Coronavirus NC: More than half of 700 Goldsboro prison inmates test positive for COVID-19

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

SUNDAY

9:00 p.m.
Health officials say more than half of the inmates at Neuse Correctional Institute have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Wayne County Health Department and Wayne County Office of Emergency released information that 357 of the prison's 700 inmates tested positive for the virus.

RELATED: 'It was chaos': Former Butner prison inmate describes life inside a coronavirus hot zone

Health officials report 462 positive COVID-19 cases, including inmates, within the county. Meaning 77 percent of the cases within the county can be attributed to the Neuse Correctional Institute

As of Sunday night, there have been four COVID-19 related deaths in Wayne County.

6:15 p.m.
Seven more people in Durham have tested positive for COVID-19, raising the county total to 416.

The Durham County Department of Health continues to monitor virus outbreaks at three Durham long-term care facilities including 83 at the Durham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 19 at Treyburn Rehabilitation Center Durham VA Health Care System Community Nursing Home and four at Durham VA Healthcare System Community Nursing home.

5:00 p.m.
Two more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Halifax County, raising the county total to 35.

Of the total 35 positive cases, 19 have recovered.

4:30 p.m.
The Johnston County Public Health Department has seen no changes in its COVID-19 reporting. The county reports a total of 116 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the county. Seven of those are hospitalized.

There have been a total of nine COVID-19 related deaths within the county, all over the age of 65.

3:30 p.m.
The Lee County Health Department reports four new cases of COIVD-19, raising the county total to 37.

Of the 37 cases, seven people have returned to normal activities, according to the health department.

2:40 p.m.
Wake County is reporting 592 cases and four deaths. The average age of Wake cases is 48.

11 a.m.

North Carolina health officials said there are 6,493 cases throughout 93 counties, up 353 from Saturday.

There have been eight more coronavirus-related deaths for a total of 172, officially surpassing this season's flu death count of 167.

Of the total cases, there are 465 currently being hospitalized, up 77 from Saturday.



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SATURDAY

7:20 p.m.
Durham County reports 10 new cases of COVID-19, raising the county total to 409.

The Durham County Department of Health continues to monitor virus outbreaks at three Durham long-term care facilities including 83 at the Durham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 18 at Treyburn Rehabilitation Center Durham VA Health Care System Community Nursing Home and four at Durham VA Healthcare System Community Nursing home./

5:45 p.m.
The Cumberland County Department of Health reports eight new cases of COVID-19 cases within the county, raising the total to 113.

Six of the new cases are associated with the COVID-19 outbreak being monitored at the Village Green Health and Rehabilitation Center. Officials say 10 patients and two staff members and a contractor tested positive.

Two of the patients died from complications related to the virus. In total, Cumberland County has had six COIVD-19 related deaths.

4:40 p.m.
The Johnston County Public Health Department reports a total of 116 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the county. Seven of those are hospitalized.

There have been a total of nine COVID-19 related deaths within the county, all over the age of 65.

3:45 p.m.
One additional person has tested positive for COVID-19 in Halifax County, raising the total number of positive cases to 33.

Two more people have since recovered from the virus, raising the total number of recoveries in the county to 14.

3:15 p.m.
Three additional cases of COVID-19 were reported in Lee County on Saturday, raising the county total to 33.

Of the 33 people that tested positive, seven have returned to normal activities, according to the Lee County Health Department.

2:45 p.m.
The Louisburg Nursing Center reported two more resident deaths, bringing the facility's total COVID-19 related deaths to eight. Three of the center's residents are being hospitalized.

12:50 p.m.

North Carolina health officials said there are now 6,140 cases of COVID-19 throughout 93 counties, up 281 from Friday. 12 more deaths have been reported for a total of 164.

388 of those cases are being hospitalized, down 41 from Friday.

12 p.m.
Wake County magistrates will resume conducting marriages starting Monday, April 20 at Hammond Road, according to Wake County Chief Magistrate Chris Graves. Ceremonies will take place outside in front of the building with no appointment needed. The public is asked to limit the number of people and that social distancing is practiced during ceremonies.

As of Saturday morning, data from Johns Hopkins University said there are 706,779 cases in the Unites States with over 37,000 deaths.

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FRIDAY

9 p.m.
Johns Hopkins University said there are 699,706 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the United States.

A total of 36,822 people have died and 58,587 are considered recovered.

8:45 p.m.
Wake County said it has 574 confirmed cases and three deaths attributed to COVID-19.

The average age of COVID-19 patients is 48 and 56 percent of those infected are female, the county said.

6:40 p.m.
Durham County reports 11 new positive cases of COVID-19 within the county, raising the total to 399.

The Durham County Department of Public Health has also confirmed the third COVID-19-related death within the county. Health officials said the resident was considered a 'high risk' individual since the person was over 65 years old and had multiple underlying health conditions.

The county continues to monitor outbreaks at three Durham long-term care facilities including 82 cases at Durham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 11 at Treyburn Rehabilitation Center and four at Durham VA Healthcare System Community Nursing Home.

6:30 p.m.
The Durham City and County governments announced on Friday additional updates to the unified Durham Stay-At-Home Order.

The new guidelines require people to wear a clean face-covering any time they are or will be in contact with other people who are not household members in public or private spaces where it is not possible to maintain social distance such as grocery stores, pharmacies, business locations and public transit.

While face coverings are required, no one will be removed from or denied entry to public transit for failure to wear a face covering.

READ MORE: Face mask requirement among new guidelines announced for Durham County, City stay-at-home order

5:30 p.m.
At least 115 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Johnston County, officials said in a news release. Of those patients, seven are in the hospital and 99 are recovering at home. Nine people have died from complications associated with the virus.

The county is currently monitoring two outbreaks.

At the Springbrook Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, 43 current or former residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and seven have died from the virus. Twenty staff members have tested positive, including 13 who live in Johnston County and seven who live outside the county.

At the Johnston Correctional Institute, three inmates and three staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

5:10 p.m.
Lee County saw its largest single-day increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

On Friday afternoon, the county reported a nine case increase of COVID-19, raising the county total of positive cases to 30. Seven of the cases have since returned to normal activities.

5 p.m.
Two Robeson County residents have died due to coronavirus-related complications. Officials said the first person, a 70-year-old man died in the hospital. The second person, a 69-year-old man, died in the hospital after being diagnosed on March 28 after visiting family members in a highly impacted state.

There are a total of 20 positive cases of COVID-19 within the county. Officials identified the person as a 73-year-old woman who remains hospitalized.

4:25 p.m.
The Cumberland County Department of Health reports seven new COVID-19 cases within the county, raising the county total to 105.

Since Monday, Cumberland County has seen five COVID-19 related deaths and a case-growth count of 19.

"This week our community has been saddened by the loss of five of our fellow residents to this virus, and we are still seeing additional positive cases each day. We can't stress strongly enough the importance of following the stay-at-home order and only venturing out for essential needs like work or to buy food or medicine. If you do go out, we recommend you wear a facemask if social distancing isn't possible," Health Director Dr. Jennifer Green said in a news release.

4 p.m.
An inmate at Butner Federal Correctional Institution died from complications due to COVID-19 on Thursday, according to a release from the Bureau of Prisons.

Fabian Tinsley, 67, went into respiratory failure and was taken to the hospital on April 6, where he later died. The Bureau of Prisons said Tinsley tested postiive for COVID-19 and had long-term, preexisting medical conditions that put him at high risk for severe illness from the virus.

The Bureau of Prisons said Tinsley was sentenced in Washington, D.C. to a 23-year term for kidnapping and aggravated assault. He had been at Butner prison since November 2018.

Tinsley is the fifth inmate to die of COVID-19 at Butner Correctional Institution. Across the complex, at least 66 inmates and 25 staff members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

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3:15 p.m.
The Orange County Health Department said it has 161 cases of COVID-19. Two county residents have died.

2 p.m.
Gov. Roy Cooper provided further details about North Carolina's new Testing Surge Workgroup--a coalition of public, academic and private labs working to increase the state's testing capacity and address issues with testing supplies and availability of personal protective equipment.

"North Carolina has made great strides, but we have more work to do," Cooper said.

Cooper said he would like to implement widespread testing across the state, so every person who has COVID-19 symptoms can be tested for the virus.

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North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen elaborated that the workgroup is tasked with increasing transparency in the testing process so all of the labs can understand what each group is doing and what they have planned.

Cohen said the testing expansion will rely on creating more sample collection sites, bringing more supplies to doctors and clinicians and providing a pipeline through which labs can easily share results.

Cooper also said health officials are sending groups to hot spots for outbreaks like nursing homes and correctional facilities to find out where the virus is spreading and to warn those who may be at risk.

Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks addressed the outbreak at Neuse Correctional Institution, saying that 98 percent of those who tested positive at the prison showed no symptoms of the virus.

When asked about reopening the state economy, Cooper said he has been in contact with small business owners to discuss how best to protect employees and customers when businesses reopen.

"We do want to open up North Carolina," Cooper said. "We want to open it up the right way with input from businesses."

1:30 p.m.

Surf City is lifting some of the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Crew began removing barriers at all 36 public beach access points Friday. The beaches will be open Saturday, April 18.

Public parking and restrooms at the public beach access points will remain closed--as directed by the statewide Stay-at-Home order.

Anyone using the public beach access is encouraged to continue practicing social distance and proper health safety.

The Town of Surf City said short-term rentals at the beaches will remain suspended through May 15.

12:15 p.m.
Fort Bragg reported its first two COVID-19 deaths--a civilian employee at Fort Bragg and a contractor. Both were Cumberland County residents and in their 50s.

"We lost two valued members of our Fort Bragg community last night," said Lt. Gen. Michael E. Kurilla, commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, in a written statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their families in their time of loss."

Cumberland County officials said the county now has six deaths from COVID-19.

The civilian employee who died April 16 at Womack Army Medical Center had underlying medical conditions, Cumberland County health officials said.

"This is heartbreaking. Our sympathies go out to the family and friends," said Health Director Dr. Jennifer Green. "Our sadness is shared by everyone working to slow the spread of this virus in our community."

There are 98 positive cases in Cumberland County.

12:00 p.m.
Wayne County officials said 149 COVID-19 cases were identified at the state's Neuse Correctional Institution in Goldsboro. The county did not specify how many inmates and staff members tested positive, but did add that all 700 inmates will be tested for the novel coronavirus, as well as any staff members that would like to be tested.

"This strategy is the result of a strong collaborative and coordinated effort between the Prisons Incident Command Team, the Department of Health and Human Services, the State Laboratory for Public Health, LabCorp and the Wayne County Health Department," Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee said in a written statement. "The outbreak at Neuse CI is no doubt a cause for concern but not for panic. We have medical protocols in place to handle this and frankly it is better to know up front what we are facing so we can do what is necessary to stop the spread."

Wayne County has reported at least 246 COVID-19 cases.

11:35 a.m.
The Town of Cary has canceled all parks, recreation and cultural resources events through May 31. Full refunds will be issued for any registered camps, classes, facility reservations and ticketed events.

11:15 a.m.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is now reporting 5,859 cases. That's an increase of 394 from Thursday. Deaths from the disease also increased, up 21 from Thursday, bringing the total to 152 in the state.

COVID-19 has now killed 152 North Carolinians in 23 days.

The health department reports that 429 patients are currently hospitalized.

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11:10 a.m.
The Division of Employment Security (DES) has paid out more than $385 million to more than 211,000 people in North Carolina since March 15.

The group said 636,894 people have filed for unemployment since March 15, when coronavirus layoffs began. DES identified 551,261 of those unemployment claims to be COVID-19 related.

The highest single day of claims came in mid-March when 34,706 people filed. On April 16, the most recent complete day of numbers, 29,011 people filed.

DES plans to more than triple its original staffing to help respond to the surge in unemployment claims.

DES expects to have more than 1,600 people working to process claims and issue payments by the end of next week. The group was previously staffed with approximately 500 people. Since the start of COVID-19 furloughs, the department has added more than 400 people.

The group is planning to add 600 call center agents and 100 Division of Workforce Solutions staff over the next few days.

"This will be the largest number of people working to provide unemployment benefits in North Carolina's history," said Lockhart Taylor, assistant secretary of the Division of Employment Security. "We are prepared to take whatever steps we need to take to deliver the help North Carolinians need during these difficult times."

Updates about eligibility and how to apply for these benefits can be found on des.nc.gov.

8:45 a.m.
Coronavirus travel restrictions in North Carolina are having an unintended consequence: seashells.

Beaches along the Outer Banks are seeing thousands of seashells wash ashore. Experts say the number of seashells arriving is not unusual, but without spring breakers there to pick them up and take them home, the shells are piling up.

Friday morning headlines

Gov. Roy Cooper is scheduled to give an update on the state's response at 2 p.m. You can watch on ABC11 and on the ABC11 website and Facebook page.

The U.S. has at least 671,425 diagnosed cases and at least 33,286 deaths, according to ABC News. More than 2.1 million people have been diagnosed worldwide.

Thursday, it was revealed that 5.2 million more people filed for unemployment amid mass layoffs from the virus. The North Carolina Department of Employment Security has paid more than $216 million in unemployment benefits to more than 185,000 North Carolinians.

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President Trump unveiled a three-step plan to reopen the economy but is directing state governors to decide when to reopen states. Gov. Cooper said the state still needs federal support for testing and personal protective equipment. The President's plan recommends the state see a two-week decline in cases before starting to ease the lockdowns.line in cases before starting to ease the lockdowns.
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