Coronavirus update: North Carolina – Tuesday, April 28

REPORTED CASES AND DEATHS

North Carolina has reported at least 9,415 cases of the coronavirus as of Tuesday morning, and 336 people have died, according to state and county health departments.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 312 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, up from 288 reported the day before.

The state has completed 109,920 coronavirus tests, about 9% of which have come back positive.

At least 473 North Carolinians were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday, up from 451 the day before. The state saw its most hospitalizations so far Thursday, with 486.

All but five of North Carolina’s 100 counties have reported at least one case of the virus, and 60 have reported at least one death.

MORE PROTESTS PLANNED

ReOpenNC, a group that has been calling on Gov. Roy Cooper to rescind restrictions in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, has a rally planned for Tuesday morning at the Legislative Building in Raleigh.

It will be the group’s third rally. Last week, more than 1,000 protesters gathered in downtown Raleigh.

ReOpen Meck, an “offshoot” of ReOpenNC, has a protest planned for May 1 in the “heart of uptown” in Charlotte.

POISON CONTROL CALLS

More people are calling North Carolina Poison Control about cleaning products amid the coronavirus pandemic, the center said Monday.

In March, the group received 682 calls about household cleaners, a 50% increase compared to March of last year, when it received 454 such calls.

Nationally, poison control centers are seeing spikes in calls.

“We understand people are paying special attention to keeping their homes clean and are very mindful of their health right now,” Dr. Anna Dulaney, clinical toxicologist at North Carolina Poison Control, said in a news release. “But we want people to know that cleaning products can be toxic if they’re used in the wrong way.”

NURSING HOME DATA

On Monday, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services started releasing the locations of North Carolina nursing homes and group living facilities with coronavirus outbreaks.

The news came after advocacy groups and a media coalition that included The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer pushed for the release of the data.

There were 66 ongoing coronavirus outbreaks at nursing homes and assisted living facilities in North Carolina as of Monday.

State health director Dr. Mandy Cohen tells reporters April 27, 2020 that NC officials have changed their stance and will begin releasing more information on nursing home coronavirus outbreaks and begin providing the names of those facilities. 

THREATS TO CHURCH

A Western North Carolina church rumored to be hiding a coronavirus outbreak has faced social media threats, and on Sunday a former member was arrested and charged with breaking into a leader’s house with a gun.

The alleged gunman appears to have expressed on Facebook fears of his loved ones who belong to the church contracting the virus, The Charlotte Observer reports.

Lawyers representing the church, Word of Faith Fellowship in Rutherford County, told The Charlotte Observer on Monday that three members of the congregation who had COVID-19 have died but that the church doesn’t know how many others could be infected.

The church previously said in a statement that it’s following health recommendations and live streaming services.

Word of Faith Fellowship in Rutherford County, N.C., has become a target of violent social media threats as the community blames the controversial religious organization for spreading coronavirus. 

OUTBREAK AT WOMEN’S PRISON

At least 70 coronavirus cases have been reported at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh.

That’s up from fewer than a dozen cases last week, The News & Observer and the Charlotte Observer report.

State prisons halted their work release program in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but many inmates at the women’s prison had previously left the facility for work and rode public transportation.

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

The Charlotte City Council approved a $50 million security grant on Monday for the Republican National Convention scheduled for August, but officials expressed skepticism the event will go on as planned in the city.

The event is expected to draw 50,000 people, The Charlotte Observer reports.

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