BIGGEST ONE-DAY SURGE
North Carolina has at least 2,542 cases of coronavirus as of Sunday morning, and 33 people have died, according to public health officials.
The state reported its biggest single-day surge in COVID-19 infections Saturday — a nearly 15% increase.
Mecklenburg County has 650 reported coronavirus cases, the most in the state. Wake County has 301, and Durham County has 182.
CHARLOTTE AN EPICENTER
The Charlotte area has emerged as an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in North Carolina.
Mecklenburg County accounts for about 25% of the state’s reported infections, although just 10% of the state’s population lives there, The Charlotte Observer reports.
Travel is likely a factor. Charlotte Douglas International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the United States, hosting 50.2 million passengers last year.
Confirmed cases in Mecklenburg rose by more than four dozen on Saturday to 650. Four people in the county have died.
VIOLATING TRAVEL ORDERS
North Carolina residents need to do a better job at heeding the statewide stay-at-home order, health officials say.
Most N.C. counties haven’t seen large enough reductions in social movements, according to data from Uncast, a company that uses cellphone data to track human movements.
Cooper said state mandates against non-essential travel “can be tightened even more if necessary.” Violating the stay-at-home order is a Class 2 misdemeanor charge, which carries a fine of up to $1,000.
“People should only be out to buy food, to get medication, to get health care or if they are an essential worker,” Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Resources, said Friday.
ABORTION PROTESTERS ARRESTED
Police on Saturday charged eight Charlotte abortion protesters with violating North Carolina’s ban on mass gatherings.
The arrests gained national attention late Saturday when U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas criticized Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police. “This is an unconstitutional arrest,” Cruz, a runner-up for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2016 election, tweeted.
About 50 protesters gathered outside A Preferred Women’s Health Center in Charlotte, according to police. The center has been the scene of numerous abortion protests over the years.