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.  

Jones Price-O'Neil, looks through the window of his home in Raleigh, N.C. on Friday, April 24, 2020. Jones and his older sister Prestyn, like many children, are staying home and being home-schooled by their parents, TJ and Justine.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

These last few weeks have tested many North Carolinians, as work and school, parenting and extra-curricular activities have moved from in-person settings to virtual spaces. For many, it's been an opportunity to explore a new, albeit temporary, way of living.

Governor Roy Cooper is eyeing next weekend for a move into the first phase of re-opening the North Carolina economy, even as the key metrics and trends on COVID-19 in the state offer mixed messages.

We talk with Rose Hoban, the editor of North Carolina Health News, about the trends and numbers, the crisis in meat-processing plants, and what kind of help hospitals can expect from the General Assembly.


State officials and members of the North Carolina coronavirus response team will hold a public briefing at 2 p.m. Friday. Watch live here:

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

The nation’s meat supply was declared ‘critical infrastructure’ by the White House Tuesday. The order detailed that ‘the closure of a single large beef processing facility can result in the loss of over 10 million individual servings of beef in a single day.’ 

David Boraks / WFAE

People in Gaston County are debating the need for a continued statewide stay-at-home order as some county leaders say they'll support any businesses that want to reopen. Gov. Roy Cooper says reopening too early could cost lives. 

In the NC House, Donnny Lambeth (R-Forsyth) reads from notes, as Speaker Tim Moore stands behind. At left (masked) is Principal House clerk James White.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Lawmakers in the state House and Senate are still working on a compromise COVID-19 relief package.

On Thursday, House lawmakers approved a $1.7 billion dollar package. GOP Representative Perrin Jones praised the bipartisan effort, and noted that the profound impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have not been equally felt.

NASCAR announced Thursday that it will resume its season without fans starting May 17 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina with the premier Cup Series racing three more times in a 10-day span.

North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler
N.C. Department of Agriculture / Twitter

North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said he fully supports President Trump's decision to declare meat processing facilities essential and mandate them to stay operational.

Holden Thorp
Washington University in St Louis

Recent polls have shown that a strong majority of Americans trust the most prominent scientists during this pandemic, like Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx.

Their ability to communicate complicated scientific topics has helped them gain the public trust, for the most part. But that doesn't mean there's not a lot of misinformation put out every day; some of it extremely harmful.

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the North Carolina coronavirus response team will hold a public briefing at 3 p.m. Thursday.

Watch Live here:

Talking Science

Apr 30, 2020

There's perhaps never been a time where effective and accurate science communication has been more crucial. It's become, quite frankly, life and death for tens of thousands of people.

We talk with Holden Thorp, the editor-in-chief of Science, one of the leading scientific journals in the world.

Before taking that role, he was a chemist, the provost at Washington University in St Louis, and the chancellor at UNC-Chapel Hill.


A banana with a condom on it.
Pixabay

Can you do condom demonstration over Zoom? What about teaching comprehensive sexual education? In the midst of a pandemic, the answer is unclear. On this segment of Embodied, host Anita Rao talks with Elizabeth Finley about gaps in sex ed brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Wall crouched on the street wearing a mask surrounded by protestors.
The News & Observer Staff

As death tolls rise, new testing information surfaces and doctors race to find a vaccine for COVID-19, breaking news is not in short supply. 
 

Courtesy of Justin Catanoso

When in-person classes were cancelled for the semester at Wake Forest University, Professor Justin Catanoso knew he would have to break some of his own rules. 

Protestor holds a sign that reads 'end the tyranny.'
Kate Medley / For WUNC

State lawmakers are working out details − and their differences − on legislation to distribute more than $1 billion dollars in coronavirus relief funds.

ICU bed modeling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sheps Center for Health Services Research

Updated modeling shows social distancing is working, and the spread of the coronavirus has slowed in North Carolina.

But that doesn't mean the state is in the clear.

Paying for the Pandemic

Apr 29, 2020

It's been another busy day in Raleigh as state lawmakers try to shape and support North Carolina's recovery from COVID-19, and decide how much money they will have and where to spend it.

There's some evidence that Medicaid expansion might have bipartisan support, at least during the pandemic.

We speak with WUNC's Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii about the competing budget proposals, and what differences might need to be reconciled before the state can get financial relief.


North Carolina House Democrats held a virtual press conference to promote Medicaid expansion.
NC House Democrats / Twitter

Some Democrats in the General Assembly are again pushing for Medicaid expansion as state lawmakers debate emergency funding proposals during the pandemic. 

A group of Democrats in the state House on Wednesday rolled out a bill that would repeal a law preventing North Carolina from expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Lawyers representing residents of a nursing home in Rowan County have filed suit against the facility, which has the largest documented outbreak of COVID-19 of any nursing home in the state.

The mayors of Gaston County's 12 cities and towns pushed back Wednesday night against county statements earlier in the day that businesses could open, despite Gov. Roy Cooper's extension of a stay-at-home order until May 8.

Legislators look out the window to see packed protestors.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

North Carolina lawmakers gaveled in Tuesday for a legislative session unlike any other — their first since the coronavirus pandemic hit the state. 

Creative Commons/Steve Mohundro

“Writers write.” “Publish or perish.” Even without a global pandemic, writers face constant pressure to produce new material. But for the first-time novelist, publishing a book when bookstores are closed for browsing, signings and readers is particularly tough. 

Disruptions to everyday life caused by the coronavirus pandemic are putting a strain on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Some are seeking help virtually.

State lawmakers began session Tuesday as REOpenNC protesters gathered on Jones Street in downtown Raleigh.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

The state House and Senate are split over how much COVID-19 relief to provide in the immediacy. The discord may be typical, but it's hardly business at usual on West Jones Street in Raleigh.

The General Assembly will need to reach agreement on the amount to earmark for small business loans and whether to provide COVID-19 medical coverage for those in the healthcare gap.

As North Carolina’s stay-at-home order continues, hundreds of protestors – like Gary Jesmock — are having weekly marches in Raleigh.

The governor of North Carolina said Tuesday that NASCAR can go forward with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway without fans in attendance at the end of May unless health conditions deteriorate in the state.

Here And There

Apr 28, 2020

As they did last week, several hundred protestors marched in Raleigh today, calling for the state to be "re-opened" immediately.

At about the same time, the General Assembly began its short session, looking to allocate about $1.5 billion, and Governor Roy Cooper gave his latest update.

But instead of what's going on in the city, it's the rural and suburban nature of North Carolina that might be helping protect us from the worst of the pandemic.

We talk to Keith Debbage, a professor of geography at UNC-Greensboro, about why some states with similar sized populations are experiencing much worse Covid-19 outcomes.


Winston, the McLean family pet, became the first dog to test positive for COVID-19.
Heather McLean / c/o Duke University

A dog belonging to a family in the Triangle has tested positive for COVID-19. It's the first known case of the coronavirus infecting a dog in the United States.

Steve Helber / AP Photo

For many people, travel insurance has been little more than a box that pops up on a booking site to offer some cheap peace of mind.

Sign reads: No worries! We have plenty of toilet paper.
Courtesy of Lisa Leatherwood

Nursing homes are the source of more than 40% of North Carolina’s reported COVID-19 deaths so far. These facilities house some of our most vulnerable community members, many of whom need personal care — things like help going to the bathroom or brushing teeth. As of Tuesday, the data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shows that 48 nursing homes and 20 residential care facilities (which include adult and family care homes) have outbreaks

Pages