Coronavirus update: North Carolina – Tuesday, May 5

We’re keeping track of the most up-to-date news about the coronavirus in North Carolina. Check back for updates.

CASES NEAR 12,000

At least 11,972 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Tuesday morning, and 442 people have died, according to state and county health departments.

On Monday, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 184 new cases of the virus, up from 155 the day before, and four new deaths. North Carolina was averaging 387 new daily cases over the last seven days as of Monday.

Only one county, Avery, hasn’t reported a case of COVID-19. At least one death has been reported in 62 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

At least 498 North Carolinians were hospitalized with the coronavirus on Monday, up from 475 the day before. Over the last seven days, the state has been averaging 512 daily hospitalizations.

REOPENING PLAN

Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday he plans to share this week details about the first phase of his plan to reopen North Carolina.

The statewide stay-at-home order is in effect until Friday, and the governor says he’s hopeful the state can get to Phase One of reopening this weekend, with caution.

Cooper said he will share specifics of the phase, such as what businesses can open and what people can do, on Tuesday or Wednesday.

VOTING LAWSUIT

lawsuit filed Monday seeks looser rules surrounding absentee mail-in ballots in North Carolina in case the coronavirus pandemic leads to more voting via the mail.

Those suing, a group of voters backed by Democratic legal groups, want prepaid postage provided on all mail-in ballots, two witnesses to sign each ballot and an extended deadline.

The state board of elections included the first two parts in a list of proposed changes released in March.

SCHOOL CALENDARS

A $1.57 billion COVID-19 relief package signed into law on Monday includes changes to K-12 school calendars.

The next school year will start a week earlier than normal, on Aug. 17, and will end by June 11, 2021. No remote instruction can be scheduled before Aug. 24, except for schools with year-round or modified calendars.

In an oversight, the legislation moved up the start date for school systems in Mecklenburg County and neighboring counties, which planned to start on Aug. 31, a week after the Republican National Convention, which is expected to disrupt traffic in the area.

The legislation waives end-of-grade testing and assessments for students.

DMV RENEWALS

License and registration renewal deadlines have been extended in North Carolina amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Five months have been added to the expiration dates of licenses, registrations, permits and other DMV-issued credentials. No fees, fines or penalties will be issued for not complying with the old renewal date.

1 MILLION FILE FOR JOBLESS BENEFITS

More than one in five North Carolinians in the state’s labor force have lost their jobs in the last six weeks, as the number of people who have applied for unemployment benefits now exceeds 1 million.

North Carolina saw about 100,000 new jobless claims a month during the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009, Lockhart Taylor, head of the N.C. unemployment agency, told state lawmakers at a recent meeting.

Now the state has seen 10 times that many claims since mid-March, he said, according to The News & Observer.

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