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BLOG | Coronavirus cases jump to 255 across North Carolina as testing increases

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 coronavirus updates with the latest information from emergency leaders, the state's task force, health departments, universities, school districts and a lot more. Click here to see the latest cases being reported in North Carolina. 

CLOSINGS/DELAYS

Businesses and organizations announcing closings. Get the latest list of closings and delays, right here

You can also text keyword CLOSINGS to 336-379-5775 to get it even faster to your phone. 

SUNDAY, MARCH 22

6:29 p.m. These state parks are now closed until further notice: Crowders Mountain; Lake Waccamaw; Hanging Rock; Raven Rock 

12:15 p.m. - YMCA of Northwest North Carolina will transition five of its branches into emergency child care sitesThe sites will serve first-responders, health care workers, grocery store workers, pharmacy, and other essential front-line workers who need to go to work but have no options for childcare.

10:16 a.m. - Coronavirus cases in North Carolina increase from 184 to 255.

SATURDAY, MARCH 21

8:39 p.m. - Vice President Mike Pence and his wife test negative for COVID-19

Katie Miller, the press secretary for the Vice President, says Mike Pence and his wife tested negative for coronavirus. 

1:30 p.m. - Montgomery County reports its first case of coronavirus. 

"The person is isolating at home and willingly cooperating with public health officials," the Montgomery County Department of Health said in a news release.

1 p.m. - The White House Coronavirus Task Force provides updates on the U.S. response to the pandemicPresident Donald Trump and the task force reiterated the actions that are being taken in response to the virus. They stressed that Congress is working on legislation to help small businesses nationwide. Winston-Salem based company, Hanes, will mass-produce masks for hospitals nationwide. Federal student loans and interest is waived for 60 days. All foreclosures and evictions are suspended.

12:20 p.m. - Alamance County identifies its second case of coronavirus.

11 a.m. - The number of coronavirus cases rises to 184, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports. Three of the cases are reported in Guilford County. Several other counties' case count also rises.

4 a.m. - North Carolina Publix stores are hiring thousands of new employees to meet the "unprecedented" shopping demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. The grocery chain said it plans to hire at least 2,000 new workers in North Carolina stores and distribution centers.

FRIDAY, MARCH 20

9:45 p.m. - LabCorp said it can now perform COVID-19 testing for 20,000 kits per day.

It's conducting testing at its labs in Burlington, N.C., Phoenix, Arizona, and Raritan, New Jersey.  

RELATED: LabCorp says it increased ability to perform 20,000 tests per day

9:35 p.m. - Emerald Isle has closed public beach access parking lots, all public restrooms, and suspended beach driving access until further notice.

9:28 p.m. - A man was arrested after going live on Facebook inside an Albemarle Walmart claiming to have tested positive for COVID-19. 

RELATED: Man arrested after going live on Facebook while in Walmart stating he had coronavirus: Police

Credit: Albemarle Police Department
Justin M. Rhodes

8:45 p.m. - NC Emergency Management says shelter in place order not yet in effect as they closely monitoring 'evolving situation'

Mecklenburg Co. officials reported 11 new cases on Friday bringing the total to 43 in the county.

RELATED: NC Emergency Management says shelter in place order not yet in effect as they closely monitoring 'evolving situation'

8:00 p.m. - BJ's Wholesale Club locations in North Carolina will begin opening one hour early every day for members who are age 60 or older. 

This special opening hour will be from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM daily and there will be a designated entrance for them to use.

7:45 p.m. - DoorDash announced today it’s launching Open For Delivery.

The initiative aims to let consumers know that restaurants are open, that delivery is safe, and that restaurants need patronage more than ever to weather COVID-19.

7:00 p.m. - What's closed in Greensboro? Here's the list.

To date, the City has implemented the following actions:

  • Closed all public libraries and indoor Parks and Recreation facilities, the Greensboro History Museum, and Greensboro Cultural Center.
  • Consolidated Greensboro Police Department’s daily public operations to its police headquarters, 100 E. Police Plaza. In addition, public fingerprinting and property and evidence pick-up have been suspended.
  • Suspended water cut-offs for non-payment.
  • Suspended travel for City employees outside of Guilford County.
  • Canceled programs, events and facility rentals.
  • Assisted Guilford County Schools with feeding sites.
  • Increased cleaning of GTA buses, operating on hourly routes to help with cleaning, and made City buses and SCAT service free of charge.
  • Consolidated payment collection sites to one location in MMOB.
  • Canceled all City board and commission meetings for the next 30 days.
  • Encouraged payment to be made online or over the phone as opposed to in-person.

6:20 p.m. - Winston-Salem State University received notice of a confirmed positive test for novel coronavirus in a student at WSSU. 

The individual received appropriate medical care and was discharged to their home off-campus. The patient is not a residential student and has not attended a class on campus in 14 days. The student has been directed to undergo a self-isolation at their off-campus home until they receive medical clearance.

Find out more, here.

5:22 p.m. - Cone health closes COVID-19 drive-thru collection site at East Wendover Ave. location in Greensboro. 

RELATED: Cone Health closes coronavirus COVID-19 drive-thru screening site

5:20 p.m. - Are you doing something good in your community while social distancing? Let us know! WFMY News 2 is starting a new campaign. It's called "Joy 2 You!" We know these are strange times, but we want to hear what's bringing 'Joy 2 You' in a time of uncertainty. Text us your good news, photos, and videos at 336-379-5775.

We wanted to share this good news! The Riggs family is hard at work cleaning up their neighborhood while social distancing from neighbors. 

5:15 p.m. - Panthers post ways to help and give back during the coronavirus. 

Find out how you can help, here

5:00 p.m. - NC A&T students packing up and going home. 

4:57 p.m. - If you see this making the rounds on social media know that it's FALSE! 

4:54 p.m. - Walmart hiring more than 5,800 positions in North Carolina due to strong store demand.

You can apply by visiting Walmartcareers.com or text ‘jobs’ to 240240 to get started. You can apply today and start today.

RELATED: Walmart hiring 5,800 positions in North Carolina as a result of strong demand

3:30 p.m. Ragsdale HS alum and current Cleveland Browns player Larry Ogunjobi just tweeted that he’s donating 100,000 meals!

2:20 p.m. - WFMY News 2 is starting a new campaign. It's called "Joy 2 You!" We know these are strange times, but we want to hear what's bringing 'Joy 2 You' in a time of uncertainty. Text us your good news, photos, and videos at 336-379-5775. 

RELATED: Joy 2 You: Sharing the good news in a time of uncertainty

2:00 p.m. - NC officials are giving an update on coronavirus. State leaders are taking questions via conference call as part of social distancing. 

1:50 p.m. - Winston-Salem State University is postponing its May 8 commencement ceremony, the school announced in a press release. 

The press release reads in part: "Commencement is a meaningful and momentous day for our graduates, their loved ones, and the university community. We share your disappointment. We do not want any of our graduates to miss out on the graduation experience so we will be working to reschedule the ceremony for a later date. We will engage members of the Class of 2020 in our planning to ensure the event is memorable. One thing is certain: the Ram Family knows how to celebrate this important milestone!"

12:52 p.m. - Forsyth County Health Department releases new coronavirus information and case numbers. Today, health officials identified four additional presumptive positive coronavirus cases in Forsyth County, bringing the total to nine. Eight of the cases are related to travel, the FCHD said. Health officials have not yet determined whether the ninth case is related to travel or is community-spread.

11:45 a.m. - President Trump said the federal government is waiving school standardized test requirements amid virus disruptions. 

11:00 a.m. - Alamance County declared a state of emergency in wake of its first case of coronavirus. 

"With our first confirmed case of COVID-19, it is appropriate to declare a State of Emergency for Alamance County," Amy Scott Galey, Chair of the Alamance Board of Commissioners said. "The County will be working closely with all the municipalities, community partners, and first responders to coordinate resources and share important information. County staff has been working very hard to be sure that essential services are uninterrupted in order to protect public health and safety. Residents should continue to take precautions to avoid exposure and spread of the virus."

10:30 a.m. - Alamance County identified its first case of coronavirus. Health officials say the patient is in isolation and is doing well. 

RELATED: Alamance County confirms first case of coronavirus

9:40 a.m. - Guilford County health officials identified four total positive coronavirus cases during a press conference Friday morning. All cases are travel-related, officials say. All patients are in isolation. Guilford County health officials say none of the cases are connected. 

RELATED: Fourth case of coronavirus identified in Guilford County, health officials say

9:30 a.m. - Guilford County Senior management, elected officials, public health, and emergency services will give an update on the coronavirus impact in Guilford County. Officials will discuss positive cases within the county, testing, service changes, available assistance and protection information against COVID-19 scams. WFMY News 2 will bring you live updates in this story.

RELATED: Third case of coronavirus identified in Guilford County, health officials say

7:45 a.m. - We'll bring you a live coronavirus update on our digital newscast After GMS. You can watch it live in this story. 

5:45 a.m. - North Carolina-based disaster relief group Samaritan's Purse opened its emergency field hospital in Cremona, Italy. The 68-bed unit was airlifted to Italy on March 17 from Greensboro. Italy has seen a drastic spike in coronavirus cases, and just surpassed China's death total from the virus. 

Credit: Samaritan's Purse
Samaritan's Purse's Emergency Field Hospital in Italy

RELATED: 'We respond to disasters, even when it's hard' | Samaritan's Purse flies emergency field hospital to Italy

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.

CORONAVIRUS STORIES

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