COVID-19 Cases Rise in WNC,Local Industry Rallies Supplies,Gas Prices Drop


Coronavirus Cases Top 255 In NC

(Raleigh, NC) -- More coronavirus cases are popping up in Western North Carolina. Health officials confirmed last night there have been four cases that tested positive in Buncombe County. Additional cases have popped up in Transylvania and Henderson counties. Statewide, coronavirus cases are now over 255.

Mission Health Cuts Visitation

(Asheville, NC) -- Mission Health is tightening visitation amid the coronavirus pandemic. The hospital group announced Saturday it's no longer allowing any visitors except for pediatric and labor patients. There will also only be two entrances for the time being in Asheville. Mission Health says the health and safety of patients and its team members are the highest priorities.

BRP Restricting Crowds On Campsites

(Undated) -- The Blue Ridge Parkway is cutting down on the side of crowds. Park officials decided yesterday to restrict backcountry camp locations to no more than ten people in an attempt to curb the spread of COVD-19. The National Park Service says its closely monitoring the coronavirus with state and federal officials.

UNC System Commencements Postponed

(Raleigh, NC) -- The spread of the coronavirus is continuing to have more impacts on North Carolina college students. The UNC System is now postponing spring commencement ceremonies at its 17 institutions. All students are already being asked to complete their class assignments online. Western Carolina University is expected to announce its alternate plans for commencement by April 3rd.

Madison County Decides Against Shelter In Place

(Madison County, NC) -- A county in western North Carolina is backing off plans for a shelter in place. The Citizen-Times is reporting Madison County was ready to enforce the measure due to the coronavirus on Friday, but decided against it at the last minute. The state's emergency management director advised against calling for a shelter in place at the time. Several states have implemented shelter in place orders.

Gas Price Continues Drop

(Undated) -- The price of gas continues to drop in North Carolina and across the country. Triple-A says the national average price is now at its lowest since December 2016. While the average cost of regular unleaded in North Carolina was down to one-96 on Sunday, the mountains have some of the state's highest prices. A gallon is ranging anywhere from two-oh-one to two-16.

Coronavirus Cases Reach 80 In Mecklenburg County

(Mecklenburg County, NC) -- Mecklenburg County now has the most coronavirus cases in the state. Health officials say there are 80 cases locally of the more than 300 in North Carolina. Around half of the cases in Mecklenburg County are in people between the ages of 20 and 39. There have been no deaths in North Carolina.

CMPD Charges Mother In Murder Of Baby

(Charlotte, NC) -- A mother is being charged in the death of her infant son in Charlotte. The six-month-old was found dead in the cemetery at Sharon Memorial Park one month ago. The CMPD charged Tamara Brown with murder on Friday. There's still no word on how the baby died.

GOP Still Planning Charlotte RNC

(Charlotte, NC) -- The GOP is sticking with plans to hold the Republican National Convention in the Queen City. The event is scheduled for late August. The North Carolina GOP said in a letter over the weekend that it's committed to moving forward with the convention in Charlotte, but will continue to closely monitor the conditions surrounding COVID-19. May's state convention in Greenville is still on as scheduled.

McAdenville Turning On Christmas Trees

(McAdenville, NC) -- There's a resurgence of Christmas cheer in the two of McAdenville. The place known as Christmas Town USA is lighting up two trees to boost spirits amid the coronavirus outbreak. A large drive to turn on Christmas lights has surfaced on social media recently. The McAdenville lights are scheduled to be on through at least the end of the month.

One Dead In SW Charlotte Wreck

(Charlotte, NC) -- The CMPD is investigating a deadly wreck in southwest Charlotte. Officers say one car crashed at Erwin Road near Moss Road last night. One person died. There's no word yet on what may have caused the accident.

Lowes To Donate Protective Gear For Medical Professionals

(Mooresville, NC) -- Lowe's is chipping in millions to help in the COVID-19 response effort. The Mooresville-based home improvement company announced Friday it is donating ten-million-dollars in essential protective products for medical personnel. It's part of a larger 25-million-dollar effort through the company, which will also supports its associates and communities.

Local Hospitals Asking For Donations Of Medical Protection Equipment

(Raleigh, NC) -- UNC Health, WakeMed and Duke Health are asking the public for help in donating or securing much needed Personal Protection Equipment for its frontline health care workers. The most urgent needs include N-95 and surgical masks, gloves, glasses and hand sanitizer. North Carolina-based Hanes Brand announced Sunday that it will start making masks for health care workers this week. Hospital officials also say they're in need of nasal swabs, disinfectant, hand soap and disposable gowns and shoe covers.

RDU Reorganizing Its Parking System For Essential Travelers

(Raleigh, NC) -- RDU International Airport has announced new changes to its parking system. Starting today, all economy and express lots will be closed. Travelers who already have existing reservations will automatically be upgraded to the RDU Central parking lot. Travelers planning essential trips over the next 30-days must purchase spaces at Park RDU Central or Park RDU Premiere. Those travelers are also urged to book spaces in advance by going to parkrdu.com.

Public Transit System Allowing Passengers To Ride Free Starting Today

(Raleigh, NC) -- Starting today, mass transit systems GoTriangle, GoRaleigh and GoDurham will suspend all bus fares. Also, as part of an effort to support social distancing, the bus companies are asking riders to get on and off the vehicles through the rear doors. Exceptions will be made for riders in wheelchairs, babies in strollers and those who use other mobility devices, such as walkers.

Search Is On For Person Who Fatally Stabbed Man On Capitol Boulevard

(Raleigh, NC) -- Raleigh police continue to search for suspects in the fatal stabbing of a man Saturday night near the I-440 interchange. It happened around 8:15 p.m. along the 27-hundred-block of Capitol Boulevard. Investigators say 58-year-old Christopher Cotton was stabbed multiple times in an apparent altercation. He was taken to WakeMed Health where he later died from his injuries. Anyone with information is asked to contact Raleigh police.

Thomas Built Buses To Suspend Production

(High Point, NC) - Thomas Built Buses in High Point is suspending production after an employee tested positive for coronavirus. A spokesperson for the company tells FOX-8 they received confirmation of the positive test on Saturday and decided to suspend production for two weeks starting today. The employee is currently recovering at home.

Hanes To Shift Production, Make Cotton Masks

(Winston-Salem, NC) - Hanes Brands is shifting production in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Winston-Salem-based clothing company is partnering up with the federal government to make face masks for healthcare workers who are running dangerously low. The cotton masks have been approved by the FDA for use.

Burr Asks Senate Ethics Committee To Review His Stock Selloff

(Washington, DC) -- North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is asking the Senate Ethics Committee to fully review his stock selloff last month. Burr has denied any wrongdoing after reportedly selling off up to one-point-seven-million dollars in stocks. That came sometime after he attended a private senators' briefing on the magnitude of the coronavirus threat. In a new tweet, Burr said his decision to sell stocks was based solely on "public news reports," notably from CNBC.

Man Killed In Motorcycle Vs. SUV Wreck

(Greensboro, NC) - A motorcyclist is dead after he was hit by a red-light runner in Greensboro. The accident happened Friday afternoon on East Wendover Avenue at Penry Road. Police say Kevin Watson was going south on his Harley Davidson motorcycle when a woman in an SUV entered the intersection and hit him. Watson was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and running a red light.

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