Live Updates: Coronavirus In North Carolina (May 2020)

Live Updates: Coronavirus In North Carolina (May 2020)

12:30pm May 31, 2020

May 31, 2020

7:49 p.m. 

The Republican National Committee says it wants to hear from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper by Wednesday on whether the state can fully accommodate the party’s national convention in August this summer. The letter sent Saturday by RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel to Cooper comes a day after Cooper talked by phone with President Trump about the issue. The two disagreed about the viability of a full-fledged convention. The convention is currently scheduled to begin Aug. 24 in Charlotte. Trump and Republicans have said they want no coronavirus-related restrictions on attendance or hotel and restaurant capacity. 

-The Associated Press

7:41 p.m. 

Governor Roy Cooper has designated June 1 as a day of mourning, a chance to grieve the over 100,000 people in America and nearly 1,000 in North Carolina who have lost their lives to COVID-19. 

According to a press release, more than 100 faith-based organizations will lead a moment of silence on Monday, June 1 at 12 p.m. 

Cooper will order all state flags to be lowered to half-staff in memory of those who passed from Coronavirus.

“This is an opportunity to remind ourselves that our death count is not just a number, it represents people, communities and families in mourning,” Governor Cooper said. “I encourage North Carolinians to join in this moment of silence in honor of the people we have lost and their loved ones who are struggling in the wake of this cruel virus.”

11:41 a.m. 

22 new cases of COVID-19 cases are reported in Forsyth County Sunday, bringing the total up to 1,279. Of those, 642 have recovered.

May 30, 2020

2:40 p.m.

Guilford County has announced a grant program designed to aid small businesses struggling amid the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the program, which launches Monday, June 1, 2020, small businesses in Guilford County can receive up to $10,000 in aid through the county. 

Businesses in Guilford County with 25 or less full-time positions that have suffered significant, temporary loss of revenue directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible.

The goal of these funds is to provide temporary financial relief to those most impacted by the pandemic and resulting business closures and modifications. Guilford County will use $20 million of the funds it received from the federal government for the grant program from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

12:45 p.m.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order No. 142 to extend the prohibition of utility shut-offs and implement a moratorium on evictions. The Order goes into effect today with the Governor’s signature.

“North Carolinians need relief to help make ends meet during the pandemic,” said Governor Cooper. “Extending housing and utility protections will mean more people can stay in their homes and stay safe as we all work to slow the spread of this virus.”

The Council of State concurred on this Executive Order with no objections. 

The Order will aid in efforts to stop the spread of the virus by preventing homelessness due to eviction and ensuring access to essential utilities such as water and power. Though the Order allows for extended windows to pay rent and utility bills, all tenants and customers are still ultimately responsible for making their rent and utility payments. 

The Order’s evictions moratorium:

  • Is effective immediately and lasts for 3 weeks;

  • Would prevent landlords from initiating summary ejections or other eviction proceedings against a tenant for nonpayment or late payment of rent;

  • Prevents landlords from assessing late fees or other penalties for late or nonpayment;

  • Prevents the accumulation of additional interest, fees, or other penalties for existing late fees while this Order is in effect;

  • Requires landlords to give tenants a minimum of six months to pay outstanding rent;

  • Requires leases to be modified to disallow evicting tenants for reasons of late or nonpayments; and

  • Makes clear that evictions for reasons related to health and safety can take place.

The Order’s utility shutoff moratorium:

  • Continues effective immediately and lasts 60 days;

  • Prohibits utility disconnections for all customers;

  • Prohibits billing or collection of late fees, penalties, and other charges for failure to pay; and

  • Extends repayment plans at least six months, and sets the default term for repayment to six months for cases when the utility and customer cannot agree on the terms of an extended repayment plan.

11:55 a.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 50 new cases of COVID-19. The county's total case count is now 1,257. 642 residents have recovered from the disease. There have been 12 deaths in the county.

Today's statewide total of 27,673 reported cases is a daily increase of 1,185, which marks a new highest daily increase. The previous daily increase record was 1,107 new cases of COVID-19 reported on May 23, 2020.

May 29, 2020

6:15 p.m.

At the request of Chief District Judge Lisa Menefee, the Winston-Salem Human Relations Department on Monday, June 1, will begin mediating landlord-tenant disputes related to the non-payment of rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The courts are scheduled to reopen June 1. All mediations will be conducted remotely.

4:45 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 14 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday, bringing the total to 1,187. There have been 65 deaths, 218 hospitalizations and 635 recoveries.

 

2:45 p.m.

North Carolina officials announced that all 420 offenders at Caswell Correctional Center will be tested for COVID-19. Results are expected next week. According to a press release, "Since mid-April, a total of 19 of the 420 offenders at Caswell Correctional have tested positive and 19 of the 136 staff assigned to the dormitory-style prison have tested positive." 

1:15 p.m.

The Guilford County Division of Public Health is expanding COVID-19 testing. GCDPH is working with, UNC Greensboro, the City of High Point Parks and Recreation Department, and the City of Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department to host testing sites on their properties. Community testing sites operated by GCDPH in the month of June are listed below and offer free testing for Guilford County residents.

  • UNC Greensboro, Oakland Parking Deck, Greensboro Monday, June 1 and Tuesday, June 2, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; testing is outdoors and is an automobile drive-up process
  • Washington Street Terrace Community Center, 101 Gordon St, High Point, NC 27260 Friday, June 5, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m, testing is indoors
  • Windsor Recreation Center, 1601 East Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro, NC 27401 Monday, June 8, Wednesday, June 10 and Friday, June 12, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m, testing is indoors
  • Southside Recreation Center, 401 Taylor Ave, High Point, NC 27260 Monday, June 15, Wednesday, June 17 and Friday, June 19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m, testing is indoors
  • Peeler Recreation Center, 1300 Sykes Ave, Greensboro, NC 27405 Monday, June 22, Wednesday, June 24 and Friday, June 26, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m, testing is indoors

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.

 

12:15 p.m.

According to a Forsyth County press release, beginning June 1, anyone visiting a county facility is expected to wear a face-covering in an effort to protect employees and the general public. Social distancing and enhanced hygiene measures are also in effect. The public is asked not to visit county facilities if they are sick. Visitors may be asked screening questions prior to entering facilities.

11:50 a.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 47 new cases of COVID-19, and three deaths, bringing the county's total related-deaths to 12. The county's total case count is now 1,207.  612 residents have recovered from the disease. 

 

11:25 a.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is requesting Congressional support to extend the Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer program to provide food for children beyond the traditional school calendar year. Extending P-EBT benefits through the summer months would help provide the families of nearly half of North Carolina school children about $250 in additional support per child to buy groceries.

“One of the challenges of COVID-19 is making sure our children have the nutritious meals they need to thrive while schools are closed,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “That need doesn’t go away at the end of the school year, and neither should food assistance for families.”

Secretary Cohen has written a letter to the NC Congressional delegation urging them to support extending P-EBT through the summer as families continue to struggle from the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 emergency. Currently, states are not authorized to provide P-EBT benefits beyond the end of the state school year, which is June 12. 

10:00 a.m.

Governor Roy Cooper has announced that North Carolina has received a $6 million federal grant to support jobs and workforce training to help address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Workforce Solutions requested the funds, which were awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor. North Carolina is among a number of states and territories receiving these national Dislocated Worker Grants, which are funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Through the grant, eligible North Carolina residents may receive certain employment services or workforce training for industries that are hiring workers. Opportunities funded by the grant will vary depending on local needs, but may include: 

  • On-the-Job Training, in which a wage reimbursement incentive may be provided to a business to help offset the cost of training a new employee with limited skills.  

  • Temporary Employment, in positions that either conduct humanitarian assistance and public health duties. Jobs like like contact tracing, delivering food and medical supplies to those in need, and assisting with disaster clean-up and sanitizing areas to prevent the spread of disease. 

  • Occupational Skills Training and Supportive Services, including short-term training to dislocated workers, allowing them to pivot into jobs that are in-demand and services that provide transitional support to ensure jobseekers have the tools they need to be successful entering a new career. 

To administer this grant, DWS will partner with 14 participating local workforce development boards that, collectively, serve 59 counties. These boards include:

  • Cape Fear WDB (Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties);

  • Capital Area WDB (Wake and Johnston counties);

  • Centralina WDB (Anson, Cabarrus, Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties);

  • Charlotte Works WDB (Mecklenburg County);

  • Cumberland WDB (Cumberland County);

  • Eastern Carolina WDB (Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico and Wayne counties);

  • Gaston WDB (Gaston County);

  • Guilford WDB (Guilford County);

  • High Country WDB (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Watauga, Yancey, Mitchell and Wilkes counties);

  • Kerr-Tar WDB (Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance and Warren counties);

  • Lumber River WDB (Bladen, Hoke, Richmond, Robeson and Scotland counties);

  • Mountain Area WDB (Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties);                                           

  • Piedmont Triad Regional WDB (Caswell, Davie, Forsyth, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin counties); and

  • Regional Partnership WDB (Alamance, Montgomery, Moore, Orange and Randolph counties).

May 28, 2020

5:55 p.m.

 

On May 29th, the nonprofit organization Mi Casa is hosting a drive-thru face mask distribution event for the Hispanic community. The masks can be picked up for free in the parking lot of the organization, located at 1721 Link Rd. in Winston-Salem, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. while supplies last.

5:25 p.m.

North Carolina’s governor said Thursday that his administration hasn’t received the written safety plan for the upcoming Republican National Convention requested by his health secretary in response to President Donald Trump’s demands for a full-scale event.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said during a media briefing that his administration has yet to see plans for how the RNC envisions safely holding the convention in Charlotte in August amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen sent a letter Monday to the top RNC organizer asking for a written safety plan after Trump demanded in a tweet that North Carolina guarantee a full-scale, in-person convention. 

4:55 p.m.

Guilford County Schools is rolling out its new “smart buses” into communities in Greensboro and High Point.

 

Twice a week, Monday through Thursday, these buses will go into communities that are historically underserved and allow students to use the vehicles’ hotspot capabilities to access the internet for free. 

Each smart bus can manage up to 65 simultaneous connections and the Wi-Fi reach for each bus is about 300 feet. 

Students are not allowed on the buses, which are simply serving as Wi-Fi hotspots. Multiple buses will be parked strategically throughout large apartment complexes, mobile home parks and neighborhoods where census data indicates a lack of connectivity near where GCS students live. 

4:15 p.m.

Changes to mail-in absentee ballot rules in North Carolina and funds to improve safety at in-person voting sites during the COVID-19 pandemic have received overwhelming approval in the state House. The bipartisan measure approved Thursday by the chamber is designed to help those at higher risk for developing complications from the coronavirus be able to vote.

The measure now heading to the Senate expands the options for registered voters to receive an absentee ballot request form and to turn it back in. The bill also distributes money for equipment and security upgrades and for personal protective equipment. -Associated Press

3:30 p.m.

During Gov. Roy Cooper’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing, he announced a new partnership with CVS to expand COVID-19 testing sites.

"Today, another private partner, CVS, has announced 55 new drive-thru testing locations all across North Carolina. We're glad to have another retail store that offers testing, especially as we work to make testing available to historically underserved communities. COVID-19 is shining a bright light on long-standing inequalities that we have in healthcare," Cooper said.

A complete list of CVS Pharmacy drive-thru test sites can be found here.

2:00 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 FM.

12:20 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 97 new cases of COVID-19, the largest single day increase since the pandemic began. The county's total case count is now 1,160.  568 residents have already recovered from the disease. 

Public Health Director Joshua Swift is scheduled to provide an update on the county's COVID-19 response efforts today at 2 p.m. Members of the public can watch it live via WSTV.

May 27, 2020

4:45 p.m.

51 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported Wednesday in Guilford County, bringing the total to 1,143. There have been 53 deaths in the county, 195 hospitalized since the beginning of the outbreak, and 566 recoveries. 

3:40 p.m.

Latino community leaders are urging the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board to hire additional bilingual interpreters as the district finalizes budget plans.

In an online press conference organized by the Forsyth County Latino Congress Tuesday, parents, and advocates said the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need. 

They said the language barrier has prevented some students from accessing online learning tools and parents from communicating with teachers. 

As of this week, the Latino community accounted for 57 percent of the county’s COVID-19 cases, despite representing just 13 percent of the total population.

2:04 p.m.

 

Appalachian State University is eliminating three of its sports programs, as pandemic-related budget cuts are forcing the school to reevaluate its athletics offerings. 

Men’s soccer, men’s tennis, and men’s indoor track and field programs are all being discontinued at App State, effective immediately.

This follows a review of the school’s sports offerings in response to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The department is facing a 20 percent overall budget reduction for the coming fiscal year, which amounts to about $5 million. 

12:40 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is making an effort to reach historically marginalized communities to share information on COVID-19 prevention. The campaign will involve radio and video messages. NCDHHS data show that "African Americans and LatinX/Hispanic communities make up a disproportionate number of North Carolina’s COVID-19 laboratory-confirmed cases and deaths."

12:00 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 51 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday. There have been a total of 1,063 laboratory-confirmed cases. Of the 1,063, 381 have recovered. In the daily briefing, Public Health Director Joshua Swift commented, “We are reporting a fourth outbreak at a long-term care facility in Forsyth County. Four residents at Piney Grove Nursing and Rehabilitation tested positive for COVID-19." He added that "our rate of cases per 100,000 now exceeds the state rate.”

11:05 a.m.

The City of Greensboro will return to the regular residential yard waste collection schedule on Monday, June 1. Residents should continue to limit their yard waste to a total of 10 bags, bundles or cans. Keep bundles and limbs to five feet or less, and cans and bags to less than 50 pounds.

May 26, 2020

6:47 p.m

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is providing the following chart outlining Phase 2.

 

5:05 p.m.

The City of Greensboro has canceled its annual July 4th fireworks show due to considerations related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a press release, City Manager David Parrish says, “This type of event would likely draw thousands to our city and given public safety is of utmost importance, we will wait until it’s safer to bring people together for such an event.”

 

4:47 p.m.

Two GOP governors are offering up their states to host the Republican National Convention, a day after President Donald Trump demanded Governor Roy Cooper guarantee a full-capacity RNC in August.

 

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Florida Governor Ron Desantis are both asking President Trump to consider their states as alternate sites. 

At a press conference earlier today, Governor Cooper responded to Trump’s tweets, saying pandemic response should not be political.

“This virus is still going to be with us in August and we're gonna have to take steps to protect people. We have asked the RNC to present to us in writing their proposals. We've had discussions with them about a very limited convention all the way up.”

The convention is set to gather more than 2,500 delegates and thousands of guests in Charlotte. Plans for it have been underway for more than a year. 

3:41 p.m.

The Greensboro Aquatic Center will reopen on a limited basis on June 1. Activities will be limited to:

  • adult lap swimming for GAC members only (members must register/reserve lane online in advance)
  • select adult water fitness and rehab programs (participants must register online in advance)
  • contracted swim club team practices

More information can be found here.

2:40 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 on 88.5 FM.

1:00 p.m.

President Donald Trump is demanding assurances from North Carolina’s Democratic governor that the Republican National Convention can go forward in August despite coronavirus fears. This comes as at least one GOP governor began lobbying for the convention to move to his state.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp sent an open plea to Trump Tuesday to consider his state as an alternate site for the quadrennial convention, which is set to gather more than 2,500 delegates and thousands more guests, press and security officials.

Plans have been underway for more than a year to host the convention in Charlotte, but Trump and national Republican officials have expressed concerns that local officials may not allow gatherings of that size amid the pandemic.

-The Associated Press

12:00 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 44 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total case count to 1,012. Only five other North Carolina counties have reported more than 1,000 cases. 361 Forsyth County residents have recovered from the disease.

May 25, 2020

11:45 a.m.

Forsyth County is reporting an additional 53 cases of COVID-19, bringing its to total case count to 968.  360 county residents have recovered from the disease.

“Forsyth County continues to see increased cases of COVID-19 in the Hispanic/Latino community," said Forsyth County Public Health Director Joshua Swift. "Health department nurses and health educators have been and continue to work with community members by distributing cloth face masks and educating families and businesses on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

May 24, 2020

11:40 a.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 21 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its to total case count to 915. 360 residents have already recovered from the disease.

May 23, 2020

3:45 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 25 new cases of COVID-19 and one death since yesterday. There have been 894 laboratory-confirmed cases in Forsyth County. Of the 894, 358 have recovered. The death was a person in their late 50s who had underlying
medical conditions

In today's briefing, Public Health Director Joshua Swift says, “Remember as we move about this weekend, we want to not only protect ourselves but the ones we love and those that are at high risk for severe complications from COVID-19. Wearing a mask shows that you are strong and that you care about people who may be at high risk. They may be a relative or work in a store--So, wear it for them.”

12:00 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 1,107 cases reported. 

According to a press release, NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen says, “This is a notable and concerning increase. As we head into a holiday weekend, please practice the three Ws – wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands frequently. When it comes to our health, we need to work together to protect our families, friends and neighbors.”

Ten percent of all tests conducted were positive "among labs that report both negative and positive tests into the state electronic reporting system."

May 22, 2020

4:18 p.m.

State officials say North Carolina’s unemployment rate ballooned to just over 12% in April as the state dealt with a coronavirus-related economic slowdown. The rate represents a nearly 8 point increase from the rate in March, which had been around 4%. The national rate for April was 14.7%. The number of people classified as unemployed grew by nearly 360,000, more than doubling the number in March. The industry hit the hardest was leisure and hospitality, which declined by about 250,000 over the month. Employment in education and health services fell by about 60,000, and trade, transportation, and utilities declined by a similar number.

-The Associated Press

3:12 p.m.

At a press conference Friday, Governor Cooper highlighted a training program for restaurants and other businesses to safely reopen. The Count on Me NC online program is free training on social distancing practices, employee health, and sanitation. As of Friday, more than 3,500 businesses had already participated in the course. Businesses then receive a certificate to display showing they have completed the training. 

1:15 p.m.

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

12:10 p.m.

There are 48 new cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County since yesterday. The total number of laboratory-confirmed cases is 869. Of the 869, 358 have recovered. The county is reporting eight deaths. 

11:25 a.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is distributing a one-time supplemental payment to families enrolled in the Work First Cash Assistance program with one or more children. These payments are intended to help vulnerable families during the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

All Work First Cash Assistance families that received a benefit in April and had one or more children in their household will receive a supplement of $265 per child for a total of more than 17,000 children. Some families will receive the payment today on their Electronic Benefit Transfer card, others will receive the payment on Monday via a direct deposit. 

Work First is North Carolina’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The Work First program provides parents with short-term training and other services to help them become employed and move toward self-sufficiency. Families in which grandparents and relatives are caring for their relative children and legal guardians can receive services and support that prevent children from unnecessarily entering the foster care system.

May 21, 2020

4:50 p.m.

Greensboro restaurants can apply for a special city event permit to offer outdoor dining on sidewalks, public streets, or on-street parking areas during the state's Phase 2 of reopening. Greensboro is waiving special event permit fees for this purpose. The permitting process includes application review, applicant outreach, and a final site inspection.

Businesses must comply with the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ guidance for reopening restaurants, state ABC requirements, and other applicable rules. The permitting process does not apply to outdoor dining on private property.

To apply for a special event permit, find the Restaurant Expansion into Public Right of Way Permitting section of the city's website. 

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 at 2 p.m. Watch live here or stream on 88.5 FM.

 

1:15 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting its first case of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19.

According to a press release, "While children generally experience mild symptoms with COVID-19, recently a possible link has been found between COVID-19 and a serious inflammatory disease in some children and teenagers who have current or recent infections. The first reports of this syndrome came from the United Kingdom in late April. Cases in the United States were first reported in New York City in early May."

Most children with MIS-C have fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees F or 38.0 degrees C or greater) lasting several days, along with other symptoms. Other common symptoms include:

  • Irritability or decreased activity
  • Abdominal pain without another explanation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Conjunctivitis (red or pink eyes)
  • Poor feeding
  • Red, cracked lips or red, bumpy tongue that looks like a strawberry
  • Swollen hands and feet, which might also be red

NCDHHS says to call your child’s doctor immediately if your child has a persistent fever plus any of the above symptoms. If your child is severely ill, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately. 

12:00 p.m.

There are 48 new cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County since yesterday. The total number of laboratory-confirmed cases is 821. Of the 821, 352 have recovered.

9:25 a.m.

Meat producer Tyson Foods is reporting 570 cases of COVID-19 at a poultry processing complex in North Carolina. Tyson said in a news release that it tested more than 2,000 staff members and contractors who work at its facility in Wilkesboro. Tyson said that most of the 570 didn’t show symptoms. Tyson said it’s increasing testing and health care options at 30 of its facilities and providing face masks, putting physical barriers between work stations and implementing social distancing practices.  Tyson had temporarily closed parts of the North Carolina complex that houses multiple plants for deep cleaning, including a multi-day closure announced last week. 

May 20, 2020

5:21 p.m.

Governor Cooper gave the green light to a "Safer At Home" Phase Two, beginning on Friday, May 22 at 5 p.m. Dr. Mandy Cohen cited that most indicators remain stable to proceed with relaxing some statewide restrictions, but increases in daily case counts mean that a scaled-back step is necessary. Read Executive Order No. 141. 

Here is what Phase Two entails: 

 

4:45 p.m. 

Gov. Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force will hold a briefing on COVID-19 updates Joint Force Headquarters. Watch live or listen to 88.5 FM. 

 

 

3:20 p.m.

Guilford County Public Health is reporting 931 total cases of COVID-19, and 49 associated deaths. The county has had 163 hospitalized since the beginning of the outbreak, and is counting 392 recoveries.

2:00 p.m.

Guilford County Division of Public Health is providing a free COVID-19 community testing option on Friday, May 22. Testing is by appointment only at the Windsor Community Recreation Center and can be scheduled in advance by calling 336.641.7527. It is only available to those at high-risk for COVID-19. 

12:45 p.m.

There have been 35 new cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County since yesterday, bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 773. Of the 773, 305 have recovered. There have been eight deaths.

Forsyth County Public Health Director Joshua Swift says, “This week’s cases appear to follow the same trend as last week and indicate COVID-19 is spreading among close contacts of family members. If you are sick, keep your distance from family members when at home and also limit visitors from coming into your house.”

11:55 a.m.

 

Greensboro city officials are looking at how they might cut spending in the face of an expected $8 million drop in revenue, partly due to reduced sales tax revenue because of shutdowns during the coronavirus pandemic.

City manager David Parrish presented a $613 million recommended budget for the coming fiscal year at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

It would maintain Greensboro’s current property tax rate, with no changes to water and sewer fees. There would also be no reduction in full-time staffing positions.

According to a news release, the budget proposal includes a reduction in building maintenance projects, a freeze on new hires, and a delay for new city programs.

May 19, 2020

5:05 p.m.

 

Guilford County announced today that its Park aquatic centers will remain closed until further notice due to Covid-19. The aquatic centers, which typically open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, are located at Bur-Mil Park, Hagan-Stone Park, and Northeast Park. 

Staff shared that they are working closely with Public Health officials and monitoring guidance from the State’s Department of Health and Human Services on the safe opening of pools. 

Guilford County parks, trails, and open spaces will remain open to the public with modified hours and amenities. Staff continues to encourage visitors to practice social distancing guidelines.

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 at 2 p.m. Watch live here or stream on 88.5 FM.

 

12:50 p.m.

Forty new cases and one death have been reported in Forsyth County since yesterday. The death was an individual in their late 70s with underlying medical conditions. There have been 738 laboratory-confirmed cases in Forsyth County. All cases reported by the Forsyth County Department of Public Health are Forsyth County residents. Of the 738, 303 have recovered.

Public Health Director Joshua Swift commented, “ We have heard from the medical community that people may be exposing themselves to others with COVID-19 to gain immunity. Knowingly exposing yourself to COVID-19 is irresponsible and can put you and your loved ones at risk.”

May 18, 2020

6:20 p.m.

According to NCDHHS, the estimated number of patients presumed to be recovered from COVID-19 is 11,637. 

5:30 p.m.

As of Monday, Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 872 cases of COVID-19. The county has verified 47 deaths. There have been 145 hospitalizations and 359 recoveries. 

4:35 p.m.

 

Forsyth County is getting substantially less in federal COVID-19 relief funds than other metro counties in the state. New legislation could help alleviate the disparity, but it faces an uphill climb.

The CARES program guidelines dictate that the federal government limits direct aid to counties with at least 500,000 residents.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that while Guilford County will be allotted close to $94 million, Forsyth will receive $6.4 million. 

1:30 p.m.

Gov. Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force are holding a briefing on COVID-19 updates at 2 p.m. Watch live on our blog, stream from our website, or listen on 88.5 WFDD-FM.

12:45 p.m.

53 new cases have been reported in Forsyth County since yesterday. There have been 698 laboratory-confirmed cases in the county total. All cases reported by the Forsyth County Department of Public Health are Forsyth County residents. There have been seven deaths, and 236 recoveries.

11:15 a.m.

 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is responding to COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities. All long-term care facilities in the state will receive personal protective equipment packs, and facilities will receive a limited increased rate for some Medicaid services to support infection prevention and management.

NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. says, “We want to help them do all that they can because once an outbreak occurs in a congregate living setting, it can be difficult to prevent the spread of the virus.” 

PPE packs will go to more than 3,000 state-licensed long-term care facilities and include a 14 day supply of face shields, procedure masks, gloves, and shoe covers. Adult care homes, family care homes, nursing homes, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and mental health facilities will receive supplies. 

May 17, 2020

11:40 a.m.

24 new cases have been reported in Forsyth County since yesterday. There have been 645 laboratory-confirmed cases in the county total. All cases reported by the Forsyth County Department of Public Health are Forsyth County residents. There have been seven deaths, and 236 recoveries. 

Public Health Director Joshua Swift commented, “Two additional congregate living facilities in Forsyth County are now designated as having a COVID-19 outbreak. In a congregate living setting, a COVID-19 outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases. Trinity Elms independent apartment building has two positive staff members that are now in isolation, and no residents are showing symptoms at this time. The second facility, Silas Creek Rehab, had a resident and staff member test positive. All other residents and staff are currently asymptomatic. Both long term care centers, Forsyth County Department of Public Health, and the NC Department of Health and Human Services are working together to prevent any further spread in each of the facilities. Forsyth County Health Department has a team of nurse liaisons assigned to long term care facilities since early March to help prevent or mitigate COVID-19 in congregant living facilities.”

May 16, 2020

5:55 p.m. 

A federal judge in North Carolina has sided with conservative Christian leaders and blocked the enforcement of restrictions that Gov. Roy Cooper ordered affecting indoor religious services during the pandemic. The order from Judge James C. Dever III came Saturday, days after two Baptist churches, a minister, and a Christian revival group filed a federal lawsuit seeking to immediately block enforcement of rules covering religious services within the Democratic governor’s executive orders. The plaintiffs argued the limits violate their rights to worship freely and treat churches differently from retailers and other secular activities. Cooper's office says it won't appeal the ruling.

11:30 a.m. 

Five news cases of COVID-19 were reported Saturday in Forsyth County, bringing the total number to 621. 236 have recovered. The death total remains at. 7. 

May 15, 2020 

5:20 p.m. 

Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 48 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday, bringing the total number of cases to 768. GCDPH has verified 45 deaths. There have been 142 hospitalizations and 332 recoveries to date.

4:05 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued updated guidance today on who should be tested for COVID-19.

The new guidance recommends clinicians ensure the following populations have access to testing, regardless of symptoms:

  • Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19
  • Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms 
  • Persons who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp)
  • Persons who are at high risk of severe illness (e.g., people over 65 years of age, people of any age with underlying health conditions)
  • Persons who come from historically marginalized populations
  • Health care workers or first responders (e.g. EMS, law enforcement, fire department, military)
  • Front-line and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, etc.) in settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain

1:40 p.m.

 

NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. and Director of North Carolina Emergency Management  Mike Sprayberry will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. regarding COVID-19. Watch live or listen to 88.5 FM. 

 

11:35 a.m.

61 new cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County, bringing the total to 616 laboratory-confirmed cases. Of those, 235 have recovered. 

Public Health Director Joshua Swift commented, “We continue to see clusters in families across Forsyth County: if you are sick, stay separated from other family members in the household; wear a cloth face covering at home when you cannot social distance; clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and wash your hands often; avoid sharing a bathroom with well family members; limit visitors to the home; last and most important, stay home if you are sick and do not go out in public.”

Due to COVID-19, Tanglewood Park pool operations have been suspended until further notice.

 

10:43 a.m.

A new program in Guilford County aims to help families facing financial hardships. The Electronic Benefits Transfer Program (P-EBT) will provide additional resources to the families of public school students. They'll receive the benefits through an EBT card, which will be mailed in the coming weeks. 

To qualify, families must have students enrolled in Guilford County Schools (GCS) and they must qualify for free and reduced-price meals.

Applications available here and for more information, click here.

May 14, 2020

5:45 p.m.

 

Tyson Foods announced today that it is limiting operations at its Wilkesboro, N.C. poultry processing facility. This is in order to carry out additional deep cleaning due to a combination of positive COVID-19 cases and team member absences related to the quarantine.

This closure follows coronavirus testing of all Tyson employees and contractors last week. Tyson will share verified test results with health and government officials as they become available. 

Some of the newly diagnosed cases were found in asymptomatic individuals, meaning they have potentially carried the virus into the community where it can spread via community transmission. 

Because of this risk, a reminder has been issued that all of Wilkes County remains under a modified stay-at-home order as outlined in Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 138. Violations of this order are punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor. Residents are strongly encouraged to stay at home to the fullest extent possible. No resident should participate in any public activity that is not essential to life, health, or safety. If residents must go out in public, the local governments insist that they follow the three Ws: wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart, and wash hands frequently. 

In a press release, the county said that going out in public risks exposing others to the virus. One transmission can spread exponentially throughout the community. Therefore, the county and towns are asking all Wilkes County residents to keep the health of their neighbors in mind, act in good faith, and stay at home as much as possible. 

4:10 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen shared an update on North Carolina’s key COVID-19 indicators. They say the data and trends show that North Carolina remains stable nearly one week into Phase 1. 

 

“Our COVID-19 decisions are guided by the data and the science,” said Cooper. “We will use the time in this phase to keep a careful eye on the data and the indicators before we are ready to announce the start of Phase 2. North Carolinians should continue to stay home if they can and take precautions to keep themselves safe.” 

Gov. Cooper and Secretary Cohen also announced that DHHS now has a list of testing locations on the DHHS website. The list includes more than 200 sample collection sites in 54 counties, with more being added as they are verified. The list is comprised of health care providers, pharmacies and retail locations, local health departments, and others that are providing testing for COVID-19. Some of the sites that are federally funded do not cost anything for the individual being tested. Doctors and clinicians may also provide testing at their offices.

 Based on the metrics laid out last month, officials need to continue watching the trends before announcing a shift into Phase 2.

2:20 p.m.

Gov. Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force are holding a briefing on COVID-19 updates at 3 p.m. Watch live on our blog, stream from our website, or listen on 88.5 WFDD-FM.

11:45 a.m.

Sixty new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths are being reported in Forsyth County since yesterday’s daily briefing was issued. The two deaths involved an individual in their early 60s and one in their early 70s. Both individuals had underlying medical conditions. There have been a total of 555 laboratory-confirmed cases in Forsyth County. Of the 555, 233 have recovered. Public Health Director Joshua Swift commented, “The recent uptick in cases and two new deaths are a reminder that COVID-19 remains prevalent in our community. These cases are related to close contacts of confirmed cases.” Swift will provide more information at a County Commissioners' meeting at 2 p.m.

May 13, 2020

5:45 p.m.

According to The News & Observer, Gilead Sciences has donated a supply of remdesivir to seven North Carolina medical centers including Moses Cone Hospital and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The new, experimental drug is used to treat patients with COVID-19.  

4:05 p.m.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) estimates that as of Monday, 9,115 North Carolinians with COVID-19 are likely to have recovered from their symptoms.

To calculate this number, NCDHHS estimates the median time for recovery from symptoms to be 14 days from the date of specimen collection for non-fatal COVID-19 cases who were not hospitalized or if hospitalization status is unknown, or 28 days for hospitalized non-fatal COVID-19 cases. 

Patients’ actual recovery times could be shorter or longer depending on the severity of illness. 

2:46 p.m.

 

The Guilford County Animal Shelter has suspended pet adoptions after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. 

Shelter officials say at least one person has tested positive for the virus and is currently in self-quarantine.

According to a news release, the shelter is working with county health officials to determine when that individual may return to work. All other Animal Services staff are being tested for the illness, and the building is undergoing a deep cleaning.

Pet adoptions will be put hold until May 19 unless the county determines adoptions can resume sooner.

2:00 p.m.

Members of the state Coronavirus Task Force will hold a press briefing at 2 p.m. Watch live here or stream on 88.5 FM.

 

 

11:45 a.m.

For the second consecutive day, Forsyth County is reporting 50 new cases of COVID-19. County Public Health Director Joshua Swift says the spike is under investigation.

"Many of the cases from yesterday appear to be connected to close contacts such as family members and loved ones. It is important, even when at home, to practice good hygiene, proper cleaning and social distancing from sick family members," he says.
"Family members should also limit their errands to only one or two household members.”

The county's total case count is now 495. 210 residents have already recovered from the disease.

11:30 a.m.

The City of Greensboro is closing two streets to through motor vehicle traffic until Governor Roy Cooper’s Stay-At-Home order expires. The move is part of the city’s Slow Streets pilot program, which aims to encourage outdoor exercise while social distancing restrictions remain in place.

The following streets will close on Friday and reopen when the statewide Stay-at-Home order is lifted:

  • Highland Avenue from Haywood Street to Florida Street
  • W. Greenway Drive from W. Market Street to Walker Avenue

The roads will remain open to residents. The city says the streets were chosen based on neighborhood interest, their proximity to parks and relatively low traffic volumes. The program may expand to include other streets if the pilot project is deemed successful. 
 

May 12, 2020

5:15 p.m.

The Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 649 cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. There have been 137 hospitalizations, 42 deaths, and 294 recoveries in the county to date.

4:30 p.m.

 

North Carolina is working with local manufacturers to shift their production to make critical medical supplies.  

In March, Governor Roy Cooper established the state’s Task Force for Emergency Repurposing of Manufacturing (TFERM) to increase the amount of protective gear made here at home.  

TFERM has partnered with the N.C. Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Carolina Textile District, and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. to identify and collaborate with manufacturers statewide who are able to pivot their operations to produce critical personal protective equipment (PPE) including face shields, hand sanitizer, cloth masks, gowns and more. 

Apple Rock of Greensboro normally makes trade show displays and other graphic products, and are now producing isolation gowns. 

Winston-Salem based Hanes, in partnership with N.C. State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is developing high-grade masks for medical workers. Designs are currently being evaluated for performance and fit. 

1:45 p.m.

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

1:10 p.m. 

Fifty new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Forsyth County since yesterday. There have been a total of 445 laboratory-confirmed cases. Of the 445, 208 have recovered.

Public Health Director Joshua Swift commented, “Today’s case increase is currently under investigation and does not appear to be connected to Tyson. We must continue to emphasize the importance of staying home when you feel sick, practice social distancing, and wear a face cloth covering when inside and around others.”

He added, “From last week’s reported long term care facility outbreak, three additional staff members at the Oak Forest Rehabilitation Center have tested positive for COVID-19. We are awaiting test results for the rest of their staff. All residents have been tested and all were negative except for two residents who are awaiting results. So far, four staff and one resident have tested positive.”

12:07 p.m.

 

A residential alcohol and drug treatment center in Greensboro is temporarily shutting down after three clients tested positive for COVID-19. 

A treatment manager at Malachi House II  says the three men were asymptomatic before they received positive findings. Willie Wooten tells the News & Record that the program’s other participants have been moved off-campus, and all are being tested.

Malachi House II has been added to the state’s list of congregate living facilities experiencing coronavirus outbreaks. That list also includes two Guilford County nursing homes and a strawberry farm that hosts on-site housing.

10:30 a.m.

Wake Forest Baptist Health is asking everyone to wear a mask at all times while visiting or working at any location within the health system. These guidelines apply to all patients (including children when developmentally appropriate), visitors, students, and staff – even those who are not involved in direct patient care. Patients and visitors can wear personal, homemade, cloth, or dust masks. Those not wearing a mask will be provided with a cloth or ear-loop mask upon entry.

9:25 a.m.

 

The City of Winston-Salem is facing a major budget gap due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At a finance committee meeting Monday, Patrice Toney, the city’s budget and evaluation director, presented a preview of the outlook for the next fiscal year. It projected a $13.1 million shortfall in the city’s general fund budget due in part to a reduction in sales tax revenue. 

Toney suggested a number of ways to close the gap, including eliminating 20 currently vacant positions and postponing raises. 

May 11, 2020

5:20 p.m.

The City of Winston-Salem plans to distribute free face masks to those 65 and older on May 12, on what officials are calling Senior Day. The initiative is part of Winston-Salem’s Mask the City project. Beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday, a total of 20,000 masks will be given to seniors at nine drive-through distribution sites, including BB&T Ballpark and the Fulton Family YMCA. A maximum of 2 masks per car will be given to seniors who present their IDs. A full list of distribution sites can be found at MaskTheCity.com.

5:10 p.m.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted North Carolina’s request to extend its non-congregate sheltering program for COVID-19 through June 6. The program provides housing alternatives, such as hotels, motels, and dormitories, for North Carolinians with unstable housing who may need to quarantine in response to or are at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

 

64 counties are participating in the program, which has housed about 600 people since it began in early April.

The temporary sheltering is designated for:

  • People who test positive for COVID-19 and need to be isolated but do not require hospitalization, including those discharged from hospitals.

  • People exposed to COVID-19 and identified by a health care professional as needing quarantine but do not require hospitalization.

  • People needing social distancing as a precautionary measure, as determined by public health officials, particularly for high-risk groups such as people over 65 or with certain underlying health conditions such as respiratory illness, compromised immunities, or chronic disease. This may include those who are homeless or whose living situation makes them unable to adhere to social distancing guidance.

The federal government through FEMA will pay 75 percent of the costs associated with operating the non-congregate sheltering program. North Carolina will pay the remaining 25 percent. Funding includes the cost of all supporting infrastructure, such as electricity and waste disposal, as well as other services such as laundry, food, cleaning, and security.

 

2:20 p.m.

Members of North Carolina's Coronavirus Task Force will hold a briefing on COVID-19 at 2:30 p.m. Watch live or listen to 88.5 FM. 

 

12:00 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting nine new cases of COVID-19, bringing its to total case count to 395. 207 residents have already recovered from the disease. 

May 10, 2020

11:30 a.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 17 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its to total case count to 386. 176 residents have already recovered from the disease. 

10:00 a.m.

A Wilkes County Tyson chicken processing plant has been temporarily closed in response to an outbreak of COVID-19 among its employees.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports the plant was closed on Saturday for deep cleaning and will reopen Tuesday. 

Tyson has not disclosed how many of the facility’s employees have tested positive for the virus. Wilkes County officials have said the majority of its 228 cases are related to the plant. Forsyth County has said at least 70 of its 369 cases are connected to it. 

The facility employees about 2,200 people. 
 

May 9, 2020

3:20 p.m.

There have been 15 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Forsyth County since yesterday, bringing the total number of cases to 369. Of the 369, 176 have recovered.

 

May 8, 2020

5:30 p.m.

North Carolina has now moved into Phase 1 of the plan to slowly ease certain COVID-19 restrictions that Governor Roy Cooper announced earlier this week. The Stay at Home Order remains in place with some modifications.

North Carolina is taking a three-phased approach – based on data from testing, tracing, and trends – to safely lift restrictions while continuing to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and save lives.

People who are sick or at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 should continue to remain at home as much as possible. More information is included in a list of frequently asked questions about the governor's modified Stay at Home Order.

Below is a general overview of what Phase 1 means for North Carolina.

4:50 p.m.

 

As businesses around the area begin to reopen, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities is urging owners and tenants of temporarily or partially closed buildings to ensure water is safe and odor-free before resuming normal water use.

Conditions may develop that increase the risk of waterborne bacteria in building piping. Disinfectant already present in the water, such as chlorine, will have likely dissipated or become ineffective.

Before reopening a business, the city is suggesting taking steps like flushing the building’s water system, cleaning decorative water fixtures, and ensuring water heaters are maintained.

1:45 p.m.

Gov. Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force to hold a briefing on COVID-19 updates at 2 p.m. Watch live or listen to 88.5 FM. 

11:39 a.m. 

There are seven new cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County, bringing the total to 354. Of those, 170 have recovered. The number of deaths in the county remains at 5. 

10:00 a.m. 

One North Carolina transit system is requiring its passengers to wear masks beginning next week. The News & Record of Greensboro reported that, starting Monday, High Point Transit passengers will have to wear protective masks or face coverings. A news release from the city said the mask must cover passengers’ noses and mouths. Passengers without a face covering will be given a disposable mask. The city said that while High Point Transit will continue to operate fare-free until further notice, passengers must have an intended destination.

May 7, 2020

4:10 p.m.

 

Wear. Wait. Wash. As North Carolina moves to ease some COVID-19 restrictions at the end of this week, the NC Department of Health and Human Services is asking people to remember “the three Ws” to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve.

If you leave home, practice your Ws: Wear, Wait, Wash

  • Wear a cloth face covering if you will be with other people.

  • Wait 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.

3:20 p.m.

The City of Greensboro and the United Way of Greater Greensboro’s campaign to provide 30,000 free face coverings to Greensboro residents has concluded. The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation underwrote the campaign, which began on April 29.

The face coverings were distributed at the Melvin Municipal Office Building and United Way’s office on Yanceyville Street. The fabric coverings are reusable and it’s recommended to be worn at all times in public, where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

1:45 p.m.

Members of the Coronavirus Task Force will hold a briefing at 2 p.m. today. Watch live or listen to 88.5 FM. 

 

12:30 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 18 new cases of COVID-19, bring its total case count to 347. 170 residents have already recovered from the disease. 

May 6, 2020

3:15 p.m. 

As of Wednesday, Guilford County is reporting 527 cases of COVID-19. Guilford County Division of Public Health has verified 35 deaths. There have been 114 hospitalizations and 216 recoveries to date.

1:48 p.m.

Members of the Coronavirus Task Force will hold a briefing at 2 p.m. today. Watch live or listen to 88.5 FM. 

12:28 p.m. 

A staff member and a resident at a Forsyth County rehabilitation center have tested positive for COVID-19. The two cases are considered an outbreak. Both are in isolation and the Forsyth County Public Health Department is working with the NC Division of Health and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to screen and test staff and residents. 

County Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt, who serves on the Health and Human Services Board, said, "While we are saddened by the 2 cases at the Center, we are confident that our Public Health Department will follow guidelines to help the facility protect other patients and staff."

33 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported since Tuesday, bringing the total to 329. Of those, 145 have recovered. 

9:56 a.m.

Health care facilities, long-term care ones especially, are facing a staff shortage and are seeking to hire temporary, part-time, and full-time positions. An initiative at East Carolina University is underway to match workers with these facilities. Registered Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants are particularly in need. 

"A crucial part of our response to COVID-19 is bolstering the health care workforce so we can respond to outbreaks as soon as possible," said Ben Money, Deputy Secretary for Health Services. "The East Carolina University School of Nursing is partnering with us to match health care workers with the ability to pick up extra shifts to facilities in the nurse’s local area."

Interested health care employees can register at https://nc.readyop.com/fs/4cjq/697b.

 

May 5, 2020

5:30 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper today signed Executive Order No. 138 to modify North Carolina’s Stay At Home order and transition to Phase 1 of slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions effective Friday, May 8 at 5 pm. Certain businesses remain closed as the state continues battling COVID-19. 

“COVID-19 is still a serious threat to our state, and Phase 1 is designed to be a limited easing of restrictions that can boost parts of our economy while keeping important safety rules in place,” said Governor Cooper. “This is a careful and deliberate first step, guided by the data, and North Carolinians still must use caution while this virus is circulating.”

5:21 p.m. 

COVID-19 cases in Wilkes County have spiked dramatically within the past two weeks — over 130 reported as of Tuesday. Local officials say many of them are coming from the Tyson Foods Processing Plant. The numbers are expected to grow as county officials conduct random tests there.

The county health department and state officials are working with Tyson to better understand the scope of the outbreak. They tested around 200 employees on Monday. Those results are expected back in the next few days.

4:40 p.m.

Gov. Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force to hold a briefing on COVID-19 updates. Watch live, listen to 88.5 FM, or stream at www.wfdd.org

 

3:14 p.m. 

Guilford County has reported 18 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 494. GCDPH has verified 32 deaths. There have been 106 hospitalizations and 206 recoveries to date.

12:30 p.m.

There are nine new cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County since yesterday. There have been a total of 296 laboratory-confirmed cases in the county. Of the 296, 144 have recovered.

 

11:30 a.m.

More than half (51.1%) of North Carolina adults are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 because they are 65 or older, have at least one underlying health condition or both, according to data analyzed by the NC Department of Health and Human Services. Findings from the analysis include:

  • In 2018, 27 percent of people 18–24, 36 percent of people 25–49, 49 percent of people 50–64 and 56 percent of people 65 and older had at least one underlying health condition that is a risk factor for serious illness from COVID-19.
  • In 2018, 45 percent of blacks and 42 percent of whites had at least one underlying health condition.
  • As of May 4, 2020, 31 percent of all people with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 had at least one underlying health condition.
  • As of May 4, 2020, 75 percent of all laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 deaths had at least one underlying health condition. 

9:30 a.m.

Guilford County is providing community COVID-19 testing for those at highest risk for the disease. According to a press release, testing will be done by appointment only and must be scheduled in advance by calling 336-641-7527. Testing is available regardless of insurance status. Testing will begin on Tuesday, May 5, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and continue Monday through Friday.

May 4, 2020

6:00 p.m.

The Guilford County Division of Public Health is reporting 476 cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County. GCDPH has verified 31 deaths. There have been 102 hospitalizations and 190 recoveries to date.

 

5:30 p.m.

Governor Cooper joined by House and Senate leaders signed SB 704 and HB 1043. The relief package, which was passed unanimously, includes almost $1.6 billion in relief measures for critical expenditures related to public health and safety, educational needs, small business assistance, and continuity of state government operations.

 

HB 1043, the spending package, allocates federal funding sent to the state from the CARES Act. It includes:

  • $50 million to provide personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies

  • $25 million to support enhanced COVID-19 testing and tracing

  • $125 million in small business loans administered through the Golden LEAF Foundation

  • $50 million in health support for underserved communities including rural areas and minority communities

  • $95 million to support North Carolina hospitals

  • $20 million to support local health departments and the State Health Lab

  • $75 million for school nutrition programs

  • $70 million for summer learning programs

  • $30 million for local schools to purchase computers and other devices for students

  • $6 million for food banks

  • $9 million for rural broadband

  • $85 million for vaccine development, antibody testing, community testing, and other COVID-19-related research at Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, Campbell University, and Wake Forest University.

Senate Bill 704 contained provisions to help North Carolinians. It includes:

  • An extension of driver’s license and registration expiration deadlines

  • Waived interest on tax payments normally due in April

  • Modifies end-of-grade testing requirements for public schools

  • Adjusts the 2020-21 K-12 public school calendar

  • Allows pharmacists to administer a COVID-19 vaccine once it is developed

4:00 p.m.

License and registration expiration dates for North Carolina drivers are extended five months. The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicle says it is a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and the provision included in the COVID-19 bill signed into law by Governor Cooper grants the extension.

 

The bill also allows the DMV to waive any penalties for a late registration renewal during the extension period. Customers who already paid a $15 fee for a late renewal in March or April will be reimbursed.

The five-month extension applies to any credential that expires on or after March 1, and before August 1.

The bill also extends the due dates for motor vehicle taxes that are tied to vehicle registration to correspond with the extended expiration dates

12:00 p.m.

Forsyth County is reporting an additional 19 cases of COVID-19, bringing its total case count to 287. Of those, 142 have already recovered.

"Testing increased last week with the rise in positive cases being connected to Forsyth County residents who work at the Tyson plant in Wilkesboro," said Forsyth County Public Health Director Joshua Swift. “Overall, Forsyth County resident hospitalization related to COVID-19 remains low; the majority of cases are able to recover at home.”

10:50 a.m.

Govenor Roy Cooper will give an update on the state's COVID-19 response today at 11:30 a.m. Watch here, or listen live on 88.5 WFDD.

 

 

May 3, 2020

11:40 a.m.

No new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Forsyth County, so the total number remains at 268. Of those, 131 people have recovered.

Statewide, 11,664 North Carolina residents have tested positive for COVID-19, 422 North Carolinians have died, and 143,835 tests have been completed.

May 2, 2020

4:03 p.m.

The General Assembly has finalized a relief package to address the new coronavirus pandemic in North Carolina, agreeing to send money to schools, hospitals, local governments and researchers. A pair of bipartisan measures approved unanimously by the House and Senate on Saturday direct how nearly $1.6 billion in federal funds are distributed and how government activities during the outbreak are deferred or delayed. Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to sign the bills into law. He and Republican legislative leaders praised the collaboration in fashioning the measures. The Legislative Building was closed to the public while the General Assembly worked this week.

11:36 a.m. 

16 new cases have been reported in Forsyth County, bringing the total number to 268. Of those, 130 have recovered. Public Health Director Joshua Swift commented, “At least half of the cases reported today continue to be connected with the Tyson plant in Wilkesboro.”

May 1, 2020

4:25 p.m.

 

North Carolina’s top public health official says the state is on track to ease some COVID-19 related restrictions next week.

At a press briefing this afternoon, Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen noted the number of coronavirus cases is increasing daily. But she said the state is meeting testing goals, and the overall percentage of positive test results is trending downward.

“As I look at the data, I remain optimistic that the trends will be stable enough to move us into phase 1 next week,” she says.

Last week, Governor Roy Cooper identified several key goals he said the state must meet in order to begin the first of a three-phase economic reopening plan. In phase 1, some retail businesses will be allowed to reopen with certain social distancing restrictions. 

 

Cooper’s original stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 8. 

3:40 p.m.

Brenner Children’s Hospital’s pediatric emergency department has moved back to its original location at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The department was moved last month to make room for an adult Comprehensive Acute Respiratory Evaluation (CARE) unit. The CARE unit is now located closer to the adult emergency department.

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 or stream on 88.5 WFDD.

11:45 a.m.

Forsyth County is reporting 10 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total case count to 252. 124 county residents have already recovered from the disease.

Click here for previous updates. 

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