COVID-19

Vince Winkel

On May 20, Gov. Roy Cooper announced moving into Phase 2 for the state. Also, Cooper clarified the provisions of Phase 2 of the plan.  Under the revised order breweries, wineries and distilleries are permitted to re-open

Hannah Breisinger

Daily Updates from WHQR on closures, local, state and federal efforts and other developments in  the coronavirus battle.

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As the North Carolina General Assembly passes a bill allowing bars to open outdoor seating, the number of Covid 19 hospitalizations in the state is at an all-time high. And that has Governor Roy Cooper pushing back at the notion of opening more and opening sooner. 

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The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting every aspect of our lives -- and mental health is no exception. According to a national survey across ten states, therapists are reporting increases in a variety of mental health issues as the pandemic drags on.

Dean Neff, Chef, Owner, Seabird in downtown Wilmington

Restaurant owners – the independent ones – often start their businesses because they are chefs – artists whose medium is food and drink.  As Governor Roy Cooper cautiously allows the state to move into Phase 2, they’re going to need all their creativity just to keep their businesses going. 

Vince Winkel

It was a holiday weekend and the official start of summer, and for residents of coastal Carolina it was back to beaches as usual. In two weeks or so, we’ll know if the celebration was premature. 

Vince Winkel

On Friday morning Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo announced several changes effective at 5 p.m. Friday as part of the next phase of the city’s State of Emergency Declaration. UPDATE:  Under the revised order breweries, wineries and distilleries will be permitted to re-open, provided they comply with reduced capacity and social distancing requirements.

UNC-TV

Gov. Roy Cooper has announced that Phase 2 of the reopening will begin Friday afternoon. Restaurants and salons will be able to open at a limited capacity, but bars, gyms, and movie theaters will remain closed. That isn’t what a lot of people had expected. 

Nick Santillo


Wilmington leaders have passed a resolution authorizing the City Manager to apply for a COVID-19 pandemic-related grant. The funds -- nearly $235,000 -- would be used by the Wilmington Police Department to buy equipment: ultraviolet lights for sterilization, first aid kits, and eight drones.

healthcare.gov

The economic fallout from the coronavirus and the resulting  increase in unemployment could dramatically impact people’s access to health coverage. WHQR reports on how people can navigate their options during the pandemic.

RLH / WHQR

New Hanover County officials presented the proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1st at a meeting Monday morning.   With the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the beginning of what could be an above-average hurricane season, there is no proposed tax increase.  

Vince Winkel

A week into Phase 1 of re-opening, blue skies and sunshine brought shoppers out again in force this weekend. WHQR spent Saturday morning at the farmers market.

Hannah Breisinger


As North Carolina and local governments continue to ease COVID-19 shutdown restrictions, leaders and health experts stress that we’re not in the clear yet. And, with so much uncertainty ahead, the Red Cross says blood donations are still critical.

NOAA

Hurricane season officially starts June 1. And the 2020 Atlantic season is forecast to be more active than usual, according to the National Hurricane Center. Some are even calling for an “extremely active” season. New Hanover County is preparing for the worst. 

RLH / WHQR

By May 12th, North Carolina was four days into Phase 1 of the reopening process.  Governor Roy Cooper says he’s encouraged by the initial numbers, but those pushing for earlier relaxation of restrictions are up against Cooper’s reliance on what he calls “data, facts and science.”

Town of Carolina Beach

Police, EMS, and other local government frontline workers are deemed essential personnel and need to continue to work during the pandemic. But what happens if they contract the virus on the job? WHQR reports on the resources available to them.

Vince Winkel

On Friday, Phase 1 of North Carolina’s coronavirus recovery plan went into effect. That meant that retail businesses across the state could begin to reopen.  A lot of shoppers were out this weekend.

Nick Santillo for WHQR

Friday at 5 p.m. Phase 1 of Governor Roy Cooper’s reopening plan will take effect. The biggest change is that a wider range of retail stores will be allowed to open. Stores will still need to limit shoppers to 50% of capacity, and maintain sanitary and social distancing. This phase is set to last for at least two weeks. 

Vince Winkel

At least anecdotally, it seems that a few months of isolation has triggered a need for human contact. Old friends are connecting after years of being out of touch.  Have you heard from an old friend lately? 

If nothing else, coronavirus is teaching us how to live remotely, work and learn remotely, and perhaps even go to the doctor...online. WHQR looks into how telehealth or telemedicine is already changing healthcare.

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While New Hanover County’s stay-at-home order expires Wednesday, Apr. 29, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo has signed his own five-day-long proclamation in its place. Many of the restrictions are the same -- but a few have been lifted within city limits. 

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Nearly 50,000 farms are spread across North Carolina, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. Together, they bring in $76 billion annually. But many are struggling in the midst of an economic shutdown.

RLH / WHQR

The Stay At Home Order in North Carolina is now extended through May 8th.  State officials say it’s clear the restrictions are working to flatten the curve and slow the spread of Covid-19.  They also lay out the plan for gradually reopening the state.

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Cities, counties and states are moving at different speeds when it comes to lifting restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. That can create problems between neighboring states... like North and South Carolina. 

Vince Winkel


 Like states and cities nationwide, Wilmington is grappling with the decision to either reopen or continue a shutdown through May. City officials discussed the topic at the Tuesday, Apr. 20 City Council meeting -- and experts stressed the city needs to continue what it’s been doing.

Vince Winkel

News coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic usually includes the daily statistics - number of new cases, number of those hospitalized, the number on ventilators, the number of deaths...all listed by state and also nationally. But the New Hanover Regional Medical Center has been reluctant to release that kind of detailed data. Ben Schachtman, Managing Editor of Port City Daily has been covering the story. He spoke with WHQR’s Vince Winkel.

 WFAE, WUNC, WHQR and other public radio stations from around North Carolina join together to look at the impact of COVID-19 on the health, economy, and education of the state.

Because of COVID-19 and social distancing regulations, theaters and concert halls are closed across most of the country. Here in the Cape Fear region all music venues, theaters, and galleries are shuttered. So painters and musicians are going virtual. WHQR visits with one artist who’s doing both.

Vince Winkel

In North Carolina schools are closed, and for many the school year appears to be over. That means thousands of high schoolers in the Cape Fear region are at home. Many use Zoom for lectures, and email to turn in assignments. Their parents juggle work, if they still have a job, with helping their kids. WHQR  checks in with one Wilmington family.

Just over three weeks ago, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper closed all public schools. For now, his order will remain in effect until May 15th. So with kids out of school -- and with strict social distancing measures in place, how are working parents coping?

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