes up a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases. 

Public health officials are making efforts to spread information and resources on coronavirus to Latino communities, but organizations like Siembra NC want more. Things like targeted employer guidance, assistance with food access, and information on where to obtain face coverings.

12:43 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 42 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total case count to 1,987. 1,188 county residents have already recovered from the disease. Public Health Director Joshua Swift will give an update on the county's response to the virus this afternoon at 2 p.m. Members of the public can watch the update live via WSTV.

9:57 a.m.

The North Carolina Zoo will open to the public Monday, June 15, with some new safety procedures in place, including timed tickets for entry and a capacity of 2,000 guests.

In a press release zoo officials indicated, "Guests can only enter and exit through North America. The Zoo’s pathways are configured into a one-way walking experience through North America and Africa wherever possible. This is to encourage social distancing while ensuring guests can stop by each outdoor habitat. Guests will see directional signs and decals on the ground to help them navigate the expansive Zoo."

June 10, 2020

7:00 p.m.

State officials are aiming to increase COVID-19 testing in eight counties that are seeing rising coronavirus case numbers, including Forsyth. 

At a press conference Wednesday, State Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said she is concerned about viral spread in Forsyth, Mecklenburg, Durham, Wake, Duplin, Lee, Johnston, and Alamance Counties. 

“I don't want folks to overreact and think that these counties did anything wrong,” said Cohen. “I think there's been really good and hard work going on. And all it means is that we want to, as the state, be working with them in partnership to surge additional resources as we go here.” 

As of Wednesday, Forsyth County has reported 1,925 cases of COVID-19, the fourth-highest number in the state. 

Cohen said members of the public can check their symptoms and find a testing site on the NCDHHS website.

6:20 p.m.

After holding multiple races with thousands in attendance, The NC Department of Health and Human Services filed a temporary restraining order in Alamance County Court to force Ace Speedway to close. 

This latest legal action comes after the racetrack violated state executive orders that ban mass gatherings.

A hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

*Correction — this entry was posted earlier and mistakenly reported that the Alamance County Sheriff said the speedway was closing immediately when in fact that report was in error.

4:40 p.m.

Guilford County Public Health is reporting a total of 1,853 cases of COVID-19. The county has 91 deaths and 272 hospitalized since the beginning of the outbreak. 964 residents have recovered.

1:40 p.m.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. and Director of NC Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry will hold a media briefing today at 2 p.m. Watch live here or stream on 88.5 WFDD.

12:45 a.m. 

Forsyth County is reporting 27 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 1,925 laboratory-confirmed cases. Of the 1,925, 1,116 have recovered.

11:29 a.m. 

The Winston-Salem group Partnership for Prosperity is launching "study circles" to gain a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on low-resource communities. A study circle is a group of up to a dozen participants who meet regularly to discuss issues collaboratively and make policy recommendations. A series of these meetings will be held to address the 5 social determinants of health: housing, education, jobs/workforce development, health and wellness, and food insecurity. Study circles on housing and education have been scheduled for mid-June. Registration and more information on the initiative is available here

June 9, 2020

5:43 p.m.

A North Carolina judge has ruled that state prisons must come up with a plan to test all inmates for COVID-19. 

The ruling by Wake County Superior Court Judge Vinston Rozier came in response to a lawsuit claiming that inaction by prison officials has left inmates vulnerable to the virus.

4:46 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health (GCDPH) has been notified of 1,779 cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 87 deaths. There have been 263 hospitalizations and 928 recoveries to date.

1:10 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is issuing an Abatement Order requiring ACE Speedway to immediately close their facility and halt operations. In a press release, DHHS says the track's recent actions constitute an imminent hazard for the spread of COVID-19, an acute threat to North Carolinians which must not continue.

 

This order follows a letter sent last week by Governor Roy Cooper’s office alerting ACE Speedway that their actions are in “open defiance” of Executive Order No. 141, which limits mass gatherings to protect the safety of North Carolinians. Gatherings of more than 25 people in a confined, outdoor space are strictly prohibited. The risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 is higher in settings where people gather, share facilities, or have increased respiratory efforts, such as cheering. It was reported the Speedway admitted more than 2,500—and possibly as many as 4,000—spectators to attend races held at the track on May 23, May 30, and June 6. 

While the Abatement Order halts operations, it allows ACE Speedway to propose a new plan which could allow races to resume, under the condition that steps be taken to adhere to the restrictions in place regarding mass gathering numbers and social distancing precautions.  

The doubling time for the outbreak in Alamance reached a maximum of 19.7 days in the last week of May, and decreased to 13.6 days in early June, indicating that viral spread is becoming more rapid.

12:45 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is releasing updated guidance for doctors and clinicians on who should be tested for COVID-19. 

 

North Carolina is focused on rapidly increasing testing of people who may not currently have symptoms, but may have been exposed to COVID-19, especially people from historically marginalized populations who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. To support testing in populations being hit hardest by COVID-19, NCDHHS also has a new resource available, COVID-19 Community Testing in Historically Marginalized Populations: Best Practices.

The guidance recommends that clinicians conduct or arrange for diagnostic COVID-19 testing for: 

  • Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.

  • Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms.

  • The following groups are some of the populations with a higher risk of exposure or a higher risk of severe disease if they become infected. People in these groups should get tested if they believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms. 

    • People who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp). 

    • Historically marginalized populations who may be at higher risk for exposure.

    • Frontline and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, child care workers, construction sites, processing plants, etc.) in settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

    • Health care workers or first responders (e.g. EMS, law enforcement, fire department, military). 

    • People who are at high risk of severe illness (e.g., people over 65 years of age, people of any age with underlying health conditions). 

  • People who have attended protests, rallies, or other mass gatherings could have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or could have exposed others. Testing should be considered for people who attended such events, particularly if they were in crowds or other situations where they couldn’t practice effective social distancing. 

North Carolina is experiencing increased community transmission of COVID-19. On Saturday, June 6, the state reported its highest one-day number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases with 1,370 cases reported. 

12:30 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting an additional 90 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total case count to 1,898. 1,044 county residents have already recovered from the disease.

10:30 a.m.

A North Carolina sheriff says he won’t cite a local stock car speedway for violating the state’s prohibition against mass gatherings due to COVID-19 after another large crowd gathered there for races. 

 

Monday's announcement by Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson appears to open the door for Gov. Roy Cooper to seek legal action against the owner of Ace Speedway. Cooper’s executive order caps most outdoor meetings to 25 people. Media outlets have reported crowds at the speedway exceeding 2,000, including Saturday. 

Johnson says he's got reservations about the order's legality. Cooper called the speedway's opening to crowds a “reckless decision.” - AP

June 8, 2020

6:20 p.m.

Guilford County has announced a grant program designed to aid nonprofit agencies amid the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the program, one-time grants of up to $50,000 will be provided to help offset the significant, temporary service impacts of nonprofit agencies during this pandemic. 

The county has initially identified up to $2.5 million in emergency relief funds to support the nonprofit agencies and assist residents in the community who have been hardest hit by the pandemic, specifically local nonprofits. The source of funding for this grant program is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act federal stimulus package.

5:35 p.m.

Novant Health is easing some visitor restrictions it had put in place to help control the spread of COVID-19.

 

Patients in acute-care facilities can now have one visitor. And there will be no visiting hour restrictions for those calling on patients in critical care, obstetrics, and inpatient surgery.

According to a press release, visitor restrictions remain in place for patients undergoing treatment for COVID-19.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center will be expanding visitor access on Tuesday, allowing one visitor or support person for adult patients. Two parents or guardians will be allowed to visit pediatric patients.

3:55 p.m.

New health guidelines have been released to help North Carolina K-12 public schools find a safe way to open to in-person instruction for the 2020-21 academic year.

 

The StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12) lays out a comprehensive set of baseline health practices that public schools should follow to minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19 for students, staff, and families. In addition to specific requirements, the Toolkit recommends practices that schools should implement to minimize the spread of COVID-19 while allowing in-person teaching to resume. 

Governor Roy Cooper, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson, State Board of Education Chair Eric Davis, and NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen shared the guidance Monday. 

Schools are asked to plan for reopening under three scenarios – Plan A: Minimal Social Distancing, Plan B: Moderate Social Distancing, or Plan C: Remote Learning Only. NC DHHS, in consultation with the State Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction, will announce by July 1 which of the three plans should be implemented for schools to most safely reopen. The remaining plans may be needed if the state’s COVID-19 metrics change over time.

2:35 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force will hold a media briefing at 3 p.m. regarding COVID-19. Watch live here or stream on 88.5 FM.

 

12:45 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is now designating child protective services and adult protective services workers as first responders.  In a press release, officials said the classification will give these workers access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

“Face-to-face contact is often essential for child protective services and adult protective services work,” said NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen. “This designation will help these emergency workers have the tools they need to stay safe while continuing to serve vulnerable children, adults and families.”

12:33 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting an additional 23 cases of COVID-19, bringing its total case count to 1,808. Two new deaths were also reported. 980 county residents have already recovered from the disease. 

June 7, 2020

12:00 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 51 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday’s daily briefing was issued. There have been 1,785 laboratory-confirmed cases in Forsyth County. All cases reported by the Forsyth County Department of Public Health are Forsyth County residents. Of the 1,785, 920 have recovered.

June 6, 2020

12:00 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 29 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday’s daily briefing was issued. This brings the total to 1,734 laboratory-confirmed cases in Forsyth County. Of the 1,734, 891 have recovered.

June 5, 2020

6:00 p.m.

Guilford County is reporting 76 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the county total to 1,574 positive cases and 75 deaths. Since the beginning of the outbreak, there have been 248 hospitalizations and 810 recoveries. This is the most updated information available locally and may not match NC DHHS data.

3:49 p.m. 

Governor Cooper signed an executive order to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. Executive Order No. 143 creates a task force comprised of health care and economic opportunity professionals, environmental justice leaders, as well as those in state agencies and in the community. The goal is to address and eliminate inequities in the distribution of pandemic funding and provide small businesses access to compete for state contracts. It also gives more access to testing and health care. 

“I’m proud to have signed Executive Order No. 143 to address disparities in communities of color that are being highlighted and intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. This virus is exploiting those inequalities and it’s up to us to do something about it,” said Governor Cooper.

12:40 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 85 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday’s daily briefing was issued. There have been 1,705 laboratory-confirmed cases in Forsyth County. Of the 1,705, 864 have recovered.

Public Health Director Joshua Swift commented, “Hispanic outreach continues with an increased emphasis on education about how to prevent COVID-19.”

According to a media release, the Public Health Department has placed educational ads on local Hispanic Radio and social media, handed out cloth face masks and prevention literature in an effort to slow down the spread of the virus among the Hispanic community. 

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health has a call line, 336-582-0800, which can direct any Hispanic community member to the Hispanic liaison team for help and COVID-19 related resources.

June 4, 2020

6:15 p.m.

Guilford County is reporting a total of 1,498 cases of COVID-19 and 75 deaths since the beginning of the outbreak. There have been 247 hospitalizations and 784 recoveries in total.

4:15 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force will hold a media briefing at 4:30 p.m. Watch live here or stream on 88.5 FM.

2:15 p.m.

This Friday, Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health will open a new respiratory assessment center to test and treat those with symptoms of COVID-19. 

The new center is located at 650 N. Highland Ave., Suite 120 in Winston-Salem, and will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Appointments or referrals are not required to visit the clinic. 

The health systems have already opened three other Winston-Salem centers: 

· Novant Health Adult Primary Care- Waughtown. Located at 656 East Monmouth St., the center is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

· Novant Health Screening Center- Highland Oaks. Located at 600 Highland Oaks Dr., the center is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

· Wake Forest Baptist Health Family Medicine and Internal Medicine – Peace Haven. Located at 1930 N. Peace Haven Rd., the center is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

1:05 p.m.

Cone Health is offering free COVID-19 testing for people with and without health insurance starting this Saturday. Tests are available without a doctor’s order or an appointment. 

According to a press release, testing will be offered in Greensboro on Saturday, June 6 at Mt. Zion Church of God from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and every Wednesday in June at Mount Zion Baptist Church from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those interested are asked to bring a photo ID and wear a face mask. Test results will be returned in approximately 72 hours. 

12:30 p.m.

103 new cases and five COVID-19 related deaths have been reported in Forsyth County since yesterday’s daily briefing was issued. The five deaths were in persons in the age range of 50-80 years old. There have been 1,620 laboratory-confirmed cases in Forsyth County. Of the 1,620, 815 have recovered.

June 3, 2020

6:10 p.m.

 

A group of local business owners in the hospitality industry is asking lawmakers for help as they try to emerge from closures due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

The Triad Food and Beverage Coalition polled several business owners and industry workers in the region. They used that information to create a list of policy recommendations for local, state, and federal officials. The white paper outlines their safety and financial needs.

It includes a request to modify the federal Paycheck Protection Program, and protection from lawsuits by employees or customers regarding illness or death from COVID-19.

3:58 p.m.

Guilford County is reporting 1,415 cases of COVID-19, 71 deaths, and 239 hospitalized since the beginning of the outbreak. 748 recoveries have also been reported. Case numbers are specific to county residents.

2:16 p.m.

 

A federal prison complex near Raleigh has begun mass testing for COVID-19 after six inmates died in eight days.  

The warden of the Butner federal prison complex sent out an email saying that all inmates in a low-security facility would be tested for COVID-19 this week.

The News & Observer reports that 15 inmates at the prison have died since March.

The first major outbreak at Butner occurred at one of its two medium-security facilities. All inmates who tested positive were then moved into what had been a closed special housing unit. That unit now has the most active cases, affecting 270 inmates and seven staff members.

12:40 p.m.

Fifty-two new cases and one death have been reported in Forsyth County since yesterday’s daily briefing was issued. The one death was a person in their late 50s with underlying medical conditions. There have been 1,517 laboratory-confirmed cases in Forsyth County. Of the 1,517, 787 have recovered.

Public Health Director Joshua Swift commented, “COVID-19 poses the greatest risk to those with underlying medical conditions. Examples of these medical conditions include: serious heart conditions, diabetes, liver disease, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease, severe obesity, moderate to severe asthma, and those who are immunocompromised such as undergoing cancer treatment.”

12:00 p.m.

The Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro is providing new COVID-19 safety guidelines for passengers. In a press release, airport officials said they’ve recently seen an uptick in travelers, though “the overall numbers are still low”. 

Passengers are encouraged to wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and use mobile boarding passes to limit contact with others. Non-passengers are advised to refrain from entering the airport when dropping off or picking up travelers. The airport is offering one hour of free parking at metered spaces near the terminal to facilitate drop-offs and pick-ups. 
 

June 2, 2020

6:55 p.m.

Eight employees at IFB Solutions in Winston-Salem have tested positive for COVID-19. The manufacturing facility has been closed since May 28, when the company learned of the first case and will be closed the remainder of the week. Those who tested positive are in isolation, and individuals who came in contact with them are quarantining at home for 14 days. 

4:51 p.m.

Guilford County is reporting 79 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths since yesterday’s briefing. This brings the total of the county to 1,352 cases and 70 deaths. There have been 230 hospitalizations since the beginning of the outbreak and 729 people have recovered.

4:50 p.m.

The City of High Point has confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 within City Hall. The Municipal Building has been cleared. The City Council meeting scheduled for this evening has been canceled.

3:37 p.m.

 

North Carolina's Democratic Governor Roy Cooper said Tuesday it's "very unlikely" the state can permit a packed Republican National Convention in Charlotte to go forward this summer.

"The people of North Carolina do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August, so planning for a scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity," Cooper wrote Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

1:30 pm.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force will hold a media briefing at 2 p.m. Watch live here or stream on 88.5 FM.

11:48 a.m.

24 new COVID-19 cases and one death were reported Tuesday in Forsyth County. The person was in their 70s with underlying health conditions. There have been 1,465 cases in the county. Of those, 704 have recovered.

11:30 a.m.

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. - The Associated Press

 

June 1, 2020

1:50 p.m.

NC Department of Health and Human Services Sec. Mandy Cohen, M.D., Sr. Deputy Dir. for NC Division of Public Health Dr. Cardra Burns and Director of NC Emergency Management Services Mike Sprayberry will hold a press conference on COVID-19 updates at 2 p.m. today. You can watch it live here or listen to it on 88.5 WFDD FM.

1:40 p.m.

The City of High Point is suspending public transit services due to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

In a social media post, officials said all High Point Transit System (HPTS) bus routes have been halted. The stoppage includes the system’s ACCESS service, which serves people with disabilities. The system will continue to provide service to people who need transportation to receive dialysis treatments. 

Those with questions about alternatives are asked to call the Piedmont Triad Transit Resource Center at 336-889-7433
 

1:20 p.m.

 

Guilford County is rolling out a new small business grant program this week. The funding is designed to help business owners who have experienced losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the program, businesses with 25 or fewer employees can receive up to $10,000 in aid.

According to a news release, Guilford County will use $20 million of the funds it received from the federal CARES grant program. With roughly 600,000 residents, the county meets the minimum population requirement to qualify for the small business assistance. Guilford is one of only three North Carolina counties to receive direct federal funds totaling almost $94 million.

12:45 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is seeking to create a pool of qualified vendors to support the response to COVID-19. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was issued on May 29 for diagnostic and antibody testing including specimen collection and laboratory processing, reserving potential laboratory capacity and contact tracing. 

11:40 a.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 162 new cases of COVID-19 and three deaths since yesterday’s briefing. The three deaths were persons in their 30s, 50s, and 80s with all having underlying medical conditions. There have been 1,441 laboratory-confirmed cases in Forsyth County. Of these, 642 have recovered. 

Public Health Director Joshua Swift commented, “The cases today and over the weekend are under investigation. Our drastic increase in cases shows we cannot let down our guard. COVID-19 is highly contagious. To be safe we should assume that we’ll likely be exposed while out in public or even at home. Continue taking the necessary precautions of ‘Wear, Wait and Wash.’ This is especially serious for people that are considered high risk and can lead to death.”

Click here for previous updates. 

Copyright 2020 WFDD. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.
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