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BLOG | Guilford County issues tighter restrictions, limits groups

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.  

TUESDAY, MARCH 24

8:25 p.m. - Wake Forest University student tests positive for coronavirus COVID-19.

RELATED: Wake Forest University student tests positive for coronavirus

7:44 p.m. - Guilford County prohibits gatherings to no more than 10 persons

Guilford County Officials released an amended State of Emergency Declaration, to be effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at 5:00 P.M.

The tighter restrictions will affect all residents and prohibit gatherings to no more than 10 persons. The Declaration also prohibits the use of public and privately-owned playgrounds. But does exclude playgrounds at private residences.

 The County has made the decision to enact tighter restrictions based on the input from the Communities Health System Partners in an effort to further slow the spread of the virus and protect the healthcare system and to keep more residents healthy.

 Phillips stated, “We are now entering a challenging phase in a rapidly changing situation. We need every member of our community to follow the CDC recommendations, to cover their sneeze and cough, to stay home when sick, to wash their hands frequently and reduce social interactions.”  Phillips urged residents that if these measures are taken seriously to slow the spread of the virus, there is hope that the County can postpone the need for more drastic measures such as those taken by larger Communities.

The new declaration allows for many business exclusions to these new social gathering mandates which can be found on the county’s website at www.guilfordcountync.gov

5:56 p.m. - White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing: New York City is a "hot spot" and recommends anyone who has left the state of New York to quarantine for 14 days. $6 trillion financial stimulus package announced as largest ever in U.S.A. history.

4:21 p.m. - Wake Forest Baptist Health admits its first patient to test positive for coronavirus. The patient is doing well in isolation at Wake Forest Baptist Health – High Point Medical Center, officials said. WFBH officials expect to see more patients admitted to hospitals in the region.

2:00 p.m. - State emergency and health leaders are giving an update on coronavirus. Here are some takeaways from the Q&A session: 

  • 94 counties have issued states of emergency. 
  • NC has received its second shipment of personal protective equipment from the federal stockpile. The shipment included five truckloads of n95 respirators, surgical masks, face shields, surgical gowns, and gloves. Those supplies have been sent out to medical facilities that need them. 
  • NC 2-1-1 continues to help hundreds of people each day with coronavirus questions. 
  • Health officials are still gathering demographic data about coronavirus to understand how it is impacting our state. They hope to release that data soon once they have a better picture of the statistics. 
  • NC emergency leaders say the number one priority is getting health workers the equipment they need over the next two days. 
  • Health officials say they expect the coronavirus numbers to continue to rise, but the goal is to flatten the curve.

12:30 p.m. - Randolph County Public Health confirmed its third case of coronavirus. The health department said the patient recently traveled outside of North Carolina. 

RELATED: Randolph County identifies third case of coronavirus

10:30 a.m. - Christopher Ohl, M.D., infectious disease expert with Wake Forest Baptist Health, will give an update on coronavirus in North Carolina. 

10:05 a.m. - Garth Brooks has rescheduled his upcoming stadium concert. He was scheduled to perform at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC on May 2nd, but has postponed the concert for June 13th. All tickets will be honored. It will be his only stop in the Carolinas on The Stadium Tour. 

"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 the singer.

9:55 a.m. - NCDHHS is reporting 398 cases of coronavirus across the state. Since yesterday, five new cases have been confirmed in Guilford County, bringing the total to 16.

RELATED: Coronavirus in North Carolina: County-by-county breakdown of positive cases

7:45 a.m. - Join our digital newscast AFTER GMS! We're talking about social distancing - are people really following the guidelines? Let us know what you think. 

6:30 a.m. - According to the NC Department of Employment Security, more than 122,000 unemployment claims were filed between March 16 and March 23. About 87-percent of those claims were COVID-19 related. Normally, the state gets about 3,000 unemployment claims in one week. Career Center of the Carolinas is beginning conference calls today to help find work for those who have lost their jobs due to coronavirus. Check out more information in the story below.

RELATED: Looking for work? Career Center of the Carolinas helps find jobs for those impacted by coronavirus

MONDAY, MARCH 23

11:00 p.m. - Expect to see some virus-related scams in the weeks and months ahead. Associate pastor Stacey Grimm has a warning for others after getting a strange email. 

RELATED: She was told to pay $4K in 24 hours or her family would be exposed to coronavirus

9:45 p.m. - North Carolina Governor Cooper says businesses including hair/nail salons, gyms, and massage spas to close by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25. Here's a full list below.

RELATED: List of businesses to close by 5pm Wednesday

7:25 p.m. - Guilford County Schools gives an update on a plan moving forward following Gov. Cooper's school announcement. 

6:30 p.m. - Governor Roy Cooper says about 110,000 people have applied for unemployment in just the last week.

5:06 p.m. - North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey has asked the state’s insurance companies to unify processes to make it easier for people to get tested. 

Commissioner Causey has asked insurers to waive prior authorization for COVID-19 diagnostic tests and covered services – and to provide these at no cost to the insured. 

4:37 p.m. - Randolph County Health makes the following changes based on recommendations. 

  • Randolph Health StayWell Senior Care has closed the Adult Day Center. Only participants needing to be seen by clinical staff will be transported to the center for care and then transported back home. 
  • StayWell Senior Care is initiating a meal delivery service to participant’s homes. Randolph Health Fitness Center shares space with Randolph Health Deep River Physical Therapy at 600 W. Salisbury St., Asheboro. The Fitness Center is closed for members, but Physical Therapy is still open to seeing patients.
  • Randolph Health has postponed all cardiac and pulmonary rehab classes. 
  • Randolph Health has closed the following departments to walk-in visitor traffic: Human Resources, Patient Financial Services and Health Information Management (Medical Records.) Individuals can visit our website at www.randolphhealth.org to apply for a job, pay a bill and download a form to request personal medical records. 
  • Maternity Services is only allowing one visitor per patient. This means there is only one assigned visitor and that is the only visitor allowed during the duration of the patient’s stay.

4:15 p.m. - Beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2020, until further notice, the High Point Transit System will be fare-free. 

Passengers will board and de-board using the rear door unless the ramp or kneeling feature is needed for accessibility. Service will be reduced to hourly all day from 5:45 a.m. until 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 the Saturday routes. Passengers needing transportation to or from areas where service is being reduced can call 336.889.7433 for assistance. The Guaranteed Ride Home service will not operate. 

4:06 p.m. - In a continued effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) will remain closed through April 30, 2020. 

4:00 p.m. - In accordance with the Governor’s announcement, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools will remain closed for in-person instruction through May 15, 2020.

WS/FCS Superintendent, Dr. Angela Hairston, says, “We realize that this may create some stress for families as they continue to support student learning at home. However, we know this is the best decision for our entire community.  We will continue to do our very best to support our students as we put the health and safety of our students, staff, and community first.”

WS/FCS has deployed more than 20,000 devices so students can continue to learn.  WS/FCS will offer more guidance on the deployment of hotspots for those families that need them later this week. The district is still awaiting delivery.

3:46 p.m. - The Alamance Burlington School System released the following response to parents today:

We have just received an important update from the state that we have been expecting since Governor Cooper announced the mandatory school shutdown on March 14. Now, by executive order, all North Carolina public schools will remain closed at least through May 15. This news is not a surprise but it will alter our familiar routines.

While there is plenty of uncertainty with the announcement of an extended school closure, ABSS has been planning and preparing for it. We are still here and our educators are ready. Schools and teachers have been in constant communication with families and we will continue all of our outreach efforts. 

We have implemented plans for learning to continue at home. Our teachers’ expectations for student achievement remain high. We can and we will be successful together.

Our efforts to support other student and family needs will continue as long as possible, including our grab and go breakfast and lunch service, as well as mobile distribution using our yellow school buses. Our school counselors, social workers and nurses will still be available to assist with questions and concerns. 

As we enter the final 9 weeks of our school year, please know that we have prepared for this next challenge. Everyone will have lots of questions about school year-end traditions like proms, awards days, and graduation. We will work together to determine what those experiences will look like and when they will occur, depending on mandated guidelines by the state of North Carolina. We all cherish the celebration of our students’ achievements and milestones. We don't have all of the answers yet, but our pledge to you is that we will work together to provide the best end of the 2019-2020 school year possible given the unprecedented measures taken to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

While we can’t return to our familiar classrooms and school routines now, the relationships we value with each other, the bonds we have built together and our willingness to be flexible and creative will see us through this challenging time.  We are making history together – a history that we will look back on and be proud of our actions and outcomes.

Our compassionate community is also with us every step of the way, ready and willing to support our needs.  We will continue to help each other as always and work together to create solutions to our challenges.

Our promise to you is that while we can’t be together in person with our students and families, our support and care for one another will remain as strong as ever. We will be successful together.

3:37 p.m. - The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released the following statement:

In response to Governor Roy Cooper’s executive order closing all North Carolina public schools through May 15th, North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Commissioner Que Tucker released the following statement:

“Having heard the updated information relative to schools remaining closed until the middle of May, NCHSAA interscholastic athletics will remain suspended until at least May 18. 

The NCHSAA Board of Directors and staff will use the next few weeks to weigh our future decisions based on the new directions given by Governor Cooper, other government leaders, and organizations charged with public health and safety during this unprecedented time.  Such decisions will include the possible resumption of spring sports’ competition and the possibility of holding the state basketball championships.

While we remain hopeful that we will be able to resume competition, particularly for our senior student-athletes, we also recognize the need to protect the health and safety of our students, coaches and the communities we serve.”

3:11 p.m. - Two of Wake Forest Baptist Health’s primary care clinics have been converted into temporary respiratory symptom clinics and opened earlier today.

The two locations are:

  • Family Medicine and Internal Medicine – Peace Haven (1930 N. Peace Haven Rd., Winston-Salem)
  • Pulmonology – Westchester (1814 Westchester Dr., Suite 201, High Point)

People with symptoms of respiratory illness should first call their primary care provider for telephone screening to determine whether they need to be seen in person at one of the respiratory symptom clinics. 

Those without a primary care provider can call Wake Forest Baptist’s hotline at 336-70-COVID for telephone screening to determine if the symptoms can safely be managed at home or if the patient needs to be seen in person.

1:00 p.m. - Governor Cooper gives an update on the coronavirus response in North Carolina. 

  • Governor Cooper said K-12 schools will remain closed until May 15. Students will continue remote learning. 
  • State leaders say they will only reopen schools at the instruction of health officials. 
  • Hair/nail salons, gyms, and massage parlors will be closed under his new executive order, effective Wednesday. 
  • Cooper's new executive order bans mass gatherings of 50 people or more. 
  • Cooper said state officials are working to enlist the help of manufacturers to make medical masks and other needed equipment for healthcare workers.
  • Governor Cooper said right now there are no plans to issue a "shelter in place" as other states have done, but he said state leaders are preparing for all scenarios in this ever-changing situation. 
  • Cooper said he would like for all school employees to be paid during the duration of the school closures, and state leaders are working to see how they can make that can happen. 
  • Cooper said over the past week, the state received over 100,000 unemployment claims. Normally, they get 3,000 claims in a week. 
  • NC officials said 11 people have been hospitalized in the state due to coronavirus - that's out of a total of 297 cases across the state.

11:45 a.m. - Novant Health announced it is opening a coronavirus screening center in Thomasville. It will be located at 903 Randolph Street and will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

10:30 a.m. - The City of Burlington announces all playgrounds and basketball courts are closed as a coronavirus precaution. Parks and trails remain open but visitors should use social distancing when out. The city is asking folks to avoid crowds and refrain from group activity. 

9:15 a.m. - Davidson County Public Health is reporting its second case of coronavirus. 

8:55 a.m. - The total number of coronavirus cases across North Carolina has reached 297, according to the map from NCDHHS.

8:10 a.m. - A Randolph County resident has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a release from Randolph County Public Health. 

8:00 a.m. - Today is the first day of online learning for Guilford County Schools. Click here to learn more about the Canvas Parent Guide. 

7:30 a.m. - The Career Center of the Carolinas is helping find jobs for those who have lost work due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Credit: Career Center of the Carolinas
Career Center of the Carolinas

Monday morning notes: 

  • Governor Cooper is scheduled to give a coronavirus update at 1 p.m. today. You can watch it live here. 
  • As of this morning, North Carolina has 255 cases of coronavirus statewide, according to the NCDHHS map
  • The CDC, FDA, and USDA say they are not aware of any reports that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted through food or by food packaging.
  • Triad women band together to sew much-needed medical masks for healthcare workers.

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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