Stay Home Stay Safe, NC: 2 Deaths from COVID, Trump OK's Aid for NC

Buncombe County Issues Stay-At-Home Order

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Buncombe County residents are being ordered to stay home for two weeks. Commission Chairman Brownie Newman issued a declaration yesterday as expected, which was put in place to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. The order also requires non-essential businesses to close during the period. Residents are allowed to travel for essential needs, such as for food or medical purposes. The stay home period begins tonight at eight.

Trump Okays NC Disaster Declaration

(Raleigh, NC) -- President Trump is approving a disaster declaration for North Carolina. It will allow easier access to federal funding for emergency measures related to the coronavirus pandemic. At least seven other states have had disaster declarations approved. Governor Cooper's office is specifically seeking assistance for small businesses, unemployment help and crisis counseling.

First Coronavirus Deaths Reported In NC

(Raleigh, NC) -- North Carolina is reporting its first deaths from the coronavirus. Public health officials confirmed yesterday two patients in Cabarrus County died from COVID-19 complications. The News and Observer reported late last night the total number of cases in North Carolina is over 600. There are around 20 cases in western North Carolina.

Dogwood Health Donates Ten-Million For Coronavirus Response

(Asheville, NC) -- An Asheville non-profit is donating millions for coronavirus response efforts. Dogwood Health Trust has given ten-million-dollars to help out 18 counties in the region. Some of that is expected to be used to help develop successful COVID-19 tests. The donation has also enabled at least 100 WiFi hotspots to be put in place for students needing internet access for school.

State Evaluating Number Of Hospital Beds

(Raleigh, NC) -- State officials are figuring out how many hospital beds are available in North Carolina. Governor Cooper said yesterday they're pulling data from hospitals across the state so they can be ready to set up additional medical facilities if needed. Hospitals have already been asked to suspend elective surgeries in order to free up more beds.

Distillery Making Hand Sanitizer

(Maggie Valley, NC) -- A western North Carolina distillery is making a switch to help in the fight against COVID-19. WLOS-TV says Elevated Mountain Distilling in Maggie Valley is using its alcohol to make large bottles of hand sanitizer. The FDA has given the business approval for several more months. Money from sales will either be donated to non-profits or put back into sanitizer production.

Cabarrus Issues Stay-At-Home Order

(Cabarrus County, NC) -- Cabarrus County is under a stay-at-home order, effective this afternoon at five. The measure prohibits anyone from leaving their home or property unless it's for essential needs like food or medical services. Walking pets and exercising while social distancing is permissible. The order came after two patients in Cabarrus County died from coronavirus.

Abandoned Baby Found Alive In Plastic Bag

(Union County, NC) -- A newborn is alive after being found in a plastic bag in Union County. Deputies discovered the baby outside a home covered under leaves on East Highway 74 in the Marshville area yesterday afternoon. It's unclear if investigators have identified or found the mother.

Atrium Hospital Offering Virtual Monitoring

(Charlotte, NC) -- Atrium Health patients who have coronavirus can now be monitored at home. WSOC-TV says the hospital is offering a virtual program for patients who don't need intensive care. The patient will be provided a monitoring kit, which includes a blood pressure cuff and thermometer. Atrium's chief physician executive says it's comparable to what they would receive in the hospital.

Stay-At-Home Begins For Mecklenburg This Morning

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- Residents in Mecklenburg County are being ordered to stay at home starting this morning. A stay-at-home order is in place, which restricts people from leaving their property unless its for essential needs. The measure will be enacted through April 16th. The sheriff's office is also closing to the public starting today.

Harris Teeter Hiring Five-Thousand

(Matthews, NC) -- A Matthews-based grocery store chain is hiring thousands of people to help with growing demand. Harris Teeter is looking to add five-thousand employees nationwide with benefits included. The company's president says they're committed to helping neighbors in need, including those who've been displaced from the restaurant industry. There are around 20 Harris Teeter locations in the Charlotte area.

Triangle Governments Voting To Issue Stay-at-Home Orders Amidst Coronavirus Outbreak

(Raleigh, NC) -- A number of communities around the Triangle have decided to issue 'Stay-at-Home' orders in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The Wake County Board of Commissioners is expected to make an announcement today, leaders in Orange County are reportedly developing a similar order and the City of Durham has already issued an order that's set to go into effect at 6 p.m. today. Durham County is expected to also issue a 'Shelter-in Place' order within the coming days.

State Treasurer Now Self Quarantined After Testing Positive For COVID-19

(Raleigh, NC) -- The Treasurer of the State of North Carolina has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Dale Folwell announced Wednesday that he had tested positive for the virus, after recently returning from an out-of-town trip with his son. Folwell says he initially thought his cold-like symptoms were a reaction to springtime pollen, but he later decided to get checked out by a doctor, who ordered the COVID-19 test. Folwell is now under self quarantine.

Woman Shot To Death By Ex-Boyfriend, Suspect Still On The Run

(Fayetteville, NC) -- An investigation is underway into the fatal shooting of a Fayetteville woman, who was gunned down execution-style inside her home Tuesday night. Police say 26-year-old Brittany Irwin was shot multiple times by her ex-boyfriend, who she broke up with several months ago. The suspect, identified as Marshall Hollingsworth, remains at large and is considered armed and dangerous. Irwin was also the mother of two young children. Anyone with information is asked to contact Fayetteville police.

Duke University Among Several Testing Antiviral Medication To Combat Coronavirus

(Durham, NC) -- Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have announced that they are part of a national study to test an anti-viral drug that may help in the treatment of people infected with the coronavirus. The medication, known as 'Remdesivir,' has been used in the past on patients with Ebola, SARS and MERS. The drug will only be tested on patients sick enough to require hospitalization.

Harris Teeter To Install Plexiglass Shields At Cash Registers

(Undated) - Harris Teeter is taking additional precautions to protect workers from the spread of the coronavirus. The grocery chain is installing plexiglass shields at cash registers, pharmacies and customer service desks. The shields are expected to be in place by today.

Sheetz Announces Pay Raise For Employees

(Winston-Salem, NC) - Sheetz is announcing a pay-raise for employees who are working during the coronavirus outbreak. The convenience store chain says all 17-thousand of its employees will receive an extra three-dollars per hour through April 23rd. The company is also hiring full-time and part-time positions due to the illness.

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