CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More than 5.4 million people worldwide — including at least 1.6 million people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals manage unprecedented patient surges.
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Possible news conferences scheduled for today
Mecklenburg County: (TBA)
North Carolina Task Force: (3 p.m.)
South Carolina Task Force (TBA)
White House Task Force: (TBA)
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>> Here are the latest updates about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in North Carolina and South Carolina. Scroll below for real-time updates.
- The number of cases across North Carolina reached 23,964 Monday. North Carolina is now reporting 754 deaths, 344,690 completed tests and 627 people currently in the hospital.
- Gov. Roy Cooper and the state’s coronavirus task force announced the state will move into a “safer-at-home” plan on May 22.
- Gov. Henry McMaster lifted the home or work order in South Carolina on May 1.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the United States here.
Live, local updates from Monday:
President Donald Trump honored America’s war dead in back-to-back Memorial Day appearances colored by an epic struggle off the battlefield, against the coronavirus.
He’s eager to demonstrate national revival from the pandemic, and so he doubled up on his public schedule Monday.
He appeared both at Arlington National Cemetery and at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.
Trump also threatened to pull the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte in August unless North Carolina’s Democratic governor gives a quick green light to the party’s plans to assemble en masse.
The U.S. death toll from the pandemic is close to 100,000.
South Carolina’s top education official wanted $115 million for summer school programs to get some of the state’s most vulnerable students back on track after the coronavirus.
But Accelerate SC, the state’s special reopening committee, only recommended about 10% of that from the $1.9 billion of federal government COVID-19 relief.
The current funding is enough to provide one week of summer school to help special education students, younger elementary students struggling to read. State Education Superintendent Molly Spearman plans to ask for more money.
The questions over education spending simmered Monday as South Carolina announced 90 new coronavirus cases and five additional COVID-19 deaths.
South Carolina has recorded 440 confirmed deaths more than 10,000 confirmed infections.
A federal judge says people voting by absentee ballot in South Carolina don’t have to have a witness sign the voting papers.
U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs on Monday ordered South Carolina officials to not enforce the requirement for a witness signature on ballots in the June 9 primary or any ensuing runoff elections.
She found having to seek a witness increases the chance that a voter would contract or spread the coronavirus.
Childs, however, did not permanently strike down the requirement as unconstitutional. Childs also refused to extend the election day cutoff for receiving absentee ballots.
Iredell County Confirms COVID-19 at a Second Long-Term Care Facility
The Iredell County Health Department received notice on May 24, 2020 of a COVID-19 outbreak in a second Iredell County long-term care facility. At this time, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services considers two or more cases in a long-term care facility to be an outbreak.
The facility has willingly worked in conjunction with the Iredell County Health Department to have all residents and employees tested for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure. While we are still awaiting the results of a few tests, we can confirm there are a total of 2 positive cases of COVID-19 at this facility, one in a resident and one in staff member.
The infected resident has been isolated from all other residents and the employee who tested positive is isolating at home.
The Iredell County Health Department is working with this facility to conduct contact tracing to determine who else may have been exposed to COVID-19. The facility continues to implement strict visitor restrictions and infection control precautions to help prevent any further spread of COVID-19. At this time, no other individuals at the facility have exhibited signs or symptoms associated with COVID-19. The skilled nursing staff at the long-term care facility are continuing to provide quality care to all residents, with resident and staff safety being the utmost priority.
North Carolina health officials said Monday 14,954 patients are presumed to be recovered throughout the state. Last week, the state announced 11,637 patients were presumed to be recovered, meaning there have been 3,317 more recoveries since then.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) estimates a median time to recovery of 14 days from the date of specimen collection for non-fatal COVID-19 cases who were not hospitalized, or if hospitalization status is unknown. The estimated median recovery time is 28 days from the date of specimen collection for hospitalized non-fatal COVID-19 cases.
The SCDHEC today announced 90 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and five additional deaths. This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 10,178 and those who have died to 440.
One of the four new deaths reported was an eldery person in Chesterfield County.
Testing in South Carolina As of May 24, a total of 171,034 total tests have been conducted in the state (by both DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory and private labs). DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week. The Public Health Laboratory’s current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24-48 hours.
More than 50 Mobile Testing Clinics Scheduled Statewide As part of our ongoing efforts to increase testing in underserved and rural communities across the state, DHEC is working with community partners to set up mobile testing clinics that bring testing to these communities. Currently, there are 58 mobile testing events scheduled through June 26 with new testing events added regularly. Find a mobile testing clinic event near you at scdhec.gov/covid19mobileclinics.
Upcoming free DHEC mobile testing clinics for May 26 and 27 include:
- May 26: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The Technology Center, 3721 Magnolia St., Orangeburg, SC 29118, partnership with Family Health Centers, Inc.
- May 26: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Eutawville Community Center, 419 Porcher Ave., Eutawville, SC 29048, partnership with Family Health Centers, Inc.
- May 26: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Rowesville Community Center, 125 Oak St., Rowesville, SC 29133, partnership with Family Health Centers, Inc.
- May 26: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Travelers Rest Missionary Baptist Church, 110 Brewton Rd., Spartanburg, SC 29301, partnership with ReGenesis Healthcare*
- May 27: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Jamestown Steel Shed, 116 Steel Shed Lane, Jamestown, SC 29453, partnership with St. James Health and Wellness.
- May 27: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The Technology Center, 3721 Magnolia St., Orangeburg, SC 29118, partnership with Family Health Centers, Inc.
- May 27: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Joe Miller Park, 700 Harlin St., Elloree, SC 29047, SC 29118, partnership with Family Health Centers, Inc.
- May 27: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Town of North Community Center-Square, 7904 Salley Rd., North, SC 29112, partnership with Family Health Centers, Inc.
- May 27: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mims Recreation Center, 516 Mims Drive, McCormick, SC 29835, partnership with Carolina Health Centers.
- May 27: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Salem First Baptist Church, 151 Crestwood Dr., Salem, SC 29676, partnership with Clemson University Sullivan Center.
- May 27: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Travelers Rest Missionary Baptist Church, 110 Brewton Rd., Spartanburg, SC 29301, partnership with ReGenesis Healthcare*
*ReGenesis Healthcare partner events are by appointment only. Individuals must schedule an appointment via portal at myrhc.org/COVID19.
Additionally, there are currently 145 permanent testing locations at health care facilities throughout the state. These testing sites can be found at scdhec.gov/covid19testing.
The state has already paid out more than $8.8 million in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, an extra 13 weeks of unemployment benefits for people who have exhausted their state benefits. The Division of Employment Security started taking applications for the PEUC on Friday.
Altogether, more than $2.6 billion in state and federal jobless benefits have been paid to nearly 585,000 people statewide since mid-March, according to DES. The people who have received payments are only 62 percent of the 943,000 who have filed unemployment claims in that period, however.
NCDHHS has released updated data on COVID-19 for the state:
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting 23,964 cases of COVID-19 across the state, up 742 from Sunday. The percent of positive tests as the state expands its testing remains stable at 7 percent.
There have been 10 new deaths attributed to COVID-19 since Sunday, bringing the state’s total to 754.
The NCDHHS is reporting the highest number of hospitalizations so far in the pandemic. Currently, 627 people are hospitalized in the state due to complications from COVID-19. That’s up 40 from Sunday.
NCDHHS also reported 344,690 tests have been completed. The state reported 8,034 total tests were done in the past 24 hours, which is just above the state’s benchmark to test between 5,000 and 7,000 people every day.
Mecklenburg County continues to lead the state in both cases and deaths with at least 3,380 and 73 respectively.
(Men account for 52% of deaths)
Cases and deaths in congregate living settings:
There have been 83 outbreaks in nursing homes across the state, resulting in 2,948 cases and 401 deaths (Anson, Burke (2); Cabarrus (2); Catawba; Cleveland; Iredell; Mecklenburg (9); Rowan (4); Union (2))
There have been 36 outbreaks at residential care facilities across the state, resulting in 612 cases and 57 deaths (Cabarrus (2); Mecklenburg (6); Stanly; Union).
HOW ARE WE DOING? As the state looks to go through the phases of reopening, officials are looking to meet certain benchmarks. Here’s how we’re doing on some of those:
Decrease in percent of positive tests? In the last 24 hours, 8 percent of the tests completed were positive. The state is working toward a downward trajectory in this metric but the 7-day rolling average has been going up.
Hospitalizations decreasing? The state saw the most hospitalizations so far in the pandemic in the last 24 hours. Still, 28 percent of inpatient beds and 22 percent of ICU beds in the state are available.
Testing capacity? The state did meet its goal in the last 24 hours with 8,034 tests.
Contract tracers? The state still only has 250 and is working to double this workforce to 500.
PPE Supplies? While the state reports enough procedure masks, face shields, N95 masks and gloves to cover at least 30 days, the state still has a 0-day supply of gowns.
North Carolina State University and Novozymes are combining forces to produce hundreds of gallons of hand sanitizer each day to help keep students, faculty and staff members safe.
Fewer people are traveling for Memorial Day this year – so few, in fact, that AAA didn’t issue a holiday weekend travel forecast for the first time in 20 years. Experts say that’s because the pandemic has made it difficult to estimate.
Still, AAA says its online bookings have been rising modestly, a sign that American’s confidence is slowly improving.
The Charlotte Hornets said the team will be opening its training center to voluntary individual player workouts starting Tuesday, May 26.
Team officials said on-court workouts will be based on NBA guidelines and will include strict protocols to ensure a safe and healthy training environment.
After working with government officials, local health agencies, the NBA and in consultation with team physician Dr. Joe Garcia, we will open the Novant Health Training Center to voluntary individual player workouts starting Tuesday, May 26.
🔗: https://t.co/X3f1uQkFYR pic.twitter.com/WB07sspjes
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) May 25, 2020
President Donald Trump is threatening to pull the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte if Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper doesn’t soon give the go-ahead to hold the event amid the pandemic.
Cooper “is still in Shutdown mood,” Trump tweeted Monday morning, and doesn’t seem ready to guarantee that the convention, scheduled for the week of Aug. 24 in Charlotte, can go forward.
“Plans are being made by many thousands of enthusiastic Republicans, and others, to head to beautiful North Carolina in August. They must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied,” Trump wrote. “If not, we will be reluctantly forced to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site.”
ReOpen NC will be holding a “Freedom Rally” outside the Governor’s Mansion Monday. There will also be rallies in Charlotte, Asheville, Greensboro and Wilmington.
“It would just be so appropriate to do it on Memorial Day and just really shine a light on honoring our fallen heroes and standing up for freedom right now,” Ashley Smith, of ReOpen NC said. “We just all feel it is more important now — than many of us have seen in our lifetime.”
Rally organizers told our affiliate WTVD the rallies will look similar to the rallies earlier this month.
They said the governor’s phased reopening approach isn’t good enough for the state’s economy, but many have also praised Governor Roy Cooper for his reopening measures.
Officials have reported an additional COVID-19 case in Caldwell County. This brings the total number of cases in the county to 105.
Mecklenburg County is reporting 3,178 positive coronavirus cases and 74 deaths due to the virus.
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