phase 2

WNC COVID-19 'Phase 2' Updates

May 24, 2020
CDC

(7/6 4 p.m.) North Carolina has reported 74,529 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,546 cases from the day before.  982 people are currently hospitalized, 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, as of 12:00 p.m. on July 6nd, there are 2,266 cases of COVID-19 with 88 deaths. For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

 

(7/6 10:30 a.m.) Transylvania County Register of Deeds is closed today. On Sunday it was announced that employee of the office has tested positive for COVID-19.  The Transylvania County Public Health says people who visited the Register of Deeds office do not need to get tested but should monitor their symptoms. 

(7/6 10 a.m.) Haywood County Public Health announced on July 4 that another resident tested positive for COVID-19. The resident recently traveled out-of-state to Florida.  There are now 98 cases in the county, according to NC DHHS. 

(7/6  9:45 a.m.) Cherokee County Health Department has announced that no staff or residents tested positive for COVID-19 at Murphy Rehabilitation and Nursing. The health department announced that one resident at the facility tested positive for COVID-19 on June 24. 

The Cherokee County Health Department would like to take this opportunity to remind people that as businesses open and more people have close interactions, we encourage the use of face masks to control the spread.

There were 51 cases of COVID-19 in the county as of July 2 and 2 deaths, according to the local health department. 

(7/5) North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports a  daily increase of 1,329 lab confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the state total to 72,983.  There are 949 people hospitalized and 1,396 coronavirus related deaths.  For more information including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.     Click here for data from Georgia and other neighboring states and  here for more local informaiton and resources. 

(7/3 4 p.m. ) North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports a record daily increase of  2,099 lab confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the state total to 70, 241.  The number of people hospitalized also hit a new high of 951.  For more information including county-by-county and demographic breakdowns, click here.  There have been more than 2,300 hundred confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in the 13 North Carolina counties in Blue Ridge Public Radio's listening area, according to local health department websites.  Click here for data from Georgia and other neighboring states and  here for more local informaiton and resources. 

(7/2)  Buncombe county health officials are readjusting the county’s  COVID-19 death data after a long term care facility mistakenly reported coronavirus as the cause of death in 10 of its residents.  Interim public health director Dr. Jennifer Mullendore shared the news Thursday afternoon at a community briefing. Mullendore noted that COVID-19 had been confirmed in the 10 long term care residents, but that after a review, it was determined their deaths did not meet the case definition.  

(7/2 12:15 p.m.) -North Carolina has reported 68,142 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,629 cases from the day before.  912 people are currently hospitalized, 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 12:00 p.m. on July 2nd, there are 2,071 cases of COVID-19 with 96 deaths, with 1,998 cases and 95 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(7/1 3 p.m.) Governor Roy Cooper pushed back his self-imposed July 1 deadline for a statewide school reopening plan, saying state officials need more time to "get it right."  "My number one  priority is to open classroom doors, " said Cooper at Wednesday's coronavirus task force briefing.  "We encourage schools to keep planning with a focus on how teachers, students and other staff can best be protected."   The governor said there was no one event that triggered the delay.    Last month, the governor announced three potential plans for public schools that ranged from students in class with few restrictions to online learning that resembled the end of this school year.   Cooper said he expected to announce firm plans in the next few weeks. 

(7/1 2:30 p.m.) Over the weekend, Principal Chief Richard Sneed of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, announced the second death of a citizen in the tribe related to COVID-19. There are now 71 positive cases on the Qualla Boundary as of June 30.

(7/1 12:15 p.m.) - As of 12:00 p.m. on July 1st, North Carolina has reported 66,513 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,843 cases from the day before.  901 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 7 from the day before.  1,373 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 12:00 p.m. on July 1st, there are 1,998 cases of COVID-19 with 95 deaths, with 1,940 cases and 95 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(6/30 12:15 p.m.) - As of 12:00 p.m. on June 30th, North Carolina has reported 64,670 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,186 cases from the day before.  908 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 65 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 12:00 p.m. on June 30th, there are 1,940 cases of COVID-19 with 95 deaths, with 1,895 cases and 93 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(6/30 12 p.m.) The town of Murphy has lifted its the pedestrian curfew which was put in place on June 3 as demonstrations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement were happening across the country. A rally organized by local youth was held in Murphy in support of racial justice solidarity on June 4.

The town previously had a curfew in May to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The 8 p.m. curfew ended at 9 p.m. on June 29.

(6/29 12:15 p.m.) - As of 12:00 p.m. on June 29th, North Carolina has reported 63,484 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,342 cases from the day before.  843 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 47 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 12:00 p.m. on June 29th, there are 1,895 cases of COVID-19 with 93 deaths, with 1,827 cases and 93 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(6/28 12:15 p.m.) - As of 12:00 p.m. on June 28th, North Carolina has reported 62,142 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,785 cases from the day before.  890 people are currently hospitalized, 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 12:00 p.m. on June 28th, there are 1,827 cases of COVID-19 with 93 deaths, with 1,781 cases and 93 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(6/27 12:15 p.m.) - As of 12:00 p.m. on June 27th, North Carolina has reported 60,357 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,539 cases from the day before.  888 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 4 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 12:00 p.m. on June 27th, there are 1,781 cases of COVID-19 with 93 deaths, with 1,746 cases and 93 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(6/26 4:30 p.m.) Cherokee County Sheriff says that his officers will not enforce the statewide mask requirement.

This afternoon on WKRK Christian Radio in Murphy, Sheriff Derrick Palmer explained that it would “not just be impractical but impossible” to enforce masks being worn in the county. He says that he will uphold any businesses’ right to ask customers to wear masks while inside their place of business.

“We don’t want people going in and defying business owners and saying, ‘I’m going to shop there regardless and I’m not wearing my mask because the sheriff said I could.’ We don’t want that,” says Palmer, adding these individuals can be charged with trespassing. 

 Palmers says that wearing a mask is an individual choice but it’s probably “a good idea.”

“I’m very leery of when we come to things that say ‘You are required to do these and you will be punished criminally if you don’t.’ That’s where my heartburn is and where I get upset over these things,” says Palmer. 

Palmer described the legal enforcement of wearing a seatbelt in your car as another example of a law that should be a personal safety choice. 

Town police departments within the county will be able to interpret the executive order as well.

(6/26 12:15 p.m.) - As of 12:00 p.m. on June 26th, North Carolina has reported 58,818 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,005 cases from the day before.  892 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 1 from the day before.  1,297 people 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, as of 12:00 p.m. on June 26th, there are 1,746 cases of COVID-19 with 93 deaths, with 1,711 cases and 93 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(6/25 12:15 p.m.) - As of 12:00 p.m. on June 25th, North Carolina has reported 57,813 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,009 cases from the day before.  891 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 15 from the day before.  1,284 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 12:00 p.m. on June 25th, there are 1,711 cases of COVID-19 with 93 deaths, with 1,677 cases and 93 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(6/24 10 a.m.)  Macon County Public Health has identified a COVID-19 outbreak in staff at Macon Valley Nursing Home in Franklin. Two staff at the nursing home have tested positive for COVID-19. Both are asymptomatic and are isolating at home.

At this time, no patients at Macon Valley or at any Macon County long-term care facility have tested positive for COVID-19.

All the residents and staff of Macon Valley Nursing Home are being tested for COVID-19 as a precaution. Macon County Public Health is also working to identify any contacts of the two individuals.

Macon Valley Nursing Home says that it has been screening all staff and visitors before they enter the nursing home. The long-term care facility also outlined the measures it has taken to secure PPE and hand sanitizer since March in a press release. The facility says it has built an isolation unit for use if any residents do become infected.  

Both employees will not return to work until they have two negative COVID-19 tests.

(6/24 3:30) Citing metrics that continue to rise instead of leveling off, Govenor Roy Cooper extended Phase 2 of his three-part pandemic response plan for at least three more weeks. He also issued a statewide mandate that begins 5 p.m. Friday requiring residents cover their faces in most situations where social distancing of at least six feet isn't possible. That includes customers and employees at retailers and restaurants along with workers in manufacturing, meat-processing, agricultural and other industries. People with medical conditions that would be worsened by masks don't have to wear them, and neither do children younger than 11.  Read Executive Order No. 147 that implements today’s announcement.  Read Frequently Asked Questions about today’s executive Order and mandatory face coverings.  Read NCDHHS guidance on face coverings.  

(6/24 3 p.m.) Today Mission Health announced that it is rolling back COVID-19 visitor restrictions. One adult per patient will be allowed to visit during the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at all hospitals. Additionally patients in pediatrics, NICU, laboring advocates, and end of life care – will be allowed to have 1 person remain overnight. All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and required to wear a mask.

This change does not apply to COVID-19 patients or patients awaiting COVID-19 test results. They will not be allowed to have visitors. 

 

(6/24 2 p.m.) Southwestern Community College officials confirmed on June 20 that a student tested positive for COVID-19.

It’s the first case involving a student or employee at the college. The student was last at the Jackson Campus on Monday, June 15. SCC officials are working with local health department officials to locate anyone who may have come into contact with the individual.

All employees and students determined to have come into contact with the student have been notified and urged to get tested. Relevant classes were canceled for Monday, June 22. Face-to-face classes were cancelled on May 26 but some classes which required in-person instruction restarted on June 1. 

SCC officials urge anyone who was at the college’s Jackson Campus on June 15, and is experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness to isolate and contact a healthcare provider immediately.

(6/24 12:15 p.m.) - As of 12:00 p.m. on June 24th, North Carolina has reported 56,174 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,631 cases from the day before.  906 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 9 from the day before.  1,266 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 15 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 12:00 p.m. on June 24th, there are 1,677 cases of COVID-19 with 93 deaths, with 1,627 cases and 92 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

 

(6/23 12:15 p.m.) - As of 12:00 p.m. on June 23rd, North Carolina has reported 54,543 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 848 cases from the day before.  915 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 45 from the day before.  1,251 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 28 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 12:00 p.m. on June 23rd, there are 1,637 cases of COVID-19 with 92 deaths, with 1,608 cases and 91 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(6/22 12:15 p.m.) - As of 12:00 p.m. on June 22nd, North Carolina has reported 53,605 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 804 cases from the day before.  870 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 25 from the day before.  1,223 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 12:00 p.m. on June 22nd, there are 1,608 cases of COVID-19 with 91 deaths, with 1,603 cases and 91 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(6/22 11:45 a.m.) The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians reopened tribal offices on Monday (today). Many tribal operations have been closed because of COVID-19 precautions. Face masks will required for all tribal employees and those visiting tribal offices. Appointments are also required. The offices will be closed on Fridays. Offices will be open 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Thursday. 

(6/21 12:15 p.m.) - As of 12:00 p.m. on June 21st, North Carolina has reported 52,801 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,412 cases from the day before.  845 people are currently hospitalized, a decrease of 38 from the day before.  1,220 people 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, as of 12:00 p.m. on June 21st, there are 1,603 cases of COVID-19 with 91 deaths, with 1,578 cases and 91 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(6/20 12:15 p.m.) - As of 12:00 p.m. on June 20th, North Carolina has reported 51,389 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 1,549 cases from the day before.  883 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 12 from the day before.  1,212 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 15 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 12:00 p.m. on June 20th, there are 1,578 cases of COVID-19 with 91 deaths, with 1,549 cases and 91 deaths reported the day before.  For information on cases in the state of Georgia, click here.  For more local information, click here.

(6/19 2:00 p.m.) - Buncombe County says it will reopen most of its public-facing offices on Monday June 29th.  The alternative means the county set up to allow residents to access services during the pandemic will continue to operate, and county officials urge people to use those when possible.  Face coverings must be worn in the offices that will reopen.  Those offices include -

  • Ag and Land Resources (Soil and Water/Coop. Ext) -  49 Mount Carmel Road, Suite 101
  • Air Quality - 52 Coxe Ave.
  • Budget, Communications, County Manager’s Office, Finance, HR, Internal Audit, Legal, Performance Management, Sustainability - 200 College St.
  • Permitting and Inspections - 30 Valley St. 
  • Planning & Development - 46 Valley St.
  • Register of Deeds (Vital Records department is already open to the public), 205 College St.
  • Strategic Partnerships - 35 Woodfin St.
  • Tax Assessor - 155 Hilliard Ave.

Lilly Knoepp

Governor Roy Cooper announced that restaurants, salons and pools can reopen on Friday with limited capacity as part of Phase 2 for lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Meanwhile, bars, gyms and other businesses will remain closed. The order however, was unclear if craft breweries are able to open. The operations straddle the line between bar and restaurant. 

North Carolina will enter 'Phase 2' of its reopening on Friday.  But due to rising numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases, the state will do so in a more cautious manner.

Cass Herrington / BPR news

During "Phase 1" of reopening, many retail businesses in North Carolina have been able to open back up, but under reduced capacity.  So-called "personal care" businesses remain shuttered -- like salons, gyms, and barber shops.