© 2023 254 North Front Street, Suite 300, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 910.343.1640
News Classical 91.3 Wilmington 92.7 Wilmington 96.7 Southport
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Gathered at the bottom of this page is WHQR's ongoing reporting and coverage on COVID-19. In addition, below is a list of other resources pertaining to the virus.For questions/concerns about COVID-19, call the NC Coronavirus Helpline at 1-866-462-3821. To find out about the availability of community resources, call 211 or visit nc211.orgFor Brunswick County, the COVID-19 Helpline is 910-253-2339. The email is coronavirus@brunswickcountync.gov. New Hanover County's Helpline is 910-798-6800. National Resources Basic Protective Measures from the Coronavirus Coronavirus Myth Busters Coronavirus FAQs and Answers National Coronavirus Case Tracker Protecting Yourself and Your Family Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities International Travel Advisories Local ResourcesTesting in North Carolina State Case Count New Hanover County Updates and Info Brunswick County Updates and Info Pender County Updates and Info New Hanover Regional Medical Center Updates New Hanover Disaster Coalition Novant HealthDosher Memorial HospitalWAVE TransitWilmington HealthUNCWWHQR's Community Resources

In One Month, Covid-19 Surpasses Entire NC Flu Season In Number Of Deaths

A sign on a freezer in Harris Teeter invites patrons to practice social distancing.

Covid-19 is now the leading cause of death in the United States.  Officials in North Carolina are watching the state numbers rise as calls for reopening the state grow louder.

By the morning of Monday, April 20th, 179 people in North Carolina had died of Covid-19. 

Secretary Mandy Cohen of the Department of Health and Human Services puts that number into perspective:

"North Carolina has had 167 flu deaths this past season.  That flu season started all the way back in last September. Remember for Covid-19 we had our first laboratory-confirmed case on March 3rd, our first death reported on March 24th, and that was less than a month ago.  So in less than a month, we have already surpassed flu deaths for this year."

While there is positive news in the development of a vaccine, Cohen says it will still probably be 12 to 18 months before it’s widely available. 

"Not only do researchers obviously need to identify and isolate the virus, and put it into a form that allows it to be in a vaccine – but then they have to do trials to make sure that vaccine is safe in humans and they have to make sure to look for unintended consequences."

If all that goes perfectly, says Cohen, scientists then have to figure out how to mass-produce the vaccine. 

In the meantime, ramping up testing is a critical step before lifting restrictions.  Governor Roy Cooper says the state has 14 private labs that can test for Covid-19, but they’re looking to the federal government for more testing supplies and personal protective equipment.  

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.