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Mecklenburg County now investigating 80 total cases of COVID-19

There are now 302 cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina, at least 195 in South Carolina. Of those cases, at least 80 are in Mecklenburg County.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — At WCNC Charlotte, we are focusing our coronavirus coverage on facts, not fear.  We aim to give our viewers the information they need from officials to best protect themselves during the pandemic.  

Key Facts:

  • NC Gov. Roy Cooper confirmed the state's first case of community spread
  • Cases in North Carolina: 302
  • Cases in South Carolina: 195, with 3 deaths
  • Cases in Mecklenburg County: 80

This daily live blog will be updated with important notes and statistics from across the Carolinas each day. For the latest breaking news alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.

BUYER BEWARE: How to report coronavirus price gouging

SUNDAY, MARCH 22

Atrium Health announces "Virtual Hospital, at Home"

Atrium Health announced the implementation of "Virtual Hospital, at Home," which will allow patients to be "monitored as if they were in a hospital bed, but from the comfort of their own home."

Hotel, motel tenants that were facing eviction to receive money to
stay in place

In cooperation with the United Way, Crisis Assistance Ministry, Mecklenburg County and The Foundation For The Carolinas, at least one-week of costs will be paid to keep some of the community’s residents facing eviction from possibly becoming homeless.

Crisis Assistance Ministry will pay for a week’s worth of hotel and motel costs to forestall immediate evictions, then work with the hotels and motels to come up with a longer-term solution.

Those needing help with a hotel or motel eviction can call 704-371-3001 ext. 123.

Crowders Mountain State Park closing due to COVID-19 concerns

As of March 23, 2020, Crowders Mountain State Park will be closed until further notice. 

The decision was made due to health and safety concerns for both visitors and staff at the state park.

President Trump and White House Task Force provide updates on national COVID-19 response

President Donald Trump said he ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ship mobile hospital centers to the hard-hit states of Washington, California and New York amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

RELATED: Coronavirus national updates: Senate doesn't advance rescue package, more voting is possible

Mecklenburg County now investigating 80 total cases of COVID-19 

As of 12 p.m. Sunday, Mecklenburg County Public Health has reported 80 total positive cases of COVID-19 in the county. 

"It is important to remember that this data is fluid and changes as the situation evolves," Mecklenburg County health officials said. 

Highlights of the data from the 80 positive COVID-19 cases reported in Mecklenburg County so far include:

  • About half of the reported cases were adults ages 20 to 39
  • One case was a youth under 19.
  • The sex and racial/ethnic composition of reported cases were similar to the country demographics
  • Reported cases live throughout the county, with at least one case in nearly every zip code. 
Credit: Mecklenburg County

In a map of the county by zip code that was shared by Mecklenburg County officials, it's visible that the majority of cases so far are in the 28205 zip code and 28277.

“I want to continue to encourage our community to follow the Public Health Orders that have been issued to help stop the spread of this disease in our community,” said Gibbie Harris, Mecklenburg County Public Health Director. “As the situation evolves, we will continue to provide more data and make decisions to protect the health of our residents.”

Gaston County investigating two new cases 

The Gaston County Department of Health & Human Services was alerted to two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county total to three. 

As testing increases, more positive cases will be identified. The County will provide local case numbers daily at 3 p.m. at www.gastongov.com/coronavirus

South Carolina investigating 22 additional cases of COVID-19

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is investigating 22 additional cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. 

It brings the total number statewide to 195 cases in 33 counties.

The new cases are in the following counties:

  • Beaufort County: 2 cases
  • Berkeley County: 1 case
  • Charleston County: 4 cases
  • Colleton County: 1 case
  • Darlington County: 1 case
  • Greenville County: 2 cases
  • Hampton County: 1 case
  • Horry County: 2 cases
  • Kershaw County: 1 case
  • Lancaster County: 2 cases
  • Richland County: 3 cases
  • York County: 2 cases

Showmars donates meals to healthcare professionals and families

Showmars donated hundreds of salads to local hospital workers who are working through the pandemic and to families and seniors in need across the Queen City. 

Employees delivered food to doctors, nurses and hospital staff at Novant Presbyterian and Atrium Health Pineville. 

RELATED: Showmars donates meals to healthcare professionals and families

Credit: Showmars

Concord Airport will test passengers entering into Concord

The City of Concord said they are taking precautionary measures for passengers entering into Concord. As passengers arrive to Concord-Padgett Regional Airport, before going into public areas, certified nursing staff will take temperatures using no-touch forehead thermometer to determine if COVID-19 testing should be considered. 

Airport personnel said if passengers show symptoms they will be given medical attention and directed to their primary care physician or nears provider. If passengers are well airport officials will ask them to go directly to the bathroom and wash their hands properly before meeting those waiting for them at arrivals.

This precautionary measure will begin today, Sunday, March 22 as they partner with Cabarrus Health Alliance.

Credit: Concord Airport

Novant Health to open COVID-19 screening center in Salisbury

Novant Health announced today it is opening a COVID-19 screening center in Salisbury at their 315 Mocksville Ave. location. The Salisbury location will begin screening on Tuesday, March 24, and will operate 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

"As a reminder, people who have no symptoms will not be tested. They should not visit a screening center as they do not meet the criteria for screening or testing." 

Novant Health expressed visiting a screening center unnecessarily will only further one’s risk of exposure and put a strain on resources for those who need it most.

Christmas Town USA light show limited time only

In efforts to break joy to some during this pandemic, McAdenville, Christmas Town USA originally announced that Christmas lights would be on each night.

Christmas Town said since the 2019 Christmas season ended, the lighting staff removed 65 percent of the lights from trees, however, the few that are left they hope all will enjoy.

The lights will not be on as previously announced, though, in order to limit any gatherings of more than 10 people. Two trees will still glow each night starting at 7:30 p.m. until 11 p.m.

One of the trees is located at the Pharr office near the lake, and the other is located across the street from the Pharr Family YMCA.

"We apologize for any inconvenience," Steve Rankin of the Christmas Town Committee said on the Christmas Town website. "The safety of our visitors and residents is our top priority." 

NCGOP 'firmly committed' to moving forward with RNC in Charlotte

The North Carolina GOP has been addressing upcoming events due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. 

While hundreds of GOP meetings across the state will be postponed or canceled, leaders say they are "firmly committed' to moving forward with the Republican National Convention in Charlotte later this year.

RELATED: NCGOP 'firmly committed' to moving forward with RNC in Charlotte

President Trump signs legislation allowing veterans on GI Bill to continue receiving benefits despite online classes

Saturday, President Donald Trump signed into law legislation co-sponsored by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) allowing veterans on the GI Bill to continue receiving full benefits as colleges and universities transition to online classes due to COVID-19. 

According to Tillis, there were more than 34,000 student veterans using their GI Bill benefits in North Carolina as of the 2017-18 academic year.

The GI Bill determines student veterans’ benefits based on if they attend a university in person as opposed to an online program. The bill ensures student veterans will still receive full benefits even if the universities they usually attend in-person move to online classes.

SC Governor to allow restaurants to sale sealed containers of beer, wine to-go

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has asked "construction contractors and others in the skilled trade industry" to donate any personal protective equipment they can to healthcare workers and state agencies.

Gov. McMaster also issued Executive Order 2020-12, directing the Department of Revenue to allow restaurants to include sealed containers of beer and wine for curbside pickup or “to-go” orders only. 

This does not authorize open containers or apply to delivery services.

The governor also directed the Department of Revenue to move the state’s income tax deadline to July 15, which is also the new federal income tax deadline. 

Other state taxes will remain delayed until June 1.