3 Variables for Opening State, Cases at 250 in WNC, Cops Bust Naked Man

Cooper Stresses Testing, Tracing, And Trends

(Raleigh, NC) -- Governor Roy Cooper is stressing three issues before the state is able to re-open to any degree of normalcy. He said yesterday easing stay-at-home restrictions will depend on three things, which are testing, tracing and trends. The state is working to increase coronavirus testing capacity and will ramp up staffing to stop any spread. Cooper says health officials plan to analyze new data to determine whether to ramp up or ease off on social distancing.

Coronavirus Cases Up To 250 In WNC

(Raleigh, NC) -- The number of coronavirus cases in western North Carolina is up to around 250. They are some of the more than 53-hundred cases reported statewide by the News and Observer last night, with number from the state and county health departments. About 130 people have died from COVID-19 statewide. All but seven North Carolina counties have reported cases, including five in the mountain region.

Asheville Considers Budget Cuts

(Asheville, NC) -- The city of Asheville is studying ways to cut expenses from its budget, which is being heavily affected by the coronavirus. The city is facing a six-million-dollar loss in the next couple of months leading up to fiscal year 2021. Capital improvements and a planned pay raise for city employees are both being cut from the new spending plan. The assistant finance director told the city council this week that sales taxes and parking fees will see the biggest losses.

Henderson County Wants Local Control To Re-Open Businesses

(Raleigh, NC) -- Some North Carolina counties are looking to re-open businesses through their own decisions, rather than the state's. Henderson County is forming a task force consisting of commissioners, health care providers and business owners to study the best path moving forward. They're considering to use local decisions on when to re-boot the economy once the statewide stay-at-home order expires at the end of the month. The Lincoln County commission chair also issued a letter to the governor this week recommending that counties should decide what to do locally.

Naked Man Arrested By Buncombe Deputies

(Buncombe County, NC) -- Residents in a Buncombe County neighborhood say they spotted a naked man yesterday. The Citizen-Times reports deputies were forced to use a taser on the man in the driveway of a home in Avery's Creek during an altercation. He was still reportedly able to flee on a bike without his clothes on before finally being caught. The man was taken to Mission Hospital for treatment.

Most Of BRP Closed

(Asheville, NC) -- Most of the Blue Ridge Parkway is shutting down over coronavirus concerns. The park service said yesterday most of the roadway is now closed to help stem the spread of COVID-19. A main corridor known as the Asheville commuter zone is still to open to traffic. Visitor centers and campgrounds had been closed previously.

Meck Health Officials Urge Residents To Wear Masks

(Charlotte, NC) -- Mecklenburg health officials are recommending that people wear cloth face masks when heading out in public. The health department issued the suggestion yesterday, saying asymptomatic people may be spreading the virus without knowing they have it. Cloth coverings should be washed and dried daily before using. Health officials still urge residents to comply with the stay-at-home order, as wearing a face mask doesn't change the importance of those measures.

Results From First Day Of Antibody Testing Show Some Promise

(Raleigh, NC) -- Results are in from the first round of antibody testing performed by 'Halo Health', a Raleigh based mobile physician practice that also makes house calls. On its tests of frontline health care workers and first responders in the Triangle, doctors found that three-point-two percent tested positive for antibodies, 25-percent had suspected antibodies and 72-percent tested negative. Researchers are trying to determine if people who test positive for coronavirus antibodies, have also developed an immunity to the disease.

SBA Might Run Out Of Money For PPP Relief As Early As Today

(Raleigh, NC) -- Unless a compromise is reached soon, a federal relief program for struggling small businesses could run out of money as early as today. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 305-of the initial 349-billion dollars initially budgeted for the Paycheck Protection Program, has already been approved. The Trump administration has asked Congress for an additional 250-billion for a second round of stimulus payments. But negotiations have stalled in the Senate. North Carolina has received more than five-billion dollars for its small businesses.

NAACP Lawsuit Request Touch-Screen Voting Machines Be Banned Because Of Coronavirus

(Raleigh, NC) -- A lawsuit has been filed against the State of North Carolina by the NAACP and others, seeking to block the use of touch-screen voting machines in upcoming elections. The suit claims touch-screens are a health hazard and can transmit the coronavirus to voters. Currently touch-screen voting machines are being used in 20-of North Carolina's 100-counties.

North Carolina Has Smallest Increase In COVID-19 Cases In Two Weeks

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- North Carolina is reporting the smallest increase in positive coronavirus cases in two weeks. Less than 100 new cases were reported yesterday by the state Department of Health and Human Services. That's the smallest increase since April 1st. The number of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina stood at more than five-thousand-300 cases yesterday afternoon. There were roughly 640 cases in the Piedmont Triad.

Winston-Salem Man Charged In Death Of Baby Boy

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- A Winston-Salem man is charged with murder in the death of his seven-month-old son. Nineteen-year-old Christion Jones was arrested yesterday following an investigation. The baby's family called 9-1-1 last July after he stopped breathing. An autopsy determined he sustained injuries that led to his death. The case was ruled a homicide.

Greensboro Firefighter Tests Positive For COVID-19

(Greensboro, NC) -- A Greensboro firefighter has coronavirus. The firefighter recently tested positive for COVID-19 and is in quarantine. The department says all spaces and equipment the employee may have come in contact with have been decontaminated.

Stretch Of I-40 In Forsyth Co. Shutting Down For Pavement Repairs

(Forsyth Co., NC) -- A portion of I-40 in Forsyth County is shut-down for repairs. Crews are fixing the pavement near the I-40 West bridge over Willard Road. The closure is in effect until about 5 p.m. today.

Publix Introduces New Shopping Hours

(Winston-Salem, NC) -- Publix is extending its hours to accommodate hospital staff and first responders. They'll be able to shop from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Fridays. The Publix Pharmacy will open at 8 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays for senior-citizens. The new hours are in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus Death Toll Up To 19 In Mecklenburg

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- The death toll from the coronavirus in Mecklenburg County is up to 19. That's among more than 130 that have died from COVID-19 throughout the state. The News and Observer reported last night a total of nearly 52-hundred positive cases statewide, with over one-thousand in Mecklenburg.

Hospital CEOs Say No Field Hospital Needed

(Charlotte, NC) -- There may be no need for a field hospital in Charlotte after all. The CEOs for Novant and Atrium Health advised county manager Dena Diorio this week the hospitals should be able to meet patients' needs as long as the effects of social distancing trend in the current direction. They say things could change if social distancing is eased prematurely. County leaders had been studying potential locations to install hospital beds somewhere in uptown.

Commercial Break-Ins On Rise

(Charlotte, NC) -- Certain crimes are on the rise in Charlotte during the stay-at-home order. The CMPD told WSOC-TV that commercial burglaries and robberies are up from the same time last year. A detective said people are hurting, and they'll take every opportunity to find a way to get money. A suspect allegedly broke into a jewelry store on University City Boulevard yesterday, but it's unclear what was taken.

Drive-In Movie Screen Destroyed In Storms

(Kings Mountain, NC) -- A Kings Mountain drive-in is picking up the pieces from storms early this week. The owner of Hounds Drive-In Theater told NBC Charlotte that a new 68-by-100-foot screen was destroyed early Monday morning, which will cost about 100-thousand-dollars to replace. It's reportedly one of the largest screens in the country. The theater is still trying to rent out two smaller screens to local churches or schools.

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