Virus Cases in State Now Over 60, Officials: More Closings on the Way,

Health Officials Consider More Closures In Buncombe

(Buncombe County, NC) -- More businesses may soon be ordered to shut down in Buncombe County. Health officials said yesterday they're considering closing gyms, pools and entertainment venues to help stop a potential coronavirus spread. Governor Cooper has already ordered all restaurants across the state to close their dining areas. There's no word on when a decision will be made.

Coronavirus Cases Climb Over 60

(Raleigh, NC) -- The number of coronavirus cases in the state is over 60. North Carolina public health officials said Wednesday there are now 63 cases covering 17 counties in the state. Forty of those cases are centered in Mecklenburg, Durham and Wake counties.

Towns Easing Parking Restrictions For Restaurants

(Boone, NC) -- Some places around western North Carolina are relaxing parking restrictions to help out restaurants. Many are offering curbside pick-up after Governor Cooper's order to shut down all dining areas. Boone's downtown development coordinator told the Watauga Democrat they're allowing restaurants to designate specific spaces for pick-up order. Parking is now also free in town-owned spaces. Parking regulations aren't being enforced in Blowing Rock for now.

Suspect Charged In Deadly Accidental Shooting

(Fairview, NC) -- A Fairview man is facing charges in the accidental shooting death of a juvenile. Investigators say the child was taken to the Garren Creek Fire Station after the March 8th shooting. WLOS-TV reports the suspect was arrested for failing to store a firearm to protect a minor. The suspect and victim reportedly lived in the same home.

Local Jails Releasing Some Inmates

(Asheville, NC) -- Some inmates are being released from area jails in order to reduce the risk of coronavirus. WLOS-TV says both Buncombe and Haywood County jails are letting some with misdemeanor charges go on a case-by-case basis. Habitual and domestic offenders will remain behind bars.

Residents Urged To Call 211 For Coronavirus Concerns

(Asheville, NC) -- North Carolina residents now have a number to call for assistance with their coronavirus concerns. The United Way of Asheville is encouraging people to call 2-1-1 to get information about food distribution sites and drive-thru testing services, among other things. All calls are confidential. Governor Cooper says the service can be critical in times of emergency.

Three Charlotte Malls To Temporarily Close

(Charlotte, NC) -- A number of Charlotte malls are closing in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Simon Property Group owns Concord Mills, SouthPark and Charlotte Premium Outlets. The company is shutting down those shopping areas until March 29th after talking with federal and state officials, in hopes of helping curb spread of the virus. The decision affects all Simon properties across the U.S.

Coronavirus Cases Up To 14 In Meck County

(Charlotte, NC) -- Coronavirus cases continue to rise in the Queen City. NBC Charlotte says there were 14 cases in Mecklenburg County as of yesterday, as numbers statewide climb towards 70. Both Union and Gaston counties reported their first presumptive positive cases yesterday as well. Caldwell and Catawba counties declared states of emergency.

Man In Ambulance Shot To Death

(Charlotte, NC) -- A suspect is accused of shooting someone to death in an ambulance outside a Charlotte hotel. Officers and MEDIC were on the scene at the Days Inn on Woodlawn Road after a man had trouble breathing during a domestic disturbance. The suspect allegedly opened fire and shot the man several times while he was being treated in an ambulance. The suspect was arrested at the scene for murder. No one else was injured in the shooting.

One Dead In Southwest Charlotte Homicide

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is investigating a homicide in southwest Charlotte. Officers found one man shot in a parking lot on Nations Ford Road near West Arrowood Road last night. Investigators are still looking for a suspect.

UNC Charlotte Students Moving Out

(Charlotte, NC) -- Students at UNC Charlotte are busy moving out of their dorms. The school is moving to online instruction, and students have been ordered off-campus by Friday afternoon. School officials are still deciding on refunds for housing and dining fees.

Doctor Who Recently Traveled To Germany Contracts COVID-19

(Pinehurst, NC) -- A doctor in Pinehurst has tested positive for the coronavirus. Dr. John Byron is an OB\GYN with Southern Pines Women's Health Center, who last interacted with patients on Friday. Health officials in Moore County say they believe Byron contracted the disease while on a recent trip to Germany. Byron is now under self-quarantine at his home.

Claims For Jobless Benefits In North Carolina Now Over 47-Hundred

(Raleigh, NC) -- Filings for unemployment benefits have surged in North Carolina within the past few days. The coronavirus is to blame. A department of labor official reported Wednesday, that more than 47-new applications for benefits had been received. Meanwhile, many recently laid off workers report they have experienced continued frustration with the system's online application process. The system is either freezing up or showing 'Error' halfway through the application. Workers also report getting no help when they tried to call or visit a State Department of Unemployment Security office.

Grocery And Delivery Industry Among Those Needing To Hire Extra Workers

(Raleigh, NC) -- People looking for a job might want to try Amazon. The company has announced plans to hire an additional 100-thousand workers nationwide. An estimated 2-thousand of those Amazon jobs will be in North Carolina. Many grocery store chains have also announced plans to hire more workers. Harris-Teeter, Costco's, Kroger and Lowes Foods are among them. Several trucking companies have also expressed the need for more drivers.

Gardening Businesses In Triangle Experiencing Boom In Sales

(Raleigh, NC) -- Many gardening businesses across the Triangle are reporting a recent spike in sales activity due to so many people being forced to work remotely from home. Owners say items like mulch, top soil and seeds for vegetables and herbs have virtually sold out. In addition, some stores have started to offer cub side pick up and home delivery.

Cone Health To Limit Surgeries

(Greensboro, NC) -- Cone Health is limiting elective surgeries and other medical procedures as part of a national effort to free-up supplies. The limitations went into effect yesterday. The company also says office visits and imaging will be limited. Cone Health will determine which patients will have to reschedule their appointments for a later date, and which ones won't.

Fund Set Up In Winston-Salem To Help With Coronavirus Outbreak

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Winston-Salem is setting up a fund to help the people affected by the coronavirus outbreak. At least two-million dollars will be donated from city and community contributions. The money raised will go directly toward local nonprofits to help those in need.

Mocksville Man Accused Of Trying To Stab Woman To Death

(David Co., NC) -- A David County man is accused for trying to stab a woman to death. Shawn Wilkins is charged with attempted first-degree murder and is being held on a half-million-dollar bond. He was arrested in Mocksville Tuesday after allegedly admitting to the crime. The victim was taken to a local hospital where she went into emergency surgery.

Second Harvest Food Bank To Hold Virtual Food Drive

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Second Harvest Food Bank in Winston-Salem is announcing a virtual food drive. The move is in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Folks can donate electronically to Feed-Community-Now-dot-org. The food bank is the main source of food for nearly 500 programs across 18 counties.

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