921 more COVID-19 cases in North Carolina brings total to 35,546; 996 total deaths reported throughout state

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Here are the latest updates about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in North Carolina.

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SUNDAY

12 p.m.
There are 35,546 confirmed COVID-19 cases throughout North Carolina, up 921 from Saturday. Four more people have died, bringing the total to 996.

There are 13,876 more coronavirus tests being reported. At this time, more than 500,000 total tests have been completed statewide.

Ten percent of total tests on Friday and Saturday were positive.

Of the total cases, 696 are being hospitalized.

As of Sunday morning, there are 1,920,061 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States.

There are 2,067 cases in Durham County, up 48 from Friday. Of those, 1,432 have been released from isolation. There have been 49 deaths county-wide.

SATURDAY
5:05 p.m.
There are 2,186 COVID-19 cases reported in Wake County, up 54 from Friday. There have been 40 deaths county-wide.

2:20 p.m.
"These are very concerning numbers. We must protect our loved ones and neighbors by working together. It begins with the three Ws - wearing a face covering, waiting six feet apart and washing hands frequently. It doesn't stop there. Testing and knowing who has been exposed so they can have the resources and support they need are our tools for slowing the spread of this virus," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen following the daily COVID-19 update.

12 p.m.
State prison officials reported the death of a FCI Butner Low inmate due to COVID-19. On May 22, John Brust, 77, tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed in isolation.

Brust was taken to the hospital and placed on a ventilator on May 25. On June 5, Burst, who had pre-existing medical conditions, died.

He had been in custody since December 2014.

11:30 a.m.
North Carolina health officials reported a new daily high of COVID-19 cases. The state reported 1,370 more cases for a total of 34,625 to date statewide.

There have been 26 more deaths reported for a total of 992. As of Saturday, 708 cases are being hospitalized, down nine.

The state continues to exceed its daily testing goal with 15,203 new tests being reported Saturday.

State data says 10 percent of tests on June 5 were positive.

10 a.m.
Wake County Public Health has secured the location for its next round of testing. From June 11 to June 13, public health staff will be testing at-risk residents for COVID-19 at Hephzibah Baptist Church in Wendell.

The testing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will be free but people must sign up and register.

"We know that more testing is vital in helping us better understand this virus and how it spreads," said Dr. Kim McDonald, Wake County medical director. "We are committed to bringing drive-thru testing to all parts of our community, so we can make sure that our at-risk residents have easy access to this free service."

As of Saturday morning, there have been 1,897,838 COVID-19 cases in the United States.

FRIDAY

5:30 p.m.
Cumberland County reported an additional death and 11 new COVID-19 cases. Cumberland County's case count is now 765 with 26 deaths.

The patient was a resident of the N.C. State Veterans Nursing Home.

5 p.m.
Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill that would have allowed bars to open outdoors and would allow restaurants to expand their outdoor seating capacity into city streets.

There are 2,133 COVID-19 cases reported in Wake County, up 65 from Thursday. There have been 40 deaths county-wide.

4:51 p.m.
Wayne County received notice of one additional death this week. The person died Wednesday and was in their mid-30s with no known underlying medical conditions. This death was not attributed to a congregate or long term care facility.

A total of 21 people have died from COVID-19 ailments in the county.

Wayne County has 1,234 total positive cases of COVID-19. Of those, 76 cases are attributed to congregate living facilities and 689 are cases from outside any type of congregate facility. 469 offenders at Neuse Correctional Institute tested positive for COVID-19, but they have recovered.

A total of 866 people are considered recovered.

2:11 p.m.
Halifax County said it has 1,260 confirmed tests performed on residents and 203 positive COVID-19 cases.

The county continues to have just one COVID-19 related death.

1:50 p.m.
The City of Burlington has canceled the July 3rd in the Park celebration hosted annually by the Burlington Recreation and Parks' B-town Events division. The annual event draws crowds of approximately 5,000 people to Burlington City Park as well as several thousand others that line the streets, private parking lots and lawns of other businesses and schools surrounding the park.

The city said in a release that though Phase 2 will likely evolve into Phase 3 by the start of July, it is projected that this phase will not likely bring a dramatic increase in the number of individuals permitted to gather in outdoor spaces.

1:45 p.m.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports the first pediatric death in the state from COVID-19.

The health department said the child died June 1 from complications related to the virus; no further information about the child has been released.

ABC11 reported Thursday that Creekside Elementary School student Aurea Soto Morales died June 1 from COVID-19. Her mother, father and sister also have COVID-19. The family set up this GoFundMe account to help in this challenging time.

Creekside Elementary School Principal Victoria Creamer released the following statement about Morales:

"Our whole Creekside community's heart is broken over the loss of one of our wonderful students, who was a shining light wherever she went. Even though we must remain physically distant due to COVID-19, we are still reaching out to support our children, families, and staff during this difficult time. We ask that the family and our Creekside community be given privacy so that we may have the space and time to grieve."

1:15 p.m.
More than 1 million North Carolinians have filed for unemployment since March 15.

On Friday, June 5, NC Department of Employment Security announced 1,003,389 people had filed for unemployment.

Of those, 675,976 people have received unemployment benefits totaling $3,301,325,495.

12:37 p.m.
Sampson County is reporting 18 new cases which bring the total to 563 positive cases of the novel coronavirus.

12:36 p.m.
Lee County has confirmed 505 cases of COVID-19. This includes sixteen new cases reported on Thursday and three new cases Friday.

The Health Department continues to monitor 173 individuals while 328 individuals have resumed normal activities. The county reports four laboratory confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

12:30 p.m.
There are now 33,255 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina, according to the state's Department of Health and Human Services. There have been 966 coronavirus-related deaths with a record-high 717 currently hospitalized from COVID-19.

That's an increase of six deaths and 58 hospitalizations from Thursday's numbers.

The number of positive cases increased by 1,289. However, the percent of positive tests remained steady at 9%; the week's average is 8%.

The state has now administered 482,147 coronavirus tests, which is 13,845 more than Thursday's number.

10:30 a.m.
Wake County School leaders held a news conference to discuss COVID-19 and the upcoming school year. But dominating the meeting, was the discussion about race relations.

Leaders say they are committed to equality in the classroom and making sure all students feel comfortable. Leaders emphasized their no tolerance policy for hate and renewed their commitment to making sure all students feel valued.

As for COVID-19, the district is waiting for the state to give additional guidelines for reopening schools but Superintendent Cathy Moore says the District is already working on preliminary plans.

So far, WCPSS says there will be social distancing procedures, cleaning measures and a recommendation for face masks.

The district says it has surveyed more than 32,000 parents on remote learning and received mostly positive feedback.

On that note, next year's calendar includes five remote learning days but leaders are reviewing plans should there be a resurgence in the virus soon.

The district says it may have to go back to the drawing board once the state releases their recommendations sometime next week.

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FRIDAY MORNING STORYLINES

On Thursday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper mentioned the possibility of opening bars and gyms earlier than anticipated. North Carolina began Phase 2 of its reopening plan May 22. State leaders said they do not feel the state is ready to enter Phase 3 yet given the upward trajectory of positive cases.

However, a modified reopening phase is being considered.

"We're analyzing whether bars and gyms should be able to open, and I will say that there's a possibility that even before we get to the timeline of Phase 3 that we might want to do a Phase 2.5 or look at some of these additional items that might boost our economy but that we would feel safe about not boosting the number of COVID-19 enough to overwhelm our hospitals," Cooper said.

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Governor Roy Cooper introduced a new order to address the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 has on communities of color.



Cooper added he won't support legislation that ties the hands of the executive branch to open and close businesses in a time of emergency. State lawmakers may soon send Cooper a bill overriding his executive order keeping gyms closed in the state.

Meanwhile, a new jobs report is expected out Friday. Economists are forecasting the report will show 8.5 million more jobs were lost in May.

THURSDAY
4:30 p.m.
Governor Roy Cooper introduced a new executive order to address the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on communities of color.

During a Thursday afternoon news conference, Governor Cooper announced Executive Order 143, which established the creation of the Andrea HarrisSocial, Economic, Environmental and Health Equity Task Force, headed by Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders.

The Task Force's goal is to create economic stability, eliminate health disparities, and achieve environmental justice in the state:
  • Access to health care for underserved communities
  • Enhanced patient engagement in healthcare settings
  • Economic opportunities in business development and employment
  • Environmental Justice and Inclusion
  • Create educational opportunities for communities of color


FULL STORY: Gov. Cooper establishes task force to address COVID-19 disparities in underserved communities

Dr. Cadra Burns, senior deputy director of the North Carolina Division of Public Health, elaborated in the new testing and tracing tools announced earlier, adding that these tools are aimed at breaking down barriers to access to testing and finding trusted and accepted places for testing within communities of color.

"COVID-19 didn't create these disparities, but it made them visible for all to see," Burns said. "This is no longer acceptable, and the question is, what can we do? I can proudly say, a lot."

Cooper also answered questions about two pieces of legislation aimed to allow bars and restaurants to open, and said he had concerns about both, because codifying that language into law would make it more difficult to act should North Carolina see a spike in cases.

However, Cooper said that state leaders are analyzing the data to determine whether bars and gyms would be allowed to open in a possible Phase 2.5, before the end of the minimum five-week period before Phase 3 can begin. Earlier, Cooper had said he wouldn't consider this option.

However, Cooper would not give a specific date for a Phase 2.5, adding, "We're gonna let the science and the data drive decisions here."

3:40 p.m.

A federal judge in New York denied Bernie Madoff's request for compassionate release from Butner Federal Correctional Complex, according to ABC News.

"This was one of the most egregious financial crimes of our time," the decision said. "Given its length, breadth, and impact, Mr. Madoff's fraud was unprecedented."

Madoff, 81, was sentenced to 150 years in prison in 2009 after pleading guilty to 11 federal felonies in connection to what is considered the largest Ponzi scheme in history.

A lawyer representing Madoff released the following statement, asking President Donald Trump to commute Madoff's sentence:
"Judge Chin recognized today that Madoff's health is in serious decline and that he is, in fact, terminally ill. Nonetheless, Judge Chin essentially found that because of the nature of Madoff's crimes--Madoff is beyond redemption. We are disappointed with Judge Chin's refusal to grant Madoff any compassion.

Our only hope now is that President Trump will show mercy to Madoff by granting a sentence commutation. We implore the President to personally consider Madoff's rapidly declining health. President Trump, through his leadership on the First Step Act, has demonstrated his commitment to mercy and redemption."


3:30 p.m.
An inmate at Butner Federal Correctional Complex died after testing positive for COVID-19.

According to a news release,56-year-old Andrew Charles Markovci tested positive for the novel coronavirus on May 21. He was taken to the hospital on May 28, where he died on June 4.

Markovci was sentenced in South Carolina to a 12-years for a bank robbery. He had been at Butner since July 2019.

3 p.m.
Halifax County said it has three new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 200 confirmed cases in the county.

One person has died and 153 patients are considered recovered.

1:50 p.m.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services launched new tools to aid in testing and contact tracing across the state.

According to a news release, the new tools allow users to monitor their own symptoms to determine whether they should be tested for COVID-19, and help them find a testing location nearby.

"These new COVID-19 testing tools and resources help North Carolinians have the support and information they need to take care of themselves and their loved ones," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D., in a written statement. "When more people get tested, and we all work alongside the COVID-19 Community Team to do our part with contact tracing, we can protect our loved ones and slow the spread of the virus."

12:33 p.m.

Sampson County is reporting 35 new cases which bring the total to 545 positive cases of the novel coronavirus.

12 p.m.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday reported the highest daily increase in cases, with 1,189 new cases. The highest one-day increase previously was 1,185 cases.

However, the state also reported 19,039 total completed tests. That's well over the state's goal of 5,000 to 7,000 per day.

The percent positive is at 9 percent, which has remained mostly level over the last week.

There are 659 people currently hospitalized with severe COVID-19 symptoms, down from Tuesday's record high of 716 people.

9:30 a.m.
Governor Cooper's office announced he would hold a media briefing on COVID-19 and issue a new Executive Order for the state at 4:30 p.m.

It was not clear from the news release what the executive order would be related to.

9 a.m.
The City of Fayetteville's Independence Day Concert and fireworks event scheduled for July 1 at Festival Park is canceled.

THURSDAY MORNING STORYLINES

Free testing is being expanded for people with COVID-19 like symptoms Thursday and Friday in Wake County. You can also get tested if you're a healthcare worker, 65 or older, or part of a historically vulnerable or marginalized population. The testing sessions last from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Wake County Commons building on Carya Drive. Those interested must register online first.
The total number of COVID-19 cases eclipsed 30,000 in North Carolina on Wednesday, according to state reports. 684 people are in the hospital from coronavirus-related symptoms. There have been at least 939 deaths.

A Creekside Elementary School student died from severe complications related to COVID-19, according to a GoFundMe page organized for her family.

In the GoFundMe, which has raised more than $12,600, organizers wrote Aurea Soto Morales was hospitalized at UNC Hospital and died on Monday. Organizers added that Aurea's mother, father and sister have also contracted COVID-19.

Creekside Elementary School Principal Victoria Creamer released the following statement:

"Our whole Creekside community's heart is broken over the loss of one of our wonderful students, who was a shining light wherever she went. Even though we must remain physically distant due to COVID-19, we are still reaching out to support our children, families, and staff during this difficult time. We ask that the family and our Creekside community be given privacy so that we may have the space and time to grieve."
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