CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Amid the growing concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order Saturday: all K-12 public schools across North Carolina will be closed for at least two weeks due to coronavirus concerns.
Sunday, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced all schools across South Carolina will be closed until the end of the month.
During an emergency meeting Friday, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education voted to move spring break from April to March. The board is now planning to schedule a meeting to vote to return to the original CMS school calendar.
Several other local schools and universities are opting for remote learning. Click here for a list of school changes due to the coronavirus.
Currently, North Carolina has 32 presumptive and confirmed coronavirus cases in the state.
Mecklenburg County: 4
Cabarrus County: 1
In South Carolina, there's a total of 28 presumptive and confirmed cases in the state. Nine new cases were announced on Sunday.
Gov. Roy Cooper has urged against gatherings of more than 100 people. Cooper is asking businesses to allow eligible employees to work from home while also urging anyone sick to stay home.
The Mecklenburg County Health Director is urging anyone who plans on going to the hospital for testing to call ahead.
"That puts all our health care workers at risk. we need them to provide care. we don't want to expose them," Harris said.
According to Harris, if you have mild symptoms, you are asked to just self-quarantine at home.
"Regardless of what you hear, we have limited testing and we are targeting testing to people most at risk," Harris said.
WCNC Charlotte is committed to providing you facts, and not fear, when it comes to the latest on coronavirus.
The latest on coronavirus in North Carolina and South Carolina:
York County institutes COVID-19 prevention measures
In response to SC Governor Henry McMaster’s Executive Order and for the safety of the public and York County employees, York County is instituting the following protective actions:
- York County will not disconnect water & sewer services for nonpayments during the duration of the Governor’s Executive Order.
- Beginning March 17, York County will suspend all York County-sponsored public meetings such as community meetings and boards/commission meetings.
- All York County library branches will be closed until further notice.
- The Culture & Heritage Museums of York County will be closed until further notice.
- York County will allow various non-essential employees to work remotely/from home
York County Government will continue normal operations and services at this time, but residents are encouraged to conduct business online with York County.
Cabarrus County closing libraries, senior centers
Cabarrus County leaders decided Sunday to close library facilities located in Concord, Harrisburg, Kannapolis, Midland and Mt. Pleasant. There will be drop boxes outside the libraries to return checked-out materials, but patrons won't accrue fines during the closure.
Additionally, beginning March 16, Cabarrus County will close its senior center facilities, located in Concord and Mt. Pleasant, to the public.
City of Gastonia suspends non-pay utility disconnects
In response to Gaston County's declaration of a state of emergency, the City of Gastonia will suspend nonpayment disconnects of residential customers who have electric, water, and sewage accounts.
Customers can contact the City’s Customer Service number if they have questions at 704-866-6714.
In addition to suspensions and cancellation of events that were announced by the City last week, the following City facilities are closed immediately:
- Schiele Museum and Planetarium
- Veterans Museum (closed until further notice)
- All City Recreation Centers
- Erwin Community Center, 913 North Pryor Street
- T. Jeffers Community Center, 121 N. Hartman Street
- Phillips Community Center, 2013 Echo Lane
- Bradley Community Center, 1200 N. Modena Street
- Adult Recreation Center, 519 W. Franklin Boulevard
- Parks and Recreation - Lineberger Park Train and Rankin Lake Boathouse
- (Trails and greenways, skeet and trap, and shelter reservations are still available for parties of 49 or less.)
- Gastonia Police Department car seat checks for 30 days.
- Event Cancellations (announced on March 13)
- Arbor Day – March 20 (Lineberger Park)
- Gaston MAX – March 28 (Downtown Rotary Pavilion)
- Easter Egg Hunt – April 2 (Martha Rivers Park)
- Community Foundation Run – April 4
CDC recommends in-person events with 50+ people be postponed, canceled
The CDC recommends that for the next eight weeks, event organizers either cancel or postpone in-person events that would have 50+ people in attendance. This suggestion is for the entire country.
"Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing," according to the CDC.
The recommendation does not apply to day-to-day operations of schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses -- through several businesses have impacted hours due to coronavirus concerns.
Nine new cases identified in South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is investigating nine additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total statewide to 28.
Three of the new cases were reported from commercial labs:
- A middle-aged daycare worker with no source of exposure in Kershaw county who is currently isolated at home. The individual was not ill while working, and there are no known contacts at the daycare at this time. The center is not currently open, following the governor's closure of schools in Kershaw and Lancaster counties.
- Two elderly individuals in Horry County who had known exposure to a confirmed case from another state. Both are isolated at home
The other six new cases were from DHEC's Public Health lab:
- Two from Kershaw County who are household contacts to a previously reported case. One, who is elderly, is hospitalized in isolation. The other, who is middle-aged, is isolated at home.
- An elderly person from Horry County, with no other information known
- Two middle-aged individuals from Anderson County with no known source of exposure. Both are hospitalized in isolation
- One young adult in Greenville County who recently traveled to Spain. The individual is currently isolated at home
SC Gov. McMaster announces school closures across the state
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has announced temporary closures for schools across the state as more cases of coronavirus continue to emerge.
Starting Monday, schools throughout the state will be closed until March 31. This includes Pre-K, K-12, universities, colleges and technical colleges.
McMaster also directed that indoor and outdoor public gatherings be canceled, postponed or rescheduled if it could have over 100 people. This does not apply to state/local government meetings, private businesses, and employers.
Additionally, McMaster directed that any election -- including special, county and municipal -- scheduled to be in SC or conducted by any agency thereof before May 1 be postponed.
Local state of emergency declared in Mecklenburg County
Following a statewide declaration earlier this week, Mecklenburg County has also declared a local State of Emergency. The declaration allows the County access to state and federal funds to offset the costs of fighting the pandemic.
Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners Chairman George Dunlap, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, along with the mayors of Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill and Pineville signed the declaration this weekend.
Hornets establish fund to help hourly employees affected by coronavirus pandemic
Hornets Sports & Entertainment, its ownership and Charlotte Hornets players today announced that they have partnered to establish a fund to provide financial assistance to those HSE part-time employees that have been adversely affected by the loss of games and events due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gaston County officials declare a state of emergency in response to coronavirus
“We can not afford to wait and see what happens.” Gaston County officials announce bans of events and gatherings of more than 50 people
Charter Spectrum to offer free broadband to students
Beginning March 16, Charter Spectrum will offer households with K-12 and college students free broadband internet for 60 days.
This comes as many schools and universities across the United States have closed or have e-Learning classes amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Charter Spectrum is only offering this to households who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. The company also says they are partnering with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of these tools to help students learn remotely.
NCDHHS prohibiting mass gatherings of 100 people or more.
In order to flatten the curve, NCDHHS is prohibiting mass gatherings of 100 people or more. As a reminder social distancing means staying approximately 6 feet away from other people whenever possible, washing hands, use hand sanitizer & practicing proper respiratory etiquette incl. coughing into the elbow.
The large gathering order does not apply to restaurants, shopping malls or other retail stores.
SC Governor Henry McMaster gives state leaders flexibility
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster is giving state agency leaders more flexibility to protect their older "at-risk" employees by allowing work from home. McMaster has also banned non-essential work-related travel by state employees.
The governor is requesting that utilities in South Carolina not suspend or disconnect essential services during the state of emergency.
President Donald Trump tests negative for coronavirus
President Trump has tested negative for the coronavirus. The White House says anyone close to the president or vice president will get a temperature check.
Monroe Parks and Recreation centers, programs closing
NC Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order to stop mass gatherings of more than 100 people statewide on March 14. In response, Monroe Parks and Recreation facilities will be closed until Thursday.
The closure affects all Monroe recreation centers, community centers, Parks and Recreation programming, and facility rentals.
Additionally, the Monroe Aquatics and Fitness Center and the Ellen Fitzgerald Senior Center will remain closed until Thursday. The Monroe Country Club Golf Course will continue to operate on a normal schedule.
City of Lenoir Recreation Centers closing
As a result of Gov. Cooper's executive order on mass gatherings, the City of Lenoir will close all City recreational facilities through March 29.
This includes the indoor pool and gym at the aquatic center. The closures are aimed at limiting large social gatherings and allowing community members to engage in social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Six additional cases of COVID-19 being investigated in South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is investigating six additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases statewide to 19.
- Three new cases are from Beaufort County, two of which are close contacts of each other and had known exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19 from another state. The other case has no know connection to other cases, but recently traveled internationally. All of those cases are currently isolated at home, according to DHEC.
- Two of new cases are from Kershaw County who don't have an identified source of exposure. Both are hospitalized and isolated.
- One new case is from Lexington County. That individual is currently hospitalized and isolated. They had no known exposure to another case and no recent travel history to an impacted area.
The Lexington County case was a resident of Lexington Medical Center Extended Care Skilled Nursing Facility. The source of their exposure is being investigated.
Schools in North Carolina to be closed for at least two weeks
K-12 public schools across the state will be closed starting Monday, March 16 for at least two weeks.
"I do not make this decision lightly. We know that it will be difficult on many parents and students," Governor Cooper said in a tweet. "These measures will hurt people whose incomes are affected by the prohibition of mass gatherings, particularly the people who are paid by the hour."
NC Gov. Cooper issues executive orders on mass gatherings
Governor Cooper has issued an executive order to stop mass gatherings of more than 100 people across the state. This was originally issued as guidance, but several venues continued their events.
As a result, Gov. Cooper decided to issue an executive order to make it mandatory.
Bishop Peter Jugis excuses Catholics from attending Mass
Bishop Peter Jugis announced that Catholics in western North Carolina were excused from attending mass until further notice. Additionally, non-essential activities involving more than 100 people at parishes and schools in the diocese have been postponed or canceled.
That applies to 92 parishes and 19 schools across the region.
Additionally, anyone who is sick, experiencing symptoms, or may have been exposed is asked to stay home, as are "vulnerable populations."
There will be live-stream services available online for those who are not attending in person, according to the bishop.
Cabarrus Co. Schools to hold emergency session
Cabarrus Co. Schools announce an emergency session for tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.
Harris Teeter closing early to clean, stock shelves during coronavirus outbreak
Your next late-night run to Harris Teeter is about to be cut a little short.
Harris Teeter said its stores would start closing at 9 p.m. starting Sunday until further notice.
This will give the stores more time to clean and restock their shelves.
Here is what the statement said:
Harris Teeter is committed to providing an Incredible Place to Work and Shop. To focus on cleaning, replenishment, and the well-being of our valued associates, we will close our stores at 9 p.m. each night, effective Sunday, March 15, until further notice.
House Passes Legislation To Support NC Families During COVID-19 Pandemic
On Saturday, the U.S. House passed a bill in response to the coronavirus outbreak, with emergency provisions that include paid sick leave, widespread free testing, food aid and unemployment insurance.
Senators left Washington on Thursday afternoon planning to return on Monday, even as the coronavirus takes its toll on Americans.
Piedmont Rising Executive Director, Casey Wilkinson, released the following statement in response:
“There is only one choice on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: a swift ‘yes’ vote followed by immediately signing it into law. We are in the midst of a national emergency and while we thank House leadership for their actions today, we are disappointed that Senators Tillis and Burr are not fully addressing this crisis and are instead tearing down the efforts their colleagues have made to protect Americans. The people of North Carolina urgently need Senators Tillis and Burr to stand up for their well-being.”
Flight restrictions from Europe begin
The flight restrictions President Donald Trump announced Wednesday between parts of Europe and the United States are now in effect.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools to start spring break early
During an emergency meeting Friday, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education voted to move spring break from April to March.
Spring break will begin Thursday, March 19 and continue through Friday, March 27. The one week spring break replaces the spring break originally scheduled for April. Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20 are teacher workdays.
A decision about classes on Monday, March 30 will be made at a later date.
Charlotte man sent to screening at 'undisclosed location'
After a Charlotte man started showing symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus, he says the CDC gave him directions to a drive-thru screening at an 'undisclosed location.'
Another positive case confirmed in South Carolina
SC Health officials announced Friday a woman in Kershaw County came in contact with a known COVID-19 case. She was evaluated at a healthcare facility and is currently isolated at home. SC has 13 positive cases.
SC Governor McMaster declares state of emergency
Governor Henry McMaster declares a state of emergency throughout the state to enhance the state's response to the COVID-19 virus impact. Governor McMaster's order also directs that schools in those counties will be closed for a period of 14 days.
Kings Mountain man held in quarantine at military base
Don Yarbro, a passenger on the Grand Princess cruise, is being held in COVID-19 coronavirus isolated quarantine at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia.
Three Duke University students tested positive for the COVID-19
Duke University announced Friday Three Duke graduate students who are overseas as part of a group have tested positive for the COVID-19. The university said the students are receiving treatment outside of the US and will remain overseas until they have recovered.
Other students who were part of that group have returned to Durham and will remain in self-isolation at home for at least 14 days under medical supervision.
Ally Bank mandating work from home
Ally Bank is mandating all of its employees to work from home company-wide. Ally said this policy will last for 30 days.
Mecklenburg County gives coronavirus update
Gibbie Harris said they were only given three coronavirus screening tests. Harris said when they use up the three tests, they will then be sent three more.
Sycamore pausing its operations
Sycamore Brewing announced Friday that the Sycamore's Hawkins Street Taproom will be temporarily pausing its operations.
As a popular destination in Charlotte's social community, matters of our employees' and customers' health and well-being are of paramount concern. This decision comes after careful consideration and will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.
Novant Health setting up screening tents outside of three majors hospitals
Novant Health is taking proactive measures to set up additional space in front of the emergency departments at their three largest hospitals in order to prepare for the potential influx of patients related to COVID-19.
These triage tents will be used to screen patients with respiratory and other viral symptoms, including fever, shortness of breath and a sore throat. Patients will then be triaged to the most appropriate venue of care.
Mayor Vi Lyles says water service will not be disconnected
In a tweet, Mayor Lyles announces that until further notice, Charlotte Water will not disconnect water for non-payment of any account type.
Flights between Charlotte and Europe will soon be stopped
Flight restrictions announced Wednesday by President Trump will take effect Friday night at midnight.
Flights between most of Europe and the United States will stop, with limited service arriving at 11 approved airports in the United States.
Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is not one of the approved airports to receive the except service from most of Europe.
Flights to or from the United Kingdom are not effected.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife tests positive
The wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tested positive for the new coronavirus.
The prime minister had tweeted earlier on Thursday that he is also self-isolating and monitoring until Sophie Grégoire Trudeau's results returned. Now, she's tested positive with COVID-19.
Trudeau's office said Thursday night that his wife is feeling well and will remain in isolation.
Camp Lejeune patient tests positive
A person at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune has tested presumptive positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, military officials announced Thursday.
The patient, who like other patients has not been publicly identified, is hospitalized in isolation at Camp Lejeune, which is located on the eastern coast of North Carolina.
Carolina Panthers limit travel
In a statement issued Thursday evening, the team wrote: "We have limited travel for Panthers coaches and scouts until further notice and will continue to prepare for the upcoming league year. TSE (Tepper Sports & Entertainment) will continue to closely monitor developments and remain in contact with local health officials."
Disney closing theme parks
Disneyland and Disney World will close among coronavirus fears. Universal Studios Hollywood will also closed.
Queens University announces online classes, closure of residential halls
Queens University of Charlotte will begin online instruction on Wednesday, March 18. They will close their residential halls by 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15.
Red Ventures advises staff to work from home
Red Ventures told staff to work from home Thursday after learning an employee was referred for coronavirus testing.
NCAA cancels March Madness over coronavirus concerns
NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships.
PGA Tour cancels events
The PGA Tour canceled the rest of The Players Championship and said it would not play the next three weeks.
MLB cancels spring training, pushes back 2020 opening day
Major League Baseball announced on Thursday that spring training games will be suspended and the regular start of the 2020 season will be delayed by at least two weeks due to the coronavirus.
North Carolina urges the postponement of gatherings over 100 people
During a news conference late Thursday afternoon, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urged the postponement of gatherings over 100 people. The recommended guidelines go into effect Friday.
He also urged companies allow eligible employees to work from home.
Two new cases in South Carolina, including Lancaster County's second case
South Carolina officials have announced two new presumptive positive cases in their state, including the second reported case in Lancaster County. The other case joins the growing list of patients in Kershaw County. Results from the two new patients are considered preliminary until confirmed by the CDC in Atlanta.
Cabarrus County reports first presumptive positive case
Officials in Cabarrus County have reported their first presumptive positive. The results will be sent to the CDC in Atlanta for confirmation.
Gaston County issues recommendation due to coronavirus
Gaston County Commissioners Chairman Tracy Philbeck has issued a recommendation for all county residents to avoid gatherings larger than 50 people. The announcement followed a coronavirus meeting Thursday with several county leaders and department heads.
UNCC students self-quarantined
90 UNCC students have reported they are self-quarantined based on the self-quarantine guidelines provided by the University.
SC Sen. Lindsay Graham self-quarantine
The office of Sen. Lindsey Graham says he has decided to self-quarantine himself and work remotely because he was in Florida at an event attended by a top Brazilian government official who later tested positive for coronavirus.
Gov. Henry McMaster requests surplus funds be made immediately available
Governor Henry McMaster today requested that the South Carolina General Assembly pass a joint resolution for the purpose of making $45 million from the 2019-2020 Contingency Reserve Fund immediately available to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for its coordination of the state’s public health response to the COVID-19 virus.
The governor made the request in a letter to members of House and Senate leadership. Any funds not utilized by DHEC would be returned to the Contingency Reserve Fund upon completion of the department’s efforts.
“DHEC protocols and procedures require the agency to prepare for a variety of contingencies and situations,” Governor McMaster wrote. “This requires that the agency identify and secure - in advance - the necessary resources, equipment and personnel to successfully address these contingencies.”
“The $45 million amount may be deducted from the $128 million one-time taxpayer credit contained in the FY 2020-21 General Appropriations Act passed by the House of Representatives. This credit would not be available to state taxpayers until they file their taxes in 2021. At this time, I believe these one-time surplus dollars should be utilized now to provide DHEC with funds, to the extent necessary, to address COVID-19 in South Carolina.”
The Mexican National Team’s MEXTOUR match scheduled for March 26th at Bank of America Stadium has been cancelled.
CMS info regarding NCHSAA State Basketball Championships
In response to the growing threat from the COVID-19 outbreak, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA), in consultation with the host facilities and university administrators, will conduct Saturday’s scheduled State Basketball Championship Games with only essential staff and limited family in attendance.
NASCAR announces race events will be held without fans:
NASCAR says it will hold its race events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead- Miami Speedway without fans in attendance. These events will be restricted to competitors, crews, officials and other necessary personnel to conduct the race.
NHL pauses 2019-2020 season
The National Hockey League decided to pause its season.
Remainder of 2020 ACC Tournament canceled:
“Following additional consultation with the league’s presidents and athletic directors, and in light of the continued conversations surrounding the fluidity of COVID-19, the Atlantic Coast Conference will immediately cancel the remainder of the 2020 ACC Tournament. For NCAA Tournament automatic qualification purposes, Florida State will represent the league as the ACC Champion. We are disappointed for our student-athletes, schools and fans to have to make this decision; however, the overall health and safety of all involved is the priority.”
NASCAR to hold races without fans
NASCAR announced on Thursday that race events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway will be held without fans.
Winthrop University moving to online courses
Winthrop University will move to remote instruction for March 23-April 3, which are the two weeks following Spring Break.
Until further notice, all university-sponsored events scheduled between Sunday, March 15 and Friday, April 3 are canceled, and alternative options for holding or rescheduling events in key areas are being considered.
Winthrop is also prohibiting university business travel through the end of April to international destinations designated by the CDC as travel warning level 3 or higher and strongly encouraging community members to avoid non-essential domestic travel to areas where COVID-19 cases have been identified.
Wells Fargo employee in Charlotte came into contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus
On Wednesday, March 11, Wells Fargo was notified that an employee who works on the 6th floor at One Wells Fargo in Charlotte has been in prolonged, close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee is at home while their health is being closely monitored.
Rich and Bennett's St Patrick's Day Pub Crawl is rescheduled
The Rich and Bennett's St. Patrick's Day Pub crawl has been rescheduled for June 27.
Charlotte office employees working from home after colleague referred to coroanvirus test
Employees at Brighthouse Financial in Ballantyne have been asked to work from home until further notice. after a coworker was referred to coronavirus testing. The test results of that person have not been released, but a Brighthouse spokesperson said the health and safety of employees is a priority.
Woman tests positive in Lancaster County
A woman in Lancaster County has tested presumptive positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, the South Carolina Department of Health announced Wednesday.
The woman, who like all other patients has not been publicly identified, is hospitalized in isolation, according to officials.
"At this time there is no known travel outside the state or known contact with another case," the state said in a released statement.
Her samples tested positive at DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory. The samples will be sent to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for confirmation.
A case is considered "presumptive positive" when a patient tests positive at the state level. The case is later reviewed by the CDC.
Gaston County hotline:
Gaston County is opening a COVID-19 call center to help residents find answers to questions.
The number is 704-862-5303. It will be locally staffed weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. After hours calls will be directed to the state hotline, which can also be reached directly at 866-462-3821.
Hospitals announce visitor restrictions:
Atrium Health and Novant Health have announced visitor restrictions at their Charlotte area hospitals and medical facilities as a result of coronavirus pre-cautions. Piedmont Medical Center and Caromont Health told WCNC Charlotte they are monitoring conditions.
North Carolina declares state of emergency
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Tuesday. The declaration lead to the opening of a centralized emergency operations center in Raleigh, as well as the introduction of additional resources to combat and respond to coronavirus cases.
“Though we are still in the early stages in North Carolina, time is a valuable resource and we must work together to slow the spread while we can," Governor Roy Cooper said Tuesday.
Learn more about covid-19 coronavirus
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