TUESDAY MORNING STORYLINES
Wake County Public School System has released guidelines on students wearing masks for when they head back to the classrooms.
The district is urging parents to practice wearing masks with their children now so they’re ready to wear a mask at school. All WCPSS students will be required to wear masks while at school and on the bus. Schools will be able to help students with adjusting their mask during the day and give them short breaks outside during the day to take their mask off if needed.
As early as Oct. 26, Pre-K through third grade and special education students will be heading back to the classroom part-time in Wake County.
Cumberland County Schools are offering meal bundles to families, starting Tuesday. The district will keep providing daily meals to students not participating in these bundles.
Lee County schools will discuss a return to the classroom of all remaining students (grades K-1 started Plan B on Monday). Meanwhile, Wayne County Schools is launching a daily COVID-19 dashboard showing positive cases on campuses. The dashboard will be updated every day at 6 p.m.
13,827 more COVID-19 patients are presumed to be recovered in North Carolina for a total of 206,471. This marks the largest weekly increase in patients presumed to be recovered.
Because NCDHHS does not track when an individual patient recovers from COVID-19, the agency uses a median recovery time of 14 days for non-hospitalized patients and 28 days for hospitalized patients to come up with an estimation of the total number of recovered patients.
The number does not reflect the number of patients who are currently infectious.
The Lee County Health Department confirmed 78 new COVID-19 cases since last Monday, for a total of 1,824 positive cases.
The Health Department also reported that 1,581 people have recovered and resumed normal activities.
Duke University reported 12 new COVID-19 cases among 15,187 tests administered to students, faculty and staff last week. Of the 12, nine were students and three were faculty or staff members. The percentage of positive tests was 0.079%.
Duke has completed 87,657 tests since the beginning of August.
The Halifax County Health Department reports 1,157 total positive COVID 19 cases, including 24 new ones since Friday. There have been 22 deaths from COVID-19 countywide — that’s 1.9 percent of cases.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,276 new COVID-19 cases and 27,662 completed tests. After dropping back to 5% at the end of last week, the percentage of positive tests rose to 6%. Health officials would like to see this metric drop below 5%.
Currently, 1,109 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 with 96% of hospitals reporting. Hospitalizations haven’t topped 1,100 since Aug. 11, when the state reported 1,122 people hospitalized with the virus. In the last 24 hours, 355 suspected COVID-19 patients have been admitted to hospitals statewide. There are 314 adult ICU COVID-19 patients in North Carolina hospitals, the highest number in more than a month.
As a reminder, the Wayne County Health Department will not be offering COVID-19 testing on Wednesday, October 14, and Friday, October 16. Staffers are using the week to debrief on the testing site and make any internal changes necessary to better serve residents who visit the free testing site.
The Sampson County Health Department reports 43 new cases f COVID-19, bringing the total to 2,476 cases. The number of deaths remains at 28.
The Lee County Health Department reports a county resident has died as a result of COVID-19 related complications, the 16th COVID-19 death confirmed in Lee County.
“First and foremost, I offer sincere condolences to the family and friends of the individual who has passed away; this is a difficult time and I ask the community to keep the family in your thoughts and prayers,” said Heath Cain, LCG Health Director. “We know this virus will impact people differently but this is a reminder that the community needs to remain cautious and observe recommended guidelines to help protect our friends, family and neighbors who may be more susceptible or likely to experience severe symptoms of COVID-19.”
The coronavirus has hit one part of the arts and entertainment world especially hard, and that’s performances of “The Nutcracker.”
The pandemic has forced the cancellation of performances of the seasonal ballet around the United States and Canada.
Carolina Ballet has not released an official word on its annual Nutcracker performance. However, the company’s website said it the performance cannot happen live in the theater, some sort of virtual performance will be offered.
“Our hope is to present the holiday tradition, The Nutcracker, live in the theater. However, if we are unable to do so, we will be preparing to share the performance virtually and we will invite you to watch our dancers rehearse it.”
Pulling the shows offstage this year is eliminating a major and reliable source of revenue for dance companies that were already reeling financially following the virtual shutdown of their industry.
Company directors say the cancellations also affect the marketing role that “Nutcracker” performances play for introducing audiences to the world of dance. Some companies say offering both in-person and streaming productions may become the norm.
MONDAY MORNING STORYLINES
Monday brings a big development for some students returning to school in Johnston County. Kindergarten and pre-K students will be back in classrooms five days a week, starting Plan A today. Earlier this month, the students returned to the classroom for a few days a week in a staggered reopening.
Next week, Johnston County Schools will welcome back more students. First and second-grade students will have the ability to return on Oct. 19, followed by grades 3 through 5 on Oct. 26.
The virtual program will be in place in Johnston County through the end of the semester.
Meanwhile, all grades in Granville County Schools will move to Plan B, which consists of partial in-person instruction, on Monday.
Free COVID-19 drive-thru testing returns to several sites in Wake County on Monday. Tests will be administered at Sunnybrook Parking Deck and Radeas Labs in Wake Forest. For more information on testing, check out Wake County’s COVID-19 website.
Copyright © 2020 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.