COVID-19

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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?

Vince Winkel

Government officials are warning that the next few weeks will be crucial in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. In the U.S., more than 9,500 people have already died from the virus. In North Carolina, 2,600  are now infected with the virus.  WHQR spoke with Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, to get his latest assessment of the local situation.

Hannah Breisinger

Here you can find graphs and charts visualizing COVID-19 data in North Carolina. All data can be found at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service's website.

March 2020
RLH / WHQR

Weekend weather in the Cape Fear region will be sunny and warm, according to the National Weather Service.  And it has authorities deeply concerned the temptations of spring will cause residents to ignore the statewide Stay At Home order.

Vince Winkel

This week 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance. North Carolina has already processed 355,000 unemployment claims. That number is expected to climb rapidly. For many people unemployment is new territory. 

WHQR/Nick Santillo

Because of COVID-19, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a suspension of its enforcement of environmental laws, telling companies they won’t have to meet environmental standards during the outbreak. What does that mean for the Cape Fear Region?

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Finding a way to serve people who are homeless is posing new problems in the age of COVID-19.  

Maintaining physical distance is increasingly difficult as shelters see higher demand.  

Vince Winkel

Over 270,000 unemployment insurance claims have been filed in North Carolina in the past two weeks, and Governor Roy Cooper is seeking to increase benefits by $600. Many of those most in need work in the restaurant and service industries.

 

 

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As Covid-19 spreads, scientists and healthcare providers are worried about more than the physical health of Americans. Experts warn that people need to take care of themselves mentally, as well -- now more than ever. 

Vince Winkel

The Wilmington City Council unanimously expressed support for New Hanover County’s additional restrictions designed to control the spread of the coronavirus. They went into effect Monday.   The state-wide stay at home order closing all non-essential businesses also is now in effect.  

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North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is working with Amazon to investigate nine North Carolina businesses and sellers over price gouging concerns.  A press release says Stein was notified by Amazon that nine sellers had raised prices dramatically for items that have been in high demand during the coronavirus pandemic -- including hand sanitizer and N95 masks.

New Hanover County, in collaboration with the City of Wilmington and the towns of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach, will be implementing additional county-wide restrictions that support the Governor’s statewide order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and help prevent the healthcare system from becoming overburdened in the weeks to come.  

Governor Roy Cooper has issued a statewide Executive Order.   It requires all North Carolinians to stay at home except for absolute necessities. 

Nations across the world are imposing travel restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus. On March 16, Germany closed its borders with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Germany is where Hedi Perotto is. The Wilmington resident went there three weeks ago for a family reunion. 

As the coronavirus spreads in the Cape Fear Region, we’re learning more about how people are diagnosed and what treatment in isolation looks and feels like.

RLH / WHQR

As North Carolina sees the number of positive COVID-19 tests rise – now over 600 cases covering more than half of the state – officials continue to emphasize social distancing.  

Vince Winkel

The Chemours Company in Fayetteville has scaled back both well-sampling for PFAS and the installation of filtration systems because of the coronavirus. Chemours’ request to suspend those operations has been approved by The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. 

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Brunswick County leaders have issued a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.

RLH / WHQR

Widespread testing for COVID-19 is a strategy that works in the first phase of a pandemic – containment.  But that’s not where North Carolina health officials are now.  WHQR speaks with New Hanover Regional Medical Center Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Kamitsuka about what this mitigation phase means. 

Vince Winkel

The New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Physician Group has implemented some operational changes to protect patients, staff, and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

WHQR/Nick Santillo

The mission of Wilmington’s Good Shepherd Center is to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and foster transition to housing. Today, those needs are more urgent than usual, as the coronavirus puts a strain on organizations that serve the less fortunate.

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Brunswick County identified two more presumptive positive cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Saturday, bringing the total number of identified cases to six.

Brunswick County considers and responds to presumptive positive cases as if they were positive, even while awaiting official confirmation of results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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