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97 new cases of COVID-19 identified in South Carolina

There are over 12,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina. According to data from NC DHHS, daily case counts remain stable.

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.  

For updates from Tuesday, May 5, click here.

Key Facts:

  • Cases in North Carolina: 12,758 with 477 deaths. From Tuesday to Wednesday the state is reporting 502 new cases. From Monday to Tuesday the state was reporting 408 new cases. 
  • Cases in South Carolina: 6,936 with 305 deaths. Confirmed cases have increased by 97 from Tuesday. A total of 305 people have died, an increase of 9 from Tuesday. Dr. Linda Bell, the state's epidemiologist with DHEC, says the curve of cases for the illness appears to be leveling in the state.
  • Cases in Mecklenburg County: 1,870 and 58 deaths — which is up 130 cases from Sunday. Wednesday, Mecklenburg County announced one additional death, bringing the total to 58. Mecklenburg County trends and daily case counts remain stable, according to the Mecklenburg County Public Health Director
  • How to file for unemployment in North Carolina
  • North Carolina stay home order expiration: May 8
  • South Carolina State of Emergency expiration: May 11

All American Airlines customers to wear face masks starting next week

Effective May 11, all American Airlines customers will be required to wear face masks.

Previously, the airline announced all flight attendants would be wearing face masks effective May 1, and face coverings for all other team members are required beginning May 8. However, exceptions will be made for flight attendants and pilots when wearing a face-covering interferes with essential duties, like making announcements or donning oxygen masks. 

In cases where the full crew agrees, face coverings would be optional on the flight deck.

Regional partners will be following the same requirement for their team members.

97 new cases of COVID-19 identified in South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 97 new cases of COVID-19 and 9 additional deaths. It brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 6,936 and those who have died to 305.

Each individual who died was an elderly individual, according to SC DHEC. They lived in Allendale (1), Charleston (1), Florence (2), Lexington (1), Richland (2), Williamsburg (1), and York (1) counties.

Here's a breakdown of new cases by county:

Anderson (4), Bamberg (1), Barnwell (1), Beaufort (1), Berkeley (1), Charleston (1), Cherokee (1), Chesterfield (4), Clarendon (11), Darlington (3), Dorchester (2), Edgefield (3), Fairfield (4), Florence (5), Georgetown (2), Greenville (5), Greenwood (4), Horry (2), Kershaw (2), Lancaster (3), Lee (1), Lexington (8), Orangeburg (1), Richland (14), Saluda (2), Spartanburg (2), Sumter (1), Williamsburg (6), York (2)

Mecklenburg County announces one additional COVID-19 death

One additional person has died in Mecklenburg County for complications related to COVID-19. As of Wednesday afternoon, 58 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in Mecklenburg County.

To date, 1,870 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County.

South Carolina to test all residents, staff at nursing homes for COVID-19

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will test residents and staff at every single nursing home in the state for COVID-19.

Starting next week, South Carolina DHEC will begin testing approximately 40,000 residents and staff members at the 194 nursing homes across the state. The goal is to have all 194 tested by the end of May. 

DHEC is also expanding testing at other congregational living facilities, including rehabilitation centers and prisons. 

South Carolina coronavirus briefing

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster is holding a COVID-19 coronavirus news conference from Columbia. His state is in the progressing of reopening, where their 'Home or Work' order was allowed to expire Monday.

Burke County reports 11th COVID-19 death

An 11th person has died due to COVID-19 in Burke County, according to Burke County Public Health.

The individual in their 70’s was not hospitalized. The person died from complications associated with underlying medical conditions. 

“We are deeply saddened to have to report another death within our county. We want to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this individual”, said Burke County Health Director Rebecca McLeod.

2 York County residents die from complications related to COVID-19

A York County resident with COVID-19 died in Fort Mill late Monday afternoon, according to the York County Coroner's Office, and a second York County resident died at a Charlotte hospital with complications related to the novel coronavirus.

These two deaths bring the total number of reported COVID 19 deaths in York County to six.  

North Carolina coronavirus briefing

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. and Director of NC Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry hold a COVID-19 coronavirus briefing.

Lyft launches Essential Deliveries in Charlotte

Starting today, local organizations and nonprofits in Charlotte can request a Lyft driver to deliver essential items. Lyft’s new on-demand Essential Deliveries service also gives its drivers an additional earning opportunity while helping to meet the needs of the local community. 

As part of its new Essential Deliveries rollout in Charlotte, Lyft has collaborated with Loaves & Fishes to immediately start delivering groceries to low-income communities. 

Food and Nutrition Services Participants Can Now Use Benefits At Authorized Online EBT Retailers 

Starting today, North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) participants will be able to purchase groceries online using their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards at authorized online EBT retailers. North Carolina is the 10th state to implement this flexibility, which will remain permanently in place beyond the COVID-19 emergency.

The new flexibility will allow participants to buy food while also promoting social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and helping families with transportation and mobility barriers.

"People need to feed their families while also practicing social distancing," said NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. "This will allow families to order groceries at home and lower their risk of getting sick."

Salisbury VA Health Care System Requires 100 Percent Universal Masking

The Salisbury VA HCS is implementing 100 percent universal masking as part of VA’s source control efforts to safeguard Veterans and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) response to provide a safe environment for employees and Veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic has included the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), hand hygiene, physical distancing, screening for symptoms of disease, testing, exposure and contact tracing, and appropriate disinfection. Recently, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) conducted a point prevalence study for COVID-19 on Veterans and staff living and working in Community Living Centers and Spinal Cord Injury Units. 

The study identified several facilities nationwide with asymptomatic, COVID-19 positive Veterans and staff. As a result of these findings, VHA will institute source control masking measures by May 7, 2020.

Health Care Workers Being Matched to Facilities Seeking Staff

Due to COVID-19, many health care facilities in North Carolina, particularly long-term care facilities, are seeking to urgently hire staff for temporary, part-time or full-time roles. There is an urgent need for Registered Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants, among other roles to supplement current workers and in some cases fill in for workers affected by COVID-19.
 
"A crucial part of our response to COVID-19 is bolstering the health care workforce so we can respond to outbreaks as soon as possible," said Ben Money, Deputy Secretary for Health Services. "The East Carolina University School of Nursing is partnering with us to match health care workers with the ability to pick up extra shifts to facilities in the nurse’s local area."
 
Interested health care employees with the ability to pick up extra shifts or who may have been laid off from facilities and are seeking full-time roles can register at https://nc.readyop.com/fs/4cjq/697b.  

North Carolina Republican Party State Convention Rescheduled

Due to the national health emergency caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 Virus, commonly known as the Coronavirus, the North Carolina Republican Party has rescheduled its annual State Republican Convention to July 9-12 in Greenville, North Carolina. 

NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley issued the following statement: 

“The North Carolina Republican Party is firmly committed to hosting our Convention, holding our elections and hearing from a great roster of speakers. We would like to thank the Greenville Convention Center, our host hotels and vendors for continuing to work with us as we are forced to adapt to an evolving timeline for reopening the State and allowing large events to take place. We cannot wait to see all of our Republican Activists, Leaders, and Candidates again and are looking forward to a fantastic event in Greenville!”

Charlotte Motor Speedway hosting a blood drive Friday

As part of Charlotte Motor Speedway's efforts to serve and strengthen the community during the current pandemic they are hosting a blood drive on Friday, May 8th from 10am – 7pm.  In the coming weeks, hospitals will resume surgeries meaning there will be an increased need for blood donations. All blood donors will receive a T-shirt and wellness checkup at the time of donation. In addition to following all FDA guidelines, OneBlood has implemented additional social distancing safety protocols to protect donors and staff. We ask that all donors make an appointment to help with following social distancing guidelines. Those who wish to donate blood can make their appointment at oneblood.org/speedway.
It is Safe to Donate Blood. The U.S. Surgeon General and the FDA have stated that it remains safe to donate blood and that it is safe to attend blood drives.

US senators seek probe of veterans homes after coronavirus deaths

A group of U.S. senators is seeking an investigation into the Department of Veterans Affairs' oversight of homes for aging veterans amid a spate of coronavirus deaths at the state-run centers.

In a letter sent Tuesday, the senators asked the head of the Government Accountability Office to look into the VA and states' roles in ensuring veterans get proper care at the homes and whether the agency or states have a system to “capture real time spikes in mortality rates," among other things.