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5 new coronavirus-related deaths in Mecklenburg County

There are now nearly 6,500 cases of coronavirus in North Carolina. South Carolina is reporting over 4,300 COVID-19 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.  

For updates from Saturday, April 18, click here.

Key Facts:

There were more than 735,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States around 6 a.m. EDT Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been over 39,000 deaths in the U.S. and 66,000 recoveries. More than 3.7 million tests have been conducted.

Worldwide, there have been 2.3 million cases, 161,000 deaths and 599,000 recoveries.

Mecklenburg County: 5 new deaths related to coronavirus

Five more people have died from COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County, county officials announced Sunday.

As of Sunday afternoon, 1,183 residents of Mecklenburg County have tested positive for the virus and 29 have died.

Details about the most recent deaths have not been released.

RELATED: These 7 Mecklenburg County nursing homes have coronavirus outbreaks

ReOpen NC rally planned in Raleigh planned for this Tuesday

NBC affiliate WRAL reports that protesters calling for a quicker reopening of the North Carolina economy amid the coronavirus pandemic plan to rally Tuesday near the governor's mansion in Raleigh.

Protestors say they'll do so every Tuesday as needed, according to WRAL.

RELATED: ReOpen NC rally planned for Tuesday in Raleigh

SC DHEC announces 136 new cases of COVID-19

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 136 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in SC to 4,377 and those who have died to 120.

The death occurred in a middle-aged individual from Jasper County. The individual had no known underlying health conditions.

Here's a county-by-county breakdown of the 136 new cases:

Abbeville (2), Aiken (2), Anderson (2), Beaufort (6), Berkeley (8), Charleston (5), Chester (1), Chesterfield (1), Clarendon (3), Darlington (6), Dillion (3), Dorchester (4), Edgefield (1), Florence (22), Georgetown (1), Greenville (5), Greenwood (2), Horry (9), Kershaw (2), Lancaster (6), Laurens (1), Lee (2), Lexington (3), Marion (2), Marlboro (3), Orangeburg (2), Pickens (1), Richland (25), Saluda (2), Spartanburg (2), Williamsburg (1), York (1).

As of Sunday, DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory has conducted 12,080 tests for COVID-19 — 1,489 positive and 10,591 negative. 

A total of 40,480 total tests by both DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory and private labs have been conducted in South Carolina.

Burke County reports sixth coronavirus related death

Burke County Public Health reported a sixth COVID-19 related death in their county. The individual in their late 80’s was hospitalized and later died from complications associated with his underlying medical conditions. To protect the family’s privacy, Burke County officials are not releasing any further information about the patient. There are 71 positive COVID-19 cases in Burke County. 

“We extend our deepest condolences to the friends and family of this individual”, said Burke County Health Director Rebecca McLeod. “ As our efforts continue to fight this virus, we hope that all persons will continue to take the social distancing and all other preventive measures seriously.” “We want to minimize the number of deaths by protecting at risk persons with underlying health conditions.”

Billy Graham Library reopening outdoor grounds 'for prayer and reflection'

The Billy Graham Library facilities are still closed, but the outdoor Memorial Prayer Garden will be open for "prayer and reflection" starting Monday, April 20. 

The garden will be open each week Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on Sundays.

Billy Graham Library says they have added hand sanitizing stations outside, and they are limiting the number of people on the property to 20.  If any staff or volunteer interacts with guests, they will wear protective gear. 

"While we encourage those who wish to visit for prayer and reflection in our prayer garden to come, we also ask that guests be sensitive to their own health situation and stay home if they are in a high-risk demographic and/or if there is a chance they will infect others with the flu, coronavirus or other illnesses," Billy Graham Library said on its website.

Beginning on Monday, April 20, The Billy Graham Library grounds will... be made available to the public for those who wish to visit our outdoor Memorial Prayer Garden for prayer and reflection. Precautionary measures are being implemented to assure social distancing standards are maintained.

South Carolina could be reopening beaches next week

A South Carolina state senator said public access to beaches will reopen next week.

Sen. Stephen Goldfinch posted the information on his Facebook page Saturday afternoon. The Charleston Post & Courier also reports that South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster will take that action next week, and also is considering reopening retail stores. 

Governor McMaster has not made an official comment on the matter, however.

RELATED: South Carolina beaches will reopen next week, senator says

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