NC number of coronavirus deaths rises to more than 20

Coronavirus continued its surge across North Carolina Friday, rising by more than 200 cases for the second-straight day as the pandemic crept into more corners of the state.

NC DHHS reported 2,093 confirmed cases of COVID-19, up from 1,857 on Thursday. Of those, 259 people are hospitalized.

The state’s official death toll rose to 19 as Henderson County south of Asheville reported its first death: an elderly patient at Pardee Hospital.

Other counties also reported deaths on Friday. Johnston County reported its second death, an elderly person with underlying medical conditions, a county release said. Gaston and Mecklenburg also each had one and Guilford reported two. Wilson County also reported a death on Friday, a woman in her early 60s with underlying health problems.
Warren County reported its first case Friday, saying the person is receiving in-patient care.

The updated figures came as North Carolina started its fourth full day under Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order, which has halted all but essential businesses and outlawed large gatherings.

The News & Observer is keeping a separate tally based on reports from the state and county health departments, which is typically higher because the state takes longer to confirm positive tests. That count stood at 2,145 Friday afternoon. By that count, 90 North Carolina counties have reported cases and 25 people in the state have died.

COURT PROCEEDINGS AGAIN POSTPONED

NC Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley issued an order Friday postponing all court proceedings statewide until June 1, extending the deadline for penalties and fees by 90 days.

“Judicial officials and court personnel statewide are going above and beyond to serve the public during this health emergency,” Beasley said in a news release. “My number one priority is to protect them and the public by limiting gatherings and foot traffic in our county courthouses, while making sure our courts stay available to serve the public.”

Cooper tweeted Thursday that North Carolina has seen 100 times the normal volume of unemployment claims, which rose to 170,000 in one week.

“We know many North Carolinians are facing hard times right now,” he wrote. “Our system is straining to keep up under increased demand.”

Wake County schools reported that 28,000 students lack adequate computers at home, making online learning difficult countywide. The school system is trying to contact individual families to have them pick up devices at schools without violating social distancing guidelines.

Meanwhile, Wake Tech said the community college had received 150 laptops donated by Coastal Credit.

“During this time of many unknowns, these laptops will provide our students with reliable access to technology to complete their course work,” Associate Vice President Scarlet Edwards said. “They are making it possible for students to stay with us and continue their studies.”

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