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  • March 16, 2020
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COVID-19 | Triad Information Updates

Here you’ll find the latest information affecting our local area.

5/18/20

COVID-19 Cases Found At Two More Forsyth County Nursing Homes

Twenty-four new cases have been reported since yesterday’s daily briefing was issued. There have been 645 laboratory-confirmed cases in Forsyth County. All cases reported by the Forsyth County Department of Public Health are Forsyth County residents. Of the 645, 236 have recovered. Public Health Director Joshua Swift commented, “Two additional congregate living facilities in Forsyth County are now designated as having a COVID-19 outbreak. In a congregate living setting, a COVID-19 outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases. Trinity Elms independent apartment building has two positive staff members that are
now in isolation, and no residents are showing symptoms at this time. The second facility, Silas Creek Rehab, had a resident and staff member test positive. All other residents and staff are currently asymptomatic.”

5/17/20

Judge Blocks Phase-1 Order On Churches

A federal judge blocked restrictions on religious services that were put in place during Phase-1 of Governor Cooper’s COVID-19 recovery plan. Some conservative Christian leaders filed suit against those restrictions last week. A hearing has been set for May 29th, and a spokesperson for the governor said— “We don’t want indoor meetings to become hotspots for the virus and our health experts continue to warn that large groups sitting together inside for long periods of time are much more likely to cause the spread of COVID-19. While our office disagrees with the decision, we will not appeal, but instead urge houses of worship and their leaders to voluntarily follow public health guidance to keep their members safe.” The restrictions would have been eased by this Friday anyway, if the governor and state health officials decide to go to Phase-2 of their reopening plan.

5/15/20

Employees At Two Area Food Plants Test Positive

Tyson Foods has temporarily shut down its plant in Wilkesboro for a second time. Wilkes County health officials have confirmed that a majority of the 274 COVID-19 cases in the county are linked to the plant. Tyson shut down its Fresh Plant 2 and performed a deep cleaning from last Saturday to Monday. The plant reopened on Tuesday. The plant will now be closed until next Tuesday for another deep cleaning. Tyson’s Fresh Plant 1 will operate on a limited basis.Meanwhile another outbreak has taken place at another area food processing facility. Surry County officials say a small number of cases have been associated with the Wayne Farms poultry processing plant in Dobson. Officials with Wayne Farms say that they’re working with local health officials and following federal public health guidance. The employees who have tested positive for the virus are in self-isolation.

5/14/20

Conservative Christians Sue Gov. Over Worship Services

Conservative Christian leaders have sued Governor Cooper over his restrictions on indoor religious services. Cooper’s order that says church services cannot be held indoors if they’re attended by more than 10-people, but can be held outdoors as long as social distancing guidelines are followed. The suit claims that the order violates the plantiff’s First Amendment rights to freedom of religion. The Reverend Ron Baity, pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, the church, and his Return America group are among the plaintiffs. The order could be adjusted to allow more people to attend indoor services, if the governor decides to go to Phase-2 of his reopening plan next Friday.

5/14/20

Spike In COVID-19 Cases In Forsyth Co. Continues

Forsyth County’s spike in new COVID-19 cases this week continues, with 60 new positive tests confirmed. That’s after 50 new cases were confirmed on both Tuesday and Wednesday. In addition, two more people died, bringing Forsyth County’s COVID-19 death toll to seven. The health department reports that both people, one in their early 60s and another in their early 70s, had underlying medical conditions.

5/13/20

Governor Clarifies Orders for Worship Services

At the request of some lawmakers and the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, Governor Cooper has clarified his Phase-1 orders as they pertain to worship services:

**Outdoor Worship Services**

There is no limit on the number of people that can attend outdoor worship or wedding services. Attendees should follow, as much as possible, the Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission highlighted in the Phase One Order. Therefore, an outdoor worship service, similar to a demonstration, may be held where families (from the same household) in attendance maintain at least six feet of social distancing from other families or individuals. The event must be held in an unenclosed space (i.e. not an outdoor facility with walls). Outdoor worship services are also allowed without these restrictions where participants remain in their cars.

**Indoor Worship Services**

Indoor worship services and weddings are allowed for gatherings of ten people or fewer in the same confined space. However, nothing prevents an indoor worship service from being shifted to multiple services over a period of time, or held in different rooms, to meet the requirements of the Phase One Order.

_ **In situations where it is not possible to conduct worship services outdoors or through other accommodations — such as through, for example, a series of indoor services of ten or fewer attendees, or through online services — the ten-person attendance limit on indoor worship services does not apply. For example, there may be situations in which particular religious beliefs dictate that some or all of a religious service must be held indoors and that more than ten persons must be in attendance. While indoors, participants should continue to adhere to the Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission.** _

**Funeral services**

To promote human dignity and limit suffering, up to fifty people may attend a funeral held indoors. People meeting at a funeral should observe the Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission set forth in the Phase One Order.

5/13/20

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County High Schools to Hold Virtual Graduation Ceremonies & Drive-by Diploma Pickup and Picture Sessions

The COVID-19 pandemic, the closure of all North Carolina Schools for the remainder of the school year, and continued restrictions limiting large gatherings will impact graduation ceremonies for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County high schools. In an effort to recognize and honor all graduates and their work in a timely manner, all 16 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County high schools will host a virtual commencement ceremony to recognize the Class of 2020. The week following the virtual ceremonies, schools will host a drive-by diploma pickup which will include a chance for graduates to walk across a graduation stage and take pictures. A face to face graduation ceremony will be scheduled when conditions allow.

The virtual ceremonies will premiere on air for seniors and their families to watch and participate in on the weekend of the originally scheduled ceremonies. The drive-by diploma pickup schedule will be determined and communicated by each individual high school.

“Graduation is an important milestone – one we must celebrate for the nearly 3,900 graduates in our district. Unfortunately, given the circumstances, these celebrations must meet all state and local restrictions,” said Superintendent Angela Hairston.

She went on to say, “Our task force, which included students, parents, principals and district leadership overwhelmingly felt some type of ceremony needed to happen at the time graduation was originally scheduled. Student leaders told me they also wanted a chance to be celebrated in person, to walk across a stage, and get those momentous pictures. We felt a virtual ceremony and a drive-up diploma pickup was the best way to honor those wishes. It allows the schools to keep the unique ceremonial traditions within their virtual program and still follow the health guidelines our state has in place.”

The premiere broadcast of all ceremonies will be on WS/FCS Cable 2 (Spectrum customers) and streamed online via Cable 2 on the district website located here. Students and parents are encouraged to watch the ceremonies and celebrate as their graduate’s name is called. Once the ceremony is aired a downloadable link will be available on every school’s website.

The virtual graduation premiere broadcast schedule is below.

-2-

Early CollegeFriday, June 129:00 AM
Forsyth Middle CollegeFriday, June 1210:00 AM
Reynolds High SchoolFriday, June 1211:00 AM
John F. Kennedy High SchoolFriday, June 121:00 PM
Carter High SchoolFriday, June 122:00 PM
Glenn High SchoolFriday, June 123:00 PM
North Forsyth High SchoolFriday, June 125:00 PM
Carver High SchoolFriday, June 127:00 PM
Winston-Salem Preparatory High SchoolSaturday, June 138:30 AM
Reagan High SchoolSaturday, June 139:30 AM
Parkland High SchoolSaturday, June 1311:30 AM
Atkins High SchoolSaturday, June 131:30 PM
East Forsyth High SchoolSaturday, June 132:30 PM
Walkertown High SchoolSaturday, June 134:30 PM
Mt. Tabor High SchoolSaturday, June 135:30 PM
West Forsyth High SchoolSaturday, June 137:30 PM

Drive-by Diploma Pickup and Pictures: Beginning the week of June 15, schools will offer drive-by diploma pickup. While each drive-by will be slightly different depending on the school, students will be allowed to hop out of their car, walk across a graduation stage near a campus landmark, pose for a picture and receive their diploma from school leaders. Families and students will be asked to remain in cars until it is their scheduled turn and then return to their cars immediately after and leave campus. More detail about each drive-by session will be communicated directly to students from their individual schools.

5/13/20

GCS Presents Graduation Recognition Plan

Guilford County Schools is postponing its traditional graduation ceremonies in May and June due to the coronavirus pandemic. The district’s 28 high schools will hold “drive-thru” recognitions instead to honor graduating seniors. The district announced the plan today.

The decision was made after hearing from parents and meeting with senior class presidents, high school principals and district leadership, most of whom indicated a preference for either in-person or drive-thru events. Student leaders did not favor holding virtual ceremonies.

The district intends to host in-person ceremonies as soon as it is safe to do so, pending the availability of venues. An in-person graduation still looks to be months away as to comply with Governor Cooper’s phased reopening plan.

GCS’ 28 high schools anticipate graduating about 5,600 seniors this school year. Most school facilities lack the appropriate accommodations to host large socially distanced graduations.

“This pandemic has completely altered what is supposed to be one of the most memorable moments in a student’s life,” said Superintendent Sharon Contreras. “We know this solution isn’t perfect, but our students were clear they did not want virtual graduations. We believe this is the best solution to keep students safe, while still giving everyone a way to immediately celebrate our outstanding seniors.”

Each school will conduct their own drive-thru recognition event to ensure the district is still complying with Governor Cooper’s executive order prohibiting groups larger than 10 to gather. A new schedule will be published soon. Notifications will be sent to families and schools as soon as the dates are confirmed.

GCS and individual schools also are celebrating graduating senio

5/12/20

All Patients, Visitors, Staff and Students Asked to Wear Masks While Inside any Wake Forest Baptist Location

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, Wake Forest Baptist Health<https://www.wakehealth.edu/> is asking everyone to wear a mask at all times while visiting or working at any location within the health system.
Effective immediately, these guidelines apply to all patients (including children when developmentally appropriate), visitors, students and staff – even those who are not involved in direct patient care.
Patients and visitors can wear personal, homemade, cloth or dust masks. Those not wearing a mask will be provided with a cloth or ear-loop mask upon entry.
“We have recently made it possible for all of our employees to receive masks through the Mask the City initiative, so this is one more way that we can keep our patients, their families, visitors and our coworkers safe,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, M.D.<https://www.wakehealth.edu/About-Us/Leadership/Freischlag>, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Health and dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine.
In addition to these measures, Wake Forest Baptist continues to promote proper hand washing, good hygiene and social distancing practices.

5/12/20

Comprehensive Food Resources Information Posted Online

        The city’s Think Orange website, ThinkOrangeWS.com, has new, interactive maps listing food resources in Winston-Salem and throughout Forsyth County for residents impacted by COVID-19. The information is available in both English and Spanish.
        The interactive maps identify more than 250 food resource locations for children and adults in Forsyth County, including recreation centers, farmers markets and community mobile feeding sites. Additionally, the maps contain information on grocery stores that offer delivery, curbside service or incorporate special hours for senior citizens.
        The mapping resource is also posted on the city’s COVID-19 Resources webpage, the Urban Food Policy Council webpage, as well as the Piedmont Triad Regional Council’s website, said Tiffany Turner, the city’s food resilience project manager.
        “We continue to add more sites as we learn of them,” Turner said. “We will adjust the data throughout the various phases as we reopen the economy so that it remains an active resource throughout the rest of the pandemic, and adapt it as needed so that it can remain a valuable resource for the community.”
        The information was compiled from the city’s Think Orange community partners including Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC, the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, Love Out Loud, H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem, Ezekiel A.M.E. Zion Church, Forsyth Backpack, Hispanic League and more.

5/6/20

Staff Member, Resident at Rehabilitation Center Test Positive for
COVID-19
(from the Forsyth Co. Health Department)

A staff member and a resident at Oak Forest Health Rehabilitation Center have tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The two cases at the facility are considered an outbreak. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services defines an outbreak for congregate living settings as two or more laboratory confirmed cases.

County Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt, who serves on the Health and Human Services Board, said, “While we are saddened by the 2 cases at the Center, we are confident that our Public Health Department will follow guidelines to help the facility protect other patients and staff.”

Both individuals are in isolation, and the Forsyth County Department of Public Health is working closely with the facility, the NC Division of Public of Health and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to screen and test staff and residents. Public Health officials are identifying close contacts to monitor symptoms and contain any potential spread. To protect the individuals’ privacy, no further information about them will be released.

Numerous measures have been taken by the State to assist nursing homes and long term facilities, which are considered at high risk for COVID-19 because they have patients who are over 65 years-old, have underlying conditions, or both.

Forsyth County’s Department of Public Health has been proactive with long term care facilities throughout the county by providing a team of nurses to serve as a direct contact and also providing education and guidance.

4/30/20

5K WSFCS Students Haven’t Been e-Learning

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools are reporting that some 5-thousand students have not logged on to any of the e-learning platforms that were set up when Governor Cooper closed schools in mid-March. The school board learned about that number at Tuesday’s meeting. The board said that the district has a responsibility to figure out what challenges those students may be facing and try to re-engage them. Teachers are being asked to reach out to students that they haven’t heard from and find out what challenges they may be facing.

4/29/20
City of Winston-Salem Rescinds Stay at Home Order

City of Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines today rescinded the city’s stay at home order. The move aligns the City of Winston-Salem with the rest of Forsyth County in following Governor Cooper’s statewide order which is scheduled to end on May 8th.

The rescission does not change which businesses have been deemed essential or non-essential. Businesses that practice social distancing as required by the Governor’s Orders may operate, unless they are prohibited.  For example, clothing and furniture stores can operate, but beauty salons, gyms, theaters, performance venues, sweepstakes stores, dine-in restaurants, and similar businesses must remain closed.

“My goal has been and continues to be one of keeping our citizens as safe as possible while limiting the negative impact on the economy,” Mayor Joines said. “Governor Cooper has laid out a reasonable plan for reopening the economy based on science, data and guidance from our medical professionals.

 “I will be working in conjunction with Forsyth County officials and local businesses on a strategy to facilitate the reopening of the economy once the governor issues formal executive orders lifting his restrictions.”

By aligning the city with county and state measures, businesses will face fewer barriers and less confusion as they prepare to reopen. This streamlining primes Forsyth County to rebound quickly as the Governor’s phased reopening plan is enacted. Businesses can still expect to receive local updates and support as to what the Governor’s plan means for them.

“This order allows our entire county to operate under the Governor’s order making it easier for our business community to understand and prepare, says Mark Owens, President and CEO of Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. “As we prepare for a phased reopen, this will help make that transition happen smoother.”

As we continue to flatten the curve, residents are encouraged to practice social distancing, wear face masks in public and follow the Governor’s order. Together, Forsyth County will overcome the Covid-19 pandemic and successfully relaunch our business community.

4/28/20

Yard-Waste Collections To Resume May 4
        The city will resume yard-waste collections on Monday, May 4. Collections will be made Mondays through Thursdays in keeping with the regular collection schedule, for those households that have yard carts with current collection stickers.
        The city suspended collections of yard-waste, brush and bulky items in early April as a precautionary measure to ensure sufficient staffing for garbage collections in the event that a significant number of Sanitation Division employees were unable to work due to COVID-19. However, said City Manager Lee Garrity, “We have been fortunate to only experience minimal staffing disruptions and will be able to move the yard waste personnel back to their normal responsibilities.”
  Garrity noted that only yard-waste collection, conducted with automated trucks requiring only a driver, is resuming. “Because brush collection requires three-person crews, it is still suspended,” he said. “Citizens with yard-waste carts can place small brush in their carts and it will be collected.”
  Garrity also noted that were there to be an increase in illness among the garbage crews, the city might have to again suspend yard-waste collections.

4/28/20

W-S Says No Wipes in Pipes

Toilet paper shortages have exposed the growing problem of wipes clogging our sewer system. As people run out of toilet tissue, they may turn to other products. Unfortunately, “flushable” wipes are falsely labeled and are part of multiple lawsuits throughout the country. Technically you can flush them, but you and your neighbors will eventually regret it. They do not disintegrate and are increasingly causing sewers and septic systems to back-up here in Forsyth County and all around the world. Since March 1, a third of all sewer spills in Forsyth County have been caused by wipes.

What is the solution? You should only flush the four Ps: Pee, Poop, Puke & (toilet) Paper.

Kenny Atkins, manager of WSFC Utilities Field Operations, says there has been a recent spike in sewer blockages caused by wipes. “Our crews remove blockages from sewer pipes almost every day, but due to toilet paper shortages, we are seeing more wipes than usual. If a product doesn’t disintegrate immediately like toilet paper does, it can clog your pipes. I know you don’t want raw sewage in your home, so throw that stuff in the trash instead,” Atkins said.

It doesn’t matter if you are on a municipal wastewater system or have your own septic; so-called flushable wipes along with paper towels, diaper wipes, tampons, sanitary pads, makeup towelettes and even facial tissues (aka: kleenex) can all cause sewage backups if flushed down the toilet. They also cause expensive damage to pumps in the wastewater system. That cost trickles down to customers as rates increase on your water bill.

Sewer backups are caused by tree roots, fats, oils, grease, wipes, personal hygiene products and other debris. Wipes can get caught on roots and when fats, oils and grease are mixed in, you get “fatbergs” in your pipes. Contrary to popular belief, hot water and soap just moves the clog a bit until it cools.

Visit cityofws.org/NoWipes to learn more. You can watch a short animation<https://youtu.be/u9nljB4slng?t=12> and download an English/Spanish flyer<https://www.cityofws.org/DocumentCenter/View/12041/No-Wipes-in-Pipes-flyer?bidId=> to post by toilets in your home, school or business.

For blockages on your property, you will need to hire a plumber. If the problem is beyond your connection to WSFC Utilities service lines, please call City Link 311 or 336-727-8000.

4/27/20

NCDHHS Announces Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announces today the Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative, a new partnership with Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) and the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

This new initiative builds on the long-standing relationship NCDHHS has with both organizations. The Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative is part of Governor Roy Cooper’s initiative to slowly lift restrictions by focusing on testing, tracing and trends. This collaborative will build upon existing local health department tracing efforts to help meet the surge in demand for contact tracing staff expected as COVID-19 testing increases. 

Contact tracing is the process of supporting patients and notifying contacts of exposure in order to stop chains of transmission. When a person tests positive for COVID-19, contact tracing identifies who that individual may have been in contact with so those people can take precautions to avoid infecting others. Contact tracing is a core disease control measure that has been used for decades by local and state health departments, including during the response to COVID-19.

Recruitment will start immediately; interested applicants should visit the collaborative’s webpage. Special consideration will be given to those who are unemployed, have community engagement experience and live in the communities that they will serve. Successful contact tracers require excellent communication skills with an empathetic mindset.

4/27/20

Forsyth County Courthouse to reopen early, on April 27

The Forsyth County courthouse is reopening Tuesday after the building went a deep cleaning over the weekend. Todd Burke, Forsyth County’s senior resident superior court judge, initially shut down the courthouse for seven days, starting April 24, after a court employee tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

4/27/20

Number Of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases In NC Passes 9K

The number of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina has crossed the 9-thousand mark with 9,142 total cases and 306 deaths. The virus has now been found in 95 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. The number of cases in Forsyth County jumped by 25 since yesterday, for a total of 178 cases. 114 have recovered.

4/27/20

City Offering Free Face Coverings Beginning April 29

In the battle against COVID-19, the City of Greensboro is partnering with Cone Health and United Way of Greater Greensboro to provide free face coverings to Greensboro residents, beginning Wednesday, April 29. The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation is underwriting this initiative.

Residents can pick up one face covering for each member of their household while supplies last at the following locations:

*         Melvin Municipal Office Building, 300 W. Washington St., Mondays through Fridays from 10 am to 3 pm

*         United Way of Greater Greensboro, 1500 Yanceyville St., Wednesdays only from 10 am to 3 pm

The face coverings will be made of reusable fabric. The recommendation is to wear the face covering at all times when you’re in public, where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

For more information on this program and Covid-19, visit the City’s COVID-19 webpage at www.greensboro-nc.gov/COVID-19<http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/COVID-19>.

4/24/20

Governor Closes Schools For Rest Of The Year

Governor Cooper has announced that North Carolina’s public schools won’t reopen this school year due to COVID-19. Cooper originally closed K-12 schools in all districts in mid-March for two weeks, then extended his executive order through May 15th. Cooper says the decision wasn’t taken lightly but it’s important to protect the health and safety of students and school staff. He says remote learning will continue for the rest of the school year and that the reopening of buildings this summer and fall will depend on meeting health goals that will be developed.

4/24/20

Forsyth Courthouse Closed After Worker Tests Positive For Virus

The Forsyth County Courthouse is closed to the public after a worker tested positive for COVID-19. The Winston-Salem Journal reports Todd Burke, senior resident Superior Court judge, signed an order on Thursday which closed the Forsyth County Hall of Justice effective on Friday. The court is scheduled to reopen to the public on May 4. Burke said an employee came to work on Thursday exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19. According to Burke, the employee left work immediately and went to a medical professional to get testing. Burke said he was told late Thursday afternoon that the employee tested positive for COVID-19.

4/23/20

Governor Cooper Extends Stay-at-Home Order

Governor Roy Cooper has announced that he is extending his stay-at-home order through May 8th. Cooper’s executive order was scheduled to expire on April 29th. The move keeps only essential businesses, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, open. The restrictions, which also ban mass gatherings of more than 10 people, are in place in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

4/23/20

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Furloughs Workers

The top executive at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center says leadership and administrative employees will be furloughed beginning either next week or in early May because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Winston-Salem Journal reports Dr. Julie Ann Freischlag, the center’s chief executive and medical school dean, said in a memo sent on Wednesday that the furlough period would last 16 weeks, but it’s not clear how many furlough days or weeks employees will be required to take. The memo also said management, from the vice presidential level and above, and department chairs will take pay reductions of between 20% and 30% during the furlough period. 

4/23/20

Earnhardt Race Car Up For Auction

NASCAR team owner Richard Childress is auctioning off one of racing legend Dale Earnhardt’s cars to raise money for coronavirus relief efforts. The Charlotte Observer reports that this is the first time Childress has sold or given away an original Earnhardt car from his personal collection. A news release Thursday from Richard Children Racing officials doesn’t specify which of Earnhardt’s trademark No. 3 race cars is up for auction. Childress tweeted Friday that parting with one of his cars is “a small sacrifice” for him to make.

4/14/20

Governor Talks About Easing Restrictions

Governor Cooper said yesterday that he could ease some COVID-19 related restrictions on businesses after April, if social distancing practices continue to slow the virus outbreak over the next two weeks. Cooper stressed that the easing of restrictions would be gradual. He says he’s been in discussions with epidemiologists about what steps could be taken at the end of April to help the economy. The latest numbers from the state Department of Health and Human Services shows 4,816 confirmed cases of the virus in North Carolina as of yesterday, with 86-deaths.

4/13/20

Latest Virus Numbers Released

The state Department of Health and Human Services is now reporting 4,816 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina and 86-deaths. Forsyth County is reporting 119 cases with 4-deaths, and Guilford County is reporting 138-cases and 10 deaths. 313 of the total cases remain hospitalized.

4/13/20

Women’s Hospital Reopens For Severe Virus Cases

Cone Health says that it will open the former Women’s Hospital in Greensboro to handle patients with severe cases of COVID-19. The former Women’s Hospital closed in February, but will open today and will care for severely ill patients battling the virus. Starting April 20th, Wesley Long Hospital will also transition to a hospital for patients with symptoms or with a diagnosis of the virus.

4/13/20

AG Goes After Price Gougers

The state attorney general’s office has received over a thousand COVID-19 related price gouging complaints. Approximately 12-hundred complaints have been made since a state of emergency was declared and the price gouging law went into effect, 54-percent involve grocery items. Among them: a Facebook marketplace seller asking a hundred dollars for a roll of toilet paper. Consumers also reported being charged too much for hand sanitizer, cleaning products and face masks. The AG’s office says its investigating nine North Carolina-based sellers on Amazon. Those sellers are accused of raising prices on coronavirus-related products by more than 40 percent.

4/10/20

Governor Issues Exec Orders For Retailers, Nursing Homes

Governor Cooper has signed a three part executive order that puts new rules in place for retailers, skilled nursing facilities, and unemployment filing. The order requires retailers to limit the number of people that that can be in a store to no more than 20-percent of the store’s fire capacity, and mark 6-feet of spacing at checkout lines and lines getting into the store. It also encourages stores to use shields at checkout, and mark aisles as one way to limit traffic. That order goes into effect at 5 p.m. on Monday.

At skilled nursing facilities the staff will br screened for illness at the start of their shift, and must wear masks when in the facility. All communal dining and group activities are canceled. Residents will be monitored upon admission and at least once a day for fever or respiratory problems. That order goes into effect at 5 p.m today. The unemployment order puts several measures in place for employers to speed up processing of unemployment claims.

4/10/20

Donations Needed at Foodbanks

Officials with North Carolina Emergency Management are asking residents to donate to food banks during the COVID-19 pandemic. They say most food banks across the state are bare and in need of help. They say visiting a food bank to donate does not violate the stay at home order. If you don’t want to drop off donations, you can make a monetary donation online. You can donate to the Second Harvest Foodbank online at secondharvestnwnc.org.

4/9/20

“Virtual” Forsyth Creek Week Available Online April 13 – 19
        The organizers of Forsyth Creek Week, which was canceled last month due to the coronavirus pandemic, are holding a “virtual” Creek Week from April 13 – 19 with videos and activities posted on ForsythCreekWeek.org.
        Online “events” include a creek crawl in Silas Creek, a frog walk at Ivey Redmon Sports Complex, water trivia for adults and kids, a stormwater solutions webinar presented by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Forsyth County Center, a list of outdoor activities for families and more.
        Creek Week lead organizer Hanna Miller, the senior community educator for Winston-Salem’s Stormwater/Erosion Control Division, says that the virtual Creek Week activities offer an alternative means of accomplishing Creek Week’s goal. “Forsyth Creek Week is all about getting people to appreciate our local waterways,” Miller said. “Even though we cannot be physically leading people on our events, they can still get a taste of what Creek Week is all about. And we think that families will find the page with activities especially useful given the circumstances.

4/9/20

City Churches Urged to Ring Bells

        Mayor Allen Joines is urging churches and other faith-based institutions in the community to ring their bells at noon on Friday, April 10, and again at noon on Sunday, April 12, as a sign of solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.
        “In this time of uncertainty and fear in our community, something as simple as ringing bells throughout the city can impart to citizens – perhaps even more effectively than words can — that we are all in this fight together, and that together we will prevail.”

4/8/20

BBB Provides Consumer Resources to “Shop Local”

We know local business transactions are vital to the stability of our communities so Better Business Bureau of Central and Northwest NC has partnered with other BBBs in the state to launch bbbshoplocal.org<http://bbbshoplocal.org>. This website educates consumers on how they can continue to support the local economy. Businesses are broken down into geographical regions and the business listings provide insight on how consumers can still purchase their products, goods and/or services from a safe distance.

“We are urging consumers to shop local in any capacity they can for the duration of this pandemic,” said Lechelle Yates, Director of Communications for BBB serving Central & Northwest NC. “Local businesses are the fabric of our communities and this website helps build trust between businesses and consumers in these trying times.”

For every $100 spent at one of these businesses, for example, $68 stays in the community, according to Amy Hartzler, director of communications for the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, a nonprofit that advocates building strong local economies. That’s more than twice the amount chains reinvest. The primary difference was the local businesses spend more on local labor, buy local products and use the services of local providers.

BBB also offers consumer tips<https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/21759-bbb-tip-how-to-support-small-businesses-during-coronavirus> for supporting small businesses while complying with social distancing regulations:

  *   Buy a gift card for later.
  *   Skip the refund and take a rain check.
  *   Commit to future work.
  *   Shop (local) online.
  *   Look for virtual classes.
  *   Get take-out or delivery.

Although not everyone can pay in advance and may be facing financial difficulties themselves, you can still support small businesses by:

  *   Writing and online review at bbb.org/leave-a-review<http://bbb.org/leave-a-review>.<http://bbb.org/leave-a-review>
  *   Liking/sharing the business on social media, and
  *   Improving morale by letting businesses know you appreciate them.

Supporting local businesses is crucial to the economic development of a region, especially during a crisis. BBB encourages consumers to be smart when shopping locally by researching business profiles on bbb.org<http://bbb.org/> before conducting business to see their letter rating and confirm it’s a legitimate company.

4/6/20

GSO Adjusting Water & Sewer Bill Payments

If you are having difficulty paying your City water/sewer bill, the Water Resources Department has instituted several options to assist you during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Payment plans are available and can be arranged by calling the City’s Contact Center at 336-373-CITY (2489) on Mondays through Fridays from 7 am to 3 pm.

If your water service was cut off for nonpayment prior to mid-March, and is still off, the City will reconnect you for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. Call the number above to be reconnected. Also in mid-March, the City temporarily suspended water shutoffs for non-payment and late fees on past due water accounts.

And while an in-person bill payment window has remained open in the Melvin Municipal Office Building downtown, even though the building is closed due to COVID-19 concerns, City officials urge customers to pay by one of these methods instead:

*         By credit card by phone at 336-373-IPAY (4729)

*         Online at www.greensboro-nc.gov/WaterBill<http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/WaterBill>

*         Using the payment drop-box located at the Kitchen Operations Center, 2602 S. Elm-Eugene St.
The usual $1 convenience fee for paying online or by phone has now been temporarily waived.

“In this unsettling time, Water Resources is glad to give all of our customers peace of mind and reassurance in the water and sewer services we provide. This includes no interruption of service and payment options that allow you to stay safe and stay at home,” said Mike Borchers, department director.

See the City’s COVID-19 website, www.greensboro-nc.gov/COVID-19<http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/COVID-19>, for the latest news, cancelations, and service changes.

4/6/20

Forsyth Co. Reports 2nd COVID-19 Death

The state Department of Health and Human Services is reporting 2,585 cases of the COVID-19 virus in North Carolina as of Sunday and 31-deaths. Forsyth County is reporting its second death from the virus. The patient was in their late 70’s and suffered from several underlying medical conditions. The county is now reporting 89-cases. Guilford County is reporting 96-cases and Davidson County 57. Mecklenburg County continues to have the most cases with 664.

4/6/20

W-S Yard Waste Fees Waived

Effective Saturday, April 4, yard waste fees for City of Winston-Salem residents in vehicles as listed below are temporarily waived at Overdale and Forum 52 Yard Waste Facilities. This measure is in response to the City of Winston-Salem’s suspension of brush, limb and yard waste cart collection. Residents dropping off yard waste must practice social distancing to protect the health, safety and welfare of all citizens.

Fees will be waived for residents in cars, vans, SUVs, pickup trucks (up to half-ton with an unaltered bed) and single-axle trailers (up to 8 ft. long, sides up to 3.5 ft. high). They must unload their own leaves, grass clippings, tree limbs, brush, untreated wood or other yard waste. Regular yard waste fees of $32 per ton will continue to apply for commercial customers and all vehicle types other than those listed.

Overdale Road Yard Waste Facility is located at 4010 Old Milwaukee Lane in Winston-Salem. It is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to Noon.

Forum 52 Yard Waste Facility is located at 180 Northstar Drive in Rural Hall. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Both facilities will be closed on Good Friday, April 10. The annual leaf mulch giveaway originally scheduled to start on April 10 has been postponed due to the COVID-19 state of emergency. It will be rescheduled and announced at a later date. For more information, please call City Link 311 or 336-727-8000.

4/6/20

Forsyth DSS Closing Building to Public

Effective Monday, April 6, 2020, the Forsyth County Department of Social
Services building will extend its building access restrictions to include
the Main Lobby.

This means that the DSS building will be closed to customers until further
notice. While we are no longer allowing public access, services are
continuing as usual through phone, mail and online.

We have set up self-serve information in the glassed-in entryway for
customers to pick up applications, drop-off mail and other documents,
submit requests for information changes and a call back within a business
day. Customers that utilize PO Box 999 will be able to pick up their mail
each day between the hours of 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. only.  Each Division has
provided a one-page instruction sheet with contact phone numbers, email
addresses, and fax numbers for customers to utilize for contact with a
person to answer any questions.

Customers are still encouraged to call our office at 336-703-3800 to speak
to someone prior to coming in as many tasks can now be completed over the
phone or electronically.

4/3/20

DHHS Releases Latest COVID-19 Numbers

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise across the Triad and the state. The state Department of Health and Human Services is reporting one-thousand-857 cases as of yesterday with 16-deaths. 83-of the state’s 100-counties have now reported cases. Forsyth County is reporting 63-cases with one death. Guilford County has seen 74-cases and now three deaths, Davidson County is reporting 35-cases and Davie County 11, with one death.

4/3/20

Parks and Recreation Closes Bathrooms, Skate Parks, and Basketball Courts

As a result of the state and local stay at home orders, Greensboro Parks and Recreation has seen increased attendance at all outdoor park facilities. In some facilities, it has proven difficult to monitor patron safety and ensure staff and residents are able to observe the requirements of the orders, including staying six feet from others, gathering in groups no larger than 10 people, and staying off play equipment.

To further prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to protect the health and safety of staff and residents, the following changes will be in place as of Friday, April 3:

*         Public restrooms will be closed at Gateway Gardens, Greensboro Arboretum, Bicentennial Garden, Barber Park, Country Park, Hester Park, Keeley Park, Market Street, Lake Daniel Park, Lake Brandt, Lake Higgins, and Lake Townsend.

*         Skate parks will be closed.

*         Basketball courts will be closed.
“We need everyone to stay safe. Stay home as much as possible, and keep safe while you are out in the parks,” said Parks and Recreation Director Nasha McCray.

Additional signage will be installed at various park locations to alert people of the social distancing requirements and closures. Basketball nets and play equipment will be tied down or wrapped with caution tape to help ensure people do not use the equipment or the gather in groups of more than 10.
Trails, greenways, neighborhood parks, and golf courses remain open for normal operating hours. Regional parks, gardens, and lakes are open 10 am to 3 pm daily.

4/2/20

Davie, Rockingham Report First Deaths From COVID-19

Two Triad area counties are reporting their first deaths from the COVID-19 virus. Davie County reported that a person in their late 60’s died from the virus. Health officials say that person contracted the virus through community spread. Rockingham County health officials are also reporting that county’s first death from the virus. The person who died was in their 60’s and had pre-existing conditions. Both the Forsyth and Davidson County Health Department’s are reporting significant increases in the number of virus cases. In Forsyth County, 15-more cases were reported yesterday, bringing the total to 57. Davidson County County reported 16-additional cases bringing the total there to 41.

4/2/20

City Suspending Non-Essential Services
Starting Monday, April 6, the city will suspend a variety of non-essential city services in response to the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.
        Under the city’s Level 3 response plan, the following services and city functions will be suspended until further notice:

*         Bulky item collection (announced on Monday).

*         Yard cart collection.

*         Brush and limb collection.

*         Mowing and landscaping.

*         Litter collection.

*         Proactive housing and environmental code enforcement.

*         Routine street & drainage maintenance (emergency work will continue to be performed).

*         A variety of administrative and support functions.

*         On- and off-street parking enforcement.
Mayor Allen Joines said that although some of the suspended services will inconvenience city residents, “we must not underestimate the seriousness of the challenge we are facing. We have been told to expect that incidence of the virus in our community might not peak until mid-April at the earliest, and we must do everything we can to slow the rate of transmission so our hospitals are not overwhelmed.”
City Manager Lee Garrity said, “We are announcing this now so citizens have some advanced notice. By suspending non-essential services, we will not expose city employees – and their families — to unnecessary risks.”
Joines reiterated the need for residents to comply with the Stay-at-Home orders issued by the city and the state. “The orders allow exceptions for citizens to leave their homes,” Joines said, “but I strongly urge all residents to limit their excursions to only those that are absolutely necessary.
“I have seen some early reports from the San Francisco area that the stay-at-home order there may be reducing the number of new cases below what they had projected. We want to have the same result here.”
When residents do go out, they must practice social distancing. Residents visiting city parks for exercise are reminded that park playgrounds are closed and they must not allow children to play on the equipment.
        For complete information about the city’s response to COVID-19, including the details of the Stay-at-Home order, go to CityofWS.org and click the Alerts bar at the top of the page.

NC Department of Public Safety Web Stream for Live Press Conferences

3/31/20

Forsyth Co. Reporting First Death From COVID-19

The first death from the COVID-19 virus has been confirmed in the Triad. The Forsyth County Health Department says that a person in their 90’s with underlying conditions passed away yesterday from complications associated with the virus. The state Department of Health and Human Services is now reporting 1,498 cases in North Carolina. Forsyth County is reporting 42-cases and Guilford County 50. Mecklenburg County continues to have the most cases with 420.

3/31/20

Guilford Co. Amends Stay-At-Home Order

Guilford County has amended their stay-at-home order, addressing changes for church gatherings, funerals, and real estate and vehicle sales. Essential crews can gather to broadcast or stream church services, but must still adhere to social distancing guidelines. Churches that support shelters, food banks or are holding blood drives can still provide those services. Up to 10 people will be allowed to attend funerals. All in-person vehicle sales are prohibited, but on-line sales are allowed. Real estate open houses are not permitted. A buyer walk-through can be held if a purchase contract is in place, and again at the time of closing.

3/30/20

GSO Bulky Item Collections Suspended

The city has suspended its annual bulky item collection until further notice due to the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Suspending collections will ensure sufficient staffing for garbage collections and prevent crews from being exposed to contaminated household items. For more information call CityLink 311.

3/28/20

WFBMC Setting Up Assesment Tents

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, along with other hospitals in our health system, is setting up assessment tents outside many of our emergency departments. We are taking this step to adjust our patient care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These tents would not be used as COVID-19 testing sites, but rather as assessment sites to allow people to be evaluated without having to enter the emergency department.
Once these tents are in service, patients will be screened for symptoms of viral respiratory illness, and if necessary, receive a secondary evaluation to determine treatment options.
We are committed to doing all we can to ensure we meet the health care needs of those throughout our region.

15 Days to Slow the Spread – https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf

Forsyth County, NC – https://www.forsyth.cc/PublicHealth/novel_coronavirus.aspx

Guilford County, NC – https://www.guilfordcountync.gov/our-county/administration/coronavirus-updates

Stokes County, NC – http://www.co.stokes.nc.us/news/dss-virus.pdf

Winston-Salem, NC – https://www.cityofws.org/2673/COVID-19-Coronavirus-Information

Lexington, NC – https://www.lexingtonnc.gov/live/covid-19

High Point, NC – https://www.highpointnc.gov/AlertCenter.aspx?AID=COVID19-58

Greensboro, NC – https://www.greensboro-nc.gov/i-want-to/learn-about/covid-19-information-and-updates

Lewisville, NC – https://www.lewisvillenc.net/town-lewisvilles-response-coronavirus-covid-19

Clemmons, NC – https://www.clemmons.org/337/Clemmons-COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

3/28/20

Greensboro Suspends Yard Waste Collection, Requires Appointments for Bulk Waste Items

Due to issues around COVID-19, the City of Greensboro will suspend all residential curbside yard waste collection and require residents to make an appointment to dispose of any bulk items, such as furniture, mattresses and appliances. These changes go into effect at the close of business today, after the Friday routes are serviced. Call the City Contact Center at 336-373-CITY (2489) to make an appointment for bulk waste pickup.

This suspension will allow Field Operations to focus its resources on garbage and recycling collection, which will continue without interruption to maintain public and employee health and safety. The City has seen an increase in residential waste due to COVID-19.

Residents should not place yard waste at the curb during this suspension. Yard waste may be taken to the White Street Landfill, 2503 White St., for disposal. The cost is $10 per car and $12 per truck or trailer. Dump trucks and trailers are charged by the ton. The landfill is open Monday through Friday 7:50 am to 3 pm, and Saturday 7 am to 1 pm.

3/27/20

Eight Recreation Centers to Distribute Evening Meals for Youth

Evening meals for youth will be distributed at eight city recreation centers starting Friday, March 20, under a partnership between Winston-Salem Recreation & Parks and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. The meals are free and will be distributed Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 5 and 7 p.m. 

Meals will be provided for those 18 and under, and for individuals with disabilities who are 22 and under. To ensure that participants have something to eat every evening, they will receive two meals on Mondays and Wednesdays, and three meals on Fridays.

Social distancing protocols will be enforced to encourage the safety and well-being of citizens and employees. Meals will be distributed outside in front of buildings when weather permits. If meals are distributed inside the recreation center doors, only eight people will be allowed inside at a time.

Meal sites are:

  • Fourteenth Street Community Center, 2020 N.E. 14th St., 336-727-2891.
  • Little Creek Neighborhood Center, 610 Foxcroft Dr., 336-659-4303.
  • Hanes Hosiery Community Center, 501 Reynolds Blvd., 336-727-2428.
  • Old Town Neighborhood Center, 4550 Shattalon Dr., 336-922-3561.
  • Polo Park Community Center, 1850 Polo Rd., 336-659-4309.
  • Sedge Garden Community Center, 401 Robbins Rd., 336-650-7694.
  • William C. Sims Sr. Community Center, 1201 Alder St., 336-727-2837.
  • William R. Anderson Jr. Community Center, 2450 Reynolds Park Rd., 336-650-7684.

This stop-gap dinner program complements the breakfast and lunch distributions offered at local schools while they are closed. It was organized by the participating agencies and coordinated by the city’s Think Orange campaign to combat hunger.

3/25/20

North Carolina Reports First Covid-19 Associated Deaths

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting the first COVID-19 associated deaths.

A person from Cabarrus County died on March 24 from complications associated with the virus. The patient was in their late seventies and had several underlying medical conditions. A second person in their sixties, from Virginia who was traveling through North Carolina also died from COVID-19 complications. To protect the families’ privacy, no further information about these patients will be released.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones. This is a stark warning that for some people COVID-19 is a serious illness. All of us must do our part to stop the spread by staying at home as much as possible and practicing social distancing,” said Governor Roy Cooper.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recommends that people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 stay at home to the extent possible to decrease the chance of infection. On March 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated who is at high risk for severe illness. People at high risk include anyone who:

  • Is 65 years of age or older
  • Lives in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Has a high-risk condition that includes:
  • chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • heart disease with complications
  • compromised immune system
  • severe obesity – body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
  • other underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease

In addition, pregnant women should be monitored closely since they are known to be at risk for severe viral illness. However, data so far on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness in pregnant women. While children are generally at lower risk for severe infection, some studies indicate a higher risk among infants.

Governor Cooper has taken several actions to protect the health of North Carolinians, including ordering all K-12 public schools in North Carolina to close through May 15th , banning gatherings of more than 50 people, limiting bars and restaurants to only take-out or delivery service, restricting visitors to long-term care facilities, and promoting social distancing by closing businesses like movie theaters, gyms, nail salons, and several others.

3/25/20

NC Passes 500 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

The number of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina is now over 500. The state Department of Health and Human Services says there are now 504 confirmed cases, with cases being reported in more than half of the state’s 100-counties. Guilford County is now reporting 22-cases with Forsyth County reporting 15. Mecklenburg County is still reporting the most cases in the state with 142. The county will be under a shelter-in-place order starting at 8 a.m. tomorrow. There have been nearly 10,500 tests performed.

3/25/20

Greensboro Police Closes Police Headquarters to Public

The Greensboro Police Department is continuing to respond to calls for service with no interruptions. Effective March 26, 2020 GPD will close the public lobby of Police Headquarters located at 100 E. Police Plaza. The lobby of Police Headquarters will be closed to all public business except vehicle tow interactions and report print outs for those without access to an online accessible computer. As previously announced, the public lobbies of the Maple Street and Swing Road substations were closed on March 18. Public fingerprinting and Property and Evidence pick-up was also suspended on March 18.

Residents in need of emergency service should continue to call 911 and 336-373-2222 in non-emergency situations. GPD ask residents needing service from Police Watch Operations to call 336-373-2496 and the records department can be reached at 336-373-2433. Residents can also visit us online at www.gsopd.org<http://www.gsopd.org>. GPD will continue to evaluate the situation to address changes going forward

Police Officers have been provided instructions and are following CDC guidelines during this time to allow us to meet the needs of the community. The police department is requesting that citizens adhere to the CDC recommendations and the Governor’s Executive order regarding gatherings. This will allow for the safety of the community and first responders.

3/25/20

Guilford Amends Order On Gatherings

Guilford County has amended its state of emergency, and is now banning gatherings of groups larger than 10-people. The county is also prohibiting the use of public and privately-owned playgrounds. That order doesn’t include playgrounds at private residences. The new restrictions take effect at 5 p.m. today.

3/25/20

WFU Student Tests Positive For Virus

Wake Forest University is reporting that a student has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The university says that the student began showing mild symptoms after returning from a Wake Forest-sponsored trip to London. The student was seen at the health clinic on campus on March 18th and is currently recovering in isolation in an on-campus residence hall. University officials say they have been made aware of other students who are off campus, that have tested positive for the virus.

3/25/20

Mecklenburg Co. Issues Stay-at-Home Order

North Carolina’s most populous county has issued a stay-at-home order. Starting at 8 a.m. tomorrow 1.1-million residents of Mecklenburg County, including Charlotte, must stay in their homes, except to go grocery shopping or to the drug store, keep medical appointments or to exercise. People can also still get restaurant take-out food or deliveries. The county had more than 140-cases of the COVID-19 virus as of yesterday afternoon. The City of Durham has scheduled a press conference for this morning, and is also expected to announce a stay-at-home order.

3/25/20

City Closing City Hall & Stuart Building to All but Essential Personnel
        With the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus in Forsyth County, as of Wednesday the city is closing City Hall and the Stuart Municipal Building to most outside visitors and ordering all non-essential employees in those buildings to stay home. Employees will work from home to the extent possible.
        Essential city services, including police, fire, sanitation, water & sewer treatment, traffic signals and WSTA, will continue to operate as normally as possible. Employees in those departments are taking the necessary precautions.
        The city’s COVID-19 task force, comprising the city’s senior staff, recommended that non-essential personnel stay home, Mayor Allen Joines said. “Keeping as many people as we can out of the workplace will assist our effort to maintain essential services,” Joines said, “because there will be that many fewer people coming in contact with our essential personnel.”
        To reduce the chance of passing the virus between employees and citizens, City Hall and the Stuart Building will be closed, however, existing permit appointments with Inspections will be honored. The city has purchased additional software licenses to allow city employees to work from home.
        Residents who need to interact with city departments should do so through City Link or the city website. Payments can be made online, over the phone through City Link, and at the drive-through windows at the Stuart Building(100 E. First St.) and the Black Phillips Smith Government Office (2301 Patterson Ave.).
        At this point Sanitation is maintaining the regular collection schedule. City residents should roll out their garbage, recycling and yard-waste cards as usual. Carts should be left at the curb until they are emptied, in case collection crews encounter delays.
        Joines urged city residents to take seriously the precautions recommended by public health officials.
“Social distancing is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That is why we are taking the extraordinary step of keeping all non-essential employees out of the workplace.
        “But we can’t do it alone. We need all our citizens to take it seriously, too. Stay home if you’re sick. Wash your hands frequently. Cough in your elbow. Remember, we are all in this together.”

3/25/20

City of Greensboro Closes MMOB to Public Beginning March 26

Greensboro, NC (March 24, 2020) – Beginning Thursday, March 26, the City of Greensboro will no longer allow public access to the Melvin Municipal Office Building. The only exception is for residents making a water bill payment or signing up for water service, which may be done from 10 am to 3 pm, Mondays through Fridays. Residents are encouraged to use alternate methods of handling City business, such as by phone, online, email, postal mail, etc.

To date, the City has implemented the following actions related to COVID-19:

*         Closed all public libraries and indoor Parks and Recreation facilities, the Greensboro History Museum, Greensboro Aquatic Center, and Greensboro Cultural Center.

*         Consolidated Greensboro Police Department’s daily public operations to its Police Headquarters, 100 E. Police Plaza. In addition, public fingerprinting and Property and Evidence pick-up has been suspended.

*         Suspended water cut-offs for non-payment.

*         Suspended travel for City employees outside of Guilford County.

*         Cancelled programs, events and facility rentals.

*         Assisted Guilford County Schools with feeding sites.

*         Increased cleaning of GTA buses now operating on hourly routes, and made City buses and SCAT service free of charge.

*         Consolidated payment collection sites to one location in MMOB from 10 am to 3 pm, Mondays through Fridays.

*         Cancelled all City board and commission meetings through April 17.

The City Council meeting scheduled for March 31 will be held with no speakers from the floor. It will be broadcasted live on GTN and streamed on the City’s website and Roku.

3/23/20

Governor Cooper’s Latest Executive Order Keeps NC Schools Closed, Shuts Down More Businesses

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is ordering tighter assembly and business restrictions to attempt to dull the intensity of new coronavirus and directing that public schools remain shuttered longer. Cooper said on Monday his new executive order would make it a misdemeanor for assemblies of more than 50 people, compared to the current prohibition of over 100. Public schools statewide also will stay closed through May 15. And all hair salons and barber shops, gyms, movie theaters must close by 5pm Wednesday. As of Monday, state health officials counted nearly 300 positive COVID-19 cases.  

3/22/20

Number of COVID-19 Cases in NC Hits 255

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow in North Carolina. The state Departemtn of Health and Human Services says there were 255 confirmed cases in the state as of yesterday. That’s up from 184 on Saturday. The number of cases in both Forsyth and Guilford Counties has now reached double digits. Forsyth County is reporting 12-cases, with no new cases yesterday, and Guilford county has 11 cases. Davie County has now reported its first case. The county with the highest number of confirmed cases in the state is Mecklenburg County with 79. Health officials say there’s been an 80-percent surge in the number of cases there since Friday.

3/22/20

Hanesbrands Making Face Masks

Winston-Salem-based Hanesbrands says that its converting its apparel production over to the production of face masks. The company says that it was asked by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services earlier this month if it could begin making FDA approved cotton face masks with the nation facing a shortage. The company says they were able to develop a product, get approval, and start production in less than a week. They’ve been producing masks over the last few days and hope to bring full production to about 1.5-million masks a week.

3/21/20

Greensboro City Council Recommends Updated Coronavirus Precautions

Greensboro, NC (March 20, 2020) – The Greensboro City Council is recommending gatherings be limited to 10 people or less and all gyms, fitness centers, health clubs, yoga studios, and theaters cease operations, immediately. This does not prohibit fitness or health instruction and programming from being provided virtually.

“As Mayor, I jointly signed onto Guilford County’s Emergency Declaration on March 13, but since the circumstances have changed, we want to take additional precautions, that are not currently available under the declaration,” said Mayor Vaughan. “We know that limiting gatherings to 10 people or less will be difficult, but this is a necessity for our community to stay as safe as possible.”

The City of Greensboro will also continue its reduced hours of operation of 10 am to 3 pm for the week of March 23-27. Residents are encouraged to avoid visiting City facilities, instead using other methods of handling City business, such as by phone, email, postal mail, etc.

“Our concern remains for the health and safety of our community and City staff,” said City Manager David Parrish. “Social distancing is imperative and we want to lead lessening the curve in North Carolina.”

All Greensboro Transit Agency buses and SCAT service are now free of charge.

“The City will continue to monitor the spread of Coronavirus and coordinate with State and County officials,” added Vaughan. “As a community, we’ve been tested before and we’ve always come through stronger.”

To date, the City has implemented the following actions:

*         Closed all public libraries and indoor Parks and Recreation facilities, the Greensboro History Museum, and Greensboro Cultural Center.

*         Consolidated Greensboro Police Department’s daily public operations to its Police Headquarters, 100 E. Police Plaza. In addition, public fingerprinting and Property and Evidence pick-up has been suspended.

*         Suspended water cut-offs for non-payment.

*         Suspended travel for City employees outside of Guilford County.

*         Cancelled programs, events and facility rentals.

*         Assisted Guilford County Schools with feeding sites.

*         Increased cleaning of GTA buses, operating on hourly routes to help with cleaning, and made City buses and SCAT service free of charge.

*         Consolidated payment collection sites to one location in MMOB.

*         Cancelled all City board and commission meetings for the next 30 days.

*         Encouraged payment to be made online or over the phone as opposed to in-person.

3/20/20

Forsyth County Government COVID-19 Daily Briefing

Public Health Update:

Four additional people from Forsyth County tested positive for COVID-19 after yesterday’s daily briefing was issued. That brings the County’s total case count to eight. Seven of the cases are travel-related. The eighth case has not been attributed to travel or close contact. The case count is subject to change throughout the day but will only be reported once per day in the daily briefing. The Public Health Director will provide a detailed briefing at 2:00pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at the beginning of the Board of County Commissioners meeting. Forsyth County Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 helpline can be reached at (336) 582-0800.

Operational Update:

Forsyth County Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution yesterday to amend the remote participation policy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This would allow Commissioners to participate in meetings and briefings remotely when needed.

Board of Elections has postponed the telephonic meeting originally scheduled for today at 10:00am to discuss protests on filing requirements. The meeting will now be held on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 10:00am. Members of the public may listen to proceedings by dialing (712) 770-4694. Access code is 814755.

The Parks and Recreation Department is no longer accepting online reservations for the Manor House, Guest House and cottages located at Tanglewood Park. Please call (336) 703-6494 to request reservations.

Register of Deeds is implementing a number of changes. Couples looking to obtain a Marriage License need to make an appointment by calling (336) 703-2700, and only parties to the marriage and interpreters should come into the office to complete the process. Only the requesting party for a Marriage License copy should come to the office. Customers are encouraged to order or apply for Marriage Licenses online at https://forsyth.cc/rod. Out-of-County Birth requests, (EBRS) Amendments and Legitimations will be by appointment from 8:00am-3:00pm. The office will no longer offer Thank-A-Veteran discount cards at this time. A more detailed release about the Register of Deeds changes will be issued later today.

The Sheriff’s Office suspended fingerprinting services until further notice. They are still processing handgun permits, including concealed handgun permits (and will only perform fingerprint services for those permits).

3/20/20

Register of Deeds makes social distancing changes

Forsyth County Register of Deeds Lynne Johnson announced today temporary changes for the Register of Deeds Office to help keep both customers and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The office will continue to operate under normal business hours, but with some changes to help minimize person-to-person interaction.

Customers should utilize https:// forsyth.cc/rod to request marriage
license copies online and by mail as well as apply for a marriage license.
Orders are processed and mailed the same day. If you must come into the
office, limit the number of people that come with you to only the
requesting party.

Recording of documents by attorneys, businesses, and individuals will
continue as usual. Electronic filing is encouraged. Forsythdeeds.com is
also available for real estate record searches.

Those needing to file a military discharge, certificate of assumed name or
take the notary oath may continue to do so. The Thank-A-Veteran Discount
Card will not be issued during this time.

Couples looking to obtain a marriage license need to make an appointment by calling 336-703-2700. The application is available online to submit before
coming into the office. Only the parties to marriage and interpreters
should come into the office to complete the process.

Funeral homes will continue to submit their requests by fax at 336-748-3158
There is no change to the walk-down process for death certifiactes.

Out-of-County birth requests, (EBRS) amendments and legitimations will be
by appointment from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Documentation and proofs must be
pre-approved.This may require more than one appointment.

3/20/20

Eight Recreation Centers to Distribute Evening Meals for Youth

        Evening meals for youth will be distributed at eight city recreation centers starting Friday, March 20, under a partnership between Winston-Salem Recreation & Parks and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. The meals are free and will be distributed Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 5 and 7 p.m.
        Meals will be provided for those 18 and under, and for individuals with disabilities who are 22 and under. To ensure that participants have something to eat every evening, they will receive two meals on Mondays and Wednesdays, and three meals on Fridays.
        Social distancing protocols will be enforced to encourage the safety and well-being of citizens and employees. Meals will be distributed outside in front of buildings when weather permits. If meals are distributed inside the recreation center doors, only eight people will be allowed inside at a time.
        Meal sites are:

*         Fourteenth Street Community Center, 2020 N.E. 14th St., 336-727-2891.

*         Little Creek Neighborhood Center, 610 Foxcroft Dr., 336-659-4303.

*         Hanes Hosiery Community Center, 501 Reynolds Blvd., 336-727-2428.

*         Old Town Neighborhood Center, 4550 Shattalon Dr., 336-922-3561.

*         Polo Park Community Center, 1850 Polo Rd., 336-659-4309.

*         Sedge Garden Community Center, 401 Robbins Rd., 336-650-7694.

*         William C. Sims Sr. Community Center, 1201 Alder St., 336-727-2837.

*         William R. Anderson Jr. Community Center, 2450 Reynolds Park Rd., 336-650-7684.
        This stop-gap dinner program complements the breakfast and lunch distributions offered at local schools while they are closed. It was organized by the participating agencies and coordinated by the city’s Think Orange campaign to combat hunger.
        For complete information about the city’s response to the COVID-19 virus, go to CityofWS.org and click on the Alerts link at top of the page.

3/19/20

98 COVID-19 Cases Confirmed in NC

The state Department of Health and Human Services is now reporting 97-cases of the COVID-19 virus in North Carolina. That’s up from 63 cases yesterday. The total does not include the first case reported in Davidson County. County health officials say the individual reported traveling outside of North Carolina but within the U.S. in the past two weeks. However they didn’t say where the infected person went.

3/19/20

City Allocating Up To $1 Million to Help Economic Victims of COVID-19

        The city will contribute up to $1 million to match contributions to the new COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County that community leaders announced today to support residents economically impacted by the COVID-19 virus. The city will match contributions to the fund dollar for dollar.
        Mayor Allen Joines and officials with the United Way of Forsyth County, the Winston-Salem Foundation and Forsyth County announced the fund at a news conference today and said that $600,000 already has been pledged toward the fund, including $100,000 from both the United Way and the Winston-Salem Foundation; pledges from HanesBrands, Wells Fargo, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Reynolds American; and some large donations from individuals who wish to remain anonymous.
        “I feel confident that we’re going to get above $2 million,” counting the city’s contribution, Joines said. The fund is accepting donations of any amount from city residents. Residents can contribute by going to a new website set up for the fund, COVID19Forsyth.org.
        The fund will be administered by the United Way and the Winston-Salem Foundation. Scott Wierman, the president of the Winston-Salem Foundation, said money in the fund will be made available to existing agencies “working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak.”
        Wierman noted that the community’s established relief agencies have policies and procedures in place for vetting requests for assistance. “Marshalling additional resources to expand what they are already doing seems to be the most efficient way to distribute assistance,” he said.
        Agencies will be able to apply for money from the fund on March 27. Individuals who want to apply for assistance should call 211 or go to NC211.org.
       The city’s matching funds are being pulled together from unallocated bond money for economic development that voters approved in 2014 and 2018. Joines said he polled members of the City Council, who agreed that this is an acceptable use of the bond funds because, “we are working to maintain the economic vitality of this community.”
        More information about the fund is available on the Winston-Salem Foundation’s website, WSFoundation.org, and at COVID19Forsyth.org.

3/18/20

Davidson County Meals on Wheels Needs Volunteers

Meals on Wheels in Davidson County is looking for volunteers who can temporarily help the organization deliver meals on the 23 routes currently operated throughout the county. The group says that most of its volunteers are in the elderly, high-risk groups, so they are unable to work due to possible exposure to the new coronavirus. Areas with the greatest need include the communities of Churchland, Denton, Pilgrim, Pilot and Wallburg. If you can help out, contact Meals on Wheels volunteer services coordinator Jacob Gordon at 336-474-2646 or email jacob.gordon@davidsoncountync.gov.

3/18/20

NC Attorney General Urges Residents to Watch for Coronavirus Scams

Attorney General Josh Stein today urged North Carolinians to be on the lookout for scammers taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. Attorney General Stein released a one-page guide to help consumers understand the tactics scammers may use to defraud them out of money. A copy of the guide is available here.

“At a time when we should be focusing on taking necessary health precautions and staying safe, some bad actors are focusing on taking people’s hard-earned money,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I want North Carolinians to protect their health and their wallets. If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam or an attempted scam, please report it to my office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or ncdoj.gov/complaint.”

The one-page guide shares information on scams related to robocalls, miracle cure products, phishing attempts, and fraudulent charities.

Attorney General Stein will also hold a virtual town hall tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, at 2 p.m. to answer questions from North Carolinians about the best ways to protect themselves from scams and fraud during the pandemic. North Carolinians can view and ask questions through the following Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels:

The price gouging law that protects people from scammers is also in effect in North Carolina. Attorney General Stein and the North Carolina Department of Justice will be reviewing price gouging complaints from consumers closely and are prepared to take action against any businesses engaging in price gouging activities. Please report potential price gouging by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint at https://ncdoj.gov/file-a-complaint/price-gouging/.

3/18/20

Information from Governor Roy Cooper Cooper and NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Cohen on child care facilities. Find more guidance at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus under #COVID19 Guidance.

3/18/20

NCWorks Career Centers in Guilford County to Close Temporarily

Greensboro, NC (March 18, 2020) – The NCWorks Career Centers in Greensboro and High Point will close to the public temporarily beginning Thursday, March 19. Staff will continuously evaluate the situation, but currently plan to re-open Monday, April 6.

The NCWorks Career Centers will continue operations, providing remote services by phone. Contact the NC Works Career Center in Greensboro at 336-297-9444 or the High Point location at 336-882-4141. Other inquiries can be made on its website<https://www.ncworks.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx>.

Unemployment claims can be filled online<https://des.nc.gov/apply-unemployment>. For questions or assistance, contact the Customer Call Center at 888-737-0259.

3/18/20

New Dates Announced for High Point Furniture Market

The High Point Market Authority has announced new dates for the Spring Furniture Market. The market was originally scheduled to run from April 25th through the 29th. The new dates are June 12th through the 14th. The market will only run for three days instead of the usual 5, and will be held on a Friday through Sunday. All Spring Market passes that have already been received by mail will be honored for the June show. Online registration will re-open on May 15th.

3/18/20

Officials To Announce Coronavirus Relief Initiative

Mayor Allen Joines and other local officials will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, to announce a comprehensive community initiative to help residents affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus. The news conference will be held on the steps of City Hall. In the event of rain the news conference will move into the City Hall lobby. Speakers will include Joines; Cindy Gordineer, the president and CEO of the United Way of Forsyth County; Scott Wierman, the president of the Winston-Salem Foundation; and a representative of the Forsyth County Commissioners.

3/17/20

City Council Members in Self-Quarantine 

Six members of the Winston-Salem City Council and two city staff members are in self-quarantine until March 26 on the advice of the Forsyth County public health director after learning this afternoon that they attended a conference last week with two people who have now been confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus.
The City Council meeting scheduled for March 23 has been canceled.
The council members and staff attended the annual Congressional City Conference last week in Washington, D.C., organized by the National League of Cities. Late this afternoon the city received an email from the league that two of the attendees at the conference have tested positive for the virus.
The individuals were active participants in the conference-attending general sessions and workshops,” the NLC said. “The conference attendees are currently under the care of healthcare professionals, recovering at home and feeling better…. While we are not able to officially determine how and when these individuals contracted the virus, nor are we permitted under privacy laws to disclose the names of individuals, we wanted to alert you immediately on the potential exposure risk. At this time, these are the only two known confirmed cases.”
Health Director Joshua Swift recommended that those who attended the conference stay in self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of their return. Swift advised that if they do not have symptoms, they can go buy groceries or complete other essential errands as long as they observe social distancing protocol. Their 14-day isolation period will end March 26, City Manager Lee Garrity said.

3/17/20

WS/FCS School Closure, Online Instruction & Free Meal Updates

As we continue to navigate this unusual time and school closure, we are moving closer to beginning our online instruction. Our teachers have continued to prepare lessons and resources, and WS/FCS is gearing up for distribution of computing devices for the families that requested them. Since this is a fluid situation, some schedules are changing.

Beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18, through Friday, March 20, we are asking families to stop into their child’s school and check out the chrome books, if they requested a loaner. The distribution process may vary from school to school, therefore individual schools will send school specific information to their students. Distribution will start at 9 a.m. and end at 6 p.m., each day.

Please note, due to a delay in the delivery of hotspots those will not be distributed until next week. More detail on that will follow.

We hope to begin forms of eLearning on Thursday. Students can begin the lessons once they have the necessary devices. Teachers, Parent Involvement Coordinators and Social Workers will work with families still experiencing difficulty with connectivity.

Again, breakfast and lunch will be served at more than 50 schools from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Our website has all the details via this link. On Tuesday, WS/FCS served more than 2800 meals. We will continue meal delivery in select locations via our school buses on Wednesday. The website has all the stops and delivery locations.

3/17/20

Second Harvest Food Bank Holds Virtual Food Drive

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC is hosting a virtual food drive as the organization seeks more donations in the wake of COVID-19’s impact in North Carolina. The nonprofit is preparing to fill the gaps where needed, as the Food Bank is the primary source of food for more than 470 local foog programs across 18 counties.

Monetary donations can be made at www.feedcommunitynow.org.

3/17/20

Governor Cooper to Order Bars and Restaurants Closed to Dine-In Customers

Governor Cooper will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. to issue and Executive Order that all restaurants and bars close for dine-in service at 5 p.m. today. Takeout and delivery orders can continue. The governor’s order will also include and expansion of unemployment benefits to help workers affected by the COVID-19 virus.

3/16/20

GCS Offering Meals Beginning on Wednesday
Thirty-one grab-and-go sites opening across the county

Greensboro, N.C. – Guilford County Schools (GCS) announced today that beginning on Wednesday, March 18, the district is setting up grab-and-go sites for food distribution across the county for any children ages 0 – 18.

Children will be able to pick up meals Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the sites. Students will pick up their lunch for the day, and breakfast for the following morning.

Students may pick up meals from any school location.

GCS also started delivering meals to our most vulnerable students today, including those that are homeless or in transition. Delivery to these students will continue for at least the next two weeks.

“Although school is not in session, the need for nourishment persists,” said Guilford County Schools Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras. “We must do everything in our power to ensure no child goes hungry.”

The grab-and-go sites are as follows:

GCS Grab N Go Sites  – Food Distribution
Locations
Alderman Elementary
4211 Chateau Drive, Greensboro, NC 27407
Allen Jay Middle
1201 E. Fairfield Road, High Point, NC 27263
Archer Elementary
2610 Four Seasons Blvd. Greensboro, NC 27407
Bluford Elementary
1901 Tuscaloosa Street, Greensboro, NC 27401
Cone Elementary
2501 N. Church Street, Greensboro, NC 27405
Dudley High
1200 Lincoln Street, Greensboro, NC 27401
Eastern High
415 Peeden Drive, Gibsonville, NC 27249
Fairview Elementary
608 Fairview Street, High Point, NC 27260
Foust Elementary
2610 Floyd Street, Greensboro, NC 27406
Hairston Middle
3911 Naco Road Greensboro, NC 27401
High Point Central High
801 Ferndale Blvd. High Point, NC 27262
Hunter Elementary
1305 Merritt Drive, Greensboro, NC 27407
Irving Park Elementary
1310 Sunset Drive, Greensboro, NC 27408
Jackson Middle
2200 Ontario Street, Greensboro, NC 27403
Johnson Street Global
1601 Johnson Street, High Point, NC 27262
Jones Elementary
502 South Street, Greensboro, NC 27406
Kirkman Park Elementary
1101 N. Centennial Street, High Point, NC 27262
Montlieu Elementary
1105 Montlieu Avenue, High Point, NC 27262
Morehead Elementary
4630 Tower Road, Greensboro, NC 27410
Northeast High
6700 McLeansville Road, McLeansville, NC 27301
Oak Hill Elementary
320 Wrightenberry Street, High Point, NC 27260
Oak View Elementary
614 Oakview Road, High Point, NC 27265
Parkview Elementary
325 Gordon Street, High Point, NC 27260
Peck Elementary
1601 West Florida Street, Greensboro, NC 27403
Ragsdale High
1000 Lucy Ragsdale Drive, Jamestown, NC 27282
Rankin Elementary
1501 Spry Street, Greensboro, NC 27405
Southeast High
4530 Southeast School Road, Greensboro, NC 27406
Swann Middle
811 Cypress Street, Greensboro, NC 27405
Washington Elementary
1110 E. Washington Street, Greensboro, NC 27401
Welborn Middle
1710 McGuinn Drive, High Point, NC 27265
Western Middle
401 College Road, Greensboro, NC 27410
Wiley Elementary
600 West Terrell Street, Greensboro, NC 27406

3/16/20

United Way of Greater Greensboro and City of Greensboro
Launch Coronavirus Relief Fund

Greensboro, NC (March 16, 2020) – The United Way of Greater Greensboro and the City of Greensboro are supporting residents impacted by the Coronavirus, by establishing the Greensboro Virus Relief Fund.

The Greensboro Virus Relief Fund is accepting donations to support local children and families impacted by the virus. United Way and the City will coordinate with local nonprofits to determine ongoing needs and fund distribution.

“In these unprecedented times, working hand-in-hand with local leaders to share information and coordinate resources is critical in serving children and families impacted by the Coronavirus. United Way and City officials are dedicated to working together to pull our community through this,” said Michelle Gethers-Clark, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Greensboro.

Anyone interested in donating can text the word “Virus” to 40403, or visit www.UnitedWayGSO.org<http://www.unitedwaygso.org/> to donate online.
“Greensboro has proven time and again to be a caring community. This is an opportunity to fill voids for some of our most vulnerable residents, during these challenging and unprecedented times. Let’s demonstrate our One Greensboro spirit by giving to the relief fund,” said Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan.

Areas of anticipated need include:

  *   Food insecurities, such as homebound seniors and families with children
  *   Education interruptions, such as children in early Head-Start through postsecondary
  *   Employment reductions, such as reduced hours, layoffs and furlough
  *   Housing vulnerabilities, such as rental assistance and shelters for homeless
  *   Medical access, such as transportation or those in need of homebound supports
  *   Business disruption, such as resources for small business community

North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 hotline, 866-462-3821, will answer questions/concerns about Coronavirus.

NC 2-1-1, a free statewide United Way-funded hotline gives callers access to resources, such as food, financial assistance, and other basic needs. This confidential service is available in many languages 24/7, 365 days a year. Dial 2-1-1 or visit www.nc211.org<http://www.nc211.org/>.

The Volunteer Center of the Triad will organize and mobilize local nonprofit volunteer needs and requests. For more information, visit www.VolunteerCenterTriad.org<http://www.volunteercentertriad.org/>.

Nonprofits with programming in place or new services to support people impacted by the virus, should provide NC 2-1-1 with that information. This way 2-1-1 can direct people to the agencies best suited to assist them.

3/15/20

GCS Offers Emergency Hotlines

Greensboro, N.C. – To help students and families handle stresses school closures may cause, Guilford County Schools (GCS) now has two hotlines.

The first hotline is the GCS crisis hotline. This phone number should only be used by GCS students for a crisis of any kind. If it is an emergency, call 911. If during this time away from school a student has concerns about anxiety, depression, abuse, suicidal thoughts, or has no food, etc. a student should dial 336-332-7295. This number will be manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week by GCS counselors for at least the next two weeks.

The second hotline is the GCS multi-lingual informational hotline. This number should be used for all other questions regarding school closures and resources. There will be interpreters ready to answer calls Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. The interpreters will be able to answer questions in Arabic, Swahili, French, Kinyarwanda, Rade, Vietnamese, Urdu and Spanish. The multi-lingual informational hotline is 336-332-7290. This hotline will also be up and running for at least the next two weeks.

3/15/20

Initial Distance Learning Now Available for GCS Families

Greensboro, N.C. – The first elements of distance learning are now posted for students to explore during the two-week school closure that begins Monday, March 16. You can access these supplemental materials here<https://www.gcsnc.com/Page/54440>. Materials that are tied to grade-level standards to help keep your student on track will be ready by Monday, March 23.

Parents may visit their child’s school tomorrow between 9 and 11 a.m. and between 2 and 4 p.m. to learn more about how to access these materials. They may also pick up other materials, such as work books, library books and medicines. Families who do not have a device such as a tablet, desktop or laptop should inform their child’s school.

Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras shared Sunday that all employees would continue to be paid during this period. Monday is considered a mandatory workday for all employees, and the remaining days will be optional teacher workdays.

We will continue to update families through our COVID-19 website<https://www.gcsnc.com/Page/63782>.

3/15/20

WS/FCS Provides More Guidance and Details for School Closure

WS/FCS announces free meal sites, device pick-up schedules, and more guidance for parents in the wake of Governor Cooper’s Executive Order closing all North Carolina schools.

The WS/FCS School Closure hotline will be open every day, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., during the closure. Representatives will be on hand to help students and parents with questions about free meals, technology, and instruction. The number to call is (336) 661-3128 and help will be available in English and Spanish.

Beginning Monday, March 16, WS/FCS will have breakfast and lunch available for pick up only at all school cafeterias. The meals are free to anyone 18 and under. Adults can buy meals at cost which is $1 for breakfast and $2 for lunch. The cafeterias will be open to distribute meals between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Schools will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday for parents to stop in and get any personal items or medication students may have left at school.

Families without access to a device and/or internet connectivity need to call the hotline or fill out the eLearning Survey and request form on our website by 5 p.m. Monday, March 16, in order to receive them.

Families who requested devices and/or hotspots will be able to pick up the equipment at their child’s school from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Schools will also be distributing nontechnical literacy activity information and resources for kindergarten through second grade students who aren’t learning online.

Students need to be prepared for eLearning options to begin on Thursday. They can expect to hear from their teachers through the PowerSchool Learning Management System in the coming days. The resources being provided for students in kindergarten through second grade should last two weeks.

WS/FCS is designating Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as teacher and employee workdays. The district encourages staff members with questions or concerns about coming to work, to work with their principal or supervisor to understand other available options.

Monday’s specially called Board of Education meeting will continue as scheduled, however, per Governor Cooper’s order public attendance will be limited to less than 100.

For more about our district’s response, you can visit our webpage with updated information and answers to many frequently asked questions. https://www.wsfcs.k12.nc.us/Page/115212

3/15/20

Greensboro Police to Operate Public Facilities on Limited Schedule

GREENSBORO, NC (March 15, 2020) – In light of the precautions that have already taken place in our community, the Greensboro Police Department will operate our public facilities on the same schedule as other City offices. Hours for Police Substations and Police Headquarters will be limited to 10 am to 3 pm. This change in hours will be effective March 16 through March 20.  We will evaluate the situation at that time to address changes going forward.

Although this will not eliminate contact with the general public for our non-sworn employees, it will limit overall contact and will reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Any standing appointments that have been made by a resident with an employee of the Police Department will be honored.

Outside of the limited hours of 10 am to 3 pm our Watch Operations Center will operate in the same fashion as normal after hours operation, and will be available 24 hours a day. Other non-critical services will be conducted during the 10 am to 3 pm time period.

Although we will operate on a modified schedule regarding walk-ins to our public facilities, this will not affect our ability to answer emergency and non-emergency calls and residents can expect the same high level of service from the Greensboro Police Department.

3/15/20

City Remains Operational with Reduction in Business Hours

Greensboro, NC (March 15, 2020) – In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Greensboro will remain operational and continue offering critical services to the community. Operating under best practices for social distancing though, there will be a reduction in operating hours of 10 am to 3 pm for our City facilities, including all library branches and recreation centers to do our part in reducing interactions.

Residents are encouraged to avoid visiting City facilities unless absolutely necessary. Other methods of handling City business, such as by phone, email, postal mail, etc in many cases. Concern for the community and employees is the City’s priority.

The City’s trash and recycling collections will continue as normal without interruption. The Water Resources Department will continue as normal. The Greensboro Police Department will also limit its public facilities to the City’s operating hours of 10 am to 3 pm for the public. This will limit GPD substations and headquarters to allowing walk-ins during this time.

The City has cancelled all programs, events, and facility rentals through April 15. These cancellations are preventative measures taken at the advice of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to limit contact within approximately six feet of a person infected with COVID-19 for a period of time exceeding 10 minutes.

Effective immediately, Water Resources is temporarily suspending water shutoffs through March 31, due to unpaid bills. Like everything, the City will reevaluate at that point. This will allow people to continue to practice good hygiene, which is a critical element to prevention.

Beginning Monday, March 16, GTA will operate hourly service along normal routes. This will allow time for cleaning and sanitizing of buses between runs throughout the day.

The City’s Collections’ payment processing sections will be combined into one location in the Melvin Municipal Office Building (MMOB), 300 W. Washington St. during the City’s modified operating hours. There will not be any cashiers at the Kitchen Operating Center. Cashiers at the MMOB location will be able to assist with privilege licenses, business permits, collection inquiries, and new water sign-ups.

The City continues to follow recommended precautions and proactive measures to promote the safety of its residents and employees, by increasing the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing common areas, restrooms, and gathering areas at all City facilities.

All City greenways, trails and neighborhood parks will remain open from sunrise to sunset. City lakes will be open daily from 10 am to 3 pm, including days when they would normally be closed.

Many local businesses are still open and operating and need the community’s support. Consider take-out from your favorite local restaurant. We’re all in this together.

Visit the City’s COVID-19 webpage, www.greensboro-nc.gov/COVID-19<http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/COVID-19> for the latest news, cancellations, and service changes.

3/15/20

City Announces Further Steps to Address COVID-19 Threat

      Mayor Allen Joines, Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian H. Burke and the members of the Winston-Salem City Council have approved additional measures to keep the community safe and ensure delivery of essential services while COVID-19 remains a threat in Winston-Salem.
        City Manager Lee Garrity has formed a COVID-19 task force to manage the city’s response in order to maintain essential city services and promote the safety of the public and city employees as outlined in the city’s Continuity of Operations Plan.
        City officials anticipate that the closure of schools and day-care centers will impact some city employees with children who are not able to find alternative child-care arrangements. Department heads have been given the discretion to develop alternate work schedules and shifts to ensure sufficient staffing to maintain essential city services.

City Facilities

*         All recreation centers will be closed until further notice, along with all programs and activities including after-school and WePLAY day camps and the senior feeding programs.

*         The buildings at Bethabara Park, Salem Lake, and the Joe White Tennis Center also will be closed, but the park grounds will be open. Winston Lake and Reynolds Park golf courses will remain open because of limited employee contact with the public.

*         All public assembly facilities including the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, the Benton Convention Center, BB&T Ballpark and Bowman Gray Stadium are closed.

*         City Hall and the Bryce A. Stuart Municipal Building will operate under normal business hours for critical city business only that cannot be done online or over the phone.

City Services

*         Citizens who have to make utilities or other payments should use the city’s online payment system. Payment by check or cash can be made at the city’s drive-through payment windows at the Stuart building or the Black-Philips-Smith Government Office. There is also a night depository at the Stuart Building near the Church Street employee entrance.

*         Contractors should apply for permits online or by phone and use the city’s electronic plan review and permitting system to minimize in-person meetings with city staff.

*         Residents can call City Link to set up water service.

*         City Link will be open to receive citizen requests, process payments and provide information.

*         Existing housing rehabilitation projects will continue. However, the Community Development Department will suspend accepting new applications, including emergency repairs.

*         The Community Development Department will suspend code enforcement activities except in cases involving life safety concerns.

*         The Human Resources Department will be closed to walk-ins for job applications.

Public Safety

*         The Police Department will continue to respond to life-saving emergencies, serious crimes in progress, crimes against persons, death investigations and other calls for service. The Police Department will not respond to minor traffic accidents with no injuries. Individuals should exchange insurance and license information and clear the road as quickly as possible.

*         The Fire Department has suspended response to medical calls at assisted living facilities. County EMS will provide first response for these calls.

Public Bus Service

*         WSTA will continue to provide fixed route bus service on all routes at current frequencies. Enhanced sanitation routines have been implemented.

        For the latest information go to CityofWS.org and click the Alerts bar at the top of the page.

3/14/20

GCS Schools Closed to Students Starting Monday

Greensboro, N.C. – All GCS schools will close for students on Monday, March 16, in accordance with Governor Roy Cooper’s announcement this afternoon. Schools will be closed for at least two weeks or through Friday, March 27.

Monday, March 16 is mandatory teacher workday for all GCS personnel, except those who are sick, already on approved leaves, or who are considered at high-risk for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by their healthcare providers.

The district understands what a vital resource schools are to families, especially when it comes to food and nourishment. GCS is exploring several options, including “grab and go” and delivery through yellow buses.
GCS is also working closely with community partners to determine next steps regarding meals and home-learning resources for students.  GCS will continue to update families as those decisions are made.

“This closure will have an immense impact on many of our GCS families,” said Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras. “However, we know this is what must be done to help contain the spread of this virus.”
On Monday, March 16, schools will be open for students to pick up books, bookbags, medicine and personal items. However, schools will only be open from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 2 – 4 p.m., as we cannot have more than 100 people inside the building at one time. If families cannot make it within these times, please call your school to make an appointment.
“Most of us have never experienced this level of life disruption,” said Contreras. “We are all in this together. We are encouraging families to check in and on your neighbors, family and friends. As a community, we will get through this together.”

GCS will continue to follow guidelines of local and state leaders as the district presses forward in this unprecedented event. Please continue to check the district’s COVID-19 webpage<https://www.gcsnc.com/Page/63782> for the most up-to-date information.

3/14/20

WS/FCS Closed for Two Weeks Beginning Monday, March 16

Saturday, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order the closure of all schools in North Carolina starting this Monday, March 16, for at least two weeks. In accordance with the Governor’s announcement, this means Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools will be closed for at least two weeks, beginning Monday, March 16.

For the past several weeks our teams have been preparing and planning for this possibility. We want to assure students, parents, and staff that we do have detailed plans in place to continue learning, ensure our students have access to healthy meals, and help employees navigate how this will impact their roles and duties while school is not in session.

As this unprecedented closure unfolds, WS/FCS will continue to send out details and instructions for families and staff through the weekend and on Monday.

On Sunday, March 15, 2020, from 9a.m. until 5p.m. WS/FCS will open an informational hotline. Parents and students with questions related to the closure can call (336) 661-3128.

We do know on Tuesday, some cafeteria sites across the district will open for lunch and breakfast. We are also going use some of our buses to deliver meals along some stops and bus routes. More information on the exact locations, times, and other details will be available Monday.

We are asking students to be prepared for our eLearning options to begin on Thursday. In the meantime, if you are a family without access to a device and/or internet connectivity, please fill out the eLearning Survey and request form on our website. On Monday we will be share details with families about how to obtain the loaner devices if they have requested one.

With student and staff health and safety priority one, all facets of our district have been preparing. Our teachers have trained, we’ve implemented and prepared cleaning plans, thought through student meal plans, and much more. We understand teaching and learning needs to continue.

For more about our district’s response, you can visit our webpage with updated information and answers to many frequently asked questions. https://www.wsfcs.k12.nc.us/Page/115212

3/13/20

Mayor Joines Declares State of Emergency

        Mayor Allen Joines has declared a state of emergency in Winston-Salem as of 7 p.m. Friday, March 13, to better equip the city to fight the spread of COVID-19.
      The declaration notes that the Centers for Disease Control has advised that the virus is likely to continue to spread from person to person and that “existing conditions have caused, or will continue to cause, isolated or potentially widespread illness within the population of the city of Winston-Salem.”
     With the declaration, state law authorizes the city to “enact a variety of different restrictions and/or prohibitions, as this evolving situation warrants.”
      The declaration makes the city eligible for emergency funds that may become available from federal or state agencies to cope with the disease and its impact in Winston-Salem.
     The declaration formally requests that “all residents, visitors, businesses and establishments within the city of Winston-Salem follow any and all directives and recommendations set forth by the North Carolina Governor’s Office, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the Forsyth County Department of Public Health.”
     The declaration will remain in effect until rescinded or modified.

3/13/20

Forsyth County declares COVID-19 state of emergency effective March 13, 2020

In conjunction with the President’s and the Governor’s declarations of
state of emergency pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, Forsyth County,
North Carolina, has declared a state of emergency effective March 13, 2020.
This emergency declaration allows the county to claim and receive
reimbursement for labor, supplies, and materials associated with its
COVID-19 response.  No civil restrictions are imposed in the declaration,
but the County has the ability to impose restrictions if the need arises.
For details on what the declaration entails, please see the attached
declaration.

3/13/20

Greensboro Mayor Declares State of Emergency

Greensboro, NC (March 13, 2020) – Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan has declared a State of Emergency, in conjunction with Guilford County, to be effective at 5:30pm, Friday, March 13, in response to COVID-19.

3/13/20

City Activities and Events Canceled   

In accordance with guidance from Mayor Allen Joines and City Manager Lee Garrity, the city is canceling all non-essential city-sponsored activities and events in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Effective immediately and until further notice, the Fairgrounds Farmers Market is closed and all public ice skating at the Fairgrounds Annex is canceled.
        City Council committee meetings for Monday and Tuesday, March 16 & 17, have been canceled. Scheduled meetings for multiple city boards and commissions also are being canceled. For the status of a particular board or commission, consult the city website (CityofWS.org) or call CityLink 311.

        All recreation center programs and activities are canceled or postponed with the exception of after-school and WePLAY day camps and the senior feeding programs at the Sprague Street and Brown & Douglas recreation centers. This includes adult athletics, youth/teen athletics, and senior citizen programs for the remainder of the month. Recreation center gymnasiums will be disinfected and closed to the public until further notice.

        All Recreation & Parks facilities will continue to operate under normal hours until further notice. However, the number of participants for all recreational facilities will be limited to 100, including staff.
        Other canceled events include:

·         Recreation center open houses planned for March 14 at Miller Park Recreation Center, March 17 at William R. Anderson Recreation Center and March 21 at 14th Street Recreation Center.

·         The Community Band’s spring concert at South Fork Recreation Center, scheduled for March 15

·         The community meeting on the Doral Drive/Reynolda Road interchange, scheduled for March 19. It has been rescheduled for April 30.

·         All events planned for Forsyth Creek Week, March 21-29.

·         The HUB Certification Day sponsored by Business Inclusion and Advancement, scheduled for March 20.

·         DOT’s community meeting on Fairlawn Drive traffic calming, scheduled for March 25.

·         The meeting for residents of the Boston-Thurmond neighborhood with Council Member Denise D. Adams, scheduled for March 26.

·         The Human Relations Collegiate Trust Talk, scheduled for March 26.

·         The tour of Union Station, scheduled for March 27.

·         The reading comprehension test for Police Department applicants, scheduled for March 28.

·         The Human Relations Student Awards Banquet, scheduled for March 31.

·         The opening ceremonies for the Piedmont Plus Senior Games, scheduled for April 3. They will be held May 29.

·         The community orientation for the African American Heritage Initiative, scheduled for April 4.

·         The Great American Cleanup, scheduled for April 4.

·         The Special Olympics Forsyth County Spring Games, scheduled for April 22-24.
        For the latest information, go to CityofWS.org.

3/13/20

Forsyth County Government taking preventive measures on coronavirus

Forsyth County is taking preventative steps to protect the health and
safety of employees and the public in respect to the potential spread of
novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

All county departments are open for business with some additional
precautions. Court facilities remain open but should have less traffic due
to the continuance of court cases by the State.   There are multiple
COVID-19 cases in North Carolina, including two Forsyth County residents
who tested presumptively positive. Both cases in Forsyth are related to
travel and not attributed to community spread. Risk of contracting the
disease in the area is still considered low at this time.

County Manager Dudley Watts urges everyone to adhere to CDC precautions and
stay abreast of the situation as circumstances change.   For the
foreseeable future weekly updates will be provided at 2:00 PM before the
regular County Commissioners’ briefing and meeting.

The county has begun implementing additional measures to help ensure
workspaces and areas used by the public are cleaned frequently. Items
located in publicly accessible high traffic areas are being disinfected and
sanitized multiple times a day. This includes things like public computers
and furniture, doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons, etc.

Department directors have also been asked to place alcohol-based hand
sanitizers and disinfectant wipes in common areas. Employees have been
advised to stay home if they’re sick. The county’s Pandemic Flu Policy is
in effect so employees cannot lose their job for being sick or
self-quarantining for an extended period of time. Employee business travel
is restricted unless it’s absolutely necessary. County departments may be
flexible with employees who need alternate work arrangements.

Departments are postponing and cancelling events that draw large crowds.
Parks and Recreation is waiving fees to the public for reservation
cancellations.

Emergency Services’ 911 operators are pre-screening calls to minimize the
possible exposure of first responders to the virus. Social Services will
screen home visits and supply social workers with masks if illness is
suspected.

The Sheriff’s Office has made changes at the Forsyth County Detention
Center,

including restricting public visitation except for attorneys, suspending
all inmate programs, and  checking detention staff and new arrestees for
fever and signs of respiratory distress.

County employees and the general public are advised to take precautions
like hand washing, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, staying home when
you’re sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and not touching your face with
unwashed hands.

Those at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, which include people
over 65 or who have chronic health conditions, are advised to stay at home
as much as possible. Organizers of events that draw more than 100 people
should cancel, postpone, modify these events or offer online streaming
services.

3/13/20

City Announces Additional Changes to Operations

Greensboro, NC (March 13, 2020) – The City of Greensboro has made the following changes to programs, events, and facility access:

*         The March 17 Greensboro City Council meeting has been postponed to Tuesday, March 31.

*         Effective immediately through April 15, all programs and events hosted by the Greensboro Public Library, Parks and Recreation Department, History Museum, and Creative Greensboro, including the Drama Center and Music Center, are canceled. Tuition and fees already paid for programs and events will be credited to your account, used for another program or event, or refunded. Contact the program or event manager for more details.

*         All City facilities, including Libraries, will be open only during the hours of 10 am to 3 pm from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20.

*         The NCWorks Career Center will also be operating on the City’s modified schedule. Its customers may continue to access job search services by visiting www.ncworks.gov<http://www.ncworks.gov> or by contacting the local Career Center at 336-297-9444 (Greensboro) or 336-882-4141 (High Point).  Customers needing to file unemployment claims may do so online<https://des.nc.gov/apply-unemployment>. Customers that are having issues filing Weekly Certifications may call the DES Customer Call Center at 888-737-0259. Customers scheduled for employment and training appointments and/or work readiness workshops will be contacted by staff if there is any conflict with modification of hours of operations.

*         The City’s Collections’ payment processing sections will be combined into one location in the Melvin Municipal Office Building (MMOB), 300 W. Washington St. during the City’s modified operating hours. There will not be any cashiers at the Kitchen Operating Center. Cashiers at the MMOB location will be able to assist with privilege licenses, business permits, collection inquiries, and new water sign-ups.

*         On Saturday, March 21, Parks and Recreation staffed parks, gardens, lakes, Gillespie Golf Course, and all indoor facilities will be open 10 am to 3 pm.

*         Sunday, March 22, all Parks and Recreation indoor facilities will be closed.

*         Greenways, trails, and neighborhood parks will remain open sunrise to sunset.

*         City Lakes will be open daily from 10 am to 3 pm, including days when they would normally be closed. Greensboro Cultural Center will also be open from 10 am to 3 pm on March 21 and 22. Tenants of the Greensboro Cultural Center will independently decide, within the operating hours for the building, whether to remain open or continue to offer events and programs.

*         The Greensboro Farmer’s Curb Market will be open on its regular schedule, but will host sales outside to allow for proper social distancing. Visit its website<https://www.gsofarmersmarket.org/> for more operational details.

*         Any bookings at Library and Parks and Recreation facilities, such as conference room reservations, gym rentals, or Barber Park Event Center events are canceled through April 15. Contact the event booking office for more details.

*         Tenants of the Greensboro Cultural Center will independently decide whether to remain open or continue to offer events and programs. All visitors are asked to stay home if they are sick and maintain good social distancing and hygiene practices while using City facilities.

*         The Greensboro Science Center will close for a minimum of two weeks, effective at 5 pm, Friday, March 13.

*         Events canceled for this weekend include: Battle of Guilford Courthouse Reenactment, the public meeting on the proposed Country Park upgrades, and the Drama Center’s production of ‘Rainbow Fish.’
See the City’s COVID-19 website, www.greensboro-nc.gov/COVID-19<http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/COVID-19> for the latest news, cancelations and service changes.

3/13/20

Salvation Army To Suspend Volunteer Programs, Limit Visitors Due To COVID-19

No Services Will Be Suspended

Due to the ongoing threat of the Corona Virus, COVID-19, The Salvation Army of Greater Winston-Salem will suspend all volunteer programs and limit visitors to Salvation Army facilities for 30 days beginning Monday, March 16.

Area Commander Major Jim Rickard, “The safety of the children and families under our care at our shelter, the members of our Boys & Girls Clubs, our clients, and our staff is paramount. We believe taking these steps and following all recommended health precautions is our best course of action at this time. We want to emphasize that we will not be suspending or shutting down any services. These are temporary precautions and we will return to normal operation as soon as possible. We are grateful to our community partners, city and county officials, and our local leaders who are working so hard on behalf of us all.”

Should the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School system close, The Salvation Army Ken Carlson Boys & Girls Club will be open for members Monday through Friday from 7:30am until 5:30pm.

Facilities effected by the volunteer ban include;

The Salvation Army Center of Hope Family Shelter – 1255 N. Trade St.

The Ken Carlson Boys & Girls Club – 2100 Reynolds Park Road

The International Boys & Girls Club – 2850 New Walkertown Road

The Salvation Army CiVIC Senior Center – 2850 New Walkertown Road

The Citadel Worship & Service Center – 2850 New Walkertown Road

The Kernersville Worship & Service Center – 130 E. Mountain St., Kernersville

The Salvation Army Family Store located at 2688 Peters Creek Parkway will operate as usual.

3/13/20

Water Disconnects Temporarily Suspended
In response to COVID-19, effective immediately and until further notice, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities is suspending all water account disconnects due to non-payment of WSFC Utilities bills. During this time, all customers will have access to clean and safe water for drinking and practicing good hand hygiene. Customers should note that this is a temporary grace period and they will still be responsible for payment of their total water bill. For more information, please call City Link 311 or 336-727-8000.

3/13/20

City to Modify Operating Hours in Response to COVID-19

Greensboro, NC (March 13, 2020) – The City of Greensboro will modify its operating hours effective Monday, March 16, to Monday through Friday from 10 am to 3 pm for the week of March 16-20.

Residents are encouraged to avoid visiting City facilities, instead using other methods of handling City business, such as by phone, email, postal mail, etc. Concern for our community and employees is the City’s priority.

“We continue to follow the guidance of State and Federal officials, as we evaluate our operations and services. We are cancelling all non-essential City-sponsored public events.” said City Manager David Parrish.

Additionally, the City is suspending interruption to past due water service accounts, through the end of March.

The City continues to follow recommended precautions and proactive measures to promote the safety of our residents and employees, by increasing the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing common areas, restrooms, and gathering areas at all City facilities.

Visit the City’s COVID-19 webpage, www.greensboro-nc.gov/COVID-19<http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/COVID-19> for the latest news, cancelations, and service changes.

For updated information and facts about the COVID-19 virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)<https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html?

3/12/20

Spring 2020 High Point Market Postponed

HIGH POINT, N.C., March 12, 2020 — The High Point Market Authority has been
closely monitoring the ongoing and rapidly-evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19)
situation, staying in constant contact with local and state public health
officials and elected officials. Heeding the public guidance offered by NC
Governor Roy Cooper, and in the interest of the health and safety of our
stakeholders, industry members, and local citizens, the High Point Market
Authority has decided to postpone this year’s Spring Market, scheduled for
April 25-29, until a later date in early June, should conditions improve.

“The decision was difficult, as any change in date could have tremendous
economic repercussions on our industry and community, as well as the
countless small businesses whose livelihoods rely on High Point Market, but
underscores our shared concern and well-being of the citizens in our
community and our industry partners,” commented Dudley Moore, Jr., chairman
of the High Point Market Authority’s board of directors and president of
Otto & Moore.

High Point Market has been a staple of the North Carolina economy since
1909. Throughout its long-standing history, cancellation has only occurred
once when the 1942 markets were cancelled due to World War II.

“Our board of directors will continue to monitor the situation, and we will
remain in communication with the proper medical and elected officials,”
commented Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority.
“Our aim is to have a decision in early May as to if Market can occur,
given the uncertainties of this rapidly evolving situation.”

For the time being, online registration will be postponed, with the plan to
reopen once the new plan has been put in place.

3/12/20

Reenactment of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse is March 14-15

GREENSBORO, NC (March 9, 2019) – Country Park will commemorate the Battle of Guilford Courthouse 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15. Admission is free. The battle will be reenacted at 2 pm daily on land where the actual battle took place in 1781.

Re-enactors will set up military encampments, depicting the lives of the 18th century Revolutionary War soldiers. Vendors will also be on hand with Colonial arts and crafts for sale.
There will be food and drinks for sale at the Battlefield and by Shelter 9 in Country Park.

Parking is available at 3802 Jaycee Park Drive, where shuttles will be available to take spectators to the battlefield. Visitors can also park at the Greensboro Science Center or Guilford Courthouse National Military Park and walk to the celebration. Due to noise of cannons and musket fire, the Bark Park off-leash dog park will be closed the entire weekend, and dogs will not be permitted in Country Park during the reenactments.

For more information, call the County Park office at 336-373-3648 or visit www.greensboro-nc.gov/reenactment<http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/reenactment>.

3/12/20

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Suspends All School-Sponsored Group Events & Gatherings

In accordance with today’s announcement from North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is suspending all school-sponsored group events and gatherings. This includes but is not limited to school plays, concerts, schoolwide meetings, proms, and other school-sponsored activities that bring in large groups of attendees at one time.

It is important to note, as a part of the school schedule, before and after school childcare programs will continue as scheduled unless otherwise noted by the provider.

Also, in accordance with Thursday’s announcement from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, all official WS/FCS interscholastic athletics will be suspended until further notice. This includes all workouts, skill development sessions, practices and contests. This suspension will remain in effect until April 6, 2020 or as otherwise directed by the NCHSAA.

It is also important to note that our schools will continue to exercise caution in daily school activities and limit, to the best of our ability, large gatherings of students during the school day.

For more about our district’s response, you can visit our webpage with updated information and answers to many frequently asked questions. https://www.wsfcs.k12.nc.us/Page/115212

3/12/20

City Government Stepping up COVID-19 Measures

        With two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Forsyth County, Mayor Allen Joines announced that the city is taking additional measures to slow the spread of the disease within the community and within the city workforce.
        Effectively immediately, city departments have been instructed to cancel all non-essential city-sponsored events that involve public participation.
        All business travel for city employees outside the county is canceled unless otherwise authorized by the city manager or one of his assistants.
        The city has stepped up its routine for sanitizing city facilities, especially door handles and other surfaces that come in frequent contact.
        To further slow the spread of the disease in the community, Joines said he is supporting Gov. Roy Cooper’s request that the organizers of any event expected to draw more than 100 people cancel their plans.
        At this point, no city employee has tested positive for the virus. However, the city learned Thursday of two employees who have been directly or indirectly exposed. Both went into self-quarantine as soon as they learned of their exposure. One employee was exposed to two people who have tested positive for the virus. The other employee has a child who was exposed to someone with the virus and who is exhibiting symptoms.
        “Our situation in Winston-Salem is rapidly evolving,” Joines said. “It is imperative that every citizen immediately begin practicing those measures that can slow the spread of the disease. And I urge those who are most at risk, including the elderly and those who have compromised immune systems, to take extra precautions.”
        Specifically, you should:

*         Stay home if you are sick.

*         Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.

*         Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

*         Avoid close contact with people who are ill.

*         Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

*         Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.

*         Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
        More information, including links with guidance for businesses, employers and schools, is posted on the website for the Forsyth County Public Health Department, www.co.forsyth.nc.us/PublicHealth/<http://www.co.forsyth.nc.us/PublicHealth/>.
Additional information about COVID-19 is posted at www.CDC.gov<http://www.CDC.gov>.

3/12/20

Update to Tournament Town event schedule

The previously announced Tailgate Zone activities at Piedmont Hall (through March 14) and KC and The Sunshine Band concert at White Oak Amphitheatre (March 13) have been canceled. The two ‘Tournament Town’ events below will continue as currently scheduled. TOURNAMENT TOWN

DOWNTOWN FESTIVAL Saturday, March 14 | 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. S. Elm Street & Smothers Place | Near the railroad tracks Live music street festival style Several local acts leading up to headliner and southern rock cover band Southside Station (3-5 p.m.) Food Trucks in addition to local restaurants Beer Garden featuring Little Brother Brewing and Natty Greene’s Children’s play space with bouncy houses and games Free admission

FOLK IN THE PARK Saturday, March 21 | 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. LeBauer Park, 208 N. Davie Street, Greensboro Folk in the Park will feature a stellar lineup of North Carolina artists at LeBauer Park with a preview of food, crafts, and local arts that make the North Carolina Folk Festival a national attraction each September. Folk in the Park is free and open to the public.

Visit TournamentTown.com for more information.

3/12/20

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Changes Visitation Procedures

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools continues to closely monitor COVID-19 (coronavirus) developments. Today, two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Forsyth County. While it does not appear that these individuals have direct relation to our schools, we are suspending our volunteer program and limiting visitors on all campuses to reduce potential exposure to our students and staff.

Parents can still visit children but will be asked to spend time with them in a private area on campus.  While children are in our care, we must take every precaution possible to limit their exposure to outside individuals with whom we are not familiar. All our actions are guided with safety coming first.

Recognizing that this remains a fluid situation, we must also continue to plan for possible adjustments in the school schedule.  If the district feels it is safest for students and staff to close schools, we have developed an Instructional Plan to provide learning opportunities that utilize our digital technology resources.

As part of the plan, the district is prepared to provide mobile devices and internet hotspots, for families that need them.  The resources will be available to check out for home use so learning can continue without interruption. We will communicate to parents more information about obtaining loaner devices should their family need them.

Although COVID-19 represents a challenge, WS/FCS has approached it proactively and diligently.  We have a comprehensive plan for our entire organization. We understand and take seriously our role during times of uncertainty and appreciate the patience and understanding of our families and staff.

For more about our district’s response, you can visit our webpage with updated information and answers to many frequently asked questions. https://www.wsfcs.k12.nc.us/Page/115212

3/12/20

Forsyth County identified two cases of COVID-19

Two Forsyth County residents have tested presumptively positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The test was conducted by the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health and considered presumptive until confirmed by Prevention (CDC) lab. Both people are doing well and are in isolation at home. A detailed briefing will be held with the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners at 2:00 PM today, March 12, 2020 at Forsyth County Government Center located at 201 N. Chestnut Street

3/10/20

Forsyth County responds to governor’s state of emergency declaration oncoronavirus.

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health urges residents to follow
the updated prevention recommendations from the North Carolina Department
of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS)  as Governor Roy Cooper issued an
executive order declaring a state of emergency for the novel coronavirus
(COVID-19) on March 10.

The order is similar to those enacted in natural disasters. The declaration
activates the State Emergency Operations Center to help agencies coordinate
the response from one location and makes it easier to purchase needed
medical supplies, protect consumers from price gouging, and increase county
health departments’ access to state funds.

There are now seven cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina. None are in
Forsyth County and the risk of contracting the virus remains low in this
area.

“We’re continuing to work with state and local partners and are in
communication with City/County Emergency Management, Winston-Salem/Forsyth
County Schools, local hospitals and other partner agencies in this rapidly
changing situation,” said Forsyth County Public Health Director Joshua
Swift. “There are no identified cases in Forsyth County,  but we recommend
everyone take precautions to protect against this virus and its spread.”

The public is still encouraged to follow standard recommendations to
prevent the spread:

Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each
time

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

Avoid close contact with people who are ill

Stay home if you’re sick

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze


Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched


Many of the updated NC DHHS recommendations involve people at high risk of
severe illness from COVID-19, which are people who:

Are 65 years of age or older

Have chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes

Have a weakened immune system


NC DHHS recommends those at high risk of severe illness:

Avoid large groups of people as much as possible

Avoid large gatherings such as concert venues, conventions, church
services, sporting events and crowded social events

Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel


NC DHHS recommends that event organizers:

Urge those who are sick to not attend

Encourage those who are at high risk to not attend

Have a lenient refund policy for people who are high risk

Find ways to give people more physical space to limit close contact as
much as possible

Encourage attendees to wash hands frequently

Clean surfaces with standard cleaners

NC DHHS recommends that all facilities that serve as residential
establishments for high-risk persons should restrict visitors. This
includes nursing homes, independent and assisted living facilities,
correctional facilities, and facilities that care for medically vulnerable
children.


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