COVID-19 Case Numbers Rise, Courts Closed for 30 Days, COVID Closes Schools

Coronavirus Cases Rise Over 30 In NC

(Raleigh, NC) -- The number of coronavirus cases is up to 32 in North Carolina. Health officials confirmed the first case in the western North Carolina region over the weekend in Watauga County. Most of the other cases are centered in the Triad or Charlotte area. Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order to cancel or postpone gatherings of over 100 people. That decision was made before the CDC recommended against gatherings of over 50 people last night.

Governor Orders Schools To Close Two Weeks

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina's public K-through-12 schools are shutting down for two weeks starting today due to the coronavirus pandemic. Buncombe County's superintendent told WLOS-TV they've been preparing for Governor Cooper's decision. All students are expected to work on take-home lessons or online classes while schools are closed. Buncombe and Asheville schools are planning to have meals available at some sites.

Utility Companies Suspend Disconnections

(Asheville, NC) -- Utility companies in western North Carolina are giving people a break over nonpayments. Duke Energy, Dominion Energy and Asheville Water Resources are three of a handful who've decided to stop any disconnections due to coronavirus concerns. Duke officials say the company is here to support its customers during this uncertain time.

No Charges For Drivers Who Tried Crossing River

(Madison County, NC) -- Two drivers who tried crossing the French Broad River in Jeeps aren't expected to face charges. Investigators told the Citizen-Times they were spotted trying to cross from a campground at the Hot Springs Resort and Spa over to the Appalachian Trail last week. The Jeeps eventually backed around when they ran into trouble. Hot Springs Police Chief David Shelton said they would've faced federal charges if they made it to the trail, but they were ultimately let go with a warning.

Asheville Clinic Offers Coronavirus Testing

(Asheville, NC) -- An Asheville clinic says it's hoping to hold another drive-thru coronavirus testing day again. Sona Pharmacy and Clinic opened up drive-thru testing with a limited number of kits yesterday afternoon at its Fairview Road location. One doctor told WLOS-TV they were hoping to calm people down by giving them an opportunity to talk and try to understand if they're at risk. Sona's test results take between five to ten days to come back.

Highway Still Closed In Nantahala Gorge Over Mudslide Problems

(Sylva, NC) -- Crews are running into problems at a mudslide site in the Nantahala Gorge. U.S. 19-74 was closed last week so workers could install rock netting to prevent future slides. The DOT now says tension cracks have been found above the site of the slide, so more work will need to be done over the next three weeks. Division 14 Engineer Brian Burch says the highway isn't safe for the traveling public.

Four Coronavirus Cases In Mecklenburg County

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- Four Mecklenburg County residents are among the 32 cases of coronavirus in North Carolina. Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order to cancel or postpone gatherings of over 100 people. That decision was made before the CDC recommended against gatherings of over 50 people last night. Mecklenburg County has declared a state of emergency in order to quickly access state and federal funding in response to the pandemic.

One Dead In South End Shooting

(Charlotte, NC) -- Police are investigating a deadly shooting in South End. Officers found a 19-year-old dead in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Griffith Street late Saturday night. No suspects have been arrested. It's unclear if there were any witnesses.

CMPD Seek Driver In Deadly Hit-And-Run

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is looking for the driver in a hit-and-run that has now resulted in a fatality. Officers say a 51-year-old woman was struck by a car on Parkton Road in east Charlotte eleven days ago. She died from her injuries on Saturday. There's no description of the suspect's vehicle, but investigators say it will have right front-end damage.

Food Truck Explodes In South End

(Charlotte, NC) -- One person is expected to be okay after a food truck exploded in South End. Investigators believe a fire started in the cooking area of the converted van just before it blew up near the Gin Mill on South Tryon Street late Friday night. Some power lines were also damaged.

All Proceedings At State Courts Halted For At Least 30-Days

(Raleigh, NC) -- The Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court has announced that all criminal and civil proceedings in state courts have been delayed for at least 30-days. The exception would be trials and grand juries where jurors have already been selected. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley also said bond and probable cause hearings will continue as scheduled. Beasley said the delays are an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

State Health Union Members Want More Protection From Exposure

(Raleigh, NC) -- Members of the North Carolina Public Service Workers Union are scheduled to meet with Governor Roy Cooper today to discuss their growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. The union represents more than 54-hundred workers with the Department of Health and Human Services. Many have complained that the government has not done enough to protect their safety, while they are often on the front lines making direct contact with people who could be infected with COVID-19. Union leaders have scheduled a news conference for 9:00-am today at the state capitol.

Two Deaths Possibly The Result Of A Murder-Suicide

(Chatham County, NC) -- Authorities in Chatham County are investigating what appears to have been a murder-suicide. Sheriff's deputies received a call around 5:30 pm Sunday of shots fired in the Moncure area. When they arrived they found two people with fatal injuries. A Sheriff's spokesperson said the incident was not considered random and there is no ongoing safety threat to the community. Investigators did not release the names of the victims or provide any further details about the incident.

Target Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19

(Raleigh, NC) - Target confirms one of its employees in Wake County has tested positive for coronavirus. The infected person worked at the location on Briar Creek Parkway in Raleigh. They are now in quarantine. It's not clear how long the employee has had the virus or how many people were exposed. Also in Wake County, a person who attended the BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Convention last week tested positive for the virus.

Greensboro Rolls Out COVID-19 Plan

(Greensboro, NC) - The City of Greensboro will be making some changes due to the COVID-19 health threats. They include reducing operating hours at city facilities and canceling all city events through April 15th. City greenways, trails, parks and lakes will remain open, and trash and recycling will be collected as normal.

Winston-Salem Forms COVID-19 Task Force

(Winston-Salem, NC) - Winston-Salem is rolling out a COVID-19 task force. It will help manage the city's response in order to maintain essential city services and promote public safety. Some changes in response to coronavirus include shutting down all city recreation centers, facilities and programs until further notice

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