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Thursday real-time coronavirus updates: Limiting shoppers in stores, 3,651 COVID-19 cases, 65 deaths

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 daily coronavirus updates with the latest information from emergency leaders, the state's task force, health departments, universities, school districts and a lot more.  

THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2020

11: 18 p.m. - Due to the stay-at-home order, churches cannot congregate on Easter Sunday. Now local churches are finding new ways to celebrate.

RELATED: 'It’s a big challenge' Churches plan Easter Sunday without in-person services

8:30 p.m. - Gov. Roy Cooper ramps up social distancing measures for retail stores

New guidelines will go into place Monday for retail stores across North Carolina.  

The order said only 5 people are allowed for every 1,000 square feet of retail space, or 20 percent of fire marshal posted occupancy limits.  

RELATED: Gov. Roy Cooper ramps up social distancing measures for retail stores

7:30 p.m. First responders hold parade thanking health care workers

This “Parade of Lights” is a unified show by Mecklenburg County first responders to support our healthcare workers.  

7:00 p.m. - Christmas was four months ago, right?

So, you might be wondering why you're seeing Christmas decorations around the City of Greensboro.

RELATED: 'Anything that will brighten your day helps' | Homeowners in Greensboro putting Christmas lights back up during pandemic

RELATED: First responders hold parade thanking healthcare workers

6:30 p.m. - Greensboro Grasshoppers Opening Day on hold

RELATED: 'We're hardly even thinking about baseball': Greensboro Grasshoppers Opening Day on hold

4:45 p.m. - A second person has died of the coronavirus in Davidson County.

The individual passed away from complications associated with COVID-19 on, April 8, 2020 at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston Salem. The person was in their late 80s and did have underlying medical conditions. To respect the privacy of the family, no further information will be released.

“It is with a heavy heart that we are reporting a second Davidson County resident has lost their life stemming from complications related to the COVID-19 virus. Our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones now and in the challenging upcoming days and weeks. While COVID-19 is not severe for everyone it infects, the loss of a second Davidson County resident is a reminder of how dangerous this virus can be for some. It is crucial our residents protect themselves, their loved ones, coworkers, and fellow citizens by limiting in-person interactions to essential functions,” Lillian Koontz, Davidson County Health Director.

4:20 p.m. - Hope for NC helpline created to help people cope. It's available throughout the state, the number to call, 855-587-3463

For stressed first responders a hotline has been set up 919-226-2002 for a licensed mental health professional.

FeedingtheCariolinas.org to get to give food. 

4:15 p.m. - The new executive order will not only limit shoppers inside stores but will also make retailers mark in stores 6 feet of distance where people gather. 

Stores must also do the following:

  • Provide one-way aisles 
  • Perform environmental cleaning and inspection
  • Must have easily accessible hand sanitizer
  • Incorporate senior hours for shopping

4:13 p.m. - 497,000 unemployment claims have been filed in the state.

The state will issue $600 a week to begin by the end of next week.

4:12 p.m. - North Carolina now has 3,651 cases and 65 deaths as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

4:11 p.m. - 67 counties have activated a stay-at-home order in North Carolina.

4:10 p.m. - Gov. Cooper is discouraging gathering for the Easter holiday, “or any other reason for that matter.”

Gov. Cooper thanked places of worship for holding services online or in households

4:06 p.m. - North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announces new executive order to limit shoppers inside stores.

3:45 p.m. - Cone Health sets up Thank You Thursdays for the community. 

Cone Health is thankful for the overwhelming response from the communities it serves during the COVID-19 crisis. Donations in the form of medical supplies and food for employees, are just examples of the generosity shown during this unprecedented time. To recognize the many donations that have been received and continue to come in, the Cone Health Office of Institutional Advancement has implemented Thank-You Thursdays to celebrate and show their appreciation. Each Thursday, Cone Health will recognize donors on its social media channels and website. 

3:24 p.m. - High Point University staff member dies from coronavirus complications.

According to a letter sent out to the University, Harry Hueston was in the hospital for a week before he died.

The school is planning a tribute to Hueston.

RELATED: High Point University staff member dies from coronavirus complications, university president says

3:00 p.m. - North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper will give an update on the coronavirus numbers and new efforts to fight it at 4:00 p.m.

2:30 p.m. - Winston-Salem free leaf mulch event postponed. 

Every spring, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities offers free leaf mulch to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to the COVID-19 stay at home order, this giveaway is postponed until further notice. It was originally scheduled to begin Friday, April 10, but will be rescheduled and announced at a later date.

More information can be found at cityofws.org/1334/Leaf-Yard-Waste-Disposal or call City Link 311 or 336-727-8000.

2:00 p.m. - Forsyth County Public Health Officials will give an update on coronavirus. According to county health officials, 113 people have contracted the virus and three people have died. Those numbers have not yet been reflected on the NCDHHS website. 

2:00 p.m. - Greensboro Salvation Army holds Facebook live auction. 

Salvation Army stores in Greensboro are doing Facebook live auctions to help raise money during the coronavirus pandemic. They plan to hold a live auction every week while the stay at home order is in place.

12:45 p.m. - Guilford County Public Health is reporting 125 coronavirus cases and nine deaths in the county - the same amount of reported deaths as Mecklenburg County, where more than 800 people have tested positive for COVID-19. 

12:00 p.m. - Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC announced its CEO has tested positive for coronavirus. All strategies to feed families in need during the pandemic are still in place. 

RELATED: Second Harvest Food Bank CEO tests positive for coronavirus

11:00 a.m. - The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services releases its latest coronavirus numbers reporting 3,651 cases statewide and 65 deaths.

10:30 a.m. - We're having a Q&A session with Guilford County Schools Superintendent on the latest with coronavirus and schools, and what's next for students. Text your questions to 336-379-5775. 

  • Dr. Contreras confirmed there will be a pass/fail system this school year instead of grades, which falls in line with the state's guidelines for how to advance students. EOG's have been canceled. 
  • The work will be assessed by the teachers on a pass/fail basis. Students will be evaluated on 5-7 major concepts of curriculum for the year. 
  • Are we going back to school? Dr. Contreras said she was just on a call with other superintendents and Governor Cooper, who said he's hopeful that students will get to go back to school by the May 15 deadline, but things could still change. 
  • Graduation plans are still up in the air with the stay-at-home order, but Guilford County Schools is still planning some virtual events. GCS is working on possibly planning a ceremony for December. 
  • When will seniors know if they've passed or failed? They will receive guidance this weekend about how they're doing and if they are on track to graduate, Contreras said. 
  • Is there a way to monitor how many students have been able to learn online? Dr. Contreras said yes, all but 6,000 students have been online. 
  • There's a committee at the state level that is discussing possibly starting school two weeks earlier than the current August 25 date. But again, nothing has been voted on. These are just discussions. 
  • Will students be starting the next school year at the same level? Contreras said no, that is not likely at all. They will be looking at ways to catch up on lost curriculum for students who advance to the next grade.
  • What about Driver's Ed and Pay to Play programs? Dr. Contreras did not have immediate answers on these items and said information will be posted on the GCS website to address these things soon. 

9 a.m. - A record 16.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment aid because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. 

RELATED: Impacted by coronavirus? Here's how to file for unemployment in North Carolina

7:45 a.m. - Join our digital newscast AFTER GMS. Watch in the video player below. 

News to note on Thursday: 

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.

RELATED: Downtown Greensboro Incorporated helps provide free meals to health care workers through GoFundMe

RELATED: Some seniors to finish school early after Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools waives local graduation requirements

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