Raleigh, N.C. — Here are the latest updates on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in North Carolina and across the globe:
What you need to know:
- North Carolina has 183 people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus, including at least two cases of community spread in which officials couldn’t pinpoint the cause of the infection.
- Nearly 15,000 people in the U.S. are infected, and about 200 people have died across the country.
- The State Department has warned all U.S. citizens not to travel internationally.
- President Trump’s administration is closing the borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential traffic.
- Governors in New York and California have ordered all residents of their states to remain at home, aside from essential services.
- Congress is working on a $1 trillion stimulus package for the battered economy, including $1,200 checks for families.
- North Carolina schools remain closed, and bars and restaurants are restricted to takeout, delivery and drive-thru orders.
- Several North Carolina coastal communities have closed beaches to public access.
- A toll-free Hope Line has been established for older adults experiencing isolation from social distancing. Call 1-866-578-4673 or 1-866-578-HOPE.
Get details on NC cases:
Friday, March 20
11:03 p.m.: One of the latest coronavirus cases in Wake County is an assisted living resident at the Woodland Terrace senior community in Cary, according to officials. The resident is in isolation.
“As a result of this development, we have directed all assisted living residents to quarantine in their apartments, and any associates who were directly exposed will self-quarantine at home during this time,” Executive Director Matt Towler said in a message to residents.
Woodland Terrace has assigned staff to work either in the independent living or the assisted living/memory care sections of the community to keep the virus from spreading. Meals will be delivered to residents, who have been encouraged to isolate themselves.
WRAL’s Julian Grace reports medics were called in and the person who contracted the virus was being quarantined inside their apartment. It is unknown how the person contracted the virus.
In a statement from the assisted living facility, it reads in part: “A resident at Woodland Terrace in Cary, North Carolina has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The resident lives in the Assisted Living area of the community. The resident’s family and healthcare authorities were notified immediately.
“We have directed assisted living residents to quarantine in their apartments, and any associates who were directly exposed will self-quarantine at home during this time.”
The senior living facility put in policies this week like restricting visitors, monitoring each resident and visitor’s temperature and using social distancing for all activities. We were also told the staff has been sanitizing the areas in the building along with high traffic areas.
A spokesperson didn’t give a timeline for the sanitizing, just said it is happening on an ongoing basis. The staff is working with local and state health officials, and currently following CDC guidelines.
10:48 p.m.: A second case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Carteret County. County officials said the person tested on March 13 and received a positive result on Friday. The person is in isolation and is recovering at home.
7:30 p.m.: A member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff has reported positive for the coronavirus, both NBC News and CNN report.
“This evening, we were notified that a member of the Office of the Vice President tested positive for the coronavirus. Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual,” Pence spokeswoman Katie Miller said. “Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines.”
7:20 p.m.: Henry McKoy, director of entrepreneurship at North Carolina Central University, said the current economic downtown caused by the pandemic could be worse than the recession a decade ago.
“I would put it right behind the Great Depression,” McKoy told WRAL News.
7:10 p.m.: One of the latest coronavirus cases in Wake County is an assisted living resident at the Woodland Terrace senior community in Cary, according to officials. The resident is in isolation.
6:35 p.m.: Dare County officials are preventing access to the county by non-resident property owners, starting at 10 p.m. Friday, to limit the spread of the coronavirus, officials said.
6:30 p.m.: Wake County has reported seven more coronavirus cases, bringing the county total to 32. No details of the cases were released.
Another 93 people who were exposed to the virus and have developed symptoms are under investigation, officials said. Of those, 55 people are waiting for test results, and 38 are in the process of being tested.
Wake County health officials have identified another 267 people who are being monitored because they may have been exposed to the virus through close contact. The county will monitor them for two weeks to see if they develop symptoms.
6:10 p.m.: Durham County reported four more positive coronavirus tests, bringing the county total to 39. No details about the cases were released.
6 p.m.: Every person arrested in Wake County will now be quarantined in an individual cell for 14 days to limit the spread of coronavirus in the county jail, the sheriff’s office announced.
“The continuous review of our procedure showed us that this new process will minimize the risk of unintended exposure of the disease,” Sheriff Gerald Baker said in a statement. “We continue review our processes and policies that not only protect our residents, but our staff as well.”
5:50 p.m.: Fort Bragg officials announced the second and third positive tests cor coronavirus on post. One is a 57-year-old civilian who works in the dental clinic at Womack Army Medical Center, while the other is a 29-year-old family member of a service member.
The civilian employee is in isolation at home in Fayetteville, while the other case is in isolation at Womack, officials said.
Meanwhile, Johnston County also reported its third case, and another 11 were reported in Mecklenburg County. Stanly County became the 35th county in North Carolina with its first case, and new cases also were reported in Pitt and Forsyth counties.
5:40 p.m.: New Hanover County has closed all public beaches. Wrightsville Beach and Surf City officials had closed beaches in their towns earlier Friday.
Officials in Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle haven’t yet closed the beaches, but they have shut down public beach parking and bathrooms to discourage public use.
5:35 p.m.: Following the IRS’ lead in extending the deadline for federal income tax returns to July 15, Gov. Roy Cooper said North Carolina’s tax filing deadline also would be pushed back by three months because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Taxpayers need relief during this difficult time and my administration is bringing it,” Cooper said in a statement. “I will work with both Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature to provide additional help.”
4 p.m.: Stocks have closed out their worst week since 2008 with the Dow Jones average dropping another 900 points.
3:50 p.m.: The Wake County Public School System has expanded its food distribution sites by 11 after seeing a steady increase of meals delivered to students out of school during the coronavirus outbreak.
3:30 p.m.: The state Division of Employment Security has received about 42,000 claims for unemployment benefits since Monday, officials said. About 85 percent of the claims indicate they are related to the coronavirus outbreak, which has shut down many businesses.
3:25 p.m.: The Army is closing all recruiting stations as it moves to bring on new soldiers “virtually” to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
3:15 p.m.: Carteret County has become the 34th county in North Carolina to report a positive coronavirus test. North Carolina now has 155 cases total.
2:45 p.m.: UNC-Chapel Hill is putting a pass/fail grade option in place for spring semester courses, which are being offered online to limit the spread of coronavirus. Undergraduates have until Aug. 7 to request that option for a course.
2:40 p.m.: Durham Mayor Steve Schewel suggested that gyms and health clubs in the city stream fitness sessions after his state of emergency order forces them to close at 5 p.m. Friday.
“People’s lives are at stake, and if we don’t act now, more people’s lives will be at stake,” Schewel said of his order.
The mayor also has canceled the Durham Farmers Market to discourage a crowd of people gathering to buy produce until a drive-by pick-up service can be established. He said his order also allows city planners to waive some rules for companies engaged in the fight against the coronavirus so they can expand more quickly.
2:30 p.m.: State Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Tilson said a second case of community spread of the coronavirus has been reported in North Carolina. No detai
2:20 p.m.: State Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Tilson said four of North Carolina’s COVID-19 cases are hospitalized. To date, more than 3,200 tests for the coronavirus have been performed in the state, she said, with more than 3,000 negative results.
“Testing, especially those with mild illness, becomes less important in our response,” Tilson said, echoing statements from officials on Thursday after the first case of community spread of the virus – a person was infected by unknown origin – was reported.
2:15 p.m.: State Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said North Carolina has no current plans to close any more business during the coronavirus outbreak or issue a “shelter in place” order, as the governors of New York and California have done to limit the spread of the virus in those states.
Some North Carolina National Guardsmen have been deployed to assist with warehousing and transportation of supplies and equipment.
2:10 p.m.: All 115 school districts in North Carolina have approved plans to serve meals to children who normally rely on lunches and breakfasts at school, officials said. So far, 973 sites have provided 375,000 meals.
1:15 p.m.: Italian officials have announced 627 more coronavirus deaths, the biggest day-to-day increase in the country’s four-week epidemic.
12:50 p.m.: Franklin County has reported four people tested positive for the new coronavirus. All four are in isolation, and county health officials are notifying their contacts.
12:20 p.m.: Wilmington’s annual Azalea Festival has been postponed until the weekend of Oct. 16.
12:15 p.m.: U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention have issued an order for border patrol agents to restrict access to the country by undocumented people to control the spread of the new coronavirus. The restrictions are on top of travel restrictions from Europe and China enacted earlier.
Currently, undocumented immigrants are housed in detention centers along the border, which could accelerate the spread of the virus, Azar said.
12:05 p.m.: UNC-Chapel Hill will postpone its May graduation ceremony to limit the spread of coronavirus, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said.
“We have had to confront the impact of this new reality on our Spring Commencement exercises,” Guskiewicz said in a statement. “I am committed to celebrating the accomplishments of our many talented students. In the coming days, I will send a survey to all members of the Class of 2020 to ask their opinions about alternative dates and other options.”
12 p.m.: President Donald Trump said the U.S. and Mexico have agreed to close their shared border to non-essential traffic to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. U.S. and Canadian officials agreed Wednesday to a similar move, and the closure takes effect at midnight.
11:55 a.m.: President Donald Trump said the federal government is waiving school standardized test requirements amid coronavirus disruptions.
11:45 a.m.: The beaches in Wrightsville Beach and Surf City are being closed to limit the spread of coronavirus. The Wrightsville Beach closure is in effect until at least the end of the month, while Surf City officials didn’t put an end date on their closure.
Cape Lookout National Seashore also has suspended ferry service from Beaufort and Harkers Island.
11:40 a.m.: Catawba County’s first coronavirus case pushes the total in North Carolina to 150 cases.
11:30 a.m.: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered all employers to keep workers at home, except for essential services. he also banned gatherings of any size.
11:30 a.m.: A Bunnlevel man who was Harnett County’s first coronavirus case has been hospitalized at Central Harnett Hospital and is being given a malaria drug that health officials are testing to see if it is effective treating the virus, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
11:25 a.m.: A Duke University Health System employee has tested positive for the new coronavirus, officials said. The employee wasn’t at work when symptoms developed and had no patients contact at any time during the illness, officials said. The person notified managers and has remained in isolation at home.
Officials said it doesn’t appear that the employee was exposed to the virus while at Duke. Infection control and occupational health officials reached out to all pertinent contacts of the employee, and none of the contacts required testing.
11:20 a.m.: UNC Interim President Dr. Bill Roper said some spring commencement ceremonies will be canceled or postponed due to coronavirus concerns. Decisions will be made by individual campuses, he said.
10:55 a.m.: UNC-Chapel Hill has activated its Carolina Student Impact Fund, an emergency fund to help students meet unexpected financial burdens as they navigate the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.
“We know our students are coping with financial hardships and anxieties in these uncertain times, and this fund will not only ease the burdens they face in the short term but make a huge difference for them and their families in the long term,” Chancellor Kevn Guskiewicz said.
Students who need emergency financial assistance can email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for help.
10:30 a.m.: Tax Day has officially been moved from April 15 to July 15, according to a tweet from the Treasury Secretary. “All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties,” he wrote.
9:50 a.m.: Lee and Orange County each announce their first confirmed case of coronavirus.
9:45 a.m.: LabCorp announced that it will be able to perform more than 20,000 coronavirus tests per day beginning Friday, March 20, ahead of its original schedule.
9:30 a.m.: Duke Energy said they will begin temporarily suspending disconnections for nonpayment and waiving late payment fees effective March 21.
9:15 a.m.: Starting next week, Burger King is offering two free Kid’s Meals for every adult meal ordered. This deal only applies to people who order online or through the app. This is their way of helping families struggling during the coronavirus.
9:00 a.m.: The NBA has announced several cases of coronavirus. Two players in the Lakers have tested positive, as well as one player on the Boston Celtics and three individuals in the 76ers’ organization.
8:30 a.m.: Churches have been finding creative ways to commune and listen to Sunday sermons. In Henderson, some churches have rented out an old-fashioned drive-in theater to hold their service. Patrons sit in their cars at Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre and listen to the sermon through the drive-in’s FM transmitter. This allows people to congregate while practicing social distancing.
Craig Askew, who works at the drive-in, said the churches are really excited about using the location to spend time together safely. “It’s just another way the community is finding a way to come together,” he said.
8:00 a.m.: Campbell University confirms two more students tested presumptive positive for coronavirus. They now have three students total who have been confirmed with coronavirus. Officials said these two new cases are related to the first one. All three have been in quarantine since March 11, but all are reportedly doing well and are expected to be released from quarantine once cleared by public health officials.
7:45 a.m.: A man has died two weeks after visiting Disney World and Universal Studios on Florida. Officials believe there is a good chance he was contagious while there.
7:30 a.m.: Most of the staff of Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine was placed on quarantine after the pediatric doctor’s office was visited by an individual with a possibly positive test (officially the test was ‘indeterminate’ – neither positive or negative). Both offices are closed as a result. They posted on Facebook that they may unveil a telemedicine clinic.
7:00 a.m.: A Harnett County patient was taken to the hospital by ambulance for trouble breathing. His wife writes, “This virus is serious and ugly and very hard on the person and the family.”
6:30 a.m.: State Superintendent of Public Information Mark Johnson said students could be out until May. On Friday, he is expected to provide more insight into the outlook of the school system, including when students could return, how teachers will be paid and how he is working to bolster virtual learning.
“This will not just be one week. This will not just be two weeks. This is going to be a multi-week, maybe multi-month event,” he said.
6:00 a.m.: Jimmy Fallon has issued a “Cowbell Challenge” for everyone at 3 p.m. EDT Friday. During his TODAY appearance, he encouraged everyone to grab a cowbell or pot and pan and step outside or open a window and bang together in unison.
5:30 a.m.: YouTube announced they will lower their streaming quality in the EU and UK to help avert internet gridlock.
5:00 a.m.: Gas prices are dropping across the county and continue to drop in the Triangle. As of this morning, several local gas stations had prices below $2 dollars a gallon. Analysts said the prices are dipping because the supply is so great and the demand is low, as many people hunker down at home. Experts said prices have dropped 15 cents in the past week and are expected to go down another 30 cents or more within the next week.
4:30 a.m.: Schools, gyms, parks and museums are all closed right now. However, local trails and outdoor activities are still open. Health experts say getting fresh air and exercise is important during this time.
Dr. Allen Mask said as long as you keep practicing social distancing, and keep groups to only two or three people, getting outside is a great idea–especially during this unusual and stressful time. He said it’s a good way to avoid cabin fever and stay mentally well.
Raleigh parks will remain open during this time; however, facilities like restrooms or boating will be closed. People can still come to hike on the trails and enjoy all the beautiful greenways Raleigh has to offer.
Published at Sat, 21 Mar 2020 03:00:39 +0000