NC Coronavirus Updates

News coverage and resources related to the spread and response to the coronavirus in North Carolina and beyond.

WUNC is also compiling a list of organizations asking for support during this unprecedented time.  

With more than one million deaths worldwide, it can feel nearly impossible to fully grasp the toll COVID-19 has taken across the globe. The consistent stress of the pandemic, and an ever-increasing death count can sometimes be too much for our brains to comprehend. 

Host Dave DeWitt talks with Elke Weber, professor of psychology, public affairs, energy, and the environment at Princeton University, about adapting to stress and numbness tied to the pandemic.

Dave also highlights a recent study that examined ghost forests along the North Carolina coast and how they serve as indicators of climate change’s consequences.



Three women wearing white lab coats, masks, face shields and gloves stood around a table on a recent afternoon at LabCorp's Burlington headquarters, using box cutters to open packages. Inside each package was a box containing a plastic sample tube.

These are the company’s at-home coronavirus test kits. They’re among the tens of thousands of coronavirus test swabs from across the U.S. that the North Carolina lab location receives daily.

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.

5:30 p.m. - A student at Appalachian State University has died of complications of COVID-19. Chancellor Sheri Everts gave her condolences in a press release today, confirming that student Chad Dorrill had died.

Dorrill lived off campus in Boone and was taking all online classes. After he started feeling unwell, his mother encouraged him to come home to the Winston-Salem area to isolate. According to the Wautauga Democrat, he died Monday night at Forsyth Medical Center. - Liz Schlemmer, WUNC

Charles Jacocks, rear, along with his wife Carrie and incoming freshman Ann Grace, right, carry their belongings as college students begin moving in for the fall semester at N.C. State University in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, July 31, 2020.
Gerry Broome / AP

A new study links college reopenings to spikes in COVID-19 cases across the country. The study is co-authored by UNC Greensboro economics professor Martin Andersen, Davidson College education professor Chris Marsicano and others. Marsicano is also the Director of the College Crisis Initiative.

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.

Gov. Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force are scheduled to hold a media briefing on COVID-19. 

Watch live here starting at 2 p.m.

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

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.:

Charts and graphs of COVID-19 surveillance reports
Hertford County Government

Though COVID-19 struck North Carolina’s suburban and urban communities earliest, the virus has begun to sweep through the state’s rural communities at an alarming rate. 

Chris Carlson / AP Photo

North Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest said on Wednesday that he would immediately reopen all K-12 public schools without requiring students or teachers to wear masks if he were governor.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen and Director of North Carolina Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry will be available for a briefing regarding COVID-19.

Watch live here, starting at 2 p.m.

Kim Chandler / AP Photo

As COVID-19 swept through the South, Mel Prince watched with alarm as some of the HIV positive patients she helps in the rural Black Belt stopped showing up for lab tests and doctor's visits.

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

As COVID-19 cases climb at many colleges and universities in North Carolina, schools are maintaining dashboards to track and present different data and terminology. But are the dashboards enough of a resource to keep students and faculty informed about the virus on their campus?

On this edition of the Politics Podcast, we're featuring an episode from Tested, a podcast at WUNC that takes a hard look at how North Carolina and its neighbors are facing the day's challenges.

Tested host Dave DeWitt talks with WUNC education reporter Liz Schlemmer about the role of dashboards in tracking COVID-19 cases at colleges and universities.
 


As COVID-19 cases climb at many colleges and universities in North Carolina, schools are maintaining dashboards to track and present different data and terminology. But are the dashboards enough of a resource to keep students and faculty informed about the virus on their campus?

Host Dave DeWitt talks with WUNC education reporter Liz Schlemmer about the role of dashboards in tracking COVID-19 cases at colleges and universities.
 


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. 

Many coastal North Carolina vacation rental companies say it's been a busy summer despite the coronavirus pandemic, and they're not expecting a slowdown any time soon.

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

Courtesy Governor Roy Cooper Twitter

North Carolina’s Democratic governor announced Friday that he will sign a Republican-authored plan Friday to spend $1.1 billion of the state’s remaining federal COVID-19 relief funds on aid to families with children, unemployment benefits and efforts to fight the virus.

Ana Chagoyán lost her 40-year-old brother Juan from what a Charlotte hospital says was COVID-19 pneumonia. Before Juan's death on July 20, Ana said, her 57-year-old mother was in critical condition with COVID-19.

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.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is holding briefings Thursday regarding COVID-19. At 3 p.m., Dr. Viviana Martinez-Bianchi will announce updates and the new campaign in Spanish, and answer questions from the media in Spanish.

Watch here, live:

Sitting at home and from her cellphone screen on July 24, Ana Chagoyán, a Mexican mother who lives near Charlotte, said her last goodbye to her brother Juan. He was just 40 years old.

Gerry Broome / AP Photo

At least 3,000 college students in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus since campuses reopened last month for in-person classes, with an overwhelming number of cases coming from just three campuses, an Associated Press analysis shows.

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

Governor Roy Cooper announced on Tuesday that North Carolina will enter the next phase of reopening, dubbed “Phase 2.5,” starting Friday at 5 p.m.

Major the Bull wears a protective facemark in the downtown plaza in Durham, N.C. Friday, March 27, 2020.
Chuck Liddy / For WUNC

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. 24.

7:20 p.m. - North Carolina’s Democratic governor says he will sign a Republican-authored plan to spend more than a billion dollars of remaining federal pandemic relief funds. The package includes direct cash payments to nearly 2 million families, a $50 increase in weekly unemployment benefits and more funds for COVID-19 testing, tracing and personal protective equipment. It also invests in broadband and ensures school districts won't be penalized financially if enrollments drop. But the measure left out many of Governor Roy Cooper's other spending proposals. It comfortably passed both chambers of the GOP-controlled General Assembly, clearing its final legislative hurdle yesterday. - Associated Press

ECU East Carolina Football Helmet
R24KBerg Photos via Flickr / https://bit.ly/34FKnqu

East Carolina University’s football team will not open up its season against Marshall.

ECU Athletic Director Jon Gilbert announced Thursday afternoon that the game had been postponed “due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

Dave Doeren is the N.C. State University head football coach.
NC State

North Carolina State’s season-opening football game at Virginia Tech was postponed Wednesday from Sept. 12 to Sept. 26 because of a cluster of COVID-19 cases among Wolfpack athletes in Raleigh.

File photo of college students, with the assistance of their families, moving in for the fall semester at N.C. State University in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, July 31, 2020.
Gerry Broome / AP

North Carolina State University told students remaining in university housing to go home Wednesday, acknowledging a rising number of COVID-19 clusters occurring in both on-campus and off-campus housing.

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