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Coronavirus latest: North Carolina health officials update official COVID-19 case count to 184

Coronavirus latest: North Carolina health officials update official COVID-19 case count to 184 1
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced 184 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus statewide. Durham, Wake and Mecklenburg counties have the largest number of cases.
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Here are the latest updates about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in North Carolina:


8:00 p.m.
Nash County health officials are investigating the county’s first presumptive case of COVID-19 on Saturday evening.

The person is currently at home in isolation.

7:00 p.m.
Wake County announced its largest single-day spike in new positive cases of COVID-19 Saturday evening, raising the county total to 49.

According to a news release, the county is now investigating 17 new positive COVID-19 cases.

Fifty-nine people who were exposed to the virus and have developed symptoms are also under investigation. Of those, 47 people are waiting for test results; 12 are in the process of being treated.

“This is the largest single-day increase in positive cases that we have seen yet, but it’s not unexpected, based on how the virus is spreading in our community,” said Dr. Jose Cabanas, Wake County EMS director/medical director who is overseeing public health operations today in the Emergency Operations Center said in a press release. “Residents can help slow down the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the strain on our local healthcare system by continuing to practice social distancing and staying home when sick.”

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6:15 p.m.
Durham County health officials announced Saturday evening another resident has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive cases within the county to 40.

The Durham County Department of Health is working to contact individuals who may have come in contact with the person.

2 p.m.
Fort Bragg officials announced a fourth case of COVID-19. The patient is a dependent of an active duty service member in their mid-20s who recently traveled out of state.

Both the service member and dependent are in isolation at their residence on Fort Bragg.

Womack Army Medical Center’s Department of Public Health is investigating where these individuals may have had contact with people and will notify any contacts who fall under the guidelines for additional monitoring and testing.

1:30 p.m.
UNC-Chapel Hill said it has confirmed cases of COVID-19. On Tuesday, officials said an employee tested positive for coronavirus.

UNC-Wilmington said two students tested positive for COVID-19. One student returned to Wilmington from spring break on March 17 but has not returned to campus. The second person returned from a study abroad program via a flight to Charlotte and went home (not in New Hanover County). They have not been on campus since either.

1 p.m.
No visitors will be allowed in inpatient areas at Duke Health, UNC Health (UNC Medical Center, UNC REX, Chatham Hospital, UNC Hillsborough and Johnston Health).

12:30 p.m.
Alamance County announced a second case of COVID-19. The person has not traveled outside of North Carolina and no known contact to a previous case.

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11:15 a.m.
Robeson County announced its first positive COVID-19 case. The patient traveled to Washington D.C. and developed symptoms March 12. The person is now at home.

11 a.m.
North Carolina health officials say there are 184 cases of COVID-19 throughout the state. According to officials, over 5,200 tests have been completed.

The number of tests reflects testing completed by the NC State Laboratory of Public Health and reporting hospital and commercial laboratories.

10:30 a.m.

Mecklenburg County said there are 77 cases of COVID-19. Gyms and fitness centers throughout the county are required to close this week.

Gov. Roy Cooper has waived restrictions to provide flexible child and elder care to first responders, emergency personnel, food preparers and more during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Another feature of the order is to waive some registration requirements so resources can be delivered by truck.

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“Doctors, nurses, first responders and other critical personnel need to know their children are safe so they can continue to respond during this time of crisis,” said Governor Cooper. “And we’re loosening trucking requirements so important medicine and equipment can get quickly to the the people in all 100 counties that need it.”

The White House coronavirus task force has a scheduled briefing at 1 p.m. ET. You can watch here.


8:30 p.m.
A resident at Woodland Terrace in Cary is among one of Wake County’s many positive cases of COVID-19. The person lives in the assisted living area of the community.

The origin of exposure is unknown at this time, according to a spokesman for the living community.

In the meantime, residents and associates who were exposed to the patient were asked to self-quarantine at home.

A release read in part:

“We are working with local and state health authorities, as well as following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We are sending our thoughts and prayers to our beloved resident and their family and will continue to provide regular updates to residents, their family members and associates on what they can do to protect themselves and prevent the spread of the virus. At Woodland Terrace, our top priority is and will always be the health and well-being of residents and associates.”

6:30 p.m.
Wake County is investigating seven new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the county total to 32, according to a news release.

As of March 20 at 5 p.m., Wake County has 32 known positive cases of COVID-19. There are 93 people under investigation who were exposed to the virus and have developed symptoms. Of those, 55 people are waiting for test results; 38 are in the process of being tested.

Through contact tracing, Wake County has identified another 267 people who are being monitored, because they may have been exposed to the virus through close contact. The county will monitor them for two weeks to see if they develop symptoms. If they do, the county will test them for COVID-19 and recategorize them as “people under investigation.”

“We’ve been expecting a steady uptick in positive cases since our first case on March 3, so this is no surprise,” said Wake County Medical Director Dr. Kim McDonald. “Because of that, we’ve planned for managing the situation. As case numbers grow, so does the potential burden on our healthcare system. I strongly encourage everyone to practice social distancing to slow the virus’ spread, and to stay home if you are sick.”

6:10 p.m.
The Durham County Department of Health (DCDH) said four more county residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 39.

According to a news release, health officials are working to contact those who may have had close contact with others while symptomatic.

5:45 p.m.
Two additional positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported to the Fort Bragg Department of Public Health.

According to a news release, the first individual is a 57-year-old Department of the Army Civilian medical professional who works in the dental department at Womack Army Medical Center. The second individual is a 29-year-old dependent of a Service Member on Fort Bragg.

Both people are in isolation.

Womack Army Medical Center’s Department of Health is investigating where the two people have had contact with others.

5:30 p.m.
Johnston County health officials received notice that a third resident has tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday evening; the person is currently in isolation at home.

4:25 p.m.
The Franklin County Health Department announced four new positive cases of COVID-19 within the county on Friday afternoon.

According to a news release, the four individuals are isolated under state orders.

4:20 p.m.

Health officials in Granville County reported its first known case of COVID-19 within the county on Friday afternoon; the person is currently in isolation at home.

According to Granville Vance Public Health, there are no known cases in Vance County.

4 p.m.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) is calling for health care volunteers to assist with the COVID-19 response. They are seeking volunteers in the following areas: Clinical (physicians, advanced care providers, nurses, EMS), Clinical Support (pharmacy, imaging and respiratory care), Non-clinical support (facility maintenance, safety, and administrative). You can register to volunteer here.

2:50 p.m.
Durham Mayor Steve Schewel said the Durham Farmers’ Market will not happen this weekend to prevent crowds from congregating.

2:20 p.m.
There are no imminent plans to shelter in place or issue further executive orders in North Carolina, Mike Sprayberry, Director of NC Emergency Management, said.

There are no plans to order an additional closure of any other businesses/organizations

“We are making plans to activate a small number of National Guard soldiers who will serve in a logistical capacity helping with warehousing helping with supplies and equipment,” he said.

Sprayberry said the State EOC is in Day 11 of Emergency Active Operations and remains activated at a Level 3. They are conducting health screening of everyone who enters the emergency operations center.

WATCH: Gov. Roy Cooper and the Coronavirus Task Force discuss latest COVID-19 cases

2:10 p.m.
Susan Perry, Chief Deputy Secretary with NCDHHS, said that as of Friday all 115 public school districts have approved plans to serve meals to children. Most school districts have already begun providing meals to children. As of Friday, 973 have provided 375,000 meals per day. All children in the family who come to the site receive meals – they don’t have to be school age.

11:50 a.m.
In a news conference, President Donald Trump said national standardized testing requirements will not be enforced for the 2019-2020 school year.

Trump also said the U.S. and Mexico will limit recreational and tourist travel between the two countries. Trade will not be affected. Wednesday, the U.S. and Canada came to a similar agreement.

11:45 a.m.
Duke Health officials said a Duke University Health System employee tested positive for COVID-19. Officials said the employee was not at work when they developed symptoms, followed appropriate protocols and is in isolation at home.

“The individual had no patient care contact at Duke at any time in the course of their illness and no Duke patients were at risk at any time,” Duke Health said in a written statement.

Officials said the employee was not exposed to the novel coronavirus while at the hospital.

10:30 a.m.
US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin announced that the federal tax deadline will be pushed back three months to July 15.

10:25 a.m.
Alamance County announced its first case of the novel coronavirus Friday morning. Officials said the patient is in isolation at home and is doing well.

“We have been preparing and planning for cases in Alamance County. Our public health response team has been in contact with the individual and they are complying with all control measures and orders,” said Health Director Stacie Saunders, in a written statement. “It is likely we will see other confirmed cases in the community. We urge the community to continue to practice social distancing and general precautions in order to protect themselves, their loved ones, and our neighbors.”

10 a.m.
LabCorp announced that it will now be able to perform more than 20,000 COVID-19 tests per day beginning Friday.

This represents a significant increase in capacity since the company released its COVID-19 test two weeks ago.

The company is focused on making testing available to patients who are symptomatic and should be tested.

LabCorp is performing COVID-19 testing at its labs in Burlington as well as Phoenix and Raritan, N.J.

Test results are available in 3-4 days.

9:35 a.m.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced 137 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus statewide. Durham, Wake and Mecklenburg counties have the largest number of cases.

More than 3,200 people have been tested for the virus across the state.

Moments after the health department updated its daily count, Lee County officials announced a resident tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“We are not surprised to have our first case,” said Heath Cain, Lee County health director, in a written statement. “Like other communities in the state, we expect we will likely see more. We urge the public to continue following recommended guidelines to limit their potential exposure and to slow the spread of the coronavirus in our community.”

9:15 a.m.
Orange County has seen its first two cases of COVID-19. The people are doing well and are in isolation at home, officials said.

“I know that people are worried about this virus, and I want to assure the Orange County community members that we are prepared,” said Orange County Health Department (OCHD), Health Director, Quintana Stewart. “With the global spread of this virus we anticipated that we would eventually identify a case here in Orange County. To prepare we have been working closely with the North Carolina Department of Health and Humans Services (NCDHHS) Orange County EMS (OEMS), health care providers and others to quickly identify and respond to cases that might occur.”

8:40 a.m.
As local officials work to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, Durham County District Attorney Santana Deberry announced her office is taking steps to reduce the incarcerated population inside Durham jails.

In a statement, Deberry said her office worked closely with defense attorneys and judges to identify people in the Durham County Detention Facility who do not pose a public safety risk, are over 60 years old or have health conditions that put them at risk of serious illness from COVID-19. Those people would either have their release conditions modified or their case disposed of.

“We are also working with local law enforcement to ensure that only those few individuals who do present a danger to our community are brought to the detention facility during this emergency,” Deberry said in a written statement. “We ask that defense attorneys notify us if they represent a client who is in custody in Durham and at high-risk of illness. “

8:30 a.m.
Two more Campbell University students tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the university announced in a statement Friday.

The university saw its first case on March 16. In a news release, the university said the second and third cases were both connected to the first.

All three students have been in quarantine since March 11. The university said all three are doing well.

Thursday, Campbell University said all classes would remain online through the end of the spring semester.

6:30 a.m.
A Greensboro-based non-profit sent a new field hospital to Cremona, Italy, to help the region deal with the devastating effects of the novel coronavirus.

According to a news release, Samaritan’s Purse sent the 68-bed hospital, equipped with a respiratory care unit and more than 20 tons of critical medical supplies, to Cremona on Tuesday. Samaritan’s Purse said Cremona’s Hospital has suspended all medical care except maternity and pediatrics, and the hospital has run out of beds. No patients in the hospital’s intensive care unit have survived a COVID-19 infection.

Samaritan’s Purse talks about their new field hospital in Italy

“The situation in Italy is desperate. The hospitals are overrun and people are dying,” said Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham in a written statement. “We are called to respond in hard places. That’s why our team of disaster response specialists are on the front lines-providing life-saving medical care and sharing God’s love to people who are hurting.”

Thursday, Italy became the country with the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths, surpassing China.

6 a.m.
Durham Mayor Steve Schewel amended his State of Emergency declaration Thursday evening, ordering all gyms, fitness centers, health clubs and theatres in the city to close by 5 p.m. Friday. Durham County currently has the highest number of cases of the novel coronavirus in the state — 35 people have tested positive for the virus.

Durham public health officials are working to learn whether the most recent patients, eight of which were announced on Thursday, came into close contact with anyone else while symptomatic.

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In Raleigh, UNC REX will open triage tents outside its emergency room to prepare for a potential rush of patients. Duke Hospital put up similar tents in its parking lot earlier this week.
UNC REX said because the novel coronavirus spreads so easily, it’s important to keep patients with high fevers and respiratory symptoms separate from the general Emergency Room population until they’ve been screened for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

UNC Health previously announced that it is canceling all elective procedures at its hospitals and prioritizing urgent and surgical cases.

The tents will go up at UNC REX at 9 a.m. Officials have not yet said when the tents will be in use.

RELATED: NC Superintendent: ‘We are not coming back to school April 1st’

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