WEDNESDAY MORNING STORYLINES
The extended Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan is scheduled to expire Friday and a decision on whether or not to lengthen the phase again could come soon.
In June, Gov. Roy Cooper issued a mandatory mask requirement across North Carolina and ordered a “pause” on easing any other restrictions. Phase 2 was originally scheduled to end July 17, but Cooper extended the term until at least Aug. 7 after coronavirus cases in the state continued to rise.
Cooper gave somewhat positive news when speaking to media on Tuesday.
“Our COVID-19 numbers have stabilized,” Gov. Cooper told Good Morning America on Tuesday. “We have not seen the spikes of other states, put in mandatory mask order over a month ago and we have stayed in Phase 2.”
Phase 3 of Cooper’s three-phase plan allows increased capacity at restaurants, bars, houses of worship and entertainment venues. However it continues to encourage physical distancing and leaves rigorous restrictions in place for nursing homes and other congregate living settings.
Will Cooper move the state into Phase 3? We may uncover the answer to that question at 4 p.m. when Cooper gives an update to the state’s response to COVID-19.
Cooper’s update will be shown live on ABC11 and ABC11.com.
As for the actual numbers, North Carolina Health and Human Services said the state surpassed 2,000 COVID-19 deaths Tuesday.
Durham County is reporting 28 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 5,942. There have been 79 deaths county-wide.
Wake County is reporting a total of 11,364 COVID-19 cases, up 71 from Monday. There have been 136 deaths county-wide.
Carowinds announced Tuesday it would remain closed for the rest of 2020 due to ongoing challenges related to COVID-19. The 2020 Season Passes will be extended into 2021 and day tickets sold for 2020 will be valid through Sept. 6, 2021.
Wake County health officials have identified a COVID-19 outbreak at The Cypress of Raleigh – Rosewood Health Center, located at 8801 Cypress Lakes Drive.
82,628 students, about half of the entire Wake County Public Schools System student population, have enrolled in the Virtual Academy for at least the fall semester.
That number includes about 36,000 elementary students, 20,000 middle school and 25,000 high school.
WCPSS has spent $3 million on new PPE, including 1 million N-95 masks and tens of thousands of digital thermometers.
The district has also purchased 20,000 gallons of hand sanitizer.
‘Meaningful learning will be the rule:’ WCPSS spells out first two weeks back for teachers, students
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday reported 1,166 hospitalizations, up 109 from Monday.
However, on Monday, only 79 percent of hospitals were reporting. On Tuesday that number was 92 percent.
28 more deaths were reported in the state, bringing the total to 2,010 since the start of the pandemic.
1,629 new cases were reported. Only 9,667 tests were completed, which is the lowest number of tests completed in 24 hours in more than a month.
The percent of positive tests in the state on Tuesday was reported as 9 percent.
The number of new cases in the state has been trending downward in recent weeks.
Multiple people who attended a memorial gathering and funeral service in Chatham County had COVID-19 when they attended the events at the end of July, according to the Chatham County Public Health Department.
The positive test results came after the events. According to the health department, others who were in attendance may have been exposed to the virus.
The memorial gathering was Saturday, July 25, 2020 at Bonlee Recreational Park and the funeral service was at Emmaus Baptist Church in Pittsboro Monday, July 27, 2020.
Church leadership said attendees of the funeral service were required to wear face coverings and to be seated six feet apart.
The health department said it has been in communication with those who have tested positive for COVID-19, and has been working to ensure others at these events who were close contacts have been notified.
If you attended either or both of these events, please monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and be sure to practice social distancing, especially around those who are at higher risk of serious illness such as older adults and people with underlying health conditions. If you were told that you were in close contact with someone who tested positive, quarantine at home and stay away from others for at least 14 days since you were last in contact with them. If you become sick, especially if you were told you may have been exposed to the virus, stay home except to seek medical care, call your doctor, and consider getting tested.
Gov. Roy Cooper told Good Morning America that our state was able to handle all the immediate needs and response to Hurricane Isaias.
Thankfully, the storm moved through the state quickly, causing less damage than other similarly strong storms.
“It’s double trouble really, when you’re dealing with a hurricane and COVID-19 at the same time,” Cooper said.
Cooper said despite the COVID-19 numbers in our state stabilizing, emergency responders had to prepare for a worst-case scenario from Isaias with social distancing and other COVID-19 precautions in mind.
WATCH: Roy Cooper on GMA
“Our COVID-19 numbers have stabilized in North Carolina, we have not seen the spikes like other states–I put in a mandatory mask order over a month ago and we have stayed in our Phase 2…Still in a disaster we know that when you have congregate sheltering, a lot of people in one place, you have the potential for the spread of the virus. So we had to make sure that we had extra precautions as we planned for evacuation shelters. We knew that we needed a lot more of them, because you have to have about 115 sq ft per person in a shelter in order to be able to ensure social distancing.”
Cooper is scheduled to give a live update on the state’s Isaias response and recovery efforts at 3 p.m. ABC11 will bring you that update live.
TUESDAY MORNING HEADLINES
North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest are heading to court over whether some of Cooper’s COVID-19 executive orders should be blocked because other elected officials didn’t consent to them.
A state judge scheduled online arguments for Tuesday between lawyers for Forest and Cooper. The two are running against each other for governor this fall.
Forest sued the governor last month, saying Cooper’s unilateral orders shuttering businesses, limiting assemblies and mandating face coverings in public needed the concurrence of the Council of State. State attorneys representing Cooper say the governor didn’t require the council’s OK because of his authority using other emergency powers.
Evictions have been top of mind during the pandemic, as millions of people have lost their jobs–making it tough for some of them to pay rent.
One study estimates that as many as 23 million Americans are at risk of being evicted. Now, tenants across the country are starting to crowd courtrooms – or appearing virtually – detailing how the pandemic has upended their lives, from eliminating their jobs to making them and their families ill.
Monday the state reported its 126,532nd positive COVID-19 case. The virus has resulted in the death of 1,982 people since March.
However, 105,093 people are presumed to have recovered from the virus.
SEE ALSO: Fayetteville doctor warns long-term effects of COVID-19 could lead to dialysis, chronic cardiac and brain problems
Cumberland County is reporting 245 new COVID-19 cases and one death since Friday. The total number of county cases is now 2,975 with 50 deaths.
Wake County has confirmed two COVID-19 outbreaks at two Raleigh long-term care facilities. One is at Morningside of Raleigh and the other is at Falls River Court and Village.
Lee County is reporting the 11th county death from COVID-19.
County health officials are reporting 1,210 total COVID-19 cases with 132 new cases since last Monday.
North Carolina health officials are reporting 105,093 COVID-19 patients are presumed to be recovered throughout the state. This is up 12,791 from last week’s update.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports another 1,313 confirmed cases after completing nearly 24,000 new tests.
The NCDHHS percent positive COVID-19 rate remained steady at 7%.
Thirteen more people have died from the virus, moving the virus’ death toll in North Carolina up to 1,982.
The state’s numbers showed 85 fewer people in the hospital with the virus, but a lower percentage of hospitals (only 79%) successfully reported their bed space.
To view the numbers yourself, click here.
And for questions about how the state comes up with its numbers, click here.
MONDAY MORNING STORYLINES
White House coronavirus task force leader Dr. Deborah Birx says widespread coronavirus infections in urban and rural America mark a “new phase” for the pandemic as she doubled down on calls to wear face masks and observe social distancing measures.
Birx, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning, said “What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread.”
Birx said mitigation efforts across the west and the south are beginning to work but warned that people need to take the virus seriously and employ significant safety precautions when cases first begin to tick up.
Negotiations on a huge COVID-19 relief bill are set to resume, but the path forward promises to be challenging. The Trump administration negotiating team and top Capitol Hill Democrats reported progress over the weekend even as they highlighted their differences. Ahead of Monday’s talks, all sides predict a long slog ahead despite the lapse of a $600-per-week supplemental jobless benefit, the beginning of school season and the call of lawmakers’ cherished August recess.
At least several more days of talks are expected. The White House is seeking opportunities to boost President Donald Trump, like more $1,200 stimulus payments. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants big money for state and local governments.
The coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 689,000 people worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 4,667,000 cases have been confirmed in the United States.
Copyright © 2020 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.