WNC COVID-19 Phase 3 Updates

Oct 4, 2020

(11/24 1 p.m.) Haywood County Health and Human Services is reporting its 40th COVID-19 death. The individual was over the age of 65 and died in the hospital. The county on a whole is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases with almost as many COVID-19 cases in the last three days as in the entire previous week. The health departments attributes the rise in cases to an increase in community spread.

(11/24 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 342,294 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 3,100 from the day before.  1,724 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 123 from the day before.  5,074 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 35 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 15,373 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 319 deaths, an increase of 155 cases and 2 deaths from the day before. 

(11/23 4 p.m.) A Macon County resident diagnosed with COVID-19, passed away Sunday, according to the Macon County Public Health Department.  The person was over the age of 65 and had underlying health conditions. This individual is not related any existing clusters or outbreaks, to the knowledge of the health department. This is the ninth death in the county related to COVID-19. 

(11/23 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 339,194 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,419 from the day before.  1,601 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 30 from the day before.  5,039 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 5 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 15,218 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 317 deaths, an increase of 91 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. 

(11/22 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 336,775 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 4,514 from the day before.  1,571 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 19 from the day before.  5,034 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 29 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 15,127 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 317 deaths, an increase of 198 cases and 3 deaths from the day before. 

(11/21 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 332,261 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 3,415 from the day before.  1,590 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 19 from the day before.  5,005 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 26 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 14,929 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 314 deaths, an increase of 144 cases and 2 deaths from the day before. 

(11/20 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 328,846 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 3,688 from the day before.  1,571 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 33 from the day before.  4,979 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 43 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 14,785 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 312 deaths, an increase of 211 cases and 1 death from the day before. 

(11/20 12 p.m.) Haywood County Public Health received notice of 84 new cases of COVID-19 in the last week. "Aside from clusters and outbreaks at long term care facilities, the ongoing trend in new cases seems to be people letting their guard down around people close to them and inadvertently sharing more than friendship," states the health department.

(11/19 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 325,158 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 4,296 from the day before.  1,538 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 1 from the day before.  4,936 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 38 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 14,574 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 311 deaths, an increase of 135 cases and 3 deaths from the day before. 

(11/18 2:30 p.m.) Macon County Public Health has identified a COVID-19 outbreak at Drake Cottage, a congregate living facility that is part of the Baptist Children’s Homes of NC System. Three individuals have tested positive for COVID-19. All are well and isolated from others. There was previously an outbreak at the facility in August.

(11/18 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 320,862 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 3,367 from the day before.  1,537 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 36 from the day before.  4,898 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 46 from the day before.  In the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, there are 14,439 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 308 deaths, an increase of 155 cases and 7 deaths from the day before. 

(11/17 1:30 p.m.) Buncombe County will hold a free pop-up COVID-19 testing clinic this evening in West Asheville.  It will take place from 6 to 10 in the parking lot of the closed Kmart on Patton Avenue.  There is not cost at the site and language assistance is available.  Residents can register on-site or by calling 828-419-0095.  A press release from the county says testing is suggested for anyone planning to travel or gather with others for the Thanksgiving holiday.

(11/17 1:15 p.m.) Classes at Burnsville Elementary School are going all virtual starting tomorrow after employees at the school tested positive for COVID-19.  A press release from Yancey County Schools says the decision was made after consultation with the county health department.  Any students or staff members who were in contact with someone who tested positive will be notified by the school system or the health department.  The school system goes on to say no students at Burnsville Elementary have tested positive at this time.

(11/17 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 317,495 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 3,288 from the day before.  1,501 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 77 from the day before.  4,852 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 38 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, there are 14,284 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 301 deaths, an increase of 156 cases and 1 death from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/16  1:30 p.m.) Graham County Health Department has announced an additional COVID-19 death. The individual was not a nursing home resident. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the county to twelve.

(11/16 1 p.m.) Beginning the week of Nov. 16, WCU will begin offering free COVID-19 surveillance testing for faculty, staff, and students in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday. The university has continued to offer virtual and in-person classes since the start of the semester. Almost 5,000 tests have been reported to the university dashboard.  

Kellie Monteith, associate vice chancellor for student affairs, health and wellness says that they hope to send student’s home safely and that 55 people are already scheduled for the first day of free testing:

“We also didn’t want there to be a barrier. We didn’t want students or parents to feel like the test was costly or anything like that so we wanted to provide it for free and it is voluntary," said Monteith.

The Thanksgiving holiday was shortened to November 25 – 27. Final exams will be held the following week.
Today, the COVID-19 positivity rate on campus is 4.5 percent.

(11/16 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 314,207 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,972 from the day before.  1,424 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 29 from the day before.  4,814 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 8 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, there are 14,128 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 300 deaths, an increase of 99 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/15 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 312,235 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 3,117 from the day before.  1,395 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 30 from the day before.  4,806 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 50 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, there are 14,029 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 300 deaths, an increase of 164 cases and 5 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/14 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 309,118 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 3,885 from the day before.  1,425 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 2 from the day before.  4,756 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 36 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, there are 13,865 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 295 deaths, an increase of 140 cases and 5 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/13 5 p.m.) This week, Mission Health System is seeing the highest number of COVID-19 cases hospitalized across the system. On Thursday there were 54 patients. But as of Friday morning, there are now 56 lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 patients: 41 are at Mission Hospital, 2 at Angel Medical Center, 5 at Blue Ridge Regional, 8 at Mission Hospital McDowell. There are zero at Transylvania Regional and Highlands-Cashiers hospitals.

Dr. William Hathaway, chief medical officer for Mission Health and HCA Healthcare North Carolina Division says people need to be cautious:

“Our numbers are going up and it’s really concerning. It’s a warning sign and really a cry for us to be extra diligent and mind our 3 W’s as we approach the holiday season,” said Hathaway.  

Hathaway says 10 percent of Mission’s ICU beds are occupied by COVID patients right now.

(11/13 3 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 305,233 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.  1,423 people are currently hospitalized.  4,720 have died from COVID-19 in the state.  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, there are 13,725 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 294 deaths. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/13 2 p.m.) Haywood County Public Health received notice of 64 new cases of COVID-19 since the last press release on Nov. 6.  As of 5 p.m. Nov. 12, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has recorded 847 cases in Haywood County.

Case patterns this week include exposures from positives in the household, work exposures, travel exposures, and exposures from funerals, parties, and other events or situations where people have gathered in large groups.

“COVID-19 cases are going up nationwide, and we are continuing to see a steady and concerning rise in new cases in Haywood County, compared to the relative quiet of September and early October. In the first two weeks of November, we’ve had more new cases than we had during the entire month of September. Since we are continuing to see patterns that suggest that people are relaxing their COVID safety standards around extended family, coworkers, and friends, we anticipate the situation getting worse with the holidays approaching and increasingly cold weather pushing people indoors. We encourage everyone to practice the 3W’s anytime they’re going to be around people who don’t live in their household, whether indoors or out. We also ask that everyone be realistic and safe when planning holiday celebrations,” said Interim Haywood County Health Director Garron Bradish.

(11/13 11 a.m.) Macon County Public Health has identified two new COVID-19 outbreaks. One at Macon Valley Nursing Home in Franklin and another in Eckerd Living Center at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital. Two individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 at both facilities. The health department says all are isolated, doing well and that both facilities continue to follow COVID-19 protocols. Macon Valley previously had a COVID-19 outbreak in July.

According to Mission Health which runs Eckerd Living Center, the two positive test results at the Center are staff members who acquired COVID-19 outside of work; they are both now quarantining at home. Additionally, all residents at the Center has been tested and are negative.

(11/13 7 a.m.) State health officials are making changes to the coronavirus dashboard that will result a bump in hospitalization numbers along with a one-time decrease in the number of tests, cases and deaths reported on Friday, November 13.     Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen says the changes reflect tweaks in reporting methods – and should be viewed with caution.   “Hospitalizations will show an increase due to a federal change in how they are reported, and a continued higher number under this new definition.  Tests, cases and deaths will be low -  we’re changing the way the numbers are pulled and there will be a one-time artificial decrease in the number of tests, cases and deaths,” says Cohen who notes the number of hospitalizations  will likely remain higher going forward because the C-D-C protocol now includes patients with longer hospital stays.  

(11/12 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 303,454 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,893 cases from the day before.  1,279 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 33 from the day before.  4,706 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 8 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, there are 13,668 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 295 deaths, an increase of 116 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/11 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 300,561 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 3,119 cases from the day before.  1,246 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 14 from the day before.  4,698 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 38 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, there are 13,552 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 295 deaths, an increase of 120 cases and 3 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/10 1:30 p.m.) A Macon County resident diagnosed with COVID-19 has died. The person was over the age of 65 and had underlying health conditions. This is the eighth death in the county. 

“The family and loved ones of this individual are in our thoughts and prayers. As we head into the holiday season and as more people gather indoors, please continue to practice the 3Ws and be mindful of those that are higher risk,” stated Kathy McGaha, Macon County Health Director.

(11/10 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 297,442 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,582 cases from the day before.  1,230 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 51 from the day before.  4,660 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 53 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, there are 13,432 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 292 deaths, an increase of 144 cases and 1 death from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/9 3 p.m.) The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released new guidance for Thanksgiving celebrations and Black Friday shopping to help North Carolinians gauge the risks, protect their friends and loved ones, and slow the spread of COVID-19.  "The best way to protect loved ones during Thanksgiving is to limit travel and gatherings with anyone who does not live in your household," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. "If you do plan to get together, there are important steps you can take to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to your family and friends."
   Because North Carolina is experiencing high numbers of COVID-19 cases across the state, NCDHHS urges caution when gathering for Thanksgiving and other holiday celebrations, especially  for gatherings that include people who are at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19, such as anyone over the age of 65.

(11/9 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 294,860 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,521 cases from the day before.  1,169 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 22 from the day before.  4,607 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, there are 13,288 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 291 deaths, an increase of 52 cases and 1 death from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/8 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 293,339 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,094 cases from the day before.  1,147 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 49 from the day before.  4,607 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, there are 13,236 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 290 deaths, an increase of 52 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/7 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 291,245 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,676 cases from the day before.  1,196 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 35 from the day before.  4,605 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 23 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, there are 13,184 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 290 deaths, an increase of 108 cases and 2 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/6 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 288,569 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,908 cases from the day before.  1,161 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 32 from the day before.  4,582 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 34 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, there are 13,076 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 288 deaths, an increase of 105 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/5 5p.m.) Graham County Department of Public Health has announced another death related to COVID-19. The individual was not a nursing home resident, according to the health department. This brings the county to a total of 11 COVID-19 related deaths.

(11/5 3:30 p.m.) Jackson County Public Health has identified a COVID-19 outbreak at Skyland Care Center, a skilled nursing facility in Sylva. Two employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in isolation.

Skyland Care Center continues to comply with all Secretarial Orders from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) to ensure the safety of its staff and residents. The Orders include guidance on communal dining, in-person visitation, and mandatory testing of staff. Once the first positive case was identified, Skyland Care Center coordinated with JCDPH to determine next steps. Quarantine and testing were recommended for close contacts of the first positive case. To protect the residents, in-person visitation and communal dining were immediately halted; mandatory testing of staff increased in frequency. Upon identification of the second case, Skyland Care Center continued mandatory testing of staff, continued monitoring residents for any symptoms, and coordinated testing for all residents. The investigation is ongoing.

(11/5 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 285,661 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,859 cases from the day before.  1,193 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 7 from the day before.  4,548 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 41 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, there are 12,971 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 288 deaths, an increase of 147 cases and 1 death from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/4 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 282,802 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,425 cases from the day before.  1,186 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 11 from the day before.  4,507 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 177 from Monday.  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, there are 12,824 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 287 deaths, an increase of 203 cases and 6 deaths from Monday. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/3 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 280,377 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,349 cases from the day before.  1,175 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 29 from the day before. For more local information, click here.

(11/2 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 278,028 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,336 cases from the day before.  1,146 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 24 from the day before.  4,390 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, there are 12,621 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 281 deaths, an increase of 42 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(11/1 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 276,692 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,057 cases from the day before.  1,122 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 62 from the day before.  4,383 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 6 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, there are 12,579 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 281 deaths, an increase of 110 cases and 1 death from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/31 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 274,635 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,805 cases from the day before.  1,184 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 12 from the day before.  4,378 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 46 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, there are 12,469 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 280 deaths, an increase of 101 cases and 7 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/30 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 271,830 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,809 cases from the day before.  1,196 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 15 from the day before.  4,332 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 49 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, there are 12,368 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 273 deaths, an increase of 159 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/30 9:30 a.m.) The Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency has identified a COVID-19 cluster connected to the Town of Waynesville Finance Department. Five employees and two close contacts of those employees have tested positive for COVID-19. 

“This goes back to our ‘It Only Takes One’ slide from a few months ago.  One presymptomatic case in an office setting not wearing a mask and others with inconsistent mask usage has now caused six additional cases at this time,” says Patrick Johnson, Haywood County Public Health Director.

(10/29 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 269,021 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,885 cases from the day before.  1,181 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 11 from the day before.  4,283 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 38 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, there are 12,209 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 273 deaths, an increase of 157 cases and 4 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/28 4:20 p.m.) Macon County Animal Control Services will be limited due to COVID-19 cases detected in the department. Essential services will still be available but animal surrenders, adoptions and nuisance calls will be discontinued until November 2. 

(10/28 4 p.m.) Graham County Public Health has announced another death due to COVID-19. The individual was a resident at Graham Healthcare and Rehabilitation. 

(10/28 3:15 p.m.) Seven people at Shepherd Early Education and Preschool in Jackson County have test positive for COVID-19. All individuals are under isolation.

On Tuesday, Jackson County Department of Public Health also announced that seven people who attended a social gathering on October 18 at an apartment tested positive for COVID-19. The investigation into the gathering is ongoing.

(10/28 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 266,136 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,253 cases from the day before.  1,192 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 21 from the day before.  4,245 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 34 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, there are 12,052 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 269 deaths, an increase of 82 cases and 1 death from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/27 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 263,883 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,141 cases from the day before.  1,214 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 21 from the day before.  4,211 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 41 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, there are 11,970 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 268 deaths, an increase of 166 cases and 2 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/26 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 261,742 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,643 cases from the day before.  1,193 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 45 from the day before.  4,170 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 13 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, there are 11,804 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 266 deaths, an increase of 73 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/25 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 260,099 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 4,391 cases from Friday.  1,148 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 33 from Friday.  4,157 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 43 from Friday.  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, there are 11,721 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 266 deaths, an increase of 239 cases and 0 deaths from Friday. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/23 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 255,708 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,716 cases from the day before.  1,181 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 24 from the day before.  4,114 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 32 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, there are 11,482 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 264 deaths, an increase of 178 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/22 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 252,992 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,400 cases from the day before.  1,205 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 14 from the day before.  4,082 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 50 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, there are 11,304 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 264 deaths, an increase of 211 cases and 3 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/21 5:30 p.m.) Western Carolina University is planning a four-day series of ceremonies to honor graduates who were scheduled to participate in spring commencement events postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, students who completed degree requirements during this year’s summer sessions, and members of the fall 2020 graduating class.

Ceremonies are scheduled to begin Thursday, Dec. 10, and continue through Sunday, Dec. 13, with graduates to be grouped based on their degree, academic department and college. 

(10/21 5 p.m.) Macon County has identified that a fourth Macon County Public Health employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee is isolating at home and doing well. Close contacts of the employee have been notified and tested. The necessary steps to disinfect the affected area have been performed.

(10/21 3 p.m.) Gov. Roy Cooper has  paused Phase 3  of North Carolina’s coronavirus reopening plan, which was set to expire on Friday.   During Wednesday’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing the governor said several trends including COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are moving in the wrong direction.  The Phase 3 pause will stay in effect until November 13.

(10/21 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 250,592 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,842 cases from the day before.  1,219 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 16 from the day before.  4,032 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 40 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, there are 11,093 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 261 deaths, an increase of 92 cases and 3 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/20 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 248,750 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,578 cases from the day before.  1,203 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 61 from the day before.  3,992 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 53 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, there are 11,001 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 258 deaths, an increase of 65 cases and 4 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/19 5:20 p.m.) Macon County Schools announed new a positive case of COVID-19 at Highlands School and at Franklin High School. These individuals are currently under quarantine.

(10/19 5 p.m.) There is a COVID-19 cluster at Smokey Mountain Elementary School in Jackson County. Jackson County Department of Public Health says four students and four staff members have tested positive for the virus. 

All students at the school will be learning remotely for the rest of the week. The district’s eight other schools will continue on their current schedule. A decision about returning to face-to-face instruction at the elementary school will be made on Friday, October 23 after officials receive updates on contact tracing and virus testing.

(10/19 4 p.m.) A Cherokee County resident who was previously reported as a positive case has died from complications of COVID-19. The individual was in their early eighties. This is the 19th COVID-19 related death in Cherokee County.

(10/19 2:20 p.m.) Southwestern Community College’s spring semester will include a spring break, an Easter break and more online classes. Classes as scheduled to start on January 11, and the semester will run through Thursday, May 13. Complete spring semester class schedules will be mailed out next month to every home in Jackson, Macon, Swain Counties and the Qually Boundary. That info will also be available at www.SouthwesternCC.edu, and hard copies will be available at all of SCC’s locations by mid-November.

(10/19 1:30 p.m.)  The Buncombe County sheriff's office says a detainee at the county detention center has tested positive for COVID-19.  In a press release, the sheriff's office says the individual has been in quarantine since they entered the facility and is currently asymptomatic.  The release goes on to say that contact tracing is underway, and that no other inmates or staff and officers at the detention center are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

(10/19 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 247,172 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,144 cases from the day before.  1,142 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 13 from the day before.  3,939 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 5 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, there are 10,936 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 254 deaths, an increase of 47 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/18 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 246,028 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,303 cases from the day before.  1,129 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 11 from the day before.  3,934 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 5 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, there are 10,889 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 254 deaths, an increase of 90 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/17 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 243,725 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,102 cases from the day before.  1,140 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 8 from the day before.  3,929 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 19 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, there are 10,799 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 254 deaths, an increase of 117 cases and 1 death from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/16 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 241,623 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,684 cases from the day before.  1,148 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 8 from the day before.  3,910 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 36 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, there are 10,682 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 253 deaths, an increase of 166 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(10/15 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 238,939 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,532 cases from the day before.  1,140 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 12 from the day before.  3,874 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, there are 10,516 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 253 deaths, an increase of 123 cases and 1 death from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

 

(10/15 8:00 a.m.) - UNC Asheville says a campus police officer has died of complications from COVID-19.  James Hamilton died Tuesday night according to the university.  Hamilton was also a town commissioner for the town of Spindale.  UNC Asheville says contact tracing at the school has been completed and anyone who was in contact with Hamilton has been notified and taken appropriate steps. 

(10/14 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 236,407 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,926 cases from the day before.  1,152 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 49 from the day before.  3,856 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 40 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, there are 10,393 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 252 deaths, an increase of 65 cases and 6 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here

(10/13 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 234,481 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 3,010 cases from Sunday.  1,103 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 57 from Sunday.  3,816 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 46 from Sunday.  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, there are 10,328 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 246 deaths, an increase of 148 cases and 0 deaths from Sunday. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here

(10/11 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 231,471 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,719 cases from the day before.  1,046 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 12 from the day before.  3,770 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 5 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, there are 10,180 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 246 deaths, an increase of 84 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here

(10/10 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 229,752 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,321 cases from the day before.  1,034 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 31 from the day before.  3,765 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, there are 10,096 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 246 deaths, an increase of 129 cases and 5 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here

(10/9 3:15 p.m.) Cherokee Central Schools on the Qualla Boundary had planned to return to transition to some in-person instruction on October 19. But the school system announced on Friday that due to increased Covid-19 activity in the community all schools will remain fully virtual until further notice.

(10/9 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 227,431 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,034 cases from the day before.  1,065 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 14 from the day before.  3,747 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, there are 9,967 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 241 deaths, an increase of 101 cases and 3 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here

(10/8 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 225,397 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,428 cases from the day before.  1,051 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 23 from the day before.  3,722 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 29 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, there are 9,866 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 238 deaths, an increase of 99 cases and 3 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here

(10/7 1:30 p.m.) - The city of Asheville will reopen its public facing offices this Monday for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.  City Hall, the Municipal Building, and the Public Works and Development Services headquarters will open with limited capacity.  For City Hall, that means only 50 people can be in it at a time.  City council meetings will continue to be held virtually.  The next meeting is this coming Tuesday.

(10/7 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 222,969 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,711 cases from the day before.  1,028 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 15 from the day before.  3,693 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 23 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, there are 9,767 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 235 deaths, an increase of 51 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here

(10/6 3:30 p.m.) - The Asheville Holiday Parade for this year has been canceled due to the pandemic.  The Asheville Downtown Association made the announcement Tuesday.  Association executive director Meghan Rodgers said in a statement, “There are thousands of people in the parade and as many as 20,000 have come to watch in previous years, so it’s just not responsible to move forward in the midst of a public health crisis."  Even though there will be no parade, the Downtown Association will still host free photos with Santa on November 21st at Rabbit Rabbit.  Families will however have to register for a time slot to maintain social distancing, and the photos themselves will be distanced from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

(10/6 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 221,258 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,504 cases from the day before.  1,013 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 42 from the day before.  3,670 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 33 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, there are 9,716 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 235 deaths, an increase of 74 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here

(10/6 12:00 p.m.) - Buncombe County schools says it has identified a cluster of confirmed COVID-19 cases at Oakley Elementary School.  In press release Tuesday morning, the school system says five staff members 'associated' with the school have tested positive.  No other staff members or students were in close contact with the five cases.  A close contact is defined as anyone who was less than six feet from the positive case for 15 minutes or more.  The school system says the areas where the confirmed cases worked have undergone clearing and disinfection, and that operations at the school have not been affected.  Students at Oakley Elementary like other elementary schools in the Buncombe County district have been attending in-person classes two days a week on a rotating basis.

(10/6 9:00 a.m.) - Asheville City Schools will remain all virtual for at least the next three weeks.  Superintendent Dr. Gene Freeman made the announcement late Monday, saying he did not feel comfortable bringing back large numbers of students for in-person learning.  Freeman adds the district will collaborate with Buncombe County health authorities and monitor COVID-19 case metrics before making a decision about the rest of the second quarter of the school year.

(10/5 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 219,754 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,258 cases from the day before.  971 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 64 from the day before.  3,637 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, there are 9,642 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 235 deaths, an increase of 102 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here

(10/5 11:40 a.m.) Graham County School System says that COVID-19 cases in the county are impacting the schools. A joint statement with the local health department explains that, “While we have not seen a cluster in the schools up to this point, the community spread is affecting the staff and students. The available staff is dwindling, as they are either testing positive, or are close contacts to a positive.”

The statement continues to says that staff availability is now a critical low and that the school system will be making “difficult decisions soon.” 

(10/4 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 217,496 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 610 cases from the day before.  907 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 14 from the day before.  3,634 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 5 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, there are 9,540 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 235 deaths, an increase of 32 cases and 0 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here

(10/3 12:30 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 216,886 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 2,202 cases from the day before.  921 people are currently hospitalized, no change from the day before.  3,629 have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 21 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, there are 9,508 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 235 deaths, an increase of 118 cases and 4 deaths from the day before. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here