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COVID-19 Blog: Dr. Cohen urges caution ahead of Fourth of July holiday

For immediate questions, call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 866-462-3821 or 2-1-1.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — WFMY News 2 is providing daily coronavirus updates with the latest information from emergency leaders, the state's task force, health departments, universities, school districts, and a lot more.

TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2020

6:32 p.m. - Wake Forest University releases plan for reopening in the fall.

The plan, titled “Our Way Forward,” covers the academic experience, housing and dining accommodations, and campus life. Details are available on the Our Way Forward website. 

Among the key provisions of the plan are:

  • The University will use a variety of teaching modalities to enhance the learning experience. Classes will be delivered online, in-person and through a blend of both. 
  • A public education campaign will outline expectations, and orientation programs will be held for students to help the campus community fully understand changes to campus life and community interactions related to the pandemic.

Undergraduate move-in will begin Aug. 17. On-campus instruction for undergraduate students, announced earlier this month, will run from Aug. 26 to Nov. 24 with no fall break. 

5:30 p.m. - The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County announced three remaining scheduled events in the 2020 Summer Parks Concert Series have been canceled.  

The series announced earlier included three performances at the County’s Tanglewood Park and two at its Triad Park.

The June 21 kick-off concert at Tanglewood Park and the July 4 concert at Triad Park had been canceled previously to comply with crowd restrictions contained in the Governor’s COVID-19 Phase Two Order.  

5:15 p.m. - Burlington Royals cancel 2020 season.

5:00 p.m. - The Greensboro Grasshoppers, in conjunction with Major League and Minor League Baseball, announced today that the 2020 season has been officially canceled. 

“It is with much sadness that we make this announcement,” said Grasshoppers President and General Manager Donald Moore. “We had hoped to play at least a partial schedule but the longer we went without this happening, the less likely this alternative became,” Moore continued.

This announcement ends a streak of 40 consecutive years of professional baseball in Greensboro. “We look forward to celebrating with our community in 2021 when Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball returns,” Moore concluded.

The Grasshoppers are a Single-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates and have been recognized  6-times in the last 15 years with the South Atlantic League Club Merit Award, given annually to the most outstanding league franchise.

4:20 p.m. - The U.S. Postal Service has learned that an employee at the High Point Main Post Office tested positive for the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

They have contacted the public health office and will follow the guidance they provide. They believe the risk is low for employees who work at the High Point Main Post Office.

RELATED: High Point postal worker tests positive for COVID-19

3:30 p.m. - Guilford County to hold COVID-19 testing sites. 

Community testing sites operated by GCDPH in the month of July are listed below: 

• NC A&T campus at Corbett Sports Center, 405 North Benbow Road, Greensboro, NC, 27411 Wednesday, July 1 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, testing is indoors 

• Craft Community Recreation Center, 3911 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro, NC 27405 Monday, July 6, Tuesday, July 7 and Friday, July 10 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM; testing is indoors 

• Allen Jay Recreation Center and Park, 1073 E Springfield Road, High Point, NC 27263 Monday, July 13, Wednesday, July 15 and Friday, July 17 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

Testing is indoors Testing will be done by appointment only and must be scheduled in advance by calling 336- 641-7527.

3:25 p.m. - COVID-19 Testing - Wednesday, July 1, 2020 from 11am - until 2 pm at Mount Zion, 1301 Alamance Church Road, Greensboro, NC. 

As a committed partner in Greensboro, Mount Zion Greensboro will continue to support the community to make a better life for the citizens of Greensboro by serving the families and partners of the city.

All cars are encouraged to enter the church at the main entrance on Alamance Church Road and follow the directions of the officers. 

3:15 p.m. - The Guilford County Board of Education will hold a virtual work session beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, 2020.  

The purpose of the work session is to discuss the district’s plans to reopen schools for the 2020-2021 school year and other matters as needed.  The meeting will be streamed lived on GCSTV (Spectrum Cable digital channel 2 or 74.1 in Guilford County or AT&T U-Verse channel 99) and the district’s YouTube channel.  The agenda may be accessed by clicking here

RELATED: Guilford County Schools launches task forces to help plan for 2020-2021 school year reopening

3:05 p.m. - Petty Family to host an online auction instead of holding this year's "Blue Jeans and Boots."

Petty Family Foundation canceled this year’s “Blue Jeans and Boots” fundraising dinner which has always helped to sustain our mission of supporting such groups as Paralyzed Veterans, Victory Junction Camp for Kids, Hospice of Randolph County, Foundation for Fighting Blindness, Disaster and Hardship Relief, and many other agencies and organizations. 

Instead, the Petty Family Foundation is hosting an exciting online auction where participants can bid on a number of celebrity items, with proceeds going to support the Foundation.  The auction will begin on the King’s birthday July 2 and on Sunday, July 12. 

“This will be an easy way to help others in the community by bidding on some really awesome items that belong to my Daddy,” said Rebecca Petty Moffitt, Executive Director of the Petty Family Foundation. “We’ll have everything from original artwork to a  Marcus Ambrose suit fire suit in a shadow box and signed by the King.”

Here is the link to the auction: https://www.nascarfoundation.org/pettyfamilyfoundationauction

To make a donation, please mail your check to:  Petty Family Foundation, 311 Branson Mill Road, Randleman, NC 27317, attention Shannon Newman, or you can pay through our website www.pettyfamilyfoundation.org.

2 p.m. - NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen and State Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry gave a live COVID-19 update for the state. You can watch the full briefing here

  • NCDHHS is expanding testing at private nursing home facilities through a new partnership with CVS. 
  • Dr. Cohen says many people who have COVID-19 don't know it. Symptoms may not show up for a few days. She said this is why it's so important to wear a mask in public. 
  • Cohen said states like Texas and Florida should serve as cautionary tales ahead of the Fourth of July holiday. She urged people to practice the three Ws: wear, wait and wash. 
  • The death rate in people over 75 is between 15-17 percent, Cohen said recent data shows. 
  • Cohen said one of the most important things they want to do is get kids back to school, and people wearing face coverings can help this further along. 
  • Cohen said we're seeing workplace spread, which could be one of the factors for an upward trend of cases. 
  • Cohen urged people to pick up their phones if they see a number calling from NCDHHS or their local health department because it could be a contact tracer letting them know they may have been exposed to COVID-19. 
  • The majority of cases in North Carolina are between the ages of 18-49. Cohen said these are people who probably need to go out to work, and there's more opportunity for the virus to spread. Younger people may not experience symptoms, but they still pose a risk of spreading the virus to an older, more vulnerable person. 

12:10 p.m. - NCDHHS releases latest coronavirus numbers. New confirmed COVID-19 cases topped 1,000 once again, testing increased, and hospitalizations also increased.

Statewide reports as of Tuesday, June 30

  • 64,670 CASES (UP 1,186)
  • 1,343 DEATHS (UP 18)
  • 910,033 TESTS (UP 23,728)
  • 908 HOSPITALIZED (UP 65) (SECOND-HIGHEST HOSPITALIZATION DAY, BEHIND LAST TUESDAY); (90% OF HOSPITALS REPORTING) (822/2654 = 31% VENTILATORS IN USE FOR ALL AILMENTS)

Number of cases and deaths, county-by-county

  • ALAMANCE – 1,121 CASES, 37 DEATHS (7 new case, 0 new deaths)
  • CASWELL – 135 CASES, 1 DEATH (0 new case, 0 new deaths)
  • CHATHAM – 950 CASES, 43 DEATHS (3 new cases, 1 new deaths)
  • DAVIDSON – 946 CASES, 15 DEATHS (10 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • DAVIE – 199 CASES, 3 DEATHS (6 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • FORSYTH – 2,996 CASES, 34 DEATHS (18 new cases, 0 new deaths) 
  • GUILFORD – 2,812 CASES, 114 DEATHS (37 new cases, 3 new deaths)
  • MONTGOMERY – 309 CASES, 7 DEATHS (4 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • RANDOLPH – 1,174 CASES, 29 DEATHS (19 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • ROCKINGHAM – 231 CASES, 2 DEATHS (8 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • STOKES – 125 CASES, 1 DEATHS (0 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • SURRY – 470 CASES, 2 DEATH (6 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • WILKES – 576 CASES, 6 DEATHS (0 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • YADKIN – 332 CASES, 4 DEATH (2 new cases, 0 new deaths)

12:00 p.m. - High Point Rockers to forego 2020 professional baseball season due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, along with concerns for player, fan, and staff health and safety, the High Point Rockers announced today they will forego their 2020 professional baseball season with their counterparts in the Atlantic League in pursuit of other opportunities. The organization, in conjunction with the City of High Point and the Guilford County Division of Public Health, are actively working on a plan to re-open the stadium in efforts to create additional community events at the newly renamed Truist Point for the remainder of the year.

“The entire Rockers organization has worked tirelessly to provide a season of professional baseball at Truist Point this summer,” noted Pete Fisch, Team President. “After reviewing the options and the risks, the right decision was to not play this year. It is disappointing but our concerns for player, fan, and staff safety outweigh the potential benefits.”

A key factor in the team’s decision was the travel quarantine mandate issued last week by the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The mandate requires a 14-day quarantine for any travelers from states with a high level of coronavirus cases, including North Carolina. The Rockers would be scheduled to travel to New York to play the Long Island Ducks throughout an abbreviated season.

“The quarantine requirement in New York put our schedule in jeopardy and would restrict our ability to play the Long Island club,” Fisch added. “There is no way around that.”

11:30 a.m. - Clapp's Nursing Home in Pleasant Garden is celebrating a big milestone during the pandemic. All COVID-positive residents have now tested negative for the virus, and those who never had the virus have now tested negative for more than 10 weeks straight. 

RELATED: Clapp's Nursing Home announces recovery from COVID-19

7:45 a.m. - What should schools do to keep kids safe when school starts? Governor Cooper is expected to make an announcement on the plan for schools sometime this week. Plus, we're talking about masks and businesses. Can a business refuse you service if you aren't wearing a mask? Join the live conversation on AFTER GMS.

MONDAY, JUNE 29, 2020

5:08 p.m. - Guilford County announces COVID testing sites for the following locations in July.

Wednesday, July 1

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, testing is indoors

• Craft Community Recreation Center, 3911 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro, NC 27405 

Monday, July 6, Tuesday, July 7 and Friday, July 10

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM; testing is indoors

• Allen Jay Recreation Center and Park, 1073 E Springfield Road, High Point, NC 27263

Testing will be done by appointment only and must be scheduled in advance by calling 336-641-7527. Confidential pre-screening will also take place during the call to confirm a person is a candidate for testing. Testing is available regardless of insurance status. If the individual has private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare they will be asked to bring their insurance card.

There is no out-of-pocket-cost to the patient. If a person is uninsured, testing can still take place. The testing event is open to all Guilford County residents. Those who are planning to come to a testing site are asked to please wear a face covering.

Please note that only those who fall into high-risk categories for COVID-19 will be tested.

3:00 p.m. - The North Carolina Division of Employment Security is taking recommended health and safety precautions after one of its employees received a diagnosis of COVID-19.

The facility where the individual’s workstation is located has been sanitized and other staff assigned to that location are working remotely to further prevent the spread of illness.

DES continues to provide claims processing and customer services.

2:30 p.m. - Due to COVID 19 and the restriction on large public gatherings, the Winston-Salem Dash will not be hosting the city’s annual Independence Day fireworks show.

Noon - NCDHHS releases latest COVID-19 numbers. 

It's too early to tell the data impact from North Carolina's mask mandate, but new cases increased by more than 1,300 from Sunday into Monday. The hospitalization curve appears to be stabilizing. There were three more COVID deaths, but none were in the Triad counties.

NEW RECOVERY NUMBERS: 

45,538 presumed recoveries / 63,484 total cases = 71% (higher than last Monday’s percentage)

MORE STATEWIDE NUMBERS: 

  • 63,484 CASES (UP 1,342)
  • 1,325 DEATHS (UP 3) (no Triad county deaths)
  • 886,305 TESTS (UP 14,400)
  • 843 HOSPITALIZED (DOWN 47) (only 75% hospitals reporting data)
  • 45,538 PRESUMED RECOVERIES (71%)
  • 9% of tests from Sunday were positive (down from the 10% streak) 

SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 2020

12:42 p.m. According to the NCDHHS, Guilford County now has 2,743 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 111 deaths.

12:30 p.m. As of Sunday at 12 p.m. there are 62,142 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina according to the NCDHHS. 

SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 2020

5:16 p.m. According to the NCDHHS, Guilford County has 2,690 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 111 deaths. 

5:11 p.m. As of Saturday at 12 p.m. there are 60,537 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina according to the NCDHHS. 

FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2020

8:46 p.m. Face masks are officially mandatory in North Carolina in accordance with Governor Cooper's latest executive order aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. Now the question is how will the mandate be enforced?

RELATED: How will North Carolina's face mask requirement be enforced?

8:40 p.m. Gyms and bars were to open Friday with phase 3. Then Gov. Roy Cooper extended phase 2, meaning they'll stay closed. Doctors say it's to prevent more Covid-19 cases.

RELATED: Triad bar owners are unhappy their businesses will stay closed with phase 2 extension

2:00 p.m. - North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Press Conference. Dr. Mandy Cohen and the NCDHHS Coronavirus Task Force provides updates on the state's response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

12:30 p.m. - The White House coronavirus task force to hold first public briefing in nearly 2 months. Vice President Mike Pence offers his condolences to the people and families affected by the coronavirus as case numbers soar past 2.5 million total confirmed cases in the United States.

Noon - The state health department reported more than 1,600 new cases and a surge in testing, ahead of the statewide mask mandate. Forsyth County reported 77 new cases and two new deaths. Case counts also notably increased in Guilford, Randolph and Alamance Counties.

Numbers to Note:

58,818 CASES (UP 1,635) 

1297 DEATHS (UP 13)

836,725 TESTS (UP 25,447) 

892 HOSPITALIZED (UP 1)

90% HOSPITALS REPORTING; 874/2468  or 35% of all ventilators are in use, health officials said. Not all of those ventilators are being used for COVID-19 purposes, authorities said.

County Statistics:

  • ALAMANCE – 1032 CASES, 36 DEATHS (23 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • CASWELL – 128 CASES, 1 DEATH (3 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • CHATHAM – 916 CASES, 42 DEATHS (6 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • DAVIDSON – 868 CASES, 15 DEATHS (37 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • DAVIE –177 CASES, 3 DEATHS (8 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • FORSYTH – 2,788 CASES, 33 DEATHS (73 new cases, 2 new deaths) 
  • GUILFORD – 2,645 CASES, 111 DEATHS (49 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • MONTGOMERY – 274 CASES, 7 DEATHS (5 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • RANDOLPH – 1,116 CASES, 29 DEATHS (26 new cases, 1 new death)
  • ROCKINGHAM – 194 CASES, 2 DEATHS (15 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • STOKES – 121 CASES, 1 DEATH (6 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • SURRY – 437 CASES, 2 DEATHS (19 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • WILKES – 564 CASES, 6 DEATHS (3 new cases, 0 new deaths)
  • YADKIN – 299 CASES, 4 DEATH (6 new cases, 0 new deaths)

7:45 a.m. - Join our live conversation on After GMS. We've got two topics to discuss this morning. First, bars, gyms, entertainment venues, and amusement parks all have to wait to reopen until phase three in North Carolina, but what business would you like to see open first? Next, we're talking about traveling during COVID-19. Would you travel somewhere if it meant you had to quarantine upon arrival or when you returned? 

News to note: 

Governor Roy Cooper's face mask mandate goes into effect today at 5 p.m. The order does not apply to people who have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. Law enforcement officials in the Triad say their goal isn't to issue citations for those not wearing masks. Instead, they hope people will voluntarily comply with the order. 

RELATED: Law enforcement to encourage voluntary compliance, not citations for face mask mandate

RELATED: Face coverings mandatory in public; pause placed on phase 3 of reopening North Carolina

RELATED: VERIFY: Face mask exempt card is 'fraudulent,' doesn't actually do anything

FACTS NOT FEAR

Remember facts, not fear when talking about the coronavirus. You should take the same measures recommended by health leaders to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses. That means washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes.

WHERE YOU GET INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS IS IMPORTANT

It is important to make sure the information you are getting about the coronavirus is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. Be careful not to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media. 

For more information visit the CDC OR NCDHHS

NC CORONAVIRUS HOTLINE 

The state also has a special hotline set up where you can call 866-462-3821 for more information on the coronavirus. You can also submit questions online at ncpoisoncontrol.org or select chat to talk with someone about the virus.

You can also text keyword VIRUS to WFMY News 2 at 336-379-5775 to find out more information. 

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