There are at least 42 known cases of COVID-19 in the Triad and more than 500 in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s office announced the first two COVID-19 associated deaths in the state Wednesday. The two, who died Tuesday, included an elderly person in their 70s from Cabarrus County with underlying health issues and a second person in their 60s, who was from Virginia but travelling through the state.
There are 17 known COVID-19 cases in Forsyth County, at least 22 in Guilford County, three in Randolph County, two in Davidson County and one in Davie County. On Tuesday, there were 14 known cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County and 16 cases in Guilford County.
At least three of Forsyth's known cases can be attributed to community spread, according to the local health department.
“With community spread everyone should continue to be proactive and practice good social distancing and stay home with any signs of illness," Forsyth Public Health Director Joshua Swift said. "Fourteen of the cases have been associated with travel. If you have traveled to an area in the past 14 days where widespread community transmission has occurred, such as New York, you must stay home for at least 14 days after returning.”
With the majority of cases still clustered around Charlotte and the Triangle, some North Carolina counties have issued stay-at-home, or shelter-in-place orders, including Durham and Mecklenburg Counties. An announcement from Wake County is expected Wednesday.
Locally, Guilford County imposed strict restrictions on the number of people allowed for a gathering — limiting it to 10 people. While most places of business are exempt from the declaration, personal or religious gatherings drawing more than 10 people are generally prohibited.
Forsyth County government has taken similar steps, physically closing its commissioner meetings to the public and limiting the amount of physical interaction at county offices. City government has done likewise, asking people to conduct official business online or over the phone if possible.
Cooper’s most recent executive order on gatherings limits capacity to 50 people.
It’s not clear if Cooper will issue a shelter-in-place order for the entire state, despite some healthcare groups asking him to do so. However, at least one area county is asking him not to issue an order.
In a resolution adopted Tuesday, the Yadkin County Board of Commissioners asked the governor not to issue shelter-in-place orders for the state, and instead leave it up to individual counties and municipalities to determine the best course of action.
The Yadkin County resolution comes a day after Lydall, the county’s third largest employer, announced it was laying off 500 employees as a result of the economic strain caused by COVID-19. In the resolution, the commissioners declare the board’s “deep commitment to protecting the liberty and freedom of Yadkin County citizens and businesses during this public health crisis.”
There are no known cases of COVID-19 in Yadkin.