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North Carolina to limit store occupancy: Real-time coronavirus updates Thursday, April 9

North Carolina is reporting over 3,600 cases of COVID-19, while South Carolina has over 2,500. A model used by the White House projects the nation's peak by Sunday.

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 COVID-19 pandemic.  

Key Facts:

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Easter Services must be virtual

In a statement released Thursday evening, Mecklenburg County re-affirmed that any gathering, religious or otherwise, must be virtual if it exceeds 10 or more people.

"Due to the continued increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in Mecklenburg County, the only religious services that remain compliant with the Stay at Home Order are virtual services/livestreams," the county said in a released statement.

Harris Teeter employee tests positive

A worker at the Harris Teeter grocery store location in the Arboretum shopping center in south Charlotte has tested positive for coronavirus, the company confirmed.

"Upon learning of the case, we worked closely with local and state regulatory agencies, followed all sanitation and cleaning procedures, and communicated with and supported our valued store team," the company said in a released statement.

CATS introduces social distancing rules on transit buses

The Charlotte Area Transit System is asking riders to practice social distancing when on-board. 

Passengers are asked to...

  • Stand behind the yellow line and away from the driver
  • Not to sit in seats marked with an X
  • Not board a bus with more than 20 passengers
  • Riders are encouraged to wear masks and follow CDC guidelines

Cooper’s new executive order goes into effect Monday

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s new executive order will go into effect Monday at 5 PM and it includes three parts:

  1. Stores may not have a number of people inside at one time that is more than 20% of the stated fire capacity or either five people for every 1,000 square feet.  Stores must mark six feet of distance at places where people need to gather, like checkout lines, and they must perform frequent environmental cleaning and routine disinfection.  The order also encourages stores to make hand sanitizer accessible, set shopping times for seniors and at-risk people, use shields at check out, and mark aisles as 1-way to limit traffic.
  2. Also includes mandatory protective measures for nursing homes that had previously been recommended as guidance. It prevents dining and group activities in common spaces. It requires face masks for employees.
  3. Requires additional measures that will get more unemployment claims processed faster. The order makes it easier for employers to file a batch of claims on behalf of their employees. This is known as an “attached claim.”  Since March 16, 2020 the Division of Employment Security has accepted over 497,000 unemployment claims. NC has sent $40.3 million with more going out every day.

Cleveland County reports additional cases

There have been 29 positive tests and almost 300 negative tests for COVID-19 in Cleveland County. Of the 29 positive cases in the county, seven have completed their required isolation period and have fully recovered.  

Mecklenburg County extends conditional deadline to file

Business Personal Property Listing

The Mecklenburg County Board of Equalization and Review has approved a policy to grant waivers for listings received after the April 15, 2020 deadline for filing 2020 Business Personal Property Listings. Taxpayers who meet the following requirements will be granted a waiver of the 2020 Late Listing Penalty and have until July 15, 2020 to file.

Waiver Request Forms will soon be available on the Mecklenburg County Assessor’s Office website, www.MeckNC.gov/AssessorsOffice . The form must be signed and returned by regular mail or email, at BPPEMAIL@MeckNC.gov by July 15, 2020. Taxpayers or their representatives do not need to be present for the waiver. The waiver will be approved with no further action needed, by the Board of Equalization and Review.

Stanly County reports first coronavirus- related death

Stanly County Health Department is reporting the first COVID-19 associated death in the county.

The individual died on Thursday, April 9 from complications associated with the virus. The patient was in their early 60’s and had underlying medical conditions.

 This case was related to travel to an area of high risk. To protect the families’ privacy, no further information about this individual will be released.

“We are very saddened by this news and continue to encourage our community to take the necessary precautions to limit the spread of this serious disease “ David Jenkins, Stanly County Health and Human Services Director

Caldwell County reports additional cases

Caldwell County has three additional positive COVID-19 cases. There have been a total of 11 cases.

Monroe firefighter tests positive

A Monroe firefighter was exposed to an individual who later tested positive for COVID-19. After being notified of the possible exposure, the firefighter was tested on April 4 and received a positive result. The firefighter has been on paid leave since learning of the possible exposure and is recovering at home. All staff exposed to the firefighter have been tested with negative results. 

South Carolina announces new cases

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 241 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, including four additional deaths.

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 2,792, and those who have died to 67.

CMS parking lots and playgrounds are closed

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools issued a statement Thursday reiterating the parking lots and playgrounds are closed to the public unless they are picking up grab-and-go meals or instructional material.

North Carolina COVID-19 cases top 3,600

The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services now says there are at least 3,651 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state. Of those, 398 people are hospitalized, and at least 65 people died from the virus. There are confirmed cases in 91 counties across North Carolina. DHHS reports 861 confirmed cases in Mecklenburg County. The county last reported 848 cases and 10 deaths Wednesday, April 9.

DHEC to offer 100 percent of WIC nutritional services over-the-phone

During this challenging time, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced today that all Women Infant and Children (WIC) nutrition services will be issued remotely.

Starting Monday, April 13, South Carolina WIC participants will no longer be required to visit WIC clinics. Appointments and the issuance of nutritional services will instead be made over-the-phone.

To help address WIC product shortages that have occurred due to COVID-19, WIC participants may now also choose from expanded options in a variety of food categories. Participants can see what is currently available at www.scdhec.gov/WIC.

Mecklenburg County provides COVID-19 stabilization funds for small and micro businesses

In response to the local economic impact of the current health crisis, Mecklenburg County has created a COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Stabilization Loan Fund and a Micro Business Stabilization Fund. The funds were created through the County’s partnerships with Carolina Small Business Development Fund and Centralina Council of Governments.

The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners approved the establishment of these funds during its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 7. Funds will be distributed to qualifying small businesses and micro-businesses that have been affected in recent weeks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The application process for both funds is simple and quick, with disbursements available within 10 days of a completed application.

Union County Reports COVID-19 Related Death

The Union County Public Health Department has confirmed the first resident death associated with COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. The man in his 70’s had been hospitalized and had other health complications. Public Health was notified of the death Thursday, April 9, 2020.

Prior to being admitted at the hospital, the man was connected to a long-term care facility. Public Health is working closely with the facility to provide recommendations consistent with CDC guidance. To protect the privacy of the patient’s family, no additional information about the individual will be released.

DES working to implement Federal Unemployment Assistance Programs

The Division of Employment Security is moving quickly to bring additional unemployment insurance benefits to North Carolinians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. DES has received official guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor on how to implement the three federal unemployment programs included in the CARES Act.

DES is working as quickly as possible to modify its technology systems to make sure people can apply for these benefits and receive timely, accurate payments. Individuals due any benefits prior to the full implementation of these programs will be paid retroactively.

Updates about eligibility and how to apply for these benefits will be provided on des.nc.gov

YMCA of Greater CLT furloughs 240 full-time staff & 3,500 part-time staff

Like many organizations, YMCA of Greater Charlotte made the difficult decision to furlough much of their team as a result of the mandated closure of their 19 branches and two overnight camps, due to COVID-19 pandemic.  To date, the YMCA has not had any layoffs as a result of this crisis.  

"Our Y team continues to be our most important asset.  However, due to state and local mandates the Y has temporarily suspended operations and access to our 19 branches and two resident camps. We currently have approximately 200 full-time staff actively working, 240 full-time staff furloughed and approximately 3,500 part-time staff furloughed."

Cooper likely to sign order limiting people in stores across North Carolina

Governor Roy Cooper said he will likely sign an executive order Thursday that will limit the number of people, both shoppers and employees, inside stores across the state. The announcement came after Harris Teeter joined the number of retailers limiting shoppers to encourage social distancing during the pandemic. 

RELATED: Weekly jobless report could set another new record Thursday

RELATED: COVID-19 outbreaks infect Mecklenburg and area nursing homes

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