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.  

NC DHHS

North Carolina hit a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations this week, a day after Gov. Roy Cooper announced a three-week extension of Phase 2. 

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

North Carolina public schools will open this fall with a mix of in-person and remote-learning options, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday. 

LM Otero / AP Photo

 Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper announced guidelines on Tuesday that will allow North Carolina K-12 schools to reopen at reduced in-classroom capacity but give parents and school districts the choice to have classes entirely online.

Alan Levine / Creative Commons https://pxhere.com/en/photo/216327

North Carolina's highest court has temporarily blocked a judge's ruling that allowed dozens of North Carolina's bowling alleys to reopen by overturning a portion of Gov. Roy Cooper's COVID-19 executive order keeping them closed.

bus
Cole del Charco / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper is slated to provide an update on education plans for K-12 public schools during the coronavirus pandemic. He will also issue a general update on statewide COVID-19 measures.

Watch the briefing live starting at 3 p.m.

File photo of polling worker as she enters a polling place in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, April 24, 2019 as early voting began in the Republican primary election for the North Carolina 9th Congressional District, a special election that was forced after l
Chuck Burton / AP

Anne Moebes signed up to work at a polling site in Buncombe County for the March 3 primaries, just before the coronavirus pandemic really hit the United States. It was her first time volunteering as a poll worker and she ended up serving as a precinct judge.

Ben Finley / AP Photo

When Hurricane Dorian pounded the wisp of earth that is Ocracoke Island, a wall of Atlantic seawater flooded Bob Chestnut’s home, surf shop and four vehicles.

Medical personel handle testing at a community coronavirus testing site operated by Cone Health and the county Health Department in Burlington, N.C., Thursday, July 9, 2020.
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 6.

4:15 p.m. - With coronavirus infection rates setting new records across much of the country, medical troops from Fort Bragg have been deployed to help in one of the worst-hit states. Seventy-one soldiers with the 44th Medical Brigade have flown to McAllen, Texas. According to an emailed statement from the Army, they’ll help civilian hospitals in that area deal with critical care COVID-19 cases. Infection rates are so bad  in parts of Texas — including McAllen — that intensive care units are full, hospitals are adding beds in temporary facilities and refrigerated trucks have been ordered to help with overflow at morgues. The state hit a new single-day record for Covid-related deaths this week. - Jay Price, WUNC

Most high schools in the region have delayed football practice because of the coronavirus pandemic. One exception is Lake Norman High School in Iredell County, where coaches and players are practicing football differently this year.

Members of the Coronavirus Task Force are scheduled to hold a media briefing on COVID-19. Watch live here starting at 2 p.m.

Victory Lanes in Mooresville has become one of the latest businesses in North Carolina to reopen against Gov. Roy Cooper's executive order, which singles out bowling alleys, gyms, bars and other close-contact businesses as being too unsafe to operate under current coronavirus levels.

File photo of construction workers at a work site.
astrid westvang / Flickr, https://flic.kr/p/63KaFK

Juan José Mejia Guillén is considered an essential worker in North Carolina. He runs a small construction company, Olive and Sage Custom Building, LLC. With nearly 15 years of experience, the master carpenter is confident about his work.

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 June 29.

3:50 p.m. - Appalachian State University's September football game at Wisconsin has been canceled. That's because the Big Ten Conference decided to move to conference-only schedules for fall sports, a precaution amid the pandemic. News outlets report the cancellation will cost App State a $1.25 million guarantee for the game. - Rebecca Martinez, WUNC

A masked woman looks out her window.
Victoria Bouloubasis for Enlace Latino NC/Southerly

According to a recent poll from Elon University, Governor Roy Cooper has way more support among Democrats for his mandate to wear masks in public.

Ninety-one percent of Democrats who responded to the survey -- versus 57% of Republicans -- support such a policy. But the poll results are less clear when it comes to reopening schools this fall.

study by Wake Forest Baptist Health has found that between 12-14% of people tested in North Carolina have antibodies for the coronavirus -- meaning they have been exposed to the virus -- with most of them showing little or no symptoms. 

Illustration of a calculator and exam answers sheet.
WikiHow Images

School board meetings are buzzing with suggestions of segmented days, converted spaces, private-public partnerships and other ideas for a managed reopening of public schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A masked woman looks out her window.
Victoria Bouloubasis for Enlace Latino NC/Southerly

North Carolina’s COVID-19 cases continue to climb, and the state’s Black and Latino populations are being hit the hardest. Black citizens comprise about 22% of the state’s population, but they account for a third of deaths. And nearly half of the people who have tested positive identify as Hispanic, even though the group makes up less than 10% of the state’s population. 

Chris Seward, File / AP Photo

  The U.S. Army has quarantined 90 soldiers and instructors in the Special Forces school who tested positive for the coronavirus during a survival course at Fort Bragg.

NC Department of Commerce

In 2013, North Carolina’s legislature voted to cut unemployment benefits, shortening the number of eligibility weeks and capping the amount of funds workers could draw. 

In this Dec. 5, 2008 file photo, a rack with forms to assist the unemployed and job seekers is seen at a New York State Department of Labor career center in Albany, N.Y.
Mike Groll / AP, File

This story was originally published by ProPublica.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

North Carolina residents have lived under various rules and policies throughout the gradual reopening, and last week Governor Roy Cooper added a new one to the list: a statewide mandate to wear face coverings.

Growing evidence shows that face masks can help reduce the spread of the virus. Yet some people, like President Donald Trump, are still reluctant to wear one.

We talk with Dr. Julia Marcus, an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, about the rhetoric tied to wearing a face mask and how public health messaging can adapt. We also hear from a hygiene expert about a possible future for sports fans.


Public Domain pxhere.com

All North Carolinians living and working in nursing homes will soon receive a one-time coronavirus test, the state announced Tuesday.

Thierry Raimbault/Flickr / https://bit.ly/2YH4TU6

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 June 22.

2:44 p.m. - Hopscotch organizers have canceled this year's Raleigh-based music festival. Dates have been scheduled for mid-September 2021. - Rebecca Martinez, WUNC

As Black, Latinx, and Indigenous populations continue to endure a disproportionate number of COVID-19-related deaths, state and local health departments are working to increase access to testing and other health care services for communities of color.

Host Leoneda Inge travels to a free testing site in a predominantly Black community in Tallahassee, FL, and talks with Dr. Cardra Burns, senior deputy director of the North Carolina Division of Public Health, about our state’s efforts to bolster testing and break down systemic barriers to health care.

We also make a big announcement about the podcast and hear from musician Shana Tucker about her experience performing “America the Beautiful” on the cello as a Confederate monument was recently disassembled in Raleigh.

Our thanks to the News & Observer for supplying some of this episode’s audio.

Correction: a previous version of this story misidentified Dr. Cardra Burns as the senior deputy secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Cooper at a lecturn.
UNC-TV

North Carolina will remain in Phase 2 of reopening until at least July 17. Governor Roy Cooper also announced a mask requirement that goes into effect today at 5 p.m. 

File Photo, Courtesy Governor Roy Cooper Twitter

North Carolina is not meeting the health trends required to move to the next phase of reopening, explained State Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen in Wednesday's coronavirus briefing.

A group of women sit around a table. A sign behind them reads "Think Babies."
North Carolina Early Education Coalition

Even before COVID-19 began to impact childcare center operations across the state, half of North Carolina was a childcare desert — a geographic area where three or more working-parent families vy for every available childcare slot. 

The state Department of Health and Human Services reports three clusters of COVID-19 at childcare centers across North Carolina. A “cluster” is defined as five or more cases, with links between cases, at a licensed or regulated childcare facility.

As state health officials try to mitigate these clusters, parents and childcare directors must grapple with what’s best for kids’ safety. About a third of all childcare centers in the state have remained closed since March, while advocates predict around a third of facilities could close permanently.

We talk with WUNC education reporter Liz Schlemmer about the obstacles childcare owners and parents are facing. We also hear about a camp that’s adjusting to a different kind of summer.

Andrew Harnik, File / AP Photo

Landlords in North Carolina can begin filing evictions this week, after a statewide moratorium on eviction proceedings lifted Monday. That means a wave of North Carolina tenants could soon face eviction hearings in court.

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 June 15.

5:05 p.m. - North Carolinians must now wear a mask in public where it is difficult to maintain physical distance from others. Governor Roy Cooper's executive order went into effect at 5 p.m. The mandate relies largely on the honor system although law enforcement will be able to issue citations to businesses that do not require employees and customers to wear masks. However, several sheriffs have said they will not enforce the governor's order. Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department is warning that "mask exemption" cards circulating on the Internet are fraudulent and do not carry the weight of law. – Rebecca Martinez, WUNC

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