A timeline of COVID-19 in North Carolina

Published 6:39 pm Friday, April 10, 2020

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Compiled by Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy

April 10, 2020: North Carolina reported 3,908 cases of COVID-19 in 91 counties. Fatalities associated with the pandemic number 74. The state reports 423 hospitalizations.

April 10: Dare County is reporting 13 positive test results for COVID-19. Of the 13 individuals who have tested positive, eight have recovered/or are asymptomatically cleared (meaning they are seven days post-testing with no symptoms), three are asymptomatic (meaning they have not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms), one is recovering at home and one has died.

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April 9 afternoon: Three positive cases of COVID-19 are linked to residents and staff at Peak Resources, a nursing and rehabilitation facility in Nags Head. Two individuals are Dare County residents and one resides in another county. The additional testing that led to these results was part of a public health investigation based on a single positive test result announced on Sunday, April 5. The patients and staff who had direct contact with the positive individual were tested on Monday, April 6. All patients and staff at the facility were being tested.

April 9 morning: Dare reports the first COVID-19 associated death in the county. The individual died in the morning on April 9 from complications associated with the virus. The individual’s age was early 90s. The person reportedly had several underlying medical conditions.

April 9 Executive Order 131: Issues stronger distancing requirements for retail stores still open and mandatory items for nursing facilities. Speeds up benefit payments.

April 8 Executive Order 130: Provides more access to health care beds, expands the pool of health care workers and orders essential child care services for workers responding to COVID-19 pandemic.

April 7: Lawsuit filed in federal court by six non-resident property owners against Dare County. Requests setting aside declaration prohibiting entry by non-resident property owners.  

April 7 Executive Order 129: Creates more flexibility in law enforcement training schedules during the state of emergency.

April 7: Dare announces a total of 10 individuals tested positive for COVID-19. Three of the four new cases announced are all associated with direct contact with the individual whose positive test result was announced on April 4. The other new case is an individual who also likely acquired the virus through direct contact when out of the area.

Of the 10 individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Dare County, five have completely recovered, three are asymptomatic (meaning they have not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms), one is recovering in isolation and one remained hospitalized out of the county.

April 6: “To protect yourself, your family and our community, everyone must stay at home other than for essential needs. Now that community spread is likely, it is important to act as if everyone you come in contact with may be COVID-19 positive and has the ability to spread the virus.” Dare Bulletin #33.

April 5: Sixth positive COVID-19 test result announced in Dare County. The individual, a resident who was tested in Dare County, was reportedly in isolation and being monitored. “It is possible that this individual may have acquired the virus from an asymptomatic individual, indicating community spread.”

April 4: Fourth and fifth cases in Dare County announced. Fourth case is a resident who was tested in Dare County and is receiving care at a hospital outside of Dare County. It was unknown at the time how this individual acquired the virus. Fifth positive test result is the spouse of person who tested positive on March 31.

April 1: Dare County reported three positive tests. Both cases linked to travel or direct contact. There are no indications of community-wide spread. In the third case, the individual became symptomatic and was tested in another state, where the person remains. The individual had not traveled to North Carolina since the fall of 2019 and is fully recovered.

March 31 Executive Order 124: Prohibits utilities – including electric, gas, water and wastewater services – from disconnecting customers unable to pay during the COVID-19 pandemic and from collecting fees, penalties or interest for late payments. The order applies for the next 60 days and gives residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills. Dare reports second positive test.

March 30 Executive Order 122: Helps schools and local governments access state surplus property to help bridge gaps during the response to COVID-19.

March 28: Dare County’s Stay Home declaration aligned with Governor’s Executive Order.

March 27, 4 p.m. Executive Order 121: Announces a statewide stay-at-home order will go into effect March 30 at 5 p.m. until April 29. Stay home except to go to essential businesses, exercise outdoors or help family member. Gatherings up to 10 people permitted. Stay apart 6 feet.

March 27: At 1 p.m., Dare County announces at stay-at-home order effective 5 p.m., Saturday, March 28.

March 25: COVID-19 cases in the state top 500. Dare County reports one positive COVID-19 test result.

March 23 Executive Order 120: Extends K-12 school closings until May 15. Also orders gyms, salons, barber shops, theaters to close. Mass gatherings limited to 50 people. The number of cases in the state nears 300. No cases in Dare County.

March 21 Executive Order 119: Waives restrictions on child care and elder care and provides DMV flexibilities.

March 20: Dare County announces no entry for non-resident property owners, effective at 10 p.m.

March 19: The number of positive cases rises to 97. NC DHHS reports the first case of community spread in Wilson County.

March 17 Executive Order 17: Suspends dining in at restaurants and bars. Makes unemployment more widely available.

March 16: Dare County declares State of Emergency.

March 14 Executive Order 117: Shuts down K-12 schools across the state and bans mass gatherings of more than 100 people.

March 13: President Trump announces a national state of emergency.

March 11: The World Health Organization declares outbreak a pandemic.

March 10: Executive Order 116: Gov. Roy Cooper declares a state of emergency to provide more flexibility for responding to COVID-19. Health officials encourage anyone 65 and older to avoid large crowds, but stopped short of mass cancellation of events.

March 9: A man from Indiana who visited Wake and Durham counties is diagnosed with coronavirus. Later that day, NCDHHS says five more people in Wake County test “presumptively positive” for COVID-19. NCDHHS says the samples will be retested by CDC. All of these cases are linked to a conference in Boston and are not related to the first case from Wake County.

March 6: Second COVID-19 case reported in NC. A Chatham County man was isolated at home after a trip to Italy in late February, where an outbreak arose. The man had two days of mild flu-like symptoms while still in Italy. He flew back to the United States the day after his fever subsided and other symptoms improved. The Georgia Department of Health notified N.C. officials about the case after investigating a contact case there.

March 5: UNC-Chapel Hill restricts all university-affiliated travel to places within the United States where there is no state of emergency related to the novel coronavirus.

March 4: Chris Kippes, director of the Wake County division of public health, says the state’s first COVID-19 patient is in isolation in his Wake County home. Other family members have been quarantined there. Health officials were contacting people and places where the man traveled after becoming symptomatic.

March 3: Gov. Roy Cooper and Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state department of public health and human services, announce the presence of COVID-19 in North Carolina.

March 2: North Carolina Public Health Laboratory tests show presumptive positive results for COVID-19 for a Wake County man. Additional tests to be done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Feb. 29: United States reports first death in this country related to COVID-19, a man with “underlying conditions” in Washington

Feb. 25: Wake County man exhibits coronavirus symptoms, according to state health officials.

Feb. 22: North Carolina man likely exposed to COVID-19 at a Washington state nursing home flies on a commercial flight from the Seattle area to Raleigh-Durham International Airport. North Carolina public health officials say because he was not symptomatic at the time, they did not think it necessary to contact passengers on the flight or people in the airport around the same time.

Feb. 11: Gov. Roy Cooper appoints a task force to continue the coordinated efforts among state, federal and county officials to monitor and react quickly to COVID-19. Co-chairs are Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, the state health director and chief medical officer for the state Department of Public Health and Human Services

Jan. 31: U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar II declares a public health emergency for the United States.

Jan. 30: World Health Organization (WHO) declares public health emergency of international concern

Dec. 2019: The novel coronavirus now named COVID-19 is detected in Wuhan, China.