The latest update from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said 32 people have tested positive of COVID-19 coronavirus in the state as of Sunday morning.
The majority of cases have been diagnosed in the central part of the state, while there have been none reported on the Outer Banks or in northeastern North Carolina.
Craven, Onslow and Brunswick are the only coastal North Carolina counties to have cases reported, with one in each county. No deaths have been reported from the virus in North Carolina.
The Virginia Department of Health reported that state’s first death on Saturday when a man in his 70s passed away.
41 cases had been reported in Virginia through Sunday morning, including three in Virginia Beach and eight in James City County.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Saturday issued an executive order closing all K-12 public schools in the state for at least two weeks as the coronavirus continues to spread.
“Many parents are choosing to keep their children home from school,” he said during a Saturday afternoon press conference. “We need a statewide response and statewide action.”
Cooper said he knows the order will be difficult for many parents and students, particularly hourly-wage earning parents and children who get most of their meals at school.
“We are working on efforts to deal with those challenges,” the governor said. “Hindsight is 20/20, I don’t want any regrets in our rear view mirror.”
Local school officials have been planning for and will implement distance learning plans which will begin next week for grades kindergarten through 12th grade.
An announcement from Dare County Schools further detailing their plans is expected as early as Sunday afternoon.
The executive order also prohibits gatherings of more than 100 people anywhere in the state. This does not apply to shopping centers, stores and restaurants, but the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said people should practice social distancing and try to remain six-feet away from others.
The Governor’s order did not implement any travel restrictions. Should future orders from the Governor, or mitigation guidance from public health officials include travel restrictions, Dare County officials said Saturday they will take action to implement them.
“We are following all guidance provided to us by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” said Dr. Sheila Davies, Director, Dare County Department of Health and Human Services.
“Our team continues to closely monitor this dynamic, evolving situation and as guidance changes, we will act accordingly to implement it to the fullest extent,” Davies said.