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New projection for Charlotte-area peak in COVID-19 cases announced

North Carolina is reporting over 5,000 cases of COVID-19, including 933 in Mecklenburg County. South Carolina has over 3,400 confirmed cases.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — At WCNC Charlotte, we are focusing our coronavirus coverage on facts, not fear.  We aim to give our viewers the information they need from officials to best protect themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Key Facts:

Mecklenburg's surge flattens to June

Updated coronavirus case projections Tuesday managed to flatten Charlotte's surge of new cases to June, but only if social distancing measures increase or stay the same, officials cautioned.

"This will not end quickly," Harris said, "How long this drags out depends on how we manage our stay at home order.

As of Monday, there are a total of 992 cumulative cases and 16 deaths in Meckenburg County. That number could double before the peak arrives.

A month ago, there were 3 cases.

On the current track, a June 8th surge would demand 574 ventilators. The city's hospital system have 243.

READ MORE OF THE WARNING FROM HEALTH DIRECTOR GIBBIE HARRIS: Charlotte's fight against coronavirus "will not be over quickly," projected surge moves to June

Credit: Mecklenburg County

Cases at Salisbury nurse home surge

Coronavirus cases at Citadel Salisbury, a nursing home in Rowan County, surged to 75 Tuesday, the company confirmed. Just a week ago, a single resident had tested positive at the home.

"Citadel Salisbury and the Department of Health have been in close communication and are partnering to best manage the continued spread of the virus and the care for the infected residents," the company said in a statement.

The county has 207 positive cases, with the largest cluster in the zip code containing the nursing home. 

American Airlines to receive $5.9 billion in payroll support

Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury Department approved $5.8 billion in
financial assistance for American Airlines from the Payroll Support Program of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

American Airlines said they believe this relief will enable the airline to withstand the COVID-19 crisis and continue serving the traveling public once flights start to pick up again. 

"By accepting these funds, we have happily agreed to not involuntarily furlough or reduce the hourly pay rates of our U.S.-based team members through Sept. 30, at which point we hope and expect that Americans are regularly flying again," American Airlines said in a release to team members. 

CMPD officer tests positive for COVID-19, source says

A police source says officers in the Steele Creek Division of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department have been notified that one of their officers has tested positive for the coronavirus and is on administrative leave.

CMPD confirmed there are now three officers and one non-sworn officer with COVID-19, and 20-30 in quarantine because of potential exposure.

Mecklenburg County health officials announce newly projected Charlotte peak in cases

Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris said as of Tuesday morning, there are 993 cases of COVID-19 in the county, with 16 deaths. There has been a slow of positive cases because fewer tests were run over Easter weekend.

And notably, county officials announced a new projection for the Mecklenburg County peak in COVID-19 cases: June 8. That's if strict social distancing efforts continue. Even then, if a peak happens June 8, the county would need 2,756 hospital beds and 574 total ventilators. Currently, the county has 243 ventilators. 

County health officials confirmed if a field hospital was built in Charlotte, it'd be built at the Charlotte Convention Center — but Atrium Health and Novant Health are still assessing the needed capacity for a field hospital. 

If built, it would be paid for by FEMA with no local dollars used, according to Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio.

Lancaster County confirms two COVID-19 deaths

Lancaster County Coroner's Office confirmed two COVID related deaths. Both are residents of Lancaster County. 

One died at home, the other was transported to Piedmont Medical Center where York County Coroner Sabrina Gast was notified of the death.

South Carolina DHEC compiles data daily and released Tuesday's case update before the second death was confirmed — for this reason, one of these deaths will be included on tomorrow's statewide count, per the Lancaster County coroner.

South Carolina announces 115 new cases of COVID-19, 10 additional deaths

The South Carolina DHEC announced 115 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 additional deaths. It brings the total number of people confirmed cases in South Carolina to 3,553 and those who have died to 97.

Of those 10 deaths, eight were elderly individuals with underlying health conditions from Aiken (1), Berkeley (2), Clarendon (2), Lancaster (1), Lexington (2) counties. 

One was an elderly individual, with the presence of underlying conditions still under investigation, from Richland County, and one was a middle-aged individual with underlying health conditions from Horry County.

Here's a breakdown of new cases by county:

Aiken (9), Anderson (2), Beaufort (4), Berkeley (8), Charleston (2), Chesterfield (4), Clarendon (3), Colleton (1), Darlington (1), Fairfield (1), Florence (3), Georgetown (2), Greenville (27), Hampton (2), Horry (4), Jasper (2), Kershaw (6), Lancaster (1), Lee (2), Lexington (2), Marion (2), McCormick (1), Newberry (2), Orangeburg (1), Pickens (3), Richland (11), Spartanburg (2), Sumter (4), Williamsburg (1), York (2).

Click here for an interactive map showing COVID-19 cases by county and zip code.

Cleveland County announces first coronavirus-related death

The Cleveland County Health Department is reporting the first death in the county associated with COVID-19. County officials say the individual was over the age of 70 with underlying health conditions and died over the weekend.

“I am deeply saddened that we have lost one of our own community members, and my heart goes out to the individual’s family,” Interim Cleveland County Health Director DeShay Oliver said.

RELATED: Cleveland County reports first coronavirus-related death

Stanly County confirms additional cases of COVID-19

Stanly County Health Department is reporting seventeen total cases of COVID-19, eight recovered individuals, and two deaths.

There have been approximately 400 people who have been tested for COVID-19 in the county.

On Sunday,  Stanly County health officials confirmed there were 15 cases of COVID-19, 6 recoveries and 2 deaths. This means since Sunday there have been two new cases, two new recoveries, and no new deaths.

Fort Mill Police Department employee tests positive for COVID-19 

Within the past twenty-four hours, information has been received confirming that an employee of the Fort Mill Police Department has received a positive result, with regard to a test for the COVID-19 virus.

All recommendations by the CDC and South Carolina DHEC were consistently adhered to, and those protocols and procedures will continue to be followed, in an effort to assure the safety of the public and FMPD personnel.

North Carolina announces new health insurance relief

North Carolina now has a new resource for those who need health insurance. North Carolina DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said the easiest thing to do is go to healthcare.gov. Health insurance enrollment options on the national marketplace are now open for those who lost their jobs and related health insurance as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

During the application process on healthcare.gov, individuals will also be told if they qualify for state options. 

"Sadly many in our state do not have access to affordable health insurance, including those who are putting their lives on the line everyday during this crisis," Cohen said.

Cohen said in order to enroll in Medicare, you must meet certain requirements based on age, parental responsibilities, or certain disabilities.

Burke County reports its 4th coronavirus-related death 

Public Health was notified today of a COVID-19 related death on April 13 of another Burke County resident. The individual was in her 90’s with underlying medical conditions. To protect the family’s privacy, no further information about the patient will be released.

Carowinds extends season passes through 2021

Carowinds general manager Pat Jones announced that Carowinds is extending 2020 season passes (and season pass add-ons such as all-season meal and drink deals) through 2021. For 2020 season passholders participating in the Easy Pay Program, monthly billing has been suspended as of April 8, 2020, and will remain suspended while the park is closed.

North Carolina now reports over 100 COVID-19 deaths

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services now says there are at least 5,024 cases of coronavirus in the state and 108 people have died. That's 22 more deaths reported since Monday. Over 400 people are hospitalized and the virus is reported in 93 counties.

Bojangles' offering free sweet tea to health care workers and first responders

Bojangles' announced they will be giving away any size of their famous sweet tea to first responders, health care workers and law enforcement officers with no purchase necessary. The promotion runs through June 10, which is National Iced Tea Day. 

Walmart reserves daily pickup hour for those most at-risk

Walmart is launching a Pickup hour for people most at-risk for COVID-19. Each day the hour from 7 to 8 a.m. at select pickup store locations will be reserved for customers over the age of 60, as well as first responders, customers with disabilities and anyone designated high-risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Atrium Health expands access to COVID-19 testing in minority communities

Atrium Health is rolling out additional Coronavirus Testing Centers this week, specifically aimed at addressing underserved and minority communities in Charlotte. Using a nationally leading model of integrating actionable Geographical Information System data with mobile medical units, Atrium Health healthcare professionals will be able to screen and immediately test for coronavirus, when the patient’s symptoms meet the testing criteria.

Myrtle Beach extends emergency order 30 days

Myrtle Beach is extending its COVID-19 emergency order for another 30 days. The order will now last until May 15, meaning no short term rentals or hotel bookings will be accepted during that time.

Group urging NC leaders to reopen economy to hold rally outside Capitol

The Reopen NC group is a grassroots movement that wants to end the shutdown and reopen the state no later than May 1

The group is planning a rally at the State Capitol building in Raleigh on Tuesday while maintaining social distancing expectations. Supporters are asked to simultaneously honk their cars for five seconds every 15 minutes starting at 11:15 a.m. to bring attention to their message.

Governor Cooper said Monday there are "Two T's" that will lead to reopening the state: Testing and tracing. 

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