CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Nearly 6 million people worldwide — including more than 1.7 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.

>> Scroll below for live, local real-time minute-by-minute updates

Possible news conferences scheduled for today

Mecklenburg County: (TBA)

North Carolina Task Force: (TBA)

South Carolina Task Force (TBA)

White House Task Force: (TBA)

>> Have questions about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the Carolinas? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak — CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

>> We’ll bring you LIVE updates on Channel 9 Eyewitness News. Get extended coverage on the free WSOC Now app on Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV.

>> 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 27,673 Saturday. North Carolina is now reporting 877 deaths, 404,157 completed tests and 638 people currently in the hospital.
  • Gov. Roy Cooper and the state’s coronavirus task force announced the state moved 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 Saturday:

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said he was able to get 10,000 respirator masks to use as personal protective equipment (PPE). He handed them out to firefighters on the front line battling COVID-19.

“Our firefighters need to be protected as they perform the important duty of ensuring our COVID-19 patients get the proper care needed, “ Causey said. “These masks will go a long way towards keeping the virus at bay as our heroes across the state join the fight against this unprecedented virus.”

The masks will be sent to fire marshals in all 100 counties across the state.

Mecklenburg County is reporting 3,858 positive COVID-19 cases and 89 deaths due to the virus.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has announced 266 new cases of the coronavirus and 4 additional deaths.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in South Carolina to 11,394 and those who have died to 487.

Officials said three of the deaths were elderly people from Clarendon (1) and Williamsburg (2) counties, and one of the deaths was a middle-aged person from Florence county.

DHEC today announced 266 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and 4 additional deaths.

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 11,394 and those who have died to 487. https://t.co/dIOQTYi6qg

— SCDHEC (@scdhec) May 30, 2020

Caldwell County is reporting four additional cases of the coronavirus. This brings the total number of cases in the county to 136.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has signed an order extending the prohibition of utility shut-offs and evictions.

“North Carolinaians need relief to help make ends meet during the pandemic,” Cooper said. “Extending housing and utility protections will mean more people can stay in their homes and stay safe as we all work to slow the spread of this virus.”

The order will go into effect immediately. The section of the order impacting evictions lasts for three weeks and the prohibition of utility shut-offs lasts for 60 days.

Officials said the order will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by preventing homelessness and ensuring residents have access to essential utilities during this challenging time.

While the order allows for an extension to make rent and utility payments, officials said it is still the tenant’s responsibility to make sure bills get paid.

For more information, click here.

NCDHHS has released updated data on COVID-19 for the state:

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,185 cases Saturday. The state also reported 12,926 more completed tests, exceeding its daily goal of 5,000 to 7,000 tests. This brings the total number of completed tests in the state to 404,157.

There have been 18 new deaths attributed to COVID-19 since Friday, bringing the state’s total to 877.

The state reported 638 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19, which is down from 680 on Friday.

Mecklenburg County continues to lead the state in both cases and deaths with at least 4,028 and 88 respectively.

(Men account for 53% of deaths)

Cases and deaths in congregate living settings:

There have been 91 outbreaks in nursing homes across the state, resulting in 3,246 cases and 461 deaths (Anson, Burke (2); Cabarrus (2); Catawba (2); Cleveland; Iredell (2); Mecklenburg (16); Rowan (3); Union (2)).

There have been 37 outbreaks at residential care facilities across the state, resulting in 777 cases and 65 deaths (Cabarrus (2), Catawba; Mecklenburg (6); Union (2)).

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? This metric has been level so far this week, though it increased slightly today with 9% of positive tests. However, it has remained mostly level, around 7 or 8%.

Hospitalizations decreasing? Forty-two fewer people are in the hospital for a total of 638, but that metric is still much higher than in previous weeks. Still, 22 percent of inpatient beds and 18 percent of ICU beds in the state are available. NCDHHS reports 77 percent of ventilators are available.

Testing capacity? The state exceeded its goal in the last 24 hours.

Contract tracers During a news conference Thursday, Gov. Roy Cooper said the Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative has hired nearly all 250 new contact tracers they were contracted to employ. This doubles the state’s number of contact tracers to 500.

PPE Supplies? Though the state still does not have a 30-day supply of surgical gowns on hand, supplies have now reached a 29 day supply–a dramatic increase from a 0 day supply last week. However, the state’s stockpile of N95 respirators has decreased to a 19-day supply.

Channel 9 has learned key trends to track the virus in Mecklenburg County through May 27 shows we are heading in the wrong direction.

Newly released data found deaths, hospitalizations and the percent of positive cases all increased in the last two weeks.

The county health director said while these were expected with expanded testing and more businesses opening up, she is concerned with people not following the rules for gathering, social distancing and face coverings.

COVID-19 Drive-thru Testing Event

The Rowan County Public Health Department is conducting the first drive-thru COVID-19 testing event on June 1 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at West End Plaza. There are many testing times and locations throughout Rowan County.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, anyone receiving a test from any source or location should self-isolate until test results are received. This is intended to minimize the risk of spreading the virus during the time from testing until results are received.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 331 new cases of the coronavirus and 13 additional deaths.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in South Carolina to 11,131 and those who have died to 483.

Officials said eight of the deaths were elderly people from Berkeley (1), Darlington (1), Fairfield (1), Florence (2), Greenville (1), Horry (1) and Spartanburg (1) counties

Five of the deaths were middle-aged people from Florence (1), Laurens (1), Lee (1), Saluda (1), and Williamsburg (1) counties.

As of May 28, it is estimated that 85% of the cases in the state have recovered.

DHEC today announced 331 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and 13 additional deaths.

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 11,131 and those who have died to 483. https://t.co/vKvq9Z56xE

— SCDHEC (@scdhec) May 29, 2020

© 2020 © 2020 Cox Media Group

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