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 16, 2020
10:30 p.m. – Greensboro City Council adopts the $602 million budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021.
Greensboro City Council said the budget is to make up for an expected loss of sales tax revenue due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and said the fiscal year will begin July 1.
The council said the budget includes a reduction in building maintenance projects, debt service contributions, and outside agency support, as well as delays to some programs.
“The budget maintains the current City property tax rate of 66.25 cents per $100 property valuation and water and sewer fees will remain the same,” the city of Greensboro said in a press release. “It also defers the $500,000 in Participatory Budgeting Greensboro projects for one year. Greensboro Transit Authority will implement fixed route and paratransit changes to forgo a fare increase beginning Oct. 1.”
10:00 p.m. - ReOpen NC launches a bold social media campaign in response to Gov. Cooper suggesting the state may make face masks mandatory in public:
4:30 p.m. - The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday it’s allocating $35 million in federal funding to local health departments to support the COVID-19 response.
“Per federal guidelines, counties will be able to use these funds to support COVID-19 staffing, infection controls, testing and tracing, IT infrastructure and data sharing and visualization,” NC DHHS said in a press release.
DHHS said North Carolina’s local health departments are on the frontlines supporting people in getting tested for COVID-19 and knowing if they have been exposed.
The department said testing and contact tracing are core public health activities and key components of North Carolina’s strategy to responsibly ease restrictions, while continuing to slow the spread COVID-19.
NCDHHS said these responsibilities are in addition to their ongoing work to promote health and prevent disease.
“Our local health departments are critical partners with the state as we fight this virus, and this funding will help them continue and expand their important work,” said Governor Roy Cooper.
NCDHHS secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said since the start of the pandemic local health departments have been working around the clock to protect their communities and slow the spread of the virus.
“These funds continue to support their ability to address the overwhelming demands they are facing,” Cohen said.
The department said the one-time, non-recurring funding is part of NCDHHS’ cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC), which awards annual funding to state, local and territorial health departments to support vector-borne disease surveillance and response.
Noon- The NCDHHS reported 751 new confirmed cases and 829 hospitalizations.
- 45,853 confirmed coronavirus cases
- 651,421 completed tests
- 1,154 deaths have been reported
- Guilford County: 2,103 cases, 95 deaths
- Alamance County: 796 cases, 34 deaths
- Forsyth County: 2,283 cases, 25 deaths
MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2020
8:01 p.m. – NC State University announces face masks will be required in all university buildings and programs starting July 1.
NC State University said face coverings will be required to be worn by all students, faculty, staff and visitors in all NC State buildings and at all university programs held in non-university buildings.
The university said it will require face coverings being worn in classrooms and laboratories as well.
“Face coverings will also be required in outdoor spaces on campus property where appropriate physical distancing cannot be guaranteed,” the university said in a press release. “Face covering exceptions include private offices and residence hall rooms when alone or with a roommate. Individuals are also not required to wear a face covering when they are not in close contact with someone else, such as walking alone in an uncrowded outdoor location.”
NC State said everyone on campus is expected to carry a face covering at all times, in case they encounter an unforeseen situation where at least 6 feet of physical distance cannot be maintained.
The university said such situations are likely to happen in hallways, stairwells, elevators, restrooms, kitchens and break rooms.
NC State said it will provide face coverings to all students, faculty and staff who need them and said people can also choose to wear their own face coverings.
7:48 p.m. The High Point Transit System has resumed modified service
The High Point Transit System has resumed modified service.
Service will be hourly from 5:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Route 21 – Industrial Park Special and Route 25 – Jamestown/GTCC will not have any service, and Route 10 – N Main St and Route 11 – South Main St will operate on Saturday patterns. The Guaranteed Ride Home service will not operate.
Passengers needing transportation to or from areas where service is reduced can call (336) 889-7433 for assistance.
The number of passengers in vans will be limited to allow for social distancing. Please make sure to account for this in your travel time, as wait times may be longer.
Service will remain fare-free. Passengers are required to wear facial coverings while riding buses and waiting inside transit facilities.
High Point Transit is still providing a disposable mask for passengers who do not have a face-covering.
6:30 p.m. - WFMY’s Tanya Rivera speaks with Cone Health Medical Center’s chief medical officer Dr. Jeffrey Hatcher answering viewer questions about the coronavirus.
Discussion topics included viewer questions and emphasis on coronavirus symptoms, safety, cleaning practices, testing, and recommendations for those who have been in large gatherings or may have been exposed to COVID-19.
2:00 p.m. - Gov. Roy Cooper provides coronavirus updates.
- NCDHHS coronavirus task force said we’re still seeing record high case counts.
- The task force is concerned with the percentage of positive tests and hospitalizations.
- There are 9 counties experiencing the highest growth including Guilford, Forsyth, and Alamance County, which are of concern.
- All 9 counties include: Alamance, Duplin, Durham, Guilford, Forsyth, Johnston, Lee, Mecklenburg, and Wake.
- Gov. Cooper asked vice president Mike Pence for help with increasing test sites and capabilities.
- The task force said another focus will be testing nursing home staff and residents.
- Secretary Dr. Many Cohen said the task force will ramp up testing in “harder hit communities”.
- Cohen and the task force emphasized the 3 W’s: Wear, Wait and Wash.
- Wear – Wear face masks and face coverings as much as possible when going out in public and when you’re around others
- Wait – Social distance and stay 6 feet apart from others
- Wash – Wash your hands frequently and as much as possible.
- Cohen said North Carolinians need to continue to practice the 3 W’s.
12:30 p.m. - The NCDHHS reported 983 new confirmed cases as of Monday and 797 hospitalizations.
- 45,102 confirmed coronavirus cases
- 638,479 completed tests
- 1,118 deaths have been reported
- Guilford County: 2,061 cases, 91 deaths
- Alamance County: 778 cases, 34 deaths
- Forsyth County: 2,250 cases, 25 deaths
SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 2020
12:57 p.m. According to the NCDHHS, currently, in total, Guilford County has 2,032 cases of coronavirus along with 91 deaths.
12:51 p.m. As of June 14 at 12 p.m. the NCDHHS reports 44,119 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina. The site also reports there are 798 hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
10:47 a.m. As of Saturday at 12 p.m. there are 42,676 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina. Sunday updates expected to be released at 12 p.m today.
FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2020
4:30 p.m. - Gov. Roy Cooper signs House Bill 1169 into law.
Gov. Cooper’s office announced Friday the signing of five new bills into law.
Cooper signed the following bills:
- Senate Bill 315: North Carolina Farm Act of 2019-20
- House Bill 1063: Fund VIPER Tower Hardware Upgrades
- House Bill 1187: Raise the Age Funding
- Senate Bill 390: Dupont State Forest – Financial Study
- House Bill 1169: Bipartisan Elections Act of 2020
Cooper specifically noted House Bill 1169, which is an act to make changes to the laws relating to elections and to appropriate money to the State Board of Elections in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Making sure elections are safe and secure is more important than ever during this pandemic, and this funding is crucial to that effort,” Cooper said. “This legislation makes some other positive changes, but much more work is needed to ensure everyone’s right to vote is protected."
2 p.m. - Gov. Cooper and the coronavirus task force will provide an update on COVID-19 in North Carolina. Here are notes from the press conference.
- Cooper said the new high daily case number of more than 1,700 shows that the virus is spreading, despite it being the highest day for testing at more than 23,000.
- The state is working to surge testing availability to hot spots.
- Cooper is recommending if you've been at a mass event to get tested, even if you don't have symptoms.
- We are three weeks into phase 2.
- Cohen is "concerned" about our COVID-19 trends. The trajectory of cases is going up. She said the pace of the increase is concerning. Hospitalizations are also rising.
- Cohen said our percentage of positive cases is one of the highest in the nation, and we want to get that number around 5%.
- We've gone from administering 5,000 tests on average per day to 15,000 on average.
- Cooper said North Carolina is still under a "safer at home" recommendation and that just because you can leave home, doesn't mean you should.
- Cooper said they have not made a decision about entering Phase 2.5 or 3 and are continuing to track the data.
- Cohen feels we are in a "first wave," and we haven't reached it until now because North Carolina put actions in place to flatten the curve. She said it's a matter on us to make sure we social distance in order to not overwhelm our healthcare system.
12:30 p.m. - The NCDHHS reported the highest daily case jump yet at more than 1,700. However, hospitalizations are down after four record days. Health officials are growing concerned about the cases in Forsyth County, where there are more cases per 100,000 people than the state average. There was also a significant death jump in both Guilford and Alamance County.
- 41,249 CASES (UP 1,768) (HIGHEST DAILY CASE SPIKE)
- 1,092 DEATHS (UP 28)
- 595,697 TESTS (UP 23,020) (HIGHEST TESTING DAY)
- 760 HOSPITALIZED (DOWN 52)
- DHHS REPORTS 10% OF TESTS WERE POSITIVE FOR 6/11, UP FROM 8% ON 6/10
- GUILFORD – 1,899 CASES, 91 DEATHS (46 new cases, 6 new deaths)
- FORSYTH – 2,051 CASES, 25 DEATHS (84 new cases, 0 new deaths)
- ALAMANCE – 641 CASES, 31 DEATHS (60 new cases, 7 new deaths)
Noon - Get a free mask! Greensboro Transit Agency will provide free reusable face masks to people on Friday.
- The giveaway will happen from noon to 2 p.m. at the J. Douglas Galyon Depot transfer center, 236 E. Washington Street.
- One cloth mask will be provided per person while supplies last.
- This is part of GTA's campaign to encourage riders to use face coverings while using public transportation to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
News to note:
- Governor Cooper will hold a press briefing with members of the coronavirus task force at 2 p.m. We will stream it live in this story.
- The White House and NCDHHS are worried about Forsyth and Alamance Counties becoming coronavirus hot spots.
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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