Editor’s Note: QCity Metro will update this page as we receive news and information relating to Coronavirus in Mecklenburg County. Check for periodic updates.
March 31: The number of COVID-19 cases in Mecklenburg County grew to 418 cases as of Tuesday morning, according to the latest numbers provided by the Mecklenburg County Health Department. That’s up from 303 on March 28, the latest date for which complete demographic information has been provided.
Notable findings from the 303 reported cases as of March 28:
- About 3 in 4 cases were adults ages 20 to 59 years old; two cases were youth under 20 years old.
- Nearly 44% of patients were Black: 41% were adults 60 and older; 20% were in the youngest age group (20 to 39 years).
- About 1 in 5 cases were hospitalized. Hospitalization rates among adults 60 and older were significantly higher – 1 in 2 were hospitalized.
The county’s first COVID-19 death was a 60-year-old resident who died on Sunday while in hospital care. Mecklenburg reported its first case of COVID-19, which is caused by the coronavirus, on March 11.
Keep your distance
In a move to enforce at least one act of social distancing, workers at Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation have begun rendering public basketball courts unusable.
Early Tuesday, county workers were seen using plastic ties to close a basketball hoop at the Anita Stroud Park near Bright Walk in northwest Charlotte, where a day earlier groups of young men were seen competing.
“People just aren’t taking it seriously,” one of the workers said, an apparent reference to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the countywide mandate that bands a host a social activities, including pick-up basketball games.
Until recently, county parks were buzzing with young people engaged in various sporting activities – including some shirtless players who were spotted shooting hoops in Freedom Park on Sunday.
Medical experts looking to slow the spread of the coronavirus say people should stay at least six feet apart (even when walking) and avoid skin-to-skin contact. They also advise frequent hand washings (for at least 20 seconds) after touching or handing foreign objects outside the home.
Around the state
Earlier today, Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order banning utilities from shutting off electric, gas, water and wastewater services for the next 60 days. Utilities must give residential customers up to six months to pay late bills without incurring penalities or added fees. The order takes effect immediately. Cooper also encouraged landlords to delay evictions.
A statewide “stay-at-home” order went into effect at 5 p.m. Monday. Cooper’s order — in effect until April 29 — bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs people to stay at least six feet apart. Essential employees are allowed to report to work while other residents are urged to leave their homes only for activities like getting groceries, carryout food, exercising outdoors or helping a family member.
Latest number of COVID-19 cases in N.C. as of 9:05 a.m. on March 31:
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is temporarily increasing benefits for families that receive food and nutrition services to the maximum amount allowed for their household size for March and April. For example, a family of four would be eligible to receive a total of $646 for each of the two months, regardless of their usual benefit amount. Households that already receive the maximum amount will not receive an increase.