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.  

Credit Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAM / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak, North Carolina is now in a state of emergency. Gov. Roy Cooper issued the declaration Tuesday, as increased testing better accounts for the rising number of confirmed cases in the state.

Updated at 6:20 a.m. ET

The United Kingdom's health minister has been diagnosed with novel coronavirus infection – one of nearly 400 confirmed cases in that country, as Turkey on Wednesday announced its first case of the disease, which has now spread to some 110 countries.

Another major American music festival and influencer hangout has been felled by coronavirus concerns. Coachella, which is held over two consecutive weekends, is being postponed. The dates are moving from Apr. 10 - 12 and Apr. 17 - 19 to the weekends of Oct. 9 and 16.

The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon by Coachella's promoter Goldenvoice, which is a subsidiary of the live event mammoth AEG. In the same announcement, Goldenvoice said it was moving Coachella's sister event, the Stagecoach country music festival, from the weekend of Apr. 24 to the weekend of Oct. 23.

Countries around the world are mobilizing to try to halt the coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 100,000 people and killed more than 4,000 others. Here's a look at some of the measures that the nine countries with the most cases have implemented so far.

China

If you or someone in your household is sick with a fever and cough, you may be dealing with another symptom: the fear that you have coronavirus.

What are you supposed to do?

First of all, don't panic. Remember that it's still flu and cold season in the U.S., and seasonal allergies are starting up, too. Unless your symptoms are getting dramatically worse or you feel short of breath, you may not need to seek medical treatment (though it's OK to call your doctor and ask).

Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, 3/10/2020 in response to more confirmed cases of the coronavirus in North Carolina.
Jay Price / WUNC

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state emergency Tuesday due to the coronavirus and his administration urged people over age 65 and medically fragile residents to avoid large gatherings.

Veteran salutes other veterans
flickr.com

VA medical systems across the state have begun basic screening for COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus. 

A South Korean contract construction worker working at the U.S. military garrison Camp Walker in Daegu — the South Korean city hardest hit by the the coronavirus outbreak — on Monday became the eighth person linked to the U.S. military in that nation to be diagnosed with Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The Italian government has announced extraordinary measures to contain the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday declared the entire country a "red zone," meaning people should stay home except for work and emergencies.

The move expands the emergency measures already in place in northern Italy, which is where most of the more than 9,000 confirmed cases are.

As of Monday, 463 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported through the country.

Updated at 10:19 p.m. ET

President Trump said Monday that the White House is planning to ask Congress to pass a payroll tax cut and relief for hourly wage earners in order to assist workers who may be feeling the financial pinch amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump said that top administration officials will be meeting with Republican members of the House and Senate on Tuesday to discuss the possible payroll tax cuts and help for hourly workers.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

After several days of circling off the coast of California, the Grand Princess cruise ship has docked at a port in Oakland.

The ship has 3,533 people on board — including at least 21 who have tested positive for the new coronavirus, out of 46 people who were in the first round of testing.

Early one morning last week, Cindy Ruiz joined the ranks of newly remote workers, now millions strong. The financial data firm where Ruiz works in sales closed its office after reports of coronavirus cases near San Mateo, Calif.

For many, the widespread embrace of remote work is a welcome change they've always wanted. They're reacting on social media the way kids celebrate snow days: No commutes! Flexible schedule! Home-cooked lunch!

Employees of the University of Washington's UW Medicine system can now get tested for coronavirus without leaving their cars.

The system's medical center in northwest Seattle has turned a hospital garage lot into a drive-through clinic that can test a person every five minutes. They typically get results within a day or so.

But the idea involves more than convenience. It's also about safety.

Updated at 6:06 p.m. ET

As the novel coronavirus reached a global milestone, topping 100,000 cases across more than 100 countries over the weekend, Italy has imposed extraordinary restrictions on about a quarter of its population and limited public activities throughout the entire country.

Even as the number of new coronavirus infections continues to spiral upward in countries around the world, a top global health expert says it's not too late to contain the virus.

"As long as you have these discrete outbreaks ... there is the opportunity to control them — to get on top of these and contain them and prevent a lot of disease and ultimately death," says Dr. Bruce Aylward, a senior adviser to the director-general of the World Health Organization. "That's the big message we saw in China — and one of the big surprises."

Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China, has been in lockdown mode for weeks. But its delivery workers, zipping through empty streets on their motorcycles and scooters, are still very much on the move.

To avoid transmission of the virus, people have been told to stay at home and limit time outdoors. As a result, when they need food or other necessities, many of them turn to delivery workers, who put themselves at risk of exposure to the virus by interacting with dozens of customers, some of whom are sick, and handling multiple packages a day.

Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP Photo

 

Super Tuesday voters gave former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign new life as the candidate won 10 states — including North Carolina. Biden now leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the overall delegate count, but the race is far from over. 

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

Twenty-one people aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California have tested positive for the coronavirus disease COVID-19, Vice President Pence announced Friday.

The Grand Princess had been returning to San Francisco after a cruise to Hawaii and has been kept away from port while a small portion of the roughly 3,500 people on board are tested for the coronavirus.

An illustration created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the structure of coronavirus. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAM / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Updated 10:32 a.m. March 6, 2020

A second person in North Carolina has tested positive for the coronavirus. 

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS / CDC

Updated at 9:02 a.m. 3/5/2020

 UNC-Chapel Hill is expanding university affiliated travel restrictions to Washington State, California and Japan as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina's first case of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)  was confirmed today. Yet the state's manufacturing and agriculture industries were struggling to cope with disturbances in their supply chain weeks ago.

Fred Sharples

North Carolina’s resistance to pandemic is not uniform. The Triangle and Charlotte each host an international airport and research hospitals; March Madness brings crowds to Greensboro; Wilmington receives cargo and personnel from overseas; and Asheville entertains tourists from around the world. Socioeconomic vulnerability also contributes to the spread. 

Cary residents Rong Cai and Yanshun Liu  and their two sons
Jared Weber / For WUNC

For the first time in about a month, Rong Cai got to spend Saturday afternoon with her family. As she made a lunch of shrimp and rice cakes, her son Allen worked on homework for his Saturday Chinese school, where he learns about Chinese language and culture. Meanwhile, Cai’s husband, Yanshun Liu, played board games with their kindergartener Matthew. Later, the family had lunch together.

Clinical support technician Douglas Condie extracts viruses samples as analytic work continues to examine the genetic structure of a virus in the coronavirus testing laboratory at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday Feb. 19, 2020.
Jane Barlow / AP

A state health task force is encouraging North Carolinians to be prepared for the potential spread of the new coronavirus in the United States. 

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Fourteen U.S. passengers evacuated from a cruise ship in Japan and flown to military bases in California and Texas have tested positive for the new coronavirus, U.S. officials confirm.

Earlier, on Sunday, U.S. officials announced that 44 people from the Diamond Princess ship had tested positive for coronavirus. Those who were sick were to remain in Japan to be treated.

Coronavirus
CDC/Dr. Fred Murphy / Wikipedia

Gov. Roy Cooper says a new state panel monitoring a new virus that has killed over 1,000 people in China will help keep North Carolina residents safe and informed about the disease.

Now is the time when furniture executives often travel to China to inspect their products coming to the High Point Market in the spring. But the outbreak of the coronavirus is blocking travel there.

NIAID

The Wuhan coronavirus epidemic is officially a global public health emergency. The World Health Organization’s declaration frees up resources for nations to contain the virus’ spread outside its origin in central China.

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