Coronavirus Updates: North Carolina – Friday, April 3

CASES TOP 2,000

North Carolina has at least 2,042 reported coronavirus cases as of Friday morning, and 18 people have died.

The state passed the 2,000 mark on Thursday, one month after the first coronavirus case was reported in North Carolina. The total number of cases is likely higher, because some counties have decided not to test people with mild symptoms.

More than 28,600 people had been tested for COVID-19 as of Thursday, and more than 180 people in the state were hospitalized.

Mecklenburg County has the most cases in the state, with 533. Wake County has 247, and Durham County has 155.

DEATH TOLL RISES

More coronavirus deaths were reported in North Carolina on Thursday, bringing the statewide total to 18.

Mecklenburg County reported its third death Thursday afternoon. The patient was 89 years old and had underlying health conditions, officials said.

A death was was also reported in Gaston County, about 30 miles west of Charlotte. Officials said the patient was in his or her 80s.

The news comes after four deaths were reported in the state on Wednesday, one of which was in Mecklenburg.

Should people in NC being wearing masks to fight coronavirus?
North Carolina Health Director Dr. Mandy Cohen talks about the priority of masks for health care providers dealing with coronavirus patients, and the possible future move to asking members of the public to wear them. Cohen spoke April 2, 2020. 
MORE ONLINE CLASSES PLANNED

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Thursday announced plans to offer all summer classes online or through remote instruction. UNC System schools moved away from in-person instruction this semester as coronavirus spread.

UNEMPLOYMENT INCREASE REPORTED

North Carolina is the state with the second-highest jump in job losses due to COVID-19, a report published Thursday said. More than 350,000 unemployment claims have been filed in the state in recent weeks.

HARDEST-HIT AGE GROUPS

About 42% of people with confirmed coronavirus cases in North Carolina are between the ages of 25 and 49, a top health official said Thursday.

That’s a higher percentage than any other age group in the state.

People ages 18 to 24 make up 9% of confirmed cases in the state, while those ages 50 to 64 make up 27%.

People 65 and older make up 20%. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say older adults are at higher risk.

FIELD HOSPITALS

Atrium Health said Thursday it will set up a field hospital in Mecklenburg County in “a matter of weeks” to be ready for a surge of coronavirus patients expected in mid-April to mid-May.

The hospital system, along with Novant Health, asked the county on Thursday to “take immediate action” to set up a field hospital on the UNC Charlotte campus.

The university has offered six of it dorms as “emergency space,” but it’s unclear what they will be used for.

UNC nurse becomes symbolic face of coronavirus fight
UNC nurse Grace Cindric has become the Badass Nurse meme, symbolizing to some on the internet the heroism of medical professionals fighting against the coronavirus. 

CASES AT LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY

Two cases of coronavirus were reported at a long-term nursing and rehabilitation center in Durham on Thursday.

A health care worker and resident at PruittHealth-Carolina Point tested positive for COVID-19, officials said. The worker is isolated at home, and the resident is at Duke University Hospital.

SCHOOL EMPLOYEE TESTS POSITIVE

Durham Public Schools worker who helped distribute food and materials to students has tested positive for coronavirus, the school system said Thursday.

The person worked at the Bethesda Elementary School site and didn’t work after being tested. The school system says it was informed of the results Wednesday night.

MORE CASES AT NC JAILS, PRISONS

A nurse at the Mecklenburg County jail tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Thursday.

She treated young inmates and had not been at work since March 22 after being on personal leave for a few weeks. She reported feeling sick after being screened at the jail, self-quarantined and was tested the next day.

An employee at Central Prison in Raleigh also tested positive for the virus, The N.C. Department of Public Safety said Thursday.

The new cases come after several cases were reported at other prisons in the state this week, including nine at Butner Federal Correctional Institution.

The N.C. Department of Public Safety announced employee screening measures on Wednesday.

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