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Wednesday coronavirus updates: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services provides coronavirus updates

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.  

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, 2020

5:00 p.m. - 32 confirmed coronavirus cases at the Clapps Nursing Center in Pleasant Garden, North Carolina.

4:50 p.m. - Families are encouraged to continue utilizing feeding programs at local school and community meal sites for free, nutritious meals for children. 

Families can text FOODNC to 877-877 to find local meal sites. The service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877-877.

For additional information, visit the P-EBT FAQ at www.forsyth.cc/documents/pebt.pdf.

4:45 p.m. - A day after announcing the new Mask the City initiative to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Winston-Salem, a vast network of community and faith-based organizations are beginning to distribute masks. 

The Ministers Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity and Love Out Loud are spearheading this effort.

The purpose of Mask the City is to provide everyone in Winston-Salem access to a mask and urge them to wear it as well as to continue social distancing for 40 days from April 22 through May 31.

Approximately 60,000 masks have already been received from Renfro to date and, beginning today, have started to be distributed to community organizations. A number of businesses, foundations, other organizations and private donors paid for the 60,000 masks.

The following is an initial list of partner organizations receiving masks for distribution to low-income and at-risk residents (this list will likely grow in the days ahead):

  • Alianza Cristiana y Misionera
  • Bethesda Center for the Homeless
  • Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church
  • Boston-Thurmond Network
  • Brownsboro Community Partnership
  • Catholic Charities
  • Centers for Exceptional Children
  • Central Terrace United Methodist Church – New Story
  • Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina
  • Christ Church Winston-Salem
  • City Lights Ministry
  • Crosby Scholars
  • Destiny Temple, Inc.
  • Dress for Success – Winston-Salem
  • Experiment in Self-Reliance, Inc.
  • Family Services Forsyth County
  • The Fellowship Home
  • Financial Pathways of the Piedmont
  • First Alliance Church
  • First Baptist Church on Fifth
  • Fulton Family YMCA
  • Greater Galilee Baptist Church
  • Greater Tabernacle Worship Center
  • greeNest
  • Iglesia Cristiana Sin Fronteras
  • Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County
  • Insight Human Services
  • El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services
  • LEAD Girls of NC
  • Legal Aid of North Carolina
  • Mission on the Move Outreach
  • Moore Elementary Food Pantry; Highland Presbyterian Church & Temple Emanuel
  • Mount Calvary Holy Church
  • Parkway United Church of Christ
  • Redeemer Presbyterian Church
  • Royal Curtain Drama Guild Productions, Inc.
  • The Salvation Army
  • Samaritan Ministries
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC
  • The Shepherd's Center of Greater Winston-Salem
  • Shiloh Baptist Church
  • Springwell Network, Inc.
  • The Parenting PATH
  • TURN
  • Union Baptist Church
  • United Way
  • Whole Man Ministries
  • Winston Lake Family YMCA
  • Winston-Salem First
  • Winston-Salem Street School
  • YMCA of Northwest North Carolina
  • YWCA

4:00 p.m. - More than 20,000 COVID-19 tests will be used to test more than 16,000 corrections officers and other employees at the state’s 56 correctional institutions over the next few weeks.

The largest concentrations of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina have occurred in the state’s prisons. Johnston Correctional Institution has been closed since earlier this week with inmates transferred to other facilities and corrections personnel shifted to Neuse Correctional Facility (NCF). 

NCF has reported 458 virus cases among the 767 inmates in just the last three weeks, representing over half of the people incarcerated at that facility. Tensions are high among North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS) employees and inmates at the Goldsboro facility and the other 54 facilities like it across North Carolina.

3:30 p.m. - Sheetz has donated nearly five tons of food including a variety of snacks and drinks donated directly to hospitals in the communities Sheetz serves. 

These donations will help fuel medical personnel including doctors, nurses, hospital staff and more as they work around the clock to deliver life-saving care to those fighting COVID-19.

In North Carolina they have donated to the following:

  • Duke University Health System
  • UNC Medical Center
  • Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
  • Cone Medical Health System – Burlington/Greensboro
  • Vidant Medical Center

3:00 p.m. - North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus update. The NCDHHS said local registers are less reliable sources of coronavirus case and death numbers than the state vital records office.

2:00 p.m. - The Phillips Foundation has issued a $500K grant for Greensboro's Covid-19 relief efforts. 

$250K goes to United Way for immediate relief & other half to a revolving loan to the Community Foundation to support local recovery efforts. Interviews would be easy with United Way, Phillips Foundation & Community Foundation.

As of April 17, the Greensboro Virus Relief Fund had provided more than $1.3 million to 58 local nonprofits to help meet the needs of Guilford County residents negatively impacted by COVID-19 and the related economic downturn.

12:15 p.m. - Guilford County Public Health has identified 233 cases of coronavirus in the county and 16 deaths, according to a post from the GCDPH Facebook page.

11:15 a.m. - NCDHHS is now reporting 7,220 coronavirus cases in the state and 242 deaths. More than 400 people have been hospitalized across the state.

RELATED: Coronavirus cases in the Piedmont Triad: County updates

11:00 a.m. - Daystar Church in Greensboro hands out free meals

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday starting at 11:00 a.m. Daystar church hands out produce and hot lunches. They are partnering with out of the garden product on the produce and Chick-fil-A for the meals.

Anyone can volunteer to help. The only requirements are that you must wear gloves and masks, and fill out a health questionnaire. 

7:45 a.m. - The health of North Carolinians or the health of the economy? That's the debate that's happening in our state and across the nation right now. So, when should North Carolina reopen? We're talking about it on After GMS. Join our live conversation. 

Wednesday news to note: 

  • Gov. Cooper signed an order to expand unemployment benefits to furloughed workers yesterday. State officials said 650,000 people have filed for benefits because of the pandemic - about a third of them have been paid. 
  • If you get Social Security benefits, didn't file taxes for 2018 or 2019, and have dependents, then you have by noon TODAY to file to get $500 for each dependent. We've linked you to exactly what you need to do to get that money in this story

RELATED: Greensboro restaurant offers virtual wine dinner

RELATED: Triad 'Stay Home NC' organizer says 'Reopen NC' protest is scary to watch

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.

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