CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County is reporting 55 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 259 as of Friday morning.
On Friday officials provided more information about the positive coronavirus cases in the county:
- Nearly half of reported cases were adults ages 20 to 39 years old. Two cases were youth under 19 years old.
- The sex and racial/ethnic composition of reported cases were similar to the county demographics.
- About 1 in 5 reported cases have been hospitalized due to their COVID-19 infection.
- About 11 percent of reported cases have been released from isolation.
Mecklenburg County’s ‘stay at home’ order took effect at 8 a.m. Thursday and will run through April 16. The proclamation will allow residents to go to the grocery store, go to restaurants for takeout, and go outside to “be in nature for exercise," among several other things.
Under the proclamation, residents will also be able to pick up medication, visit a healthcare facility, support a friend or family member, help someone get necessary supplies, walk pets, and seek veterinary care.
“Stay home (stay unexposed and do not expose others),” the county posted. Those seeking essential services are asked to stay 6-feet away from others.
“This order directs all Mecklenburg County residents to shelter at home and limit movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs,” the county posted.
READ THE ORDER: Mecklenburg County Stay at Home Order
Essential services as defined by the Mecklenburg County Order are defined as the following:
- Healthcare,public health, law enforcement, public safety and first responders
- Food, beverages, and agriculture
- Stores that sell groceries and medicine
- Organizations that provide charitable and social
- Water and wastewater
- Transportation and logistics
- Public works
- Communication and information technology
- Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
- Financial institutions
- Hardware and supply stores
- Critical trades
- Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
- Laundry services
- Restaurants for consumption off-premises
- Home-based care and services
- Residential facilities and shelters
- Professional services
- Childcare centers
- Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain
- Hotels and motels
- Funeral services
- Other community-based government operations and essential functions including human services
- Other community-based human service operations
- Critical manufacturing
- Hazardous materials
Those with questions about the at home order can call a county hotline for more information: 704-353-1926.
Officials with ABC Carolinas says “it does appear that construction and other ABC related industries will remain essential during this time.”
Charlotte-Meckleburg Police Department also tweeted out their response to the order.
In North Carolina, 636 people have tested positive for COVID-19.
The new cases come a week after county officials confirmed community spread.
A community spread case means that a person tested positive, but health officials are unable to track how they may have been infected. The person would not have had contact with a known case or have traveled recently.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper confirmed community spread in Wilson County as the first case of community spread in the state. Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris says she knows of at least two positive COVID-19 cases in Mecklenburg County that were community spread. Harris says she was not sure why there was a disconnect between local numbers and the state.
Seven daycare sites have also been opened for the children of first responders. Details about this will be posted to the county’s COVID-19 web page here.
Mecklenburg County declared a state of emergency Sunday after additional residents tested positive for COVID-19.
“Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) considers novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to be a very serious public health threat and has declared a State of Emergency,” the county posted online. “The declaration allows the County access to state and federal funds to offset the costs of fighting the pandemic.”
“We are not testing just anyone,” Harris said. Over the weekend, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper ordered public K-12 schools in the state to close for at least two weeks.
On Monday, Cooper extended the closure to May 15.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools began“grab and go” breakfast and lunch meals for students on Tuesday. Students will need to be present and cannot consume the meals on school grounds, Winston says. A list of pickup locations will be provided.
CMS joins other districts offering free food to students who are impacted by the mandated school closures.
Winston says the district is working with community partners to get technology access to students for remote learning opportunities.
“All school district employees can expect to be compensated over the next two weeks – or the duration of the executive order," Winston said of school employees.
To help coordinate the community’s response, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management has activated the Emergency Operations Center. It will remain open until the threat from the pandemic subsides. Those who may have COVID-19 symptoms - fever, cough and shortness of breath - are reminded to call first before seeking treatment from a healthcare provider, urgent care or emergency room.