GREENSBORO, N.C. — It’s important to remember facts not fear when it comes to finding out more about the coronavirus and how to filter that information.
WFMY News 2 is providing coronavirus updates with the latest information from emergency leaders, the state's task force, health departments, universities, school districts, large sporting events like the ACC, NCAA and a lot more.
For immediate questions call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 866-462-3821. You can also text the keyword VIRUS to 336-379-5775 for this information.
THURSDAY, MARCH 12
8:45 p.m. - The Carolina Thunderbirds has suspended operations
The Carolina Thunderbirds have suspended operations effective immediately until further notice. The Thunderbirds front office will be contacting all season ticket holders and those who have purchased group tickets to coordinate a solution for possible missed games.
5:53 p.m. - Winston-Salem canceling all non-essential city-sponsored events
The city released the following guidelines:
"With two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County, Mayor Allen Joines announced that the city is taking additional measures to slow the spread of the disease within the community and within the city workforce.
"Effectively immediately, city departments have been instructed to cancel all non-essential city-sponsored events that involve public participation."
The city said it is also canceled all business travel outside the country and has stepped up sanitizing city facilities, especially door handles and other surfaces.
According to the city, no employees have tested positive for the virus. On Thursday, the city learned that two of its employees has been directly or indirectly exposed. Both are in self-quarantine, the city said. One employee was exposed to two people who have tested positive for the virus. The other employee has a child who was exposed to someone with the virus and who is exhibiting symptoms.
“Our situation in Winston-Salem is rapidly evolving,” Joines said. “It is imperative that every citizen immediately begin practicing those measures that can slow the spread of the disease. And I urge those who are most at risk, including the elderly and those who have compromised immune systems, to take extra precautions.”
5:12 p.m. - Greensboro Coliseum and Steven Tanger Center for Performing Arts issues statement about upcoming events.
"The Greensboro Coliseum Complex and Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts are aware of the recommendations announced today by Gov. Cooper advising postponing or canceling any gatherings of more than 100 people to help combat the current COVID-19 outbreak. We remain in active communication with our promoters regarding the status of their respective events. As updates become available, we will be communicating revised event and ticketing information to our patrons, media and general public."
5:05 p.m. - The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) has announced the suspension of the remainder of its Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament, which is being held at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
The MEAC said all spring sports competitions are being suspended through the end of the Spring 2020 semester and next week’s Women’s Bowling Championship will also be suspended.
5:04 p.m. - High Point Pre-Market Market Canceled
The High Point Pre-Market was canceled Thursday. Market organizers confirmed the move shortly after Gov. Roy Cooper urged the postponement of gatherings with 100 or more people.
The invitation-only High Point Pre-Market was scheduled for March 16-17. The much larger High Point Market is expected to go on as planned April 25-29.
5:02 p.m. - The Dow lost more than 2,300 points, or 10 percent when markets closed Thursday.
5:00 p.m. - Got questions about the coronavirus? Join the Facebook live chat now. You can also text your coronavirus questions to 336-379-5775.
4:20 p.m. NCAA cancels men's and women's Division I 2020 basketball tournaments and winter and spring championships.
4:38 p.m. - Greensboro Police Department cancels all remaining community meetings with Chief James.
"The City of Greensboro and Greensboro Police based on information from health officials have decided to be proactive to assist residents in maintaining a healthy community. Due to the constantly evolving situation, at this time there are no plans to reschedule the meetings. The Greensboro Police Department will continue to operate as normal and residents can expect the continued normal service from Officers and the Department."
3:51 p.m. - WSSU Athletics will immediately suspend the 2020 spring season.
3:45 p.m. - Gov. Cooper gives an update on the coronavirus.
3:35 p.m. - Major League Baseball has joined the list of professional sports suspending play over concerns about the coronavirus.
The statement says the decision Thursday afternoon by Commissioner Robert Manfred was made in the “interests of the safety and well-being of our players, clubs and our millions of loyal fans.”
3:10 p.m. - The ACC announced its basketball teams will not participate in the NCAA Tournament. At this time, the NCAA has not canceled the tournament but has barred fans from attending it.
The FSU basketball program was named the 2020 ACC Champions.
3:00 p.m. - State officials say there are now 15 total cases of coronavirus. Two of the newest cases are out of Mecklenburg County.
2:30 p.m. - Guilford County health officials said they are prepared to respond to coronavirus if a case should arise in the county. Guilford officials said they have not been in contact with Forsyth County health officials regarding the two cases there, but said they are confident Forsyth officials will update them about the investigation if necessary.
2:00 p.m. - Forsyth County health officials will hold a press conference at the Chamber of Commerce. Two cases of coronavirus have been identified in Forsyth County.
1:45 p.m. - The 2020 NCHSAA Basketball State Championships postponed indefinitely.
Spring sports suspended indefinitely including workouts, skill development, practices & contests.
1:30 p.m. - NASCAR announced race events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway will go on without fans in attendance.
12:16 p.m. - The ACC announced the 2020 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament is CANCELED. The announcement comes just hours after ACC Commission John Swofford said the afternoon games "are ready to tip" while acknowledging "the situation is fluid."
11:30 a.m. - NCHSAA said state high school basketball championships will go on this weekend, just not with fans. Two Triad teams are competing in title games.
10:00 a.m. - ACC Commissioner John Swofford will speak to media at 10 a.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum. The press conference comes a day after the ACC announced it would bar fans from the remaining games of the tournament. Watch the press conference live on our Facebook page.
9:15 a.m. - State leaders have identified 12 total cases of coronavirus in North Carolina, two of which are in Forsyth County. Officials say the patients are in isolation and doing well.
7:15 a.m. - The NBA G League announced it is suspending games amid coronavirus concerns, effective after tonight's games. The G league includes the Greensboro Swarm.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11
10:00 p.m. - Guilford County Schools has canceled all out of state travel, according to an announcement on Colfax Elementary School's Facebook page.
9:51 p.m. - The NBA is suspending its season after Wednesday night’s games until further notice because of the coronavirus concerns.
The NBA has suspended its season “until further notice" after a Utah Jazz player tested positive Wednesday for the coronavirus.
9:35 p.m. - Coronavirus hits Hollywood as Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson both tested positive for COVID-19 while visiting in Australia.
Hanks posted the news on social media Wednesday.
The 63-year-old actor said both himself and Wilson were tired, had cold hands and body aches. They were tested for the new virus, and the results came back positive.
9:26 p.m. - Wake Forest University to suspend all in-person classes, both in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, until further notice.
The University said it will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates.
Find out more details: Wake Forest University coronavirus response
9:00 p.m. - President Trump announces all travel from Europe to the U.S will be suspended for 30 days, effective Friday at midnight.
8:50 p.m. - Got tickets to the NCAA Tournament? Here's what you need to know in order to get a refund.
8:45 p.m. - Another person has tested positive for the coronavirus in North Carolina bringing the total to nine cases.
Health officials said a Durham County resident tested positive but was diagnosed in another state. The person returned through RDU from international travel on March 2. Health leaders said the person who tested positive for the coronavirus will remain isolated in another state.
8:00 p.m. - The ACC Tournament has announced it will bar fans from the rest of the series starting Thursday at the Greensboro Coliseum due to the coronavirus.
It means the ACC Tournament quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship will go on but without fans who’ll only be able to watch the tournament on TV.
The ACC Tournament issued the following statement:
“In light of the rapidly changing landscape regarding COVID-19, the latest developments nationally from health authorities and today’s announcement by the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel, the ACC will alter the remainder of the ACC Tournament. After consultation with the league’s presidents and athletic directors, it was determined that beginning Thursday, March 12, all games will be played with only essential tournament personnel, limited school administrators and student-athlete guests, broadcast television and credentialed media members present.”
7:50 p.m. - North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced another case of coronavirus in North Carolina. The latest case is a person from Wake County who tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total of positive cases in North Carolina to eight.
The tests, conducted by the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, are presumptively positive and will be confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab.
According to the NCDHHS, the person is doing well and is isolating at home.
This case is related to a traveler from Indiana who visited Biogen in Raleigh last week. The Wake County Public Health Division will work to identify close contacts, the NCDHHS said in a press release. The CDC defines close contact as being within about six feet of a person with a COVID-19 infection for 10 minutes or longer.
6:15 p.m. - UNCG said it will suspend face-to-face classes for one week starting March 16, and shift classes online by March 23.
6:00 p.m. - The Big South Conference will conduct this week’s Women’s Basketball Championship tournament at all sites with restricted attendance due to the coronavirus.
Information from the Big South Conference
Only relatives that are admitted through the student-athletes’ player-guest lists and necessary credentialed administrators may attend, as well as essential host/league staff and media. No spirit groups or additional spectators will be permitted. Campbell University and Radford University are scheduled to host quarterfinal and semifinal rounds Thursday and Friday on campus, with the highest remaining seed hosting the Championship game on Sunday.
The Big South is continuing to closely monitor developments of COVID-19. Campbell, Radford and the Conference Office are implementing prevention strategies at the events, and are in contact with local health officials. The Conference will continue to evaluate the situation, and send out updates should any changes occur.
5:35 p.m. - NC State players react to the NCAA Tournament decision to keep fans out of the stands except for families. Players said it will be weird playing without the fans.
5:25 p.m. - All universities in the University of North Carolina System are reverting to alternative course delivery, including online classes, due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
The UNC System has 17 campuses across the state of North Carolina.
1.: Appalachian State University, Website
2.: East Carolina University, Website
3.: Elizabeth City State University, Website
4.: Fayetteville State University, Website
5.: North Carolina A&T State University, Website
6.: North Carolina Central University, Website
7.: North Carolina State University, Website
8.: UNC Asheville, Website
9.: UNC-Chapel Hill, Website
10.: UNC Charlotte, Website
11.: UNC Greensboro, Website
12.: UNC Pembroke, Website
13.: UNC Wilmington, Website
14.: UNC School of the Arts, Website
15.: Western Carolina University, Website
16.: Winston-Salem State University, Website
17.: NC School of Science and Mathematics, Website
5:19 p.m. - ACC Tournament games will go on as scheduled tonight but then tournament leaders will reevaluate.
5:00 p.m. - NASCAR said it will remain daily in talks with public health officials and other prominent sports and entertainment properties.
NASCAR said it has also added an infectious disease specialist to its consulting physician group to provide technical assistance and to inform policy.
NASCAR is implementing several adjustments to race event operations effective this weekend at Atlanta and remaining in effect indefinitely.
4:38 p.m. - March Madness will not have fans in attendance, according to Mark Emmert, NCAA president.
The NCAA statement reads in part, "I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Divison I men's and women's basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance."
Greensboro is scheduled to host the 1st and 2nd rounds on March 20 and March 22.
4:15 p.m. - President Trump said he plans to deliver a prime-time address to the nation Wednesday on the federal response to coronavirus pandemic.
3:26 p.m. - PNC Arena said it’s currently monitoring the coronavirus and it has not made any scheduling changes at this time.
They said any changes would be an event-by-event basis. They’re also taking extra measures to clean the arena.
"We have increased the scope and frequency of cleaning throughout the venue, installed additional hand sanitizer dispensers, as well as signage to remind guests to frequently wash their hands."
3:11 p.m. - Elon University cancels on-campus classes amid coronavirus concerns.
Elon University has become the first college in the Triad to transition from classroom instruction to online learning for two weeks due to coronavirus concerns.
School leaders say students are encouraged to remain at home during the two weeks following Spring Break.
2:55 p.m. – Amtrak said they’re closely monitoring the coronavirus and taking extra precautions.
They are taking the following measures:
- Enhanced cleaning protocols. We have increased the frequency of cleaning service on our trains and at our stations.
- Additional antibacterial products. We have increased the quantity of sanitizers and disinfectant wipes available for customers and employees throughout our trains and stations.
- No change fees on bookings made through April 30, 2020. We are waiving change fees so you can book travel on Amtrak® with confidence, knowing you have the flexibility to change your plans.
Find out more about what Amtrak is doing to monitor the coronavirus.
3:00 p.m. - The Ivy League Presidents will cancel all spring athletics practice and competition through the remainder of the academic year.
Individual institutions will decide whether or not winter teams and student-athletes who have qualified for postseason play will participate.
Find out more about the Ivy League coronavirus response
2:40 p.m. - CDC to give more than $560 million to state and local jurisdictions in support of the coronavirus response.
"These funds will allow public health leaders to implement critical steps necessary to contain and mitigate spread of the virus in communities across the country," said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. North Carolina will be receiving: $13,820,515.20
2:39 p.m. - UNCG has information and dedicated resources to inform students and staff. It has also
UNCG said all buildings are deep cleaned daily, they also have push notifications on their APP and contingency plans in place for housing, working and teaching remotely, and their health center is equipped to assist students.
2:08 p.m. - Novant Health is expanding visitor restrictions due to coronavirus concerns.
Novant Health is asking those who are not immediate family members to avoid visiting patients unless absolutely necessary – even if visitors are healthy and regardless of their age.
Temporary visitor restrictions due to the flu virus outbreak for children age 12 and under remain in effect. These restrictions should not prevent anyone from seeking medical care.
The restrictions apply to the following hospitals throughout the Novant Health system, including:
- Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center
- Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital
- Novant Health Clemmons Medical Center
- Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center
- Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital
- Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center
- Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center
- Novant Health Matthews Medical Center
- Novant Health Medical Park Hospital
- Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center
- Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center
- Novant Health Rowan Medical Center
- Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center
1:00 p.m. - Cone Health is expanding visitor restrictions in efforts to control the spread of coronavirus. The restrictions apply to those who are not immediate family members, even if visitors are healthy and regardless of age. The visitor restrictions are in effect for the following hospitals: Alamance Regional Medical Center, Annie Penn Hospital, Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital, The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, and Wesley Long Hospital.
11:30 a.m. - Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools released an email stating all travel and field trips are canceled until further notice.
11:00 a.m. - Guilford County Schools held a press conference at 11 a.m. to discuss its coronavirus response plan. GCS said at this time, there are no plans to cancel any field trips. They've also supplied schools with extra sanitization items like hand-sanitizer.
TUESDAY, MARCH 10
9:00 p.m. - Duke University has extended Spring Break and temporarily canceled all face-to-face classes in midst of the coronavirus.
“In the past few days, it has become clear that the spread of the virus continues across the country,” the university said in a statement from their website.
The university says all on-campus classes will be suspended until further notice and they will transition to ‘remote instruction’ for all undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools.
Duke says in order to provide students and faculty time to make the transition easier the undergraduate spring break will be extended to Sunday, March 22 and classes will resume on Monday, March 23.
8:15 p.m. - The YMCA Short Course National Championship scheduled for later this month at the Greensboro Aquatic Center has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
The YMCA Short Course National Championship was scheduled for March 30 through April 3. The decision came from the YMCA and not the Greensboro Aquatic Center.
The YMCA of the USA released the following statement Tuesday:
"YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all attendees at our competitive events. As such, we have been monitoring the recent spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as it relates to all attendees at our upcoming YMCA Short Course National Championship to take place at Greensboro Aquatic Center (GAC) March 30-April 3, 2020 and YMCA Diving National Championship to take place at Rosen YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando April 2-5, 2020.
"Out of an abundance of caution, YMCA Short Course National and YMCA Diving National Championships have been canceled. Y-USA has made this decision in order to reduce the risk to all athletes, coaches and families. We did not make this decision in haste, and we know that this news will be disappointing to you."
8:00 p.m. - Guilford County Schools revealed how it plans to respond to the coronavirus.
District leaders want to make sure parents know they've got a plan in place. They said it's meant to ensure schools and their leaders are prepared and not to incite panic.
Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras talked about it at a meeting Tuesday night.
The plan has four phases. The first is preparation and includes students and faculty are practicing basic hygiene.
The next phases deal with the future and things that could happen.
If a case is confirmed in Guilford County, GCS will contact health leaders, increase cleanings and limit public gatherings and meetings.
If a case is confirmed in a Guilford County school, the district will notify parents, then close and clean the school in question for at least one day.
Public meetings and gatherings would be canceled.
The fourth phase is the scenario that multiple GCS schools confirm a coronavirus case. All affected schools would close indefinitely. All district activities would be canceled. Again, that is a worst-case scenario.
5:52 p.m. - NCAA issues statement on coronavirus and NCAA Championship events.
The statement reads, "The NCAA continues to assess how COVID-19 impacts the conduct of our tournaments and events. We are consulting with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel, who are leading experts in epidemiology and public health, and will make decisions in the coming days.
5:45 p.m. - What does a state of emergency mean?
The state of emergency triggers anti-price gouging laws. It also allows the state to put away more money to help agencies stop the virus from spreading.
5:30 p.m. - 2 Wants To Know is answering your questions about the Coronavirus. Check out this conversation on Tanya Rivera's Facebook page.
Brenda asked: Will the chance of Coronavirus lessen as warmer weather gets here? With the flu that seems to happen.
It's true, it happens every year. The flu dies down. But with the Coronavirus, the short answer is: we don't know.
5:00 p.m. - The White House Coronavirus Task Force gives an update on the virus and precautions in place to fight the virus.
4:00 p.m. - The City of Greensboro is working on plans and precautions to keep workers safe including more hand-sanitizing stations throughout city facilities.
They released a statement saying, "Staff has been meeting with health officials and monitoring the spread of the coronavirus. as of now, the city does not have any plans for canceling services, programs, events or meetings. Additionally, we are increasing the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing common areas."
3:27 p.m. - ACC releases a statement about continuing to host the basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Statement from the Atlantic Coast Conference
“After consultation with local and state health authorities, including the Governor and his medical staff, the Atlantic Coast Conference will hold its men’s basketball tournament as scheduled this week at the Greensboro Coliseum. As was outlined by the Governor during his press conference, high-risk individuals are discouraged from attending mass gatherings. We will continue to take precautionary measures and follow the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, the league and the Greensboro Coliseum are taking additional proactive measures to provide a safe and clean environment for its institutions and fans."
The ACC Tournament is taking a number of proactive measures in response to coronavirus concerns including: frequent cleaning and sanitizing of common areas, restrooms, concessions stands, media areas, team areas.
They will also do the following to protect against the spread of germs:
- Increase the number of hand-sanitizer stations throughout FanFest and the concourse.
- Post and distribute the CDC “Stop the Spread of Germs” information to ensure all fans are aware as they enter and move about the building.
- Emergency Medical Services will be on scene for any medical concerns that arise.
- As an extra precaution, postgame media availability will be altered for this year’s tournament. In an effort to secure the team locker rooms for the players, coaches and essential team personnel, the postgame media access will take place in the Odeon Theatre, with additional player availability in secured areas designated by the league office.”
2:15 p.m. - A school in Raleigh will be closed until further notice after a parent of a student tested positive for the coronavirus.
WNCN reports, Trinity Academy in Raleigh closed and canceled all activities scheduled for Tuesday. A note was sent to alert parents and staff, about the parent who tested positive for the virus. The parent is following the CDC guidelines and is quarantined at home.
11:26 a.m. - Governor Cooper declares state of emergency as seven cases are identified statewide.
State health leaders are taking every precaution to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Governor Roy Cooper stated, “We do want people to take this seriously, but we also want them to go on living their lives, particularly those not in the higher risk group. We just need them to do it wisely.”
Gov. Cooper announced a state of emergency for North Carolina due to coronavirus.
This means the state will have broader powers and flexible spending in efforts to prevent the virus from spreading. Price gouging laws will also take effect. State officials are also recommending that people over 65 years old, who are in the high-risk category, not to attend large gatherings. He also urged employers in Wake County, where six cases of the virus have been confirmed, to maximize technology so employees can work at home.
On Monday, NC health officials said five more people have tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to seven statewide.
N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said all five new patients are from Wake County and each traveled to Boston in late February to attend a conference.
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.
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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