Coronavirus coverage in North Carolina, April 21, 2020: NC sees biggest daily spike in deaths
Here are the latest updates on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in North Carolina and across the globe.Posted — Updated
What you need to know:
- There are 7,179 people in 93 North Carolina counties who have tested positive for the coronavirus. There are at least 966 confirmed cases statewide of people recovering from the virus, although many counties aren't reporting those numbers. Find out (Why WRAL shows more cases than others)
- At least 224 people have died in North Carolina, and about 427 people are hospitalized, although many hospitals don't report their cases.
- Federal stimulus checks are being mailed to American families, and the state Department of Employment Security has started issuing an extra $600 a week in jobless benefits, which also was part of the stimulus package.
Where are cases, deaths in NC?
The individual was wearing gloves and a face mask during food distribution. The site was set up for drive-thru distribution only, and health officials said the exposure risk is low to anyone coming through the line because close contact was limited to less than 10 minutes.
Birx said governors and local officials need to decide for themselve when and how to reopen businesses, and public health experts will maintain surveillance in case the virus makes a comeback in the fall.
"We must take care of the American worker," Trump said, adding that temporarily halting efforts by people seeking green cards will conserve health care resources for U.S. citizens.
The executive order was being drafted Tuesday evening and will be signed Wednesday, he said.
Buses will no longer be used to deliver food. Instead, volunteers will pick up meals at Northside Elementary or McDougle Elementary and take them directly to the sites where they are stationed to reduce the number of people involved in the process, Abele said.
"We will be working with additional partners to help support meal delivery to the community sites over the next two weeks," he said. "We will keep in touch with our families who are depending on the feeding operation in case of additional changes to the schedule."
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he will ask large businesses who obtained funds in the first round of PPP loans to give the money back. National restaurant chain Shake Shack has already returned $10 million.
Trump said he will insist Harvard University return money it received from the program.
Dare County has blocked access to all non-residents, except people working in essential businesses, since mid-March in an effort to keep the coronavirus out. Officials said no new virus cases have been reported in the last week, and testing and contact tracing resources are readily available.
Meanwhile, the Currituck County Board of Commissioners has voted to allow all non-resident property owners to gain access into Corolla, beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday. The board also set a date of May 15 to begin allowing visitors to access Corolla, but that date will be re-evaluated during the next Board of Commissioners meeting on May 4.
"The restrictions that are now in place have caused unprecedented disruption among our businesses and will have dramatic effects on our economy for years to come," board Chairman E. Ray Mayo wrote in the letter. "Many Wayne County business leaders have expressed concerns about how smaller businesses have been disproportionately affected by these regulations."
Wayne County has close to 600 virus cases, with about three-quarters of them inmates at Neuse Correctional Institution.
North Carolina magistrates perform about 25,000 marriages a year. In recent weeks, with many wedding venues closed, couples seeking to be married brought large groups of witnesses and attendees to local magistrates’ offices to be married there instead, prompting several counties to cease performing marriages altogether.
Wake County magistrates resumed performing marriages on Monday.
About 1,000 people took part in the ReOpenNC protest in downtown Raleigh on Tuesday, saying the restrictions need to go away by May 1 so businesses can reopen.
Cooper said he plans to announce changes to his stay-at-home order later this week and may also announce plans for public schools, which are closed through May 15.
Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities account for 40 percent of North Carolina's coronavirus-related deaths, although they are only about 17 percent of overall infections.
To date the state has paid about $580 million in benefits to 257,000 people since mid-March, the vast majority who lost their jobs because of coronavirus-related shutdowns.
1:05 p.m.: The North Carolina National Guard will begin providing personnel and vehicles to assist food banks statewide on Wednesday. Each food bank will receive approximately 40 people and 15 cargo vehicles, tailored to the needs of the food bank and those they serve, and National Guard members will help with warehouse and forklift operations and meal distribution, as well as food transportation and delivery to area agencies on aging and school nutrition programs.
“Food banks are doing great work right now to help people who need assistance,” North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said in a statement. “But demand is very high, and food banks need your support.”
The plans include screening employees before they start their shifts, providing more protective gear for workers, separating people more on production lines and tracing the close contacts of anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 to quarantine other workers as needed.
"Agriculture and agribusinesses are on the front lines of this crisis just like hospital workers, first responders, grocery store staff, truck drivers and many more. Their work is different, but every bit as critically important," Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said in a statement. "We are in contact with the companies, public health officials and our federal inspection partners. The companies are working to implement recommendations of the CDC and state public health and local officials to keep these facilities operating and producing a stable supply of safe and nutritious food."
“We understand the stresses and constraints that families are going through right now. We just want to serve the community in the best way we know how, by sharing the art and culture of the diverse Latino/Hispanic community and help keep them as safe as possible by providing masks. We will distribute masks as long as funds are available to secure their purchase," Diamante Chirman Roberto Perez said in a statement.
The delay doesn't affect construction projects already underway or that have already been awarded. The only new ones moving forward are funded by GARVEE bonds, BUILD NC bonds and federal grants.
DOT is funded through the Motor Fuels Tax, Highway Use Tax and Division of Motor Vehicles fees, all of which are seeing less revenue as people drive less and inspection and registration deadlines have been pushed back during the pandemic.
The agency also is laying off consultants, implementing a hiring freeze – positions that impact public safety won't be affected – and is readying plans to furlough employees, if needed.
The changes include removing certain dollar and stay limits, expanding the type of location where services can be delivered and easing requirements for reviews of personalized care plans and in-person meetings and are retroactive to March 13. They will continue until March 12, 2021, the end of the public health emergency or when the state determines the flexibilities are no longer necessary, whichever is first.
Richard Cephas, of Wilmington, Del., surrendered on Monday in Delaware and has been charged with escape. Butner has the largest virus outbreak in the federal prison system, with at least 70 inmates and two dozen staffers testing positive.
Skylar Herbert first complained of a headache. Her parents, first responders themselves, took her to the hospital. She was ultimately placed on a ventilator and died from the virus over the weekend.
In just seven weeks, deaths from COVID-19 have spiked from just six deaths to over 42,000.
The test will include collection of specimens via nasal swabs. However, consumers will be able to buy the test only if recommended by a health care provider and after they have filled out a questionnaire.
The new numbers come from the U.K.'s largest independent producer of statistics. As of April 10, they believe more than 13,000 have died, as opposed to the originally reported death toll at the time, which was 9,200.
Revised numbers were also reported in China, and experts believe similar revisions with higher death tolls will also happen in the United States.
On Wednesday, the House of Raeford Farms chicken sale comes to Raleigh. Long lines are expected to form at the State Fairgrounds, where the chicken drive-thru will begin at 9 a.m.
House of Raeford Farms has been selling its chicken quickly. To keep people from waiting in line for hours, they are asking customers to be prepared with cash and in line early. The chicken will be sold in 40-pound cases for about $45.
A sale will take place in Raleigh on Wednesday.
Officials say the plan will not go into effect immediately, but it will eventually allow visitors to access Kitty Hawk, Nags Head and Hatteras Island.
Th3 immigration suspension comes after the president banned some travelers to and from China and Europe in January and March.
Walmart made a similar move Monday, and Fresh Market made the mandate for employees last week while also requiring shoppers to cover their faces.
“This is not the time to be lax. Instead, we need to ready ourselves for a new way of living for the foreseeable future,” said Dr. Takeshi Kasai, the WHO regional director.
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