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York County declares state of emergency

There are over 3,200 cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in North Carolina, including 741 in Mecklenburg County. South Carolina is reporting more than 2,400 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 COVID-19 pandemic.  

Key Facts:

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Mecklenburg EMS currently has 19 paramedics in quarantine

Due to COVID-19 exposure, 19 Mecklenburg EMS paramedics are in quarantine. One paramedic is positive for COVID-19. 

Officials say 12 paramedics were tested for COVID-19 and came back negative. 

At one point, 25 paramedics were quarantined due to COVID-19 concerns, but some have since finished their quarantine. 

Mecklenburg EMS officials also say there is a plan in place to cover up to a 40% reduction of paramedics if that many were to get COVID-19 — that would entail pulling administrative staff dually trained to do the job.

RELATED: 19 paramedics quarantining in Mecklenburg County

Proposed plans for UNCC field hospital canceled

Mecklenburg County, in consultation with the region's hospital systems, announced Tuesday that the University of North Carolina at Charlotte will no longer be needed for a proposed coronavirus field hospital.

Hospital officials project they will need an extra 600 beds, down from the originally proposed 3,000 beds, Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio said Tuesday. A field hospital at a location to be determined near uptown Charlotte is being considered.

MORE DETAILS: UNCC will not become coronavirus field hospital, Mecklenburg parks closing to cars

FEMA will not assist in the construction of any Charlotte field hospital, Diorio said.

Diorio also announced Mecklenburg County will close park gates to vehicular traffic. Parks will remain open but only to foot traffic.

York County declares state of emergency

York County, South Carolina has declared a localized state of emergency because of the coronavirus.

CMS updates remote learning plan, holiday schedule

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools says they have deployed close to 80,000 devices to students in grades 4-12. The district says they still have about 4,000 students who haven’t confirmed if they have working devices or internet access.

CMS is offering new content on both virtual and remote platforms for students in grades 4-12 in addition to using the district website and print packets for grades K-3, but CMS will not be providing grades at this time.

Instead, teachers will provide feedback on assignments and make anecdotal records — that way, teachers can later assign a grade or a pass/fail status, based on the state board of education guidance. 

The district is also confirmed that April 13-17 is still considered Spring Break. On April 10, Good Friday, the district's grab and go meal sites will not be open but will otherwise be open during spring break.

Mecklenburg County announces additional death related to COVID-19

Mecklenburg County announced Tuesday that another person in the county had died for a reason related to COVID-19. It brings the county total to 8 associated deaths.

In total, 805 people in Mecklenburg County have tested positive for COVID-19. And as of April 4, 40% of reported cases were released from isolation, according to the county. The total number of sick people was confirmed to be 650 as of Monday.

SCDHEC announces 187 new cases of coronavirus, 3 additional deaths

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced 187 new cases of COVID-19, including three additional deaths.

It brings the total number of people in South Carolina confirmed to have COVID-19 to 2,417, and those who have died to 51.

The three additional deaths occurred in patients who were elderly and had underlying health conditions — one was from Greenville County, the other two from Lexington County.

Here's a county-by-county breakdown of the new SC cases: 

Aiken (1), Anderson (3), Bamberg (1), Beaufort (6), Berkeley (3), Charleston (5), Chester (1), Chesterfield (1), Clarendon (10), Darlington (2), Fairfield (1), Florence (6), Georgetown (1), Greenville (10), Greenwood (1), Hampton (1), Horry (15), Jasper (1), Kershaw (7), Lancaster (3), Lee (1), Lexington (6), Marion (1), Marlboro (2), Oconee (1), Orangeburg (2), Pickens (1), Richland (29), Saluda (1), Spartanburg (32), Sumter (15), Union (3), Williamsburg (1), York (13).

Two SC counties (Abbeville and Dorchester) each lost a case from their total counts, since those cases were determined to be residents of other counties. 

As of Monday, DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory has conducted 8,123 tests for COVID-19 -- 941 positives and 7,182 negatives. 

Statewide, a total of 23,680 tests by both DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory and private labs have been conducted.

As of Monday morning, 5,594 hospital beds are available and 6,376 are utilized in South Carolina. It's a 53.3% statewide hospital bed utilization rate. 

Cabarrus paramedic tests positive for COVID-19

Cabarrus County confirmed one of its Emergency Medical Services paramedics tested positive for COVID-19. 

The employee involved had worked their last shift Friday, then noticed multiple COVID-19 symptoms later that day. Once the employee noticed the symptoms, county officials say the individual isolated at home and notified agency administrators.

They were tested on Saturday, and the positive test result came back Monday. Employees were notified Tuesday. Anyone with an increased risk of exposure due to this case will be notified.

Cabarrus County EMS officials don't believe the employee cared for any patients that tested positive for COVID-19 before they had symptoms. 

No other Cabarrus County EMS employees have exhibited COVID-19 symptoms. 

RELATED: 4 Charlotte first responders test positive for coronavirus

RELATED: 'A constant moving target' | Gaston County EMS adjusting to COVID-19 demands

North Carolina sets up Emergency Child Care Subsidy Program for essential workers

North Carolina has created an Emergency Child Care Subsidy Program to support the state's essential workers. 

According to Dr. Many Cohen, this new program will allow essential workers to get help finding childcare and get help paying for child care.

The hotline will help families find child care programs that are meeting new health and safety standards and operational guidelines. Families can call (888) 600-1685.

For families that need financial support for childcare, they can find the form at http://ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus that they then bring to their selected childcare program.

"We are able to provide this support to our frontline workers because of another group of essential workers – our early childhood teachers and staff. In the best of times, they are our unsung heroes, who care for, love and teach our children," Cohen said. "They are literally brain builders – supporting children’s healthy development so they have a strong foundation for health and learning. And that’s in the best of times."

Mandy Cohen also announced that the state will be providing bonuses to all teachers and staff that work in programs serving essential workers.

Child care programs that stay open to serve essential workers will receive $300 per month for each full-time teacher and $200 for each full-time non-teaching staff member, including administrators, janitors and other support staff.

"This is just one of many ways our North Carolina team is trying to respond to this unprecedented crisis. Thank you for doing your part to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus," Cohen said.

Patient at NC Veterans Home dies from COVID-19 in Salisbury 

A patient of North Carolina State Veterans Home in Salisbury has died after testing positive for COVID-19.

According to PruittHealth's communications team, the patient passed away Saturday, April 4. 

PruittHealth has released the following statement: 

"We offer our sincerest condolences to the patient’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.

North Carolina State Veterans Home – Salisbury continues to operate at an Alert Code Red status and has been strictly following enhanced infection disease protocols, including increasing cleaning frequency, postponing communal activities, ceasing visitation, screening staff and patients daily, restricting staff to only essential personnel, and ceasing new admissions." 

Burke County reports second COVID-19-related death

Public Health was notified Tuesday of another Burke County resident’s death associated with COVID-19. According to officials, the individual had been hospitalized and later died on Sunday, April 5. The patient was in their late 70’s with underlying medical conditions and was not associated with any long-term care facility. To protect the family’s privacy, no further information about the patient will be released.

At last check, Burke County is reporting 29 positive cases of COVID-19. 

Catawba County identifies 2 new cases of COVID-19

Public health officials in Catawba County say two more people have tested positive for coronavirus. This brings the county total to 27. To date, 379 people have tested negative for the virus in Catawba County.

NC DHHS updates COVID-19 case total in North Carolina

The Department of Health and Human Services now says there are 3,221 confirmed cases of coronavirus in North Carolina. The state says 354 people hospitalized statewide. 

Lowe's announces a third local employee has tested positive for COVID-19 

A Lowe's employee in York, South Carolina has tested positive for COVID-19, Lowe's confirms. The employee was an associate at the York store located on Liberty Street.

Statement from Lowe's: 

The well-being of our associates and customers is Lowe’s priority, and have confirmed a COVID-19 case of a Lowe’s associate at our York store, located at 1010 E Liberty St. The associate has been quarantined and is receiving care. This associate last worked on March 31.

The store remains open and has been extensively cleaned per CDC guidelines. In an abundance of caution, associates who had worked closely with this individual over a period of time have been put on a paid leave.

Back on March 31,  Lowe’s confirmed two cases of COVID-19 in the Charlotte area. One case was an associate at the Northlake store at 10275 Perimeter Pkwy, and the other was at the Ballantyne location at 5310 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.

Lowe's closing all stores on Easter Sunday

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. announced all stores and distribution centers in the United States and Canada will be closed on Easter Sunday, April 12.

“Our ability to support communities with essential goods and services during this pandemic is thanks to our outstanding, dedicated associates,” said Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO. “We want to provide our teams with a much-deserved day off to spend Easter Sunday with their families and loved ones and recharge. We will take steps to ensure that no hourly associate loses scheduled hours or has a reduction in pay as a result of closing on Sunday. I want to personally thank our 300,000 associates who have helped families stay safely at home. Their actions are nothing short of heroic.”

South Carolina "Work or Home" order to take effect at 5 p.m.

Governor Henry McMaster issued a mandatory "work or home" order that is similar to the order in place for North Carolina. Residents are told to stay home unless going to work or running essential errands (such as grocery shopping or visiting the doctor). 

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