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Thursday coronavirus updates: North Carolina prepares to enter Phase 1 of reopening

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

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. 

Check It Out: Latest Coronavirus News

THURSDAY, MAY 7, 2020

8:45 p.m. - Caswell County reports its first COVID-19 related death in the county.

The Caswell County Health Department said the person who died had several underlying medical conditions. 

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of one of our community members,” said Health Director, Jennifer Eastwood. “We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the friends and loved ones of this individual. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during what has been a very difficult time.”

Caswell County is now reporting 38 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of this pandemic. Of these 38 cases, six have recovered from the virus and are no longer in isolation, thirteen are still in isolation at home, two are hospitalized, and there has been one death.

5:15 p.m. - Davidson County will be receiving $2,977,053 to cover immediate expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ninety-seven of North Carolina’s counties will receive funding through the 2020 COVID-19 Recovery Act, which established a $300-million Local Government Coronavirus Reserve.

4:22 p.m. - The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles was notified today that an employee at the DMV headquarters in Raleigh tested positive for COVID-19. 

The employee, who worked in an area not open to the public, was last in the building on Wednesday, May 6.

Those individuals will be notified directly by public health officials and provided medical information as soon as possible.

DMV is immediately closing the headquarters on New Bern Avenue to all customers and personnel. A thorough cleaning by a professional service will take place. Once the building has been cleaned it will be certified as safe to reopen. There is not a set timetable for completing that process.

4:20 p.m. - Winston-Salem to provide seniors with free masks. 

Mask the City officials announced today that Tuesday, May 12 has been designated as Senior Day. 

On May 12, teams of volunteers will provide free Nightingale™ face masks to seniors 65 and older at nine drive-thru locations throughout Winston-Salem. Seniors must present identification to receive masks, which are being limited to one per senior with a maximum of two per car.

Mask the City officials said a total of 20,000 masks will be given to seniors on May 12 beginning at 11 a.m. The nine distribution sites are:

  1. BB&T Ballpark/Dash

951 Ballpark Way

(Enter off Broad Street)

  1. Bowman Gray East Parking Lot

1301 South Martin Luther King Jr Drive

  1. St. Peter’s World Outreach

3683 Old Lexington Road

  1. Carver High School

3545 Carver School Road

  1. LJVM Coliseum

2825 University Parkway

  1. Fulton Family YMCA

385 West Hanes Mill Road

  1. Mt. Tabor High School

342 Petree Road

  1. Calvary Baptist

134 South Peace Haven Road

  1. Forsyth Tech Bolton Street/West Campus

1300 Bolton Street

Although the masks distributed on May 12 will be free of charge, many seniors have asked for an opportunity to pay for masks. Mask the City will have volunteers from Truist at each of the nine locations to accept cash contributions. Contributions also can be made online at maskthecity.com. Gifts made either in-person or online will help offset some of the cost of the 20,000 masks and help fund future masks for the community.

4:15 p.m. - The City of High Point Transit System will require passengers to wear protective masks or face coverings beginning May 11, 2020.

The mask must cover passengers’ noses and mouths. Passengers who do not have a mask or face covering will be given a disposable mask.

This requirement was established in accordance with the CDC advisory to use a simple cloth face covering to slow the spread of COVID-19.

High Point Transit will continue to operate fare-free until further notice, but passengers must have an intended destination.

Credit: WFMY News 2
Bus riders must wear masks in High Point

3:15 p.m. - Guilford County Health Department is providing COVID-19 testing.

Testing will be done by appointment only and must be scheduled in advance by calling 336641-7527.  Confidential pre-screening will also take place during the call to confirm a person is a candidate for testing.  We recommend that individuals arrive by vehicle to maintain social distancing. 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.  If a person is uninsured, testing will still take place. 

Testing has started and takes place from Monday – Friday, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Testing will take place on the UNC Greensboro campus.  The specific site information will be given once an appointment is made. 

RELATED: Guilford County provides COVID-19 community testing

3:10 p.m. - High Point University is supporting firefighters in the city of High Point with 500 ponchos to boost their personal protection equipment stock through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Credit: High Point University
High Point University donates ponchos to firefighters for COVID-19 safety

3:05 p.m. - Surry County offering COVID-19 testing locations.

Testing will take place at three Surry County locations on Monday from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm. Tests are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Test seekers may receive a COVID-19 test with or without symptoms. There are a limited number of free tests available for qualifying Surry County residents. For those patients with insurance, please bring a current insurance card, photo identification, and a valid phone number. It is anticipated the results will be available for those tested by Friday, May 15. It is imperative for those tested to understand that they must self-isolate in their homes until they receive their test results.

Northern Regional Hospital in Mount Airy, will host their drive-thru testing in the NRH parking lot located at the corner of S. South and Haymore Streets. Patients should follow directional signage and enter from Haymore Street. For more details visit choosenorthern.org/coronavirus.

Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital will host two drive-thru testing sites, one at their main campus in Elkin and a second at Hugh Chatham Express Care in Dobson. To enter the testing site on the hospital campus in Elkin, please enter on the southern entrance of Parkwood Drive directly across from Pruitt Health. The Dobson testing site will be in the parking lot where the Hugh Chatham Express Care is located, on 911 East Atkins Street. Patients visiting either of these locations should follow directional signage for entrance. Additional information will be available on the HCMH Facebook page.

3:00 p.m. - The City of Greensboro and the United Way of Greater Greensboro have provided 30,000 free face coverings to Greensboro residents. 

The campaign, which began April 29, was underwritten by the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation.

“Several stores and online outlets had a scarce supply of face coverings, so the City wanted to provide the public with a face covering at no charge,” said City Manager David Parrish. “We have relied on Cone Health’s leadership throughout this pandemic and they stress the importance of wearing a face covering in public. This is a necessary step in flattening the Covid-19 curve in Greensboro.”

The face coverings were distributed at the City’s Melvin Municipal Office Building and United Way’s office on Yanceyville Street. The fabric coverings are reusable and it’s recommended to be worn at all times in public, where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

2:30 p.m. - The Rockingham County Library system is offering free curb-side pickup. Eden, Reidsville, and Madison-Mayodan branches are accepting holds for materials.

Each patron can log on to the library system at rcpl.org and follow the instruction on how to place a book on hold. If there are any questions the branches are manning the phones to answer your questions or help to acquire the books needed. (Contact your local branch for more information.)

The Bookmobile is available Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for WIFI access. Tuesday we are in the parking lot at the Eden Walmart. On Wednesday we are in the Reidsville Walmart parking lot, and on Thursday we are at the Walmart in Madison-Mayodan.

2 p.m. - NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen and Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry will give an update on the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

  • Dr. Cohen said pediatric clinics are making adjustments to adhere to social distancing so that children can still get the vaccinations they need.
  • Sprayberry said more PPE has come in, but gowns are still difficult to come by. 
  • Sprayberry said around 150 hotspot services will be set up around the state for students to have internet access for schoolwork. 
  • Dr. Cohen addressed racial profiling while wearing masks on Wednesday. On Thursday, she said she was not aware of any instances of this in North Carolina, but said it has become an issue in other countries, so NCDHHS wanted to address it. 
  • Dr. Cohen said swimming pools should remain closed during Phase 1, but they will be able to reopen for Phase 2. 

1:00 p.m. - Nine more Triad Goodwill retail stores will open on Friday. 

Starting Friday, May 8, the following retail stores will open daily at 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.:

3739 West Gate City Boulevard, Greensboro

303 East Arbor Lane, Eden

101 Pointe S Drive, Randleman

2246 NC-86, Yanceyville

4808 West Market Street, Greensboro

2205 NC-150, Oak Ridge

2012 North Main Street, High Point

2415 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro

5301 Samet Drive, High Point

They will join our lineup of stores that opened last week:

1064 East Dixie Drive, Asheboro

1235 South Eugene Street, Greensboro

3519 North Elm Street, Greensboro

11316 North Main Street, Archdale

6625 NC-135, Mayodan

3921 Battleground Avenue

3740 South Church Street, Burlington

Noon - Belk announced it will open North Carolina stores on Monday, May 11. The stores will have limited hours from noon to 6 p.m. Under Phase 1, retailers can open and operate at 50-percent capacity with social distancing measures in place. 

Additionally, Friendly Center in Greensboro announced it would open its shops back up on Saturday, May 9. 

Beginning Saturday, May 9, Friendly Center will reopen from 11 a.m. ... to 7 p.m. Monday thru Saturday and 12 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. We have implemented a number of protective measures to keep our employees, retail partners, & community healthy. You can read more here: https://bit.ly/3betMtm

11 a.m. - North Carolina now has 13,397 positive coronavirus cases - an increase of 639 cases since Wednesday. Thirty more people died from the virus, bringing the statewide total to 507, according to the NCDDHS. Randolph County had one more death since Wednesday. Here's a look at case numbers for Triad counties

News to note: 

  • You'll want to look up to the skies today. The North Carolina Air National Guard will perform a flyover from the mountains to the coast. Check out the route to see when they'll be in the Winston-Salem and Greensboro areas. 
  • Retailers in the Triad are preparing their stores to reopen for Phase 1 on Friday. Some will require customers to wear masks, others will not. All stores will operate at only 50-percent capacity to help maintain social distancing. Here's everything you need to know about Phase 1. 
  • Belk announced it plans to open it's North Carolina stores on May 11. 
  • Friendly Center announced it will reopen Saturday, May 9th. It says it will still enforce certain social distancing rules and only certain stores will be reopen. You can see the full release here.
  • A father and daughter are getting through the coronavirus crisis together - they both work in the emergency room at High Point Regional Medical Center. 
  • Three counties on North Carolina's Outer Banks have announced plans to lift coronavirus-related visitor restrictions. Officials in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties released a joint statement on Wednesday announcing restrictions on entry for visitors will be lifted at noon on Saturday, May 16. Officials are also reminding potential visitors to continue practicing social distancing.

RELATED: 'I've got a long road,' Triad coronavirus patients head home from the hospital to finish recovery

RELATED: Wednesday coronavirus updates: 5th person dies of coronavirus-related illness in Randolph County

RELATED: Coronavirus case updates: Guilford, Forsyth, Davidson, and more Piedmont Triad counties

RELATED: What you need to know about Phase 1 of reopening North Carolina

RELATED: Is takeout food safe? Yes, but the receipt could cause you trouble

RELATED: North Carolina to ease COVID-19 restrictions, enter Phase 1 of reopening Friday

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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