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.  

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.

Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to share an update on COVID-19 and share his budget proposal.

Watch live, here, starting at 3 p.m.:

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen will be available today for a briefing regarding COVID-19.

Watch, live, here starting at 2 p.m.:

UNC-Chapel Hill covid masks
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. 17.

2:20 p.m. - The North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association has announced it will allow private schools to begin fall sports, including football, in September. All sporting events will be held without fans. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association, by comparison, has delayed all sports practices for public schools until at least November. Higher contact sports have been delayed until winter or spring. - 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

North Carolina State University announced on Thursday it will move all undergraduate classes online starting on Monday.

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

Watch here, live, beginning at 2 p.m.

A photo of a tunnel at the Coker Arboretum in Chapel Hill.
Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia Commons

A week after students returned for a combination of in-person and online classes, leadership at UNC-Chapel Hill moved to fully online learning in response to a surge of COVID-19 on campus. The positive testing rate among students rose from 2.8% in the week of Aug. 3 to Aug. 9 to 13.6% in the week of Aug. 10 to Aug. 16. 130 positive cases were reported during that period.

Lakewood Elementary 5th grade teacher Kelly Shearon greets her class on the first day of school
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

A majority of North Carolina public school districts are returning to school remotely Monday.

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 Aug. 10.

4:12 p.m. - UNC Wilmington's chancellor sent a letter to the campus community today reminding students they can be prosecuted for violating Governor Roy Cooper's mandates. Those mandates prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. The message comes one day after NC State University announced it would join UNC Chapel Hill in moving all undergraduate classes online due to COVID-19 outbreaks, many of which were linked to off campus gatherings. - Liz Schlemmer, WUNC

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper (left) will face Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (right) in the November general election.
Ben McKeown for WUNC / AP

North Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest ended a testy legal battle with campaign rival and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday after a judge recently rejected Forest's demand to block Cooper from shuttering businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

A large brick industrial building with a Tyson sign on the side
Jacob Biba / Carolina Public Press

Nursing homes, schools, correctional facilities and childcare centers are required to report information about coronavirus outbreaks to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The state agency then shares that information publicly in its regularly-updated COVID-19 dashboard, which includes details about the specific facilities in which the outbreaks are happening and how many people have tested positive for the virus.

But the agency does not publish similar data about meat processing facilities, even though they have been a hot spot for the virus. 

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 Gov. Roy Cooper won another legal victory defending his COVID-19 executive orders on Tuesday, this time when a judge rejected Lt. Gov. Dan Forest's demand that they be blocked by declaring his lawsuit is unlikely to succeed.

Courtesy Jon Gardiner / UNC-Chapel Hill

A group of university staff and faculty have filed a lawsuit against the UNC System to seek safer working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. The plaintiffs are asking for a Wake County Superior Court judge to grant them class action status, and to step in on behalf of all UNC System employees.

Courtesy Jon Gardiner / UNC-Chapel Hill

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. 3.

6:20 p.m. - Monday is the first day of school for North Carolina's K-12 public school students. A majority of school districts have chosen to at least start the school year virtually. Some of those districts, including Orange County, Guilford County and Durham Public Schools are still waiting to get enough devices or wifi hotspots to distribute to their students. Some districts needed time to figure out funding. A Durham Public Schools spokesman says some of their device shipments were held up at U.S. Customs. Snags like these have some districts calling the first week an orientation, with the expectation that meat-and-potatoes instruction may have to wait until students are more prepared. About 40% of school districts, mostly in rural areas, will start the year in person with social distancing and mask wearing. - Liz Schlemmer, WUNC

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

  North Carolina's COVID-19 restrictions keeping some businesses with higher risks for spreading the virus closed and mass gatherings severely limited will remain in place for another five weeks, Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Wednesday.

Back To School In NC: Keeping COVID-19 Out Of Classrooms

Aug 5, 2020
The words 'Back to School In North Carolina: A Statewide Special' over lockers.
Brooke Bust-Webber/WUNC

Families across North Carolina are preparing to start a new school year in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. Most public school students are starting school online, but each school district around the state is doing things a little bit differently under guidelines released by Gov. Roy Cooper in July.

A graphic featuring four teachers from New Hanover County.
Rachel Keith/WHQR

In-person teaching. Then, no in-person teaching. North Carolina public school teachers had to prepare for both possibilities since school let out in June. And it hasn’t been easy, as school districts across the state have flip-flopped between the two options. In Wilmington, WHQR checked in with some teachers about their fears of returning to the classroom during a pandemic.

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

As schools decide whether or not to hold class in person or online, one big question is at the root of it all — how much is it going to cost? The funding debate has been front and center, from the federal level down to the state and local districts, each playing its own part in planning for the next school year. There are many challenges ahead to keep students learning and everyone safe and all of it comes with a price tag.

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This story is part of an NPR nationwide analysis of states' revenue and budgets during the pandemic.

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 July 27.

6 p.m. - The Raleigh Christmas Parade will not proceed through North Carolina's Capital City this year, due to concerns over the pandemic. Instead, the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association will host a televised virtual event in late November. - Rebecca Martinez, WUNC

North Carolina Public School bus.
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Over half of the students enrolled in North Carolina public schools will be starting their school year at home this fall. Gov. Roy Cooper announced earlier this month that public schools can open through a Plan B or hybrid model, with some in-home and some face-to-face instruction, or with a Plan C model, with remote-only instruction. 

Back To School In North Carolina: A Statewide Special

Jul 28, 2020

School starts in just a few weeks, and no matter what districts across North Carolina do to re-open, this year will look different.

How are kids coping with plans for the fall? What concerns do teachers have about remote learning, and about their own safety? And how is the pandemic hitting school budgets?

Public radio stations from around the state are coming together for a back-to-school special. We check in with mental health experts, education officials and others to find out how North Carolina is handling the fall semester.

On a muggy July evening in Durham, North Carolina, a black sedan pulled up to a party. Men got out of what police believe to be a Chevrolet Impala and opened fire on the partygoers gathered in the front yard.

Two young children, ages 8 and 4, were injured in the attack.

Later that night, another shooting — possibly related, according to police — took place at a Durham public housing development about five miles away. A stray bullet flew into an adjacent apartment unit, killing a 12-year-old boy.

Unpaid Bills Drive NC Families To Financial Brink

Jul 27, 2020
Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash Creative Commons

As many as 1 million families in North Carolina have fallen behind on their electric, water and sewage bills, threatening residents and their cities with severe financial hardship unless federal lawmakers act to approve more emergency aid.

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 July 20.

6:10 p.m. - Governor Roy Cooper has declared a State of Emergency as Hurricane Isaias threatens to become North Carolina’s first test in responding to a hurricane in the midst of the pandemic. Forecasts differ, but the storm could reach the coast Monday as it tracks north. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases are near peak levels in the state. Cooper said social distancing means shelters won’t be able to hold as many people. So if evacuations are necessary, coastal residents should plan to stay with friends or family inland, or at a hotel. Those who need a shelter will be screened for COVID-19 and some may be housed in hotels for more isolation or, if they have symptoms, at a medical facility. - Jay Price, WUNC

Courtesy Jon Gardiner / UNC-Chapel Hill

In an email to leaders at all 17 UNC System campuses, UNC Board of Governors Chairman Randall Ramsey asked each chancellor to prepare a proposal that reflects a budget cut of up to 50 percent. 

covid
LM Otero / 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 July 13.

2:50 p.m. - A temporary waiver giving people extra flexibility in preparing Living Wills and Health Care Powers of Attorney is set to end next week. These two directives have traditionally required notarization and the signatures of two witnesses. In response to the pandemic, the General Assembly passed a law in May waiving the the witness requirement until July 31. The Secretary of State's office says emergency video notarizations will be available to people preparing their advance directives until March. - Rebecca Martinez, WUNC

The World Health Organization reports there are more than 150 vaccines for COVID-19 in various stages of development. But how do you ensure that everybody is fairly represented in clinical research trials, especially when people of color are dying at higher rates from the virus?

Host Leoneda Inge talks with Kent Thoelke, chief scientific officer and executive vice president of PRA Health Sciences, about the clinical research organization’s efforts to connect with diverse populations for COVID-19 treatment and vaccine trials.

Inge also discusses a recent measure passed by Asheville city council that will provide reparations for the city’s Black community. The resolution calls on the city to create a commission and designate funds to strengthen Black home and business ownership, and close gaps in healthcare, education and employment.


File Photo, Courtesy Governor Roy Cooper Twitter

North Carolina's jobless rate declined dramatically in June, the state announced on Friday, as restaurants, hotels and retailers bounced back since Gov. Roy Cooper's COVID-19 restrictions were eased.

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