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Coronavirus coverage in North Carolina, April 10, 2020: NC tops 4,000 cases

Here are the latest updates on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in North Carolina and across the globe.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Here are the latest updates on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in North Carolina and across the globe:

What you need to know:

Map of current NC cases

Latest updates:

9:05 p.m.: Carteret County officials have reported another positive case for coronavirus, the 21st confirmed case in the county. Of the 21, six patients are still active while 14 have recovered and one has died.
8:40 p.m.: North Carolina has topped 4,000 cases of coronavirus in a little over five weeks. Eighty-four people have died statewide from the virus, while about 325 have recovered.
8:25 p.m.: Two infants are among Mecklenburg County's 869 coronavirus cases, county officials said.
7:40 p.m.: UNC Health and Chatham County health officials are working to test all residents and staff at The Laurels of Chatham nursing home after six people there tested positive for the coronavirus.

Orange County has already done mass testing at two nursing homes there, revealing major outbreaks that have infected more than 100 residents and staffers combined.

5:20 p.m.: More North Carolina counties are reporting cases where people have recovered from coronavirus infections. In the 20 counties now reporting such numbers, at least 327 people have recovered from the virus.
5:15 p.m.: A person who works at the Walmart at 2820 Gillespie St. in Fayetteville has tested positive for coronavirus, officials said. The Cumberland County Health Department is reaching out to individuals who may have been in contact with the person who tested positive.

Anyone who was in the store April 1-3 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day may have been exposed, officials said.

4:25 p.m.: State Secretary of Public Safety Erik Hooks will on Monday outline steps being taken to limit the spread of coronavirus in North Carolina prisons, spokeswoman Pam Walker said after being asked about inmate releases.

"[W]e have been and will continue working throughout this crisis to assess options within the department’s authority to keep those working and housed in our prisons safe," Walker said in an email. "The options must be carefully evaluated, with the safety of DPS employees, those sentenced to our custody and, ultimately, the public as our top priority. Several of those actions have recently been initiated. For example, the Secretary has the legal authority to transition some specific groups currently in our state prisons to supervision in the community."

4 p.m.: A first responder in Chowan County has tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said. The employee last worked a full shift on March 31 and failed a screening when reporting for work on Tuesday. The person has been in isolation since then.

All first responders are screened daily. All co-workers who were in direct contact with the infected employee have been notified and continue to monitor for any symptoms, officials said. Equipment at the station is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each call and also at the beginning of each shift.

3:55 p.m.: The Moore County Health Department has determined that further testing in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in the county isn't necessary, as the coronavirus is likely present in all such facilities.

"COVID-19 testing provides only a snapshot in time. An individual may test negative one day and positive the next," Moore County Health Department Director Robert Wittmann said in a statement. "Without complete and continuous testing with rapid results, we have no way to truly get a handle on virus transmission. At this time, we do not have the testing capabilities for such an undertaking."

Forty-five residents and eight staffers at Pinehurst Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center have tested positive.

3:10 p.m.: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding nearly $919.2 million in grants to 6,906 health care providers and health systems in North Carolina to assist with the coronavirus response. The funding is part of the CARES Act that Congress passed last month.
2:45 p.m.: President Donald Trump said the U.S. economy will remain shut down until it's safe to restart. He had earlier pressed to reopen by this weekend but then urged "social distancing" guidelines remain in place through April.

Trump said he would announce the launch of the “Opening Our Country" task force next Tuesday to work toward that goal. but he said he would listen to health experts if they call for keeping the guidelines in place in May before making the “biggest decision I’ve ever had to make."

“I want to get it open as soon as possible," he said. “The facts are going to determine what I do.”

2:35 p.m.: The IRS has created a web portal for people who don't have direct deposit or an address on file with the agency to obtain information about the federal stimulus checks being sent to Americans as part of the CARES Act and to submit contact information.
2:30 p.m.: A third resident of PruittHealth's Carolina Point nursing home in Durham has died of the coronavirus, officials said. Sixty-six residents at the facility, which is in Orange County, and 20 staff members have tested positive for the virus.
1:55 p.m.: Two workers at a Food Lion distribution center in Dunn have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a spokeswoman for Food Lion's parent, Ahold Delhaize USA Co.

The first worker tested positive Wednesday and has been in isolation since then. The second case is unrelated to the first, as the worker is involved in the transportation operation at the warehouse, the spokeswoman said. Neither worker had close contact with anyone else or with food, she said.

1:40 p.m.: The U.S. Department of Transportation is providing $1 billion in emergency aid to Amtrak, which has seen ridership drop by 90 percent amid the coronavirus outbreak. Another $25 billion is being provided to public transportation systems nationwide to help them respond to the pandemic.
1:35 p.m.: The worldwide death toll from coronavirus has hit 100,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

President Donald Trump said he expects the U.S. death toll to be far below the 100,000 predicted earlier because of "social distancing" efforts to limit the spread of the virus and because of a concerted health care response in hard-hit areas.

12:10 p.m.: The U.S. Department of Education is awarding $378.3 million to 142 North Carolina colleges, universities and post-secondary institutions as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act passed last month by Congress.

About $189.1 million of that total will be distributed immediately to provide direct emergency cash grants to college students for expenses related to disruptions to their education due to the pandemic.

11:50 a.m.: An employee of a Hardee's restaurant in Fayetteville has tested positive for the new coronavirus, and public health officials in Cumberland and Harnett counties are working to find anyone who may have been in contact with the worker.

Anyone who was at the Hardee's at 2309 Gillespie St. at the following times and who start to experience coughing and trouble breathing and have a fever need to isolate themselves:

  • March 27, 5 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
  • March 28, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • March 30, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • March 31, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • April 1, 5 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • April 2, 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • April 3, 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • April 4, 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
  • April 7, 8:30 a.m. to noon

No other Hardee’s locations were affected. The Gillespie Street restaurant was providing only drive-thru and takeout service at all of the times mentioned.

11:45 a.m.: An employee at the Pilgrim's Pride poultry processing plant in Sanford has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a letter sent to workers. The person is in isolation, and other workers in close contact have been quarantined.

"Our Sanford facility will remain open, and we are continuing enhanced sanitation every day," the letter states. "We have also deep cleaned the impacted areas in our plant to further minimize risk and will mist all common areas, including the cafeteria, break rooms and bathrooms. You are making a difference at this critical time by providing safe, quality food for our friends, neighbors and country."

11:40 a.m.: Virus-related deaths in Buncombe, Craven, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford and Stanly counties have put the statewide death toll from the coronavirus at 80. More than 3,900 cases have been reported in North Carolina.
Map: Virus outbreaks in NC long-term care facilities
11:20 a.m.: A second Orange County nursing home has a major coronavirus outbreak. At least 30 cases have been reported at Signature HealthCARE of Chapel Hill, according to public health officials, and that number could grow, as all of the tests of residents and staff aren't back yet.

PruittHealth's Carolina Point facility in the Orange County portion of Durham has 66 residents and 20 staffers infected with the virus.

11:10 a.m.: The federal prison complex in Butner now has the most coronavirus cases of any federal prison nationwide at 76 – 59 inmates and 17 staffers – according to Bureau of Prisons statistics.
11 a.m.: A Raleigh artist known for his paintings of the Raleigh skyline, as well as iconic Raleigh landmarks and people, has turned his attention to New York City. His painting captures a moment in time, and something he never thought he would see happen in the U.S.
10:55 a.m.: Emerald Isle has put in place restrictions, including mandatory 14-day quarantines for anyone spending a night in the coastal town if they spent the previous night outside of Carteret County.
10 a.m.: Medical experts believe coronavirus is nearing its peak in the US--particularly in New York.
9:30 a.m.: Democrats blocked $250 billion in extra funds for small business aid. The proposal would add funds to the stimulus already in place, which is already forecast to run out of money.

The Senate tried to pass the bill through unanimous consent; however, democrats objected, wanting to add more money for hospitals and state governments, which Republicans wanted to block.

9:00 a.m.: While marijuana use is not yet legal in North Carolina, use of marijuana recreationally or medically is legal in many states. Studies show, however, that even occasional use of marijuana can increase risk of COVID-19 complications.

Officials urged people who have been using marijuana to ease anxiety during COVID-19 to be cautious.

8:30 a.m.: Close to 6,700 members of the NYPD, both police and civilian members, were out sick from COVID-19 over the weekend, according to officials.

Sadly 13 members of the NYPD have died from COVID-19 as of April 7.

Meanwhile, the New York City jails are releasing criminals onto the streets due to the jails being rampant with Coronavirus.

8:00 a.m.: One year ago today, Brightleaf Square in Durham was shaken by an explosion that led to loss of life and property, from which many businesses are still recovering. Many restaurants were forced to close after the blast.

In January, Saint James Seafood Restaurant re-opened its doors, but only a few months later, COVID-19 is dampening their financial recovery. Restaurants are only allowed to offer takeout due to stay-at-home orders.

Even with restrictions, Torero's Mexican Restaurant said they will re-open their doors. The co-owners said they hope to open later this month and begin serving takeout.

7:30 a.m.: A former graduate from UNC is leading a team of scientists to try and find a vaccine for COVID-19. Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett is an immunologist whose family lives in Hillsborough. She earned her doctorate in immunolgy and microbiology from UNC in 2014, having previously earned degrees in biology and sociology.
7:00 a.m.: Franklin Graham--and North Carolina relief workers from his non-profit Samaritan's Purse--has helped organize and set up a field hospital in Central Park in New York city.
Graham visited to pray with patients several days go, while relief workers from North Carolina spent their Good Friday and Easter providing hands-on assistance in the epicenter of COVID-19 in America.
6:30 a.m.: New York has more confirmed COVID-19 cases than China, Italy or Iran.
5:30 a.m.: With Good Friday and Easter Sunday celebrations planned for this weekend in the Triangle, Governor Cooper has continued to stress now is not the time for mass gatherings.

Since the stay-at-home order, churches have had to hold services online either live or recorded--this includes Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

5:00 a.m.: A hospital employee from eastern North Carolina has died due to complications from COVID-19.

The individual was a Craven County resident, who worked for CarolinaEast Medical Center.

Officials said she had significant chronic health problems. She was treated in the hospital where she worked, but unfortunately did not survive.
4:30 a.m.: Two nurses and two residents have tested positive for the coronavirus at Wellington Rehabilitation and Healthcare in Knightdale, the first long-term care facility in Wake County with an outbreak.

The two residents are hospitalized at WakeMed.

"We’re concerned about the potential for COVID-19 to spread rapidly among residents at the facility because many of the residents are older and have additional health conditions that put them at risk of serious illness if they contract the virus,” Wake County Medical Director Dr. Kim McDonald said in a statement.

Public health officials are testing all patients and staff who were in close contact with the four infected individuals, but the results likely won't be back for seven to 10 days. Until then, staff are advised to wear personal protective equipment at all times, practice appropriate social distancing and frequently clean surfaces with disinfectant.

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