North Carolinians can expect their first unemployment checks of the COVID-19 shutdowns this week following a deluge of filings.

"Thousands of workers have lost jobs, but their bills don't stop,” Gov. Roy Cooper says. “My administration is working overtime to get unemployment checks out now. We'll keep pushing every day for more state and federal help to save our workers and their families.”

The state has received more than a quarter of a million claims in the last two weeks, most of them related to the outbreak as businesses closed or downgraded their operations.

By comparison, the state received about 100,000 claims received per month during the Great Recession about a decade ago, according to state officials.  

On one day alone last week, the state reported more than three times as many claims as in the first two weeks of March.

State health officials reported that there were around 1,000 positive cases statewide as of Sunday morning, including four deaths and about 90 hospitalizations.

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here.

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