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Stay-at-home order issued for Mecklenburg County

There are now 507 cases of coronavirus in North Carolina and 342 cases in South Carolina.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — At WCNC Charlotte, we are focusing our coronavirus coverage on facts, not fear.  We aim to give our viewers the information they need from officials to best protect themselves during the pandemic.  

Key Facts:

  • Cases in North Carolina: 507
  • Cases in South Carolina: 342, with 7 deaths
  • Cases in Mecklenburg County: 142
  • A stay-at-home order has been issued for Mecklenburg County 

LIST | These Charlotte-area grocery stores are offering special hours just for seniors during the coronavirus outbreak 

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South Carolina confirms two additional deaths due to COVID-19

The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control announced two additional deaths related to COVID-19. It brings the state's total number of deaths to seven.

“Sadly, we have to announce again today that we’ve lost fellow South Carolinians due to complications from COVID-19,” said Dr. Jonathan Knoche, DHEC physician. “Our thoughts and sympathies are with the individual’s family and friends, as well as the medical professionals who extended the utmost care for this person. This unfortunate announcement is a reminder that we all have the responsibility to protect ourselves, our families, friends and community from this disease.”

One patient was an elderly person from Florence County who had underlying health conditions. The second was an elderly person from Horry County with no underlying health conditions. 

Additionally, an individual who has died who was reported as living in Kershaw County was determined to have a Sumter County residence. 

Burke County reports first positive case of COVID-19

Burke County health officials confirm two people tested positive for COVID-19 -- of the two, one is a Burke County resident and one is a resident of another North Carolina county. 

The individuals are in isolation.

Caldwell County reports first positive case of COVID-19

Caldwell County Health Department has announced the county’s first positive case of COVID-19. 

The patient was instructed to remain in isolation until they are fever-free for 72 hours without medication, or until symptom-free for seven days. 

Caldwell County Public Health is investigating to determine contacts.

South Carolina investigating 44 additional cases of COVID-19

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is investigating 44 additional cases of the COVID-19, bringing the total number statewide to 342 cases in 36 counties.

The new cases are in several counties across the state, including Chesterfield County and York County. Here's the full county breakdown of the new cases: 

  • Aiken County: 1 case
  • Anderson County: 1 case
  • Beaufort County: 1 case
  • Charleston County: 5 cases
  • Chesterfield County: 1 case
  • Clarendon County: 1 case
  • Darlington County: 1 case
  • Dorchester County: 1 case
  • Florence County: 2 cases
  • Greenville County: 8 cases
  • Horry County: 3 cases
  • Jasper County: 1 case
  • Kershaw County: 4 cases
  • Marlboro County: 1 case
  • Richland County: 4 cases
  • Spartanburg County: 1 case
  • Sumter County: 4 cases
  • York County: 4 cases

Gov. Cooper directs funding to schools to teach, feed students during COVID-19

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper directed $50 million in school funding flexibility to help public schools. It comes after the governor ordered NC public schools to remain closed to in-class instruction through May 15.

This allotment is comprised of unused funds from the current and previous school years as well as the State Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund.

“By allowing fund flexibility our school systems can use funds where it benefits students and families most by continuing to provide meals, improving distance learning, childcare, and much more," Gov. Cooper said.

More information on the budget flexibility can be found here.

CATS making further changes to transit service as ridership decreases

Starting on Wednesday, CATS will make modifications to transit service, since cats bus and LYNX light rail ridership has decreased up to 41% amid COVID-19 concerns.

CATS will operate a temporarily modified schedule seven-days-a-week and fare-free until announced otherwise. 

 Modified transit information can be found here.

CATS will also be adding additional cleaning procedures and sanitization efforts, and asks riders to continue following recommendations from public health officials.

Mecklenburg is home to nearly 25% of the state's COVID-19 cases:

Mecklenburg County health officials said the county now has COVID-19 cases in almost every zip code in the county, indicating that we have community spread.

County officials said about 80% of the cases in the county are those below the age of 59, which is an indication that older residents are heeding the warning to stay and home while younger residents are not.

"We now have approximately 25% of the total cases in the state of North Carolina in Mecklenburg County," Mecklenburg County manager Dena Diorio said. 

Diorio said based on predictive modeling, we could see the number of cases double every four days in the state of North Carolina.

Stay at home proclamation issued for Mecklenburg County 

Mecklenburg County is ordering a stay at home proclamation. According to officials, the proclamation will take effect starting Thursday at 8 am and last until Midnight on April 16. 

You can: 

  • Go to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store

  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities

  • Visiting a health care professional for medical services that cannot be provided virtually (call first)

  • Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru

  • Care for or support a friend or family member

  • Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise – just keep at least six feet between you and others

  • Walk your pets and take them to veterinarian if necessary

  • Help someone to get necessary supplies

  • Receive deliveries from any business which delivers

You should not: 

  • Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by this Order

  • Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need

  • Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out

  • Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or another residential care facility, except for limited exceptions as provided on the facility websites

  • Travel except for essential travel and activities

RELATED: Mecklenburg County issues 'stay at home' order effective Thursday

North Carolina officials provide COVID-19 update

North Carolina state health and emergency officials are scheduled to provide an update at 2 p.m.

South Carolina closes schools through April

 All of South Carolina's public schools will be shut down through the end of April, Governor Henry McMaster and South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said Tuesday. 

RELATED: All South Carolina schools to remain closed through April

Wells Fargo to close some branches in North Carolina 

Starting tomorrow, March 25, Wells Fargo will temporarily close the following branches in the Greater Charlotte region:

·       Jackson Park – 704 North Cannon Boulevard in Kannapolis

·       Concord Parkway – 948 Concord Parkway North in Concord

·       Davidson – 112 South Main Street in Davidson

·       Mooresville Main – 153 North Main Street in Mooresville

·       Mooresville Plaza – 552 East Plaza Drive in Mooresville

·       Mint Hill – 9125 Lawyers Road in Charlotte

·       Derita – 2610 West Sugar Creek Road

·       Plaza – 1616 Central Avenue in Charlotte

·       CIC – 1525 W.T. Harris Boulevard in Charlotte

·       Mt. Holly – 101 South Main Street in Mount Holly

·       Gaston Mall – 403 Cox Road in Gastonia

·       Dunn Commons – 10210 Couloak Drive in Charlotte

·       Tryon at Third – 301 South Tryon Street in Charlotte

·       Kenilworth – 801 Kenilworth Avenue in Charlotte

·       Ballantyne Commons – 11230 Elm Lane in Charlotte

·       Waverly – 11535 Waverly Center Drive in Charlotte

·       South Boulevard – 2910 South Boulevard in Charlotte

·       Charlotte West – 1527 West Morehead Street in Charlotte

In addition, starting March 25, Wells Fargo will temporarily close the following branches in South Carolina that are considered part of the Greater Charlotte region:

·       Fort Mill – 403 Tom Hall Street in Fort Mill

·       Rock Hill Main – 113 East Main Street in Rock Hill

As we continue to evaluate the steps necessary to ensure how we can best serve customers, protect team members and minimize the spread of COVID-19, this list could change so we are encouraging customers to check Wells Fargo’s branch locator for ATM locations and the updated status of branches.

Garth Brooks reschedules Charlotte concert

The Garth Brooks concert at Bank of America Stadium scheduled for May 2 has been rescheduled for June 13th. All tickets purchased will be honored for the new date. 

"Like so many people right now, I just want to get back to what I do. Knowing these shows are eventually going to happen makes me happy," said Garth Brooks.

Atrium Health creates coronavirus testing center at zMax Dragway in Concord

Atrium Health partnered with Charlotte Motor Speedway to provide a remote testing site at zMax Dragway. The remote site provides a convenient testing location for residents in northern Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties to have their test performed when ordered by a doctor. 

Testing for COVID-19 is conducted without patients having to get out of their cars, which reduces the possibility of infecting other patients and healthcare workers. Healthcare providers will make appointments and direct patients to designated testing centers where medical professionals will approach the patients at their cars. These tests involve obtaining swabbed samples, which are then tested at Atrium Health’s in-house lab, and patients are typically notified of the results in approximately 24 hours. Atrium Health can test approximately 1,000 samples each day and is one of the only health systems in the nation to have this capability. 

Atrium has launched a digital COVID-19 risk assessment for patients. Answering a few quick questions will allow Atrium to give patients immediate recommendations on the next step of their care.

Gov. Cooper announces closures of several businesses by Wednesday at 5 p.m.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order lowering the threshold to ban mass gatherings of more than 50 people. 

The order takes effect Wednesday at 5 p.m. This will mean the closure of the following types of facilities: 

  • Bingo Parlors, including those operated by charitable organizations
  • Bowling Alleys
  • Indoor Exercise Facilities (e.g. gyms, yoga studios, indoor trampolines, etc.)
  • Health Clubs
  • Indoor Pools
  • Live Performance Venues
  • Movie Theaters
  • Skating Rinks
  • Spas
  • Sweepstakes Lounges
  • Video game arcades
  • Barber Shops
  • Beauty Salons (including waxing and hair removal centers)
  • Hair Salons
  • Nail Salons/Manicure/Pedicure Providers
  • Massage Parlors
  • Tattoo Parlors

Cats to operate on a modified schedule 

Starting Wednesday, CATS will operate modified service, including CATS buses, LYNX Blue Line and Special Transportation Services. All service will be FREE during this time.

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