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.  

Thousands of teachers in North Carolina are currently faced with a difficult choice: go back to teaching in-person class, or continue to teach virtually and minimize their risk of exposure to Covid. But, in truth, it's not even really their decision — at least, not entirely.

Host Dave DeWitt talks with WUNC Education Reporter Liz Schlemmer about the difficult situation for North Carolina teachers weighing their health, and the health of loved ones, with their job. 

We also hear from physicians at Duke University about ways to stay safe during the upcoming holiday season.
 


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

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

A new analysis from data scientists modeling the impact of COVID-19 in North Carolina shows rural areas and the older population are now being hit harder by the coronavirus.

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.

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.
N.C. Department of Public Safety

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that the state will keep its reopening guidelines in place for three more weeks, at a time when key coronavirus metrics worsen.

A school classroom with desks that are socially distanced.
Keri Brown/WFDD

When school resumed in August, nearly half of all public-school students in North Carolina spent at least some time in-person, in a classroom. Now, more districts are looking to return to some face-to-face instruction. 

The people at the so-called 'Plan B' schools may have something to teach others about what has worked, and what hasn't.

Governor Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force share an update on COVID-19. Watch, here, live starting at 2 p.m.

ECU / wikimedia commons

A university in North Carolina has announced temporary furloughs and pay cuts for its athletics staff due to budget deficits caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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

Photo courtesy of Saint Augustine's University

The Saint Augustine's University community is mourning the death of its president.

Irving McPhail died this week from complications of COVID-19. Officials said he did not contract the virus from the campus.

A picture of the map of North Carolina with different shades of red to show the number of confirmed cases in each county
Creative Commons

North Carolina hit its highest one-day case count of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,684 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, and shared that hospitalizations are also creeping back up. 

File Photo, Courtesy Governor Roy Cooper Twitter

North Carolina's top public health official is warning that the state's coronavirus numbers are heading in the wrong direction as the state's Democratic governor considers whether to tighten restrictions or reopen more of the economy.

North Carolina U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis is ending his quarantine. The senator, who’s seeking reelection next month, announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 2.

Tillis’ office on Tuesday released a letter from his doctor clearing him to return to work and resume in-person activities.

Duke University Chapel
Bill Snead / Duke University

Duke University has managed to avoid major COVID-19 outbreaks by enforcing standard precautions, robust testing and contact tracing.

Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe
Nell Redmond / Pool Photo via 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. 5. 

7:10 p.m. - The Saint Augustine's University community is mourning the death of its president. Irving McPhail died this week from complications of COVID-19. Officials said he did not contract the virus from the campus. McPhail was president of the historically Black university in Raleigh for roughly 100 days before he passed. He started as president July 15, following a nationwide search. - Naomi Prioleau, WUNC

Emails Reveal NC's Early Steps To Prepare For Pandemic

Oct 8, 2020
NC Watchdog Collaborative

Mid-afternoon on Thursday, February 13, Laketha Miller sent an email to division directors at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, asking them to use a new code to track the amount of time DHHS employees spend working on tasks related to the coronavirus.

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.

Joel Muniz / Unsplash / creative commons

Food pantries on university and college campuses in North Carolina are experiencing high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, even though there are fewer students around. Campus food pantries have historically served students in need, and that need has only increased since mid-March.

Gerry Broome / AP Photo

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. 28. 

11:40 a.m. - The Forsyth County courthouse will have limited operations available next week after five employees tested positive for COVID-19. The Winston-Salem Journal reports court officials are working with the Forsyth County Health Department to conduct contracting tracing. The courthouse previously closed for a short time in April after other employees also tested positive for the coronavirus. – Celeste Gracia, WUNC

9:50 a.m. - Duke University is laying off 75 employees in its Talent Identification Program at the beginning of next year. Duke TIP helps select pre-college students across the country access advanced educational opportunities, according to its website. Duke TIP was forced to close its summer programs because of the pandemic. All other programs will also be closed for the rest of this year through next semester. The university will instead be creating a new unit in the Office of Academic Affairs to help serve pre-college students. – Celeste Gracia, WUNC

Stanly County Teacher Dies Of COVID-19

Oct 5, 2020
Stanly County Schools

A Stanly County Schools elementary school teacher has died of COVID-19 after becoming ill 10 days ago. Julie Davis, a third-grade teacher at Norwood Elementary School for the past two years, died on Sunday. 

Scandal and litigation have cast a cloud of uncertainty over North Carolina elections. On Friday, incumbent Republican Sen. Thom Tillis announced he had tested positive for coronavirus. He's in self-isolation experiencing mild symptoms.

Notably, Tillis serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee and he’s the second member of that panel to test positive – along with Republican Michael Lee of Utah.

If Tillis and Lee are out for some time, the Republican majority's efforts to quickly push through Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett could be delayed.

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

A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina says that the senator is improving after experiencing mild symptoms following a positive COVID-19 test.

Olga Lopez, department superior, blowing and stuffing department, turns the material right sided before it is stuffed at Piedmont Furniture Industries Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Ramseur, N.C.
Lynn Hey / For WUNC

Business is booming for the furniture industry — especially home furnishings.

It's a stark contrast to the number of businesses that have had to permanently close and lay off staff as the world is in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Republican Senator Thom Tillis confirmed on Friday that he tested positive for COVID-19.

Updated Oct. 2, 10 a.m.: UNC Charlotte reports that evidence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was found in its routine sampling in one residence hall. All students in that hall were told to quarantine until they could be tested for COVID-19. 

How do you prevent the coronavirus from spreading inside a college dorm? UNC Charlotte thinks it's found an answer, and it's down in the dorm's basement, flowing through a sewage pipe.

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.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the state Coronavirus Task Force are scheduled to share updates on COVID-19.

Watch here live, starting at 2 p.m.

Pages