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Multiple Charlotte-area malls among the latest businesses to close due to COVID-19

There are currently at least 70 cases of coronavirus in North Carolina, including 14 in Mecklenburg County. South Carolina is reporting 60 cases.

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:

Wednesday, March 18

Caldwell County declares a State of Emergency

In response to the recent declarations by NC Governor Roy Cooper and the Federal government, Caldwell County Commissioners officially declared a state of emergency beginning at 8 a.m. March 18.

"The declaration supports the local municipalities with their needs, implements components of the Emergency Operations Plan necessary to facilitate response and plans for COVID-19, and increases the flow of verified and accurate information to the public and our partners in local government," Caldwell County officials said in a statement.

The municipalities of Blowing Rock, Cajah’s Mountain, Cedar Rock, Gamewell, Hudson, Rhodhiss, and Sawmills also signed the declaration. The City of Lenoir and the Town of Granite Falls issued a similar declaration effective  March 18.

Related cancelations/updates:

  • The Town of Hudson canceled the Butterfly Festival scheduled for May 2, the March of the Cross scheduled for April 10, and the Easter Egg Hunt at Redwood Park scheduled for April 11. 
  • The American Red Cross will hold its blood drive scheduled for March 20 due to "critical need." It will take place from noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Caldwell County Resource Center. 

Second case of COVID-19 reported in Iredell County

Iredell County Health Department confirms they were notified Wednesday of the second presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the county. 

The individual is isolating at home and willingly cooperating with public health officials.

South Carolina investigating 13 new cases of COVID-19

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is investigating 13 additional cases of the COVID-19. This brings the total number statewide to 60 cases in 14 counties.

City of Charlotte suspending some waste pick-up operations

The City of Charlotte announced it would be suspending pick-up of yard waste and bulk items starting March 23. 

Garbage and recycling pick-ups to continue as scheduled.

Health officials report first case of COVID-19 in Gaston County

The Gaston County Department of Health & Human Services (Gaston DHHS) is reporting the county’s first positive case of COVID-19.The individual was tested in Mecklenburg County and the result was reported to Gaston DHHS. 

The individual is doing well and is self-isolating at home, according to county health officials.

“We realize a confirmed case in our community can cause alarm, but this is further proof we need to continue to comply with our social distancing directives and requests,” said Gaston DHHS Director Chris Dobbins. 

Simon announces all its retail properties to temporarily close

After discussions with federal, state and local officials and in recognition of the need to address the spread of COVID-19, Simon will close all of its retail properties -- this includes malls, premium outlets and mills in the U.S.  

This measure will take effect from 7 pm local time Wednesday and will end on March 29.

In the Charlotte area, this means Concord Mills, SouthPark and Charlotte Premium Outlets will all be closing.

Watauga County has second positive test of COVID-19

A second Watauga County resident has tested positive for COVID-19. The person, in this case, was exposed to a known positive case, according to county health officials. 

They have been in quarantine and are recovering. The local public health staff has identified close contacts, who are in quarantine.

Pregnant women added to 'high risk' category

During their daily briefing Wednesday, North Carolina state officials said there is new data that indicates pregnant women should be included in the 'high risk' category for COVID-19. Those ages 65 and older and people with underlying health conditions were already considered high risk.

Officials said they are also investigating claims of price gauging, phishing, and scams. Consumers can call 844-8-NOROBO to report COVID-19 scam calls.

North Carolinians can call 2-1-1 for questions about COVID-19 services. 911 should be for emergency calls only. 

Lincoln County Sheriff's Offices close to the public

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office announces its east and west Lincoln offices will be closed to the public. The main office on John Howell Memorial Drive in Lincolnton will remain open. 

North Carolina reports 18 new cases of COVID-19, bringing state total to 63

There are now 63 cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. DHHS reports 4,275 cases nationwide and 75 deaths in the U.S. There are still zero deaths in North Carolina. There are currently enough supplies for 1,250 tests at the state lab. 

The number of cases in North Carolina includes positives results from all labs, including the North Carolina State Lab of Public Health and all hospital and commercial tests.

Mecklenburg County announces 3 new cases of coronavirus, bringing total to 14

Health officials with Mecklenburg County have announced three new cases of coronavirus in the county, bringing the total to 14. 

City of Lenoir declares state of emergency

Mayor Joe Gibbons declared a state of emergency effective 8 a.m. Wednesday. All City of Lenoir business will be conducted by phone, email, fax or other virtual means. City Hall will operate by appointment only for critical matters that cannot be done online. 

CMS releases first-day numbers of "grab and go" lunches 

CMS announces they served 9,310 breakfasts and 9,451 lunches to students across Mecklenburg County Tuesday. The district is one of several across the region providing free meals to students while schools are closed due to coronavirus. 

NC Quick Pass closing walk-in locations 

NC Quick Pass, the toll-collection program for the N.C. Turnpike Authority, announced it will temporarily close all walk-in locations effective 5 p.m. Wednesday. Customers can still access their toll accounts online. 

Catawba County declares a state of emergency

County Board Chair Randy Isenhower declared a state of emergency at 8 a.m. Wednesday. "Significant measure" are being taken to ensure the safety and health of Catawba County residents. 

“Although there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Catawba County, significant impacts are occurring and are expected to continue for an undetermined amount of time,” Isenhower stated in the proclamation. “Impacts include, but are not limited to, closure of public schools, restriction of public gatherings, supply chain interruptions, and increased demands on healthcare facilities and providers.”

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