WNC COVID-19 'Phase 1' Updates

May 6, 2020

(5/22 12 p.m.) The town of Murphy in Cherokee County has announced that the town's pedestrian curfew has been lifted this week. This termination goes along with Governor Roy Cooper's announcement that the state is moving into Phase 2 at 5pm today. 

(5/22 11:15 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 22nd, North Carolina has reported 21,618 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 758 cases from the day before.   568 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 10 from the day before.  728 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 12 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 22nd, there are 710 cases of COVID-19 with 55 deaths, with 662 cases and 55 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/21 6 p.m.) The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have announced that today (on Friday May 22) they will enter also Phase 2 of reopening COVID-19 restrictions. Restaurants, salons, personal care, grooming and tattoo business on the Qualla Boundary will be able to open at 50% capacity.  Childcare and summer camps will be able to operate at 100% capacity. Here's the full order. 

(5/21 5 p.m.) Haywood County Public Health announced that seven more Haywood County residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.  These are the 33rd - 39th cases in the county. All are in isolation at home.

(5/21 4 p.m.) Macon County Public Health has announced two new positive cases of COVID-19. One of the new cases didn't caught the virus from any current cases in the county. The other is believed to have been in contact with another positive case and is an essential employee at a local business.  The health department says it is working with the business to test all of its employees because "due to the nature of their work, these essential employees are unable to perform social distancing measures to the degree necessary to prevent exposure to COVID-19."

At this time, the health department does not believe that the general public who may have been at the store need to be tested because they were more likely to have been wearing masks and practicing social distancing. 

(5/21 12:00 p.m.) - The Great Smoky Mountains National Park says several more roads and facilities will open by this Saturday.  That includes picnic areas in Big Creek, Cades Cove, and Chimney Tops, as well as public restrooms at visitor centers and Clingman's Dome, Cable Mill, and Newfound Gap.  Visitor centers themselves remain closed, as are all campgrounds.  Clingman's Dome opened this week with a visit by Second Lady Karen Pence.  The road to it remains closed to vehicles but is open for cyclists and pedestrians.  More information can be found here.

(5/21 11:15 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 21st, North Carolina has reported 20,860 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 738 cases from the day before.   578 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 24 from the day before.  716 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 14 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 21st, there are 662 cases of COVID-19 with 55 deaths, with 624 cases and 54 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/21 9:00 a.m.) - Today's free COVID-19 community testing site for the Deaverview community in Asheville has been postponed due to the weather.  Buncombe County health officials say the will reschedule the event.

(5/20 11:15 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 20th, North Carolina has reported 20,122 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 422 cases from the day before.   554 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 31 from the day before.  702 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 11 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 20th there are 624 cases of COVID-19 with 54 deaths, with 617 cases and 53 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/20 9:00 a.m.) - Today's free COVID-19 community testing site to be run at the Sandy Mush Community Center has been canceled because of the weather.  Buncombe County health officials say they will reschedule the event.

(5/19 4 p.m.) Graham County Sheriff Joseph Jones announced today that his office will not be enforcing the statewide order to keep restaurants closed beyond take-out orders. In a statement, Jones says that he hopes “the effort will allow some folks to recover as well as give citizens the opportunity to go eat inside while sitting with their family.” He says the statement has been distributed to local businesses and the county manager.  

“The sheriff is an elected official and as such, he can make determinations of how best to run his department," says Becky Garland, Graham County Manager.  "These are unprecedented times and I am sure that he did not make the decision without a lot of deliberation about what he deems is best for the citizens he has been charged to protect.”

(5/19 2:15 p.m.) - As of 2:00 p.m. on May 19th, North Carolina has reported 19,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 677 cases from the day before.   585 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 76 from the day before.  691 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 30 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 2:00 p.m. on May 19th there are 617 cases of COVID-19 with 53 deaths, with 598 cases and 48 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/19 9:00 a.m) - Today's community testing site to be held in the Pisgah View community in Asheville has been postponed due to rain.  Buncombe County health officials say they will reschedule it.  

(5/18 4:00 p.m.) - Buncombe County will run three more free COVID-19 community testing sites this week.  Each is scheduled to be held from 1 to 4 in the afternoon:

Tuesday - Pisgah View community:  1 Granada Street Asheville NC 28806 

Wednesday - Sandy Mush Community Center: 19 School Road Leicester NC 28748 

Thursday - Deaverview community : 275 Deaverview Road Asheville NC 28806

Interim county public health director Dr. Jennifer Mullendore said with rain in the forecast for each day this week, testing could be postponed.  At a Monday afternoon press briefing, Mullendore stated they’ll notify the public by 9 each morning whether the testing sites will take operate on the days they are scheduled.  Before going, residents are being urged to use Buncombe County's COVID-19 self-checker to see if they should be tested.

(5/18 12:00 p.m.) - Asheville police have issued a citation to a restaurant that reopened with in-person dining over the weekend in defiance of state and local stay at home orders.  Rise and Shine Café announced on its Facebook page that it was reopening with in-person dining, but has since taken down its page.  In its own Facebook post Monday morning, Asheville police said officers issued a warning on Sunday after witnessing people eating at the restaurant.  The current statewide order - which Buncombe County is following - mandates restaurants can only offer take out and delivery service during ‘Phase 1’ of the reopening of the state.  Police returned Monday morning and found Rise and Shine to be in violation again, and the citation was issued.  Police add more citations could be issued if the restaurant continues to allow in-person dining.  

(5/18 11:15 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 18th, North Carolina has reported 19,023 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 511 cases from the day before.   511 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 18 from the day before.  661 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 18th there are 598 cases of COVID-19 with 48 deaths, with 581 cases and 48 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/17 11:15 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 17th, North Carolina has reported 18,512 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 530 cases from the day before.   493 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 12 from the day before.  659 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 7 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 17th there are 581 cases of COVID-19 with 48 deaths, with 558 cases and 48 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/16 11:15 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 16th, North Carolina has reported 17,982 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 853 cases from the day before.   481 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 11 from the day before.  652 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 11 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 16th there are 558 cases of COVID-19 with 48 deaths, with 534 cases and 46 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/15 ) Overnight summer camp, which is big business in Western North Carolina, got the green light to open during Phase 2 of the state’s modified stay home order.  Health Secretary Dr. Mandy  Cohen said on Friday the state has been working with camp associations to come up with guidelines.   “Obviously it’s not going to be the same summer camps that folks may have remembered as of last summer,” said Cohen, “We’re hoping a number of camps will look at that guidance and still be able to proceed for the summer. “   Among the recommendations -  camps limit participation to campers from North Carolina and neighboring states, conduct temperature and symptom screenings, along with social distancing and frequent handwashing.  A number of camps in Western North Carolina made the decision to close for the summer, while others are still deciding.  

(5/15 3:00 p.m.) Macon County Public Health announced the first new positive case of COVID-19 in the county in about two weeks. There are now four positive residents in the county. The individual is symptomatic and between the ages of 25-49. They are currently isolating at home, according to the local health department.

(5/15 1:00 p.m.) - The Pisgah National Forest is reopening many trails and roads that were closed last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  That includes Catawba Falls and most trails and trailheads along Bent Creek Road.  More information can be found here.  Restrictions on dispersed camping will also be lifted except for Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, which requires permits on the weekends.

(5/15 12:00 p.m.) - Yancey County sheriff Gary Banks is the first in Western North Carolina to say he will not enforce limits on church gatherings put in place for the COVID-19 pandemic.  In a Facebook post, Banks said while he recognizes "the seriousness of this virus", necessary changes to how people interact with each other can be done "without trampling on our First Amendment rights."  A handful of other sheriffs in the state have also said they will not enforce the limit on public gatherings of more than ten people when it comes to indoor church services.  A lawsuit was filed this week by a Christian group calling the restrictions detailed in the latest executive order from Governor Roy Cooper unconstitutional.  During a Thursday afternoon press briefing in Raleigh, Cooper said the order was crafted to address First Amendment concerns.  He added the virus spreads more quickly when people are in close contact with each other for more than ten minutes at a time, and that he hopes churches across the state keep the safety of their parishioners in mind when deciding how to hold services during the pandemic.

(5/15 11:15 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 15th, North Carolina has reported 17,129 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 622 cases from the day before.   492 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 15 from the day before.  641 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 26 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 15th there are 534 cases of COVID-19 with 46 deaths, with 495 cases and 45 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/14 11:15 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 14th, North Carolina has reported 16,507 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 691 cases from the day before.   507 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 14 from the day before.  615 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 18 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 14th there are 495 cases of COVID-19 with 45 deaths, with 474 cases and 40 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/14 10:30 a.m.) Jackson County Department of Public Health has announced its first drive-thru COVID-19 testing site. The tests will be available to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or anyone in a high risk group even if they do not have symptoms such as first responders, health care providers and the elderly. 

It will be open on Friday, May 15, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. morning at the Sylva Walmart parking lot, which is located at 210 Walmart Plaza, Sylva. Patients must make an appointment through an online portal. Here’s the link. Moving forward appointments will be available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

The program is funded by state and local officials as well as Walmart and  eTrueNorth, a pharmaceutical company which makes COVID-19 tests.

 

(5/14 10 a.m.)  Transylvania County officials have announced a new loan program. The Transylvania Emergency Bridge Loan Program (TEBLP) will give short-term loans to local businesses who are impacted by COVID-19.  County Commissioners have promised an initial $150,000 contribution. The loans will be up to $10,000 for a total term of 42 months with the intention of helping businesses transition to more permanent funding sources.

The Transylvania Economic Alliance, an economic development nonprofit, is partnering with Asheville-based Mountain BizWorks to develop and operate the new tool.

(5/13 11:15 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 13th, North Carolina has reported 15,816 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 470 cases from the day before.   521 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 46 from the day before.  597 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 20 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 13th there are 474 cases of COVID-19 with 40 deaths, with 457 cases and 35 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/12 7:00 p.m.) - Asheville City Council on Tuesday approved using a West Asheville hotel to replace the Harrah's Cherokee Center as an emergency shelter for homeless persons during the pandemic.  The city in partnership with Homeward Bound will move the homeless to a Red Roof Inn on Crowell Road.  The move will increase the number of beds available according to city officials.  Fewer than 30 people were being housed at the Harrah's Cherokee Center last week, a drop from the number housed when the emergency shelter opened on April 8th.

(5/12 11:30 a.m.) Jackson County officials have announced that the county is opening a fund called ‘All In Jackson.’ The fund will provide short-term low-interest loans to  county businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. The county will provide $324,000 initially, that will be given out in loans from $2,500 and $10,000 dollars. The county is accepting additional contributions to the fund and is partnering with Mountain BizWorks to administer the funds.

The county terminated it's state of emergency COVID-19 restrictions on May 8. While short term lodgings are now allowed to have a limited opening the county cautioned residents and visitors to stay vigilant. "This is not the time for a vacation," states the declaration

(5/12 11:15 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 12th, North Carolina has reported 15,346 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 301 cases from the day before.   475 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 11 from the day before.  577 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 27 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 12th there are 457 cases of COVID-19 with 35 deaths, with 445 cases and 35 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/11 1:00 p.m.) -  Community testing sites for COVID-19 in Buncombe County will open starting this week.  County health officials want to focus testing in communities of color which have been disproportionately affected by the virus statewide.  Only those who are experiencing the common symptoms of COVID-19 - including fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and new loss of taste or smell - will be tested.  Testing is free, though those who have health insurance are asked to bring their insurance information with them.  The first community testing will be held Tuesday May 12th from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Hillcrest Community Center (100 Atkinson Street Asheville NC 28801).  Then this Thursday May 14th from 1 to 4 p.m. community testing will occur at the Buncombe County Schools Central Office  (175 Bingham Road Asheville NC 28806).  Before going to get tested, residents are urged to use the county's COVID-19 self-checker to see if they should get tested.

(5/11 12:00 p.m.) - Buncombe County public libraries will start offering curbside service next week, but will not reopen even though they can under reduced capacity during 'Phase 1' of reopening of North Carolina.  Book drops and returns will start the week of May 18th outside the North Asheville, South Buncombe, Black Mountain, and West Asheville libraries. 

"While the Governor has given the go-ahead for libraries to reopen at 50 percent capacity, the health and safety of our patrons and employees is our number one concern. We consider our libraries closer to restaurants as more people tend to stay awhile while they enjoy our facilities as a community space,” said Buncombe County Public Libraries Director Jim Blanton in a statement.  Fines will not be charged as the libraries work through the reopening process.

(5/11 11:15 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 11th, North Carolina has reported 15,045 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 281 cases from the day before.   464 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 2 from the day before.  550 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 3 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 11th there are 445 cases of COVID-19 with 35 deaths, with 442 cases and 34 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/10 11:15 a.m.) -  As of 11:00 a.m. on May 10th, North Carolina has reported 14,764 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 404 cases from the day before.   442 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 71 from the day before.  547 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 3 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 10th there are 442 cases of COVID-19 with 34 deaths, with 430 cases and 31 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/9/ 11:15 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 9th, North Carolina has reported 14,360 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 492 cases from the day before.   513 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 2 from the day before.  544 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 17 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 9th there are 430 cases of COVID-19 with 34 deaths, with 422 cases and 31 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/9 8:00 a.m.) - Buncombe County will reopen more parks Saturday morning, after opening all 7 river parks in the county and the Collier Cove Nature Preserve last week.  The Buncombe County Sports Park, Charles D. Owen Park, Karpen Soccer Fields, Lake Julian Park, and North Buncombe Sports Complex open 10 a.m. Saturday.  Users are asked to maintain six feet of distance between each other, and keep in mind gatherings of 10 or more people are still prohibited.  Playgrounds, basketball courts, fitness equipment, picnic shelters, grills, and restrooms at the parks will remain closed.

(5/8 5 p.m.) The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has announced a new schedule for rolling back COVID-19 restrictions. Retail stores, hotels and campgrounds will reopen at 50 percent capacity with social distancing on May 15. Outdoor recreation will open on the same date. ECBI tribal government will reopen at full capacity on June 8. The open dates for salons, theaters, spas, bowling alleys and playgrounds will be announced at a later date. People will be required to wear face coverings in public spaces. 

Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos announced it will begin a gradual reopening starting May 18.

(5/8 1:30 p.m.) - A subcontract medical provider who is a nonresident of Swain County tested positive for COVID-19. They are isolating in their county. The Swain County Health Department is coordinating with the long term care facility and Smoky Mountain Urgent Care to complete contact tracing and testing. Potential exposures at the facility are isolated and being monitored by staff. 

The health department says that if a Swain County resident is involved then they will assess the risk and determine if additional steps need to be taken.

(5/8 11:15 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 8th, North Carolina has reported 13,868 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 471 cases from the day before.   515 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 10 from the day before.  527 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 20 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 8th there are 422 cases of COVID-19 with 31 deaths, with 418 cases and 30 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/8 10:00 a.m.) - The southernmost portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway will open Saturday, with much of the rest of the road in Western North Carolina reopening on May 15th.

On May 9th, the final 14 miles of the road (milemarkers 454 to 469) will reopen to traffic. That portion of the parkway is in the Qualla Boundary, which is opening back up to traffic Friday night, and ends at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is reopening roads and trails Saturday.

On May 15th, the rest of the Parkway that is currently closed in Western North Carolina will reopen. That includes from the French Broad River overlook to milemarker 454, and from Town Mountain Road to Mt. Mitchell.

(5/7 6:00 p.m.) - The Biltmore estate says its park areas will reopen on Saturday to annual passholders from Western North Carolina as the state enters 'Phase 1' of reopening following the expiration of the current stay-at-home order. The Biltmore House will remain closed, as will exhibits and other destinations on the grounds. The Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate is accepting reservations, but only under the Buncombe County regulations announced on Thursday. That means only residents of Western North Carolina and employees of businesses or organizations considered essential can stay at the hotel.

(5/7 11:30 a.m.) - Polk County has confirmed the first death of a resident due complications related to COVID-19.  The county health & human services agency announced Thursday morning the person died Tuesday.  They were in their seventies and had several underlying health conditions.  The county will not release other information about the person to protect the family's privacy.

(5/7 11:15 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 7th, North Carolina has reported 13,397 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 639 cases from the day before.   525 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 9 from the day before.  507 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 30 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 7th there are 418 cases of COVID-19 with 30 deaths, with 395 cases and 29 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(5/6 6 p.m.) Chief Richard Sneed of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has announced that traffic will be allowed back through the Qualla Boundary at 10 p.m. on Friday, May 8.

However, directional signs signaling that the boundary is closed will remain to deter traffic. Cloth face coverings will still be mandatory in all public spaces. The announcement also addressed: Church services will resume on Sunday, May 10 at 20 percent capacity and Fire Mountain Trails, Skate Park and Island Park will be open to the public starting May 15.  Here's a link to the full list. 

(5/6 4:00 p.m.) - The Asheville Outlets will reopen Saturday morning, the first full day following the modified executive order from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper goes into effect that allows most retail stores to open.

17 stores will open Saturday at 11 a.m.  The hours at the Outlets will be 11 to 7 Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 on Sunday.  Select stores will offer curbside pickup service.  

(5/6 3:00 p.m.) - The North Carolina National Guard will be conducting a flyover across the state Thursday to salute hospitals, food banks, and other organizations and workers at the forefront of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Asheville will be the first stop for the C-17 aircraft.

The flight is due to takeoff from Charlotte Douglas International Airport at 10 a.m. Thursday.  It's expected to flyover Mission Hospital, Manna Food Bank, Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Treatment Center, and the JFK Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center around 10:50 Thursday morning.  The flight will then head east, going all the way to Wilmington, before heading back to Charlotte.  The National Guard says the flight is being conducted as part of a regularly scheduled training, and will incur no additional cost to taxpayers.

(5/6 11:30 a.m.) - As of 11:00 a.m. on May 6th, North Carolina has reported 12,758 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 502 cases from the day before.   516 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 18 from the day before.  477 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 25 from the day before.  For more information, including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, as of 11:00 a.m. on May 6th there are 395 cases of COVID-19 with 29 deaths, with 389 cases and 27 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.