coronavirus

Carolyn Griffin begins the first day of in-person teaching of second grade on Monday at Davis Drive Elementary in Cary, NC.
Kate Medley / for WUNC

 

At the back of a high school auditorium, past the last row of seats, is a sound booth. Normally, this is where teenage techies run lights for the high school play. Now, this is where Shellie, a teacher, leads classes from behind layers of personal protective equipment and a plexiglass window.

Monday marks the return of in-person teaching at Wake County Public Schools. Students arrive at Davis Drive Elementary to temperature checks and health screenings in the carpool line.
Kate Medley / For WUNC

Many of Wake County's pre-K through third grade students returned to classrooms Monday. 

At Davis Drive Elementary School in Cary, it felt a bit like the first day of school.

Greenville Covid
City of Greenville, via Flickr / https://bit.ly/3avgM3O

This post will be updated periodically with the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. For a recap of last week's news, check out Coronavirus Live Updates: Week of Oct. 19.

11:35 a.m. - Three high schools in Wake County have each reported one positive case of COVID-19 with an individual in an athletics teams. Panther Creek High School in Cary, Heritage High School in Wake Forest and Fuquay Varina High School all say the individual who tested positive at their school was last on campus last week. High school sports in Wake County resumed activities in phases on Oct. 1. – Celeste Gracia, WUNC

N.C. State Wolfpack Coronavirus Masks
Gerry Broome / AP

Following other campuses trying to contain the spread of COVID-19, North Carolina State University will delay the spring semester's start and eliminate spring break.

A photo of the Durham County Jail: a large silver building.
Laura Candler/WUNC

COVID-19 is spreading more quickly throughout North Carolina's population: public health metrics in the last week have some experts worried the state is heading in the wrong direction. Research shows the virus spreads more quickly indoors and when people have prolonged close contact with one another — something that's almost unavoidable in places like jails and prisons. 

Coronavirus N.C. State prep mask
Gerry Broome / AP

This post will be updated periodically with the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. For a recap of last week's news, check out Coronavirus Live Updates: Week of Oct. 12.

4:45 p.m. - NC State University will not have a spring break next semester after all. In a message Thursday, Chancellor Randy Woodson said the university reversed its original decision announced last month after talking to students, faculty and health experts. The university will instead have four wellness days spread throughout the spring semester. The university also decided to push back the start of the semester by a week. Classes will start on January 19. - Celeste Gracia, WUNC

UNC Health Care
UNC Health Care / UNC Health Care

Doctors at UNC-Chapel Hill say early studies of monoclonal antibody therapies show promising results in treating COVID-19.

Updated at 12:52 p.m.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Wednesday that he and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are discussing potential stand-alone bills for aid to airlines, small businesses and Americans. He said the Trump administration was "still willing to be engaged" on piecemeal aid bills, though it was not optimistic about a comprehensive aid bill.

Thom Tillis speaking
http://thomtillis.com/ / Campaign Photo

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina said Monday that he's regained his senses of taste and smell, recovering from symptoms of COVID-19 after testing positive late last week.

Two White Men, President General Ford and Jimmy Carter, standing at wooden looking podiums on a stage
Flickr / Creative Commons

North Carolina voters had the opportunity to watch two high-profile debates this week: the first presidential debate in Cleveland and the final U.S. Senate debate in Raleigh. President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden faced off Tuesday night in a contentious debate that left many voters feeling disappointed and disillusioned. Republican Sen. Thom Tillis and his Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham took the stage Thursday for the last of three scheduled debates.

North Carolina A&T State University student body president Brenda Caldwell says she wanted to attend an HBCU because of the "familial culture" and she thinks that culture is helping her university weather the pandemic.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

North Carolina A&T State University is the largest historically Black college or university, or HBCU, in the country. With 12,000 students, it's about average for the UNC System, yet it has one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 spread among public universities in the state.

Students there have some ideas about why the school is, so far, managing the pandemic well.

File Photo, Courtesy Governor Roy Cooper Twitter

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday that bars, amusement parks and movie theaters can partially reopen starting on Friday under a new Phase 3 order.

NC National Guard Covid Mask
U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell, via Flickr / https://bit.ly/349yfMJ

This post will be updated periodically with the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. For a recap of last week's news, check out Coronavirus Live Updates: Week of Sept. 21.

6:30 p.m. - Bars that have survived this long into the pandemic are now allowed to open to customers at 30% capacity outdoors. Phase 3 of Governor Roy Cooper's pandemic reopening plan went into effect at 5 p.m. The 11 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales in bars and restaurants is still in place. - Rebecca Martinez, WUNC

The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. faces challenges within his own party this week in advancing the Republican health care bill.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

 

Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force are briefing a Senate panel on the federal response to the pandemic. Witnesses include Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.

Carter-Finley Stadium, where the North Carolina State University Wolfpack play home football games.
N.C. State Athletics

College and professional sports teams in North Carolina may soon be allowed to host a few thousand fans in outdoor stadiums, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Tuesday.

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 200,000 on Tuesday — reaching what was once the upper limit of some estimates for the pandemic's impact on Americans. Some experts now warn that the toll could nearly double again by the end of 2020.

"I hoped we would be in a better place by now," said Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. "It's an enormous and tragic loss of life."

COVID coronavirus mask kids bikes police greenville
City of Greenville, via Flickr / https://bit.ly/2RONEMk

This post will be updated periodically with the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. For a recap of last week's news, check out Coronavirus Live Updates: Week of Sept. 14.

3:40 p.m. - The state is adding data on antigen testing to its COVID-19 dashboard. The new information will include cases and deaths diagnosed with an antigen test, and the number of antigen tests completed daily. Formerly the health department only reported tests confirmed with a molecular test that detects the virus's genetic material. Antigen tests, which account for roughly 2% of COVID-19 tests in North Carolina, look for specific proteins on the surface of the virus. The department says it can add the antigen testing data due to improved reporting processes, and is joining 31 other states in doing so. - Cole del Charco, WUNC

Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A COVID-19-related workplace dispute is brewing between a former lottery host and Raleigh-based television station WRAL.

Side photo of a North Carolina Public Schools bus.
NCDOT Communications

North Carolina elementary schools will soon be allowed to return to daily, in-person classes, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Thursday.

School districts will be allowed to welcome back kindergarten through fifth grade students at full capacity, if they choose.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the state Coronavirus Task Force will deliver a public coronavirus briefing at 3 p.m., followed by questions from the media.

Watch live, beginning at 3 p.m.:

Students sitting on the North Carolina State campus wearing masks and socially distanced.
N.C. State University

Students at universities across North Carolina are struggling to maintain a normal campus life. For one particular group of students, the pandemic has created some special challenges.

Robert Willett/The News & Observer / via AP, Pool

This post will be updated periodically with the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. For a recap of last week's news, check out Coronavirus Live Updates: Week of Sept. 7.

4:20 p.m. - North Carolina's unemployment rate declined in August. The seasonally adjusted rate was 6.5%, which was down two percentage points from July's revised rate. North Carolina's unemployment rate in August was 2.7% higher than the same month last year. Unemployment in North Carolina has remained lower than the national average since the pandemic struck in March. - Liz Schlemmer, WUNC

Donald Trump, Winston-Salem, Rally
Evan Vucci / AP

A crowed political rally hosted by President Donald Trump put people’s health at risk, but was legal under state pandemic rules that exempt certain gatherings where people exercise free speech, a spokeswoman for North Carolina's governor said Wednesday.

McKenzie County Sheriff's Office

Hundreds of inmates have been released from state prisons during the COVID-19 pandemic to help curb the spread of the virus. But the same is not true in the state’s jails, which housed just under 16,000 people statewide in the first five months of 2020, according to data from the University of North Carolina School of Government. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety oversees the response to the coronavirus in the state’s prisons, but jails around the state do not have the same accountability or oversight. 

Playgrounds throughout Durham, N.C. city parks were closed March 26, 2020 after Mayor Steve Schewel issued a stay-at-home order for the city in an effort to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Chuck Liddy / For WUNC

Five months after the pandemic forced many public places to shut down, playgrounds have reopened. It's welcome news for many parents, but not necessarily all. 

Coronavirus N.C. State prep mask
Gerry Broome / AP

This post will be updated periodically with the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. For a recap of last week's news, check out Coronavirus Live Updates: Week of Aug. 31.

5:20 p.m. - The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill is anticipating even more financial losses due to COVID-19. Already, the university has lost an estimated $54 million in revenue from on-campus activities. Nate Knuffman, the university's interim finance chief, said during a meeting with faculty and staff today there could be more losses from hospital operations and athletics.

"When including these impacts, structural issues, and potential spring 2021 losses, we could see a financial impact of $300 million dollars this fiscal year," said Knuffman, adding it's important to note that this estimate doesn't include potential impacts in the event of a state budget shortfall as economic activity has fallen off during the ongoing pandemic. - Cole del Charco, WUNC

This week: State legislators gaveled in for a brief two-day session and don't intend to return until next year — that is, until after the elections are over. Their singular charge was to allocate North Carolina's remaining pandemic relief funds from the federal CARES Act.

Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch discuss the good – and the bad – in the latest relief package. And they react to President Trump's visit to Wilmington, where he tacitly encouraged people to vote twice.
 


NASCAR covid masks martinsville
Steve Helber / AP Photo

NASCAR has decided it will not grant COVID-19 relief during the playoffs, meaning a positive coronavirus test will end a driver's championship bid.

Union County Public Schools

More than 60% of North Carolina’s student population attends school in a district that started the fall quarter with remote-only instruction. But some county school districts, including Buncombe, Onslow, Gaston, Union and Harnett decided to start the new school year under Plan B, which provides partial in-person instruction.

A laundry basket sits on a coffee table.
Sean Freese/Creative Commons

For months, families have been quarantining together during the coronavirus crisis. The pandemic has forced parents and partners to rethink everything, from division of household chores and childcare duties to work-from-home needs and whether or not a job that cannot be performed remotely is even worth keeping, if childcare is unavailable or unaffordable. 

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