Carolina Panthers Place Third Player In Last Two Weeks On A COVID 19 List | Raleigh News & Observer

By Hayley Fowler and

Simone Jasper

Click here for updates for Oct. 16.

We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus in North Carolina. Check back for updates.

Cases top 238,000

At least 238,939 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 3,874 have died, according to state health officials.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday reported 2,532 new COVID-19 cases, up from 1,926 the day before.

Eighteen coronavirus-related deaths were reported Thursday.

About 6.6% of tests were reported positive on Tuesday, the most recent day for which data are available. That’s higher than the 5% target set by health officials.

At least 1,140 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Thursday, a drop from 1,152 the day before. Recent daily hospitalization counts are the highest they have been since August.

New coronavirus cases have landed North Carolina in the “red zone” in a report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, according to The News & Observer.

Metrics are stabilizing in Mecklenburg County, home to Charlotte and once hard hit from the pandemic. But officials say hospitalizations have soared in neighboring Gaston County, and case counts are up in Lincoln and Cleveland counties.

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The news comes as Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday is scheduled to discuss the state’s response to the pandemic. The news conference is scheduled for 3 p.m., with a live stream available at

Sanford Fire Department reports COVID-19 outbreak

At least six firefighters with the Sanford Fire Department have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Thursday, city officials said in a news release.

It’s at least the third outbreak at a fire department in North Carolina since August.

“The Sanford Fire Department follows and exceeds, where possible, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines while providing emergency services to our community,” Sanford Fire Chief Wayne Barber said in the release.

The infected firefighters are in isolation at home, but city officials wouldn’t comment on their condition. All other firefighters in Sanford are being tested for the virus and the facilities have been sanitized.

The outbreak comes just two weeks after five firefighters in Wake Forest tested positive for COVID-19 and almost a month after a firefighter in Clayton died from COVID-19 complications.

Harris cancels NC visit after positive cases tied to campaign

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, Democratic vice president nominee, canceled her trip to North Carolina after two people linked to her campaign tested positive for COVID-19.

Harris, who had been set to visit Charlotte and Asheville, will postpone travel through Sunday “out of an abundance of caution,” according to campaign officials. Her trip to the battleground state was expected on Thursday, the same day as Republican President Donald Trump’s appearance in Greenville.

The Harris campaign late Wednesday discovered Liz Allen, communications director for the senator, and a “non-staff flight crew member” tested positive, The Charlotte Observer reported.

NC restaurants serving fair food after canceled event

Restaurants in the Triangle are serving deep-fried dishes and other goodies to help customers fill their cravings for fair food.

While the pandemic canceled this year’s North Carolina State Fair, vendors will offer to-go dishes at the Raleigh fairgrounds through Oct. 25. The service runs daily from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Fair food lovers can also get their fix at several Raleigh-area restaurants that have corn dogs, turkey legs or other items on their menus, The News & Observer reported Thursday.

Wells Fargo fires workers over pandemic loan allegations

Wells Fargo, which has a major presence in Charlotte, fired workers accused of “defrauding the Small Business Administration in applications to a pandemic relief loan program,” The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday.

As many as 125 workers were fired after the company says it discovered some employees made false claims on applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. The funds were requested for personal use, not for bank duties, according to Wells Fargo.

“If we identify additional wrongdoing by employees, we will take appropriate action,” David Galloreese, a human resources leader, said in a memo, according to the Observer. “While these instances of wrongdoing are extremely unfortunate and disappointing, they are not representative of the high integrity of the vast majority of Wells Fargo employees.”

Most in NC poll don’t want rushed reopening

The majority of North Carolinians favor slowly reopening the state during the pandemic, a new poll finds.

In the Elon University poll, 77% of residents say they support that most North Carolina public schools were open for online-only instruction when the school year started.

The poll found only 28% of people think the state has been too slow to reopen businesses.

“Also, 28% said the state’s coronavirus rules and regulations have been too restrictive,” The News & Observer reported Thursday. “The majority of respondents felt the state’s response was just right or wasn’t restrictive enough.”

The online poll was conducted in partnership with McClatchy’s North Carolina newsrooms. It surveyed 1,382 adult residents from Oct. 9 to 11 and “has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points,” The N&O reported.

Coronavirus defines gubernatorial race

The COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as a defining theme in North Carolina’s race for governor between incumbent Democrat Roy Cooper and Republican Dan Forest.

Medicaid expansion and teacher raises were the focal points last year in a battle between Cooper and the Republican-controlled state legislature, but now it’s his handling of the pandemic and the resulting lockdown that’s on the ballot, The News & Observer reported.

Some polls show voters support Cooper’s restrictions and “measured” approach, but he has faced lawsuits and proposed legislation.

“Everything is defined by the coronavirus pandemic and how the nation has responded to that, and the state has responded to that,” N.C. Central University political science professor Jarvis Hall told The N&O earlier this summer.

Forest’s campaign, meanwhile, has pitted him against the governor’s coronavirus policies. The lieutenant governor has held campaign events indoors and outdoors with few masks and little social distancing, videos and photographs show.

More colleges suspend in-person classes

Shaw University in Raleigh temporarily suspended in-person classes on Wednesday after six students and a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.

The cases were identified through mandatory on-campus testing, The News & Observer reported.

The students and staff member are now in isolation, all facilities they used are closed for sanitizing and the university is conducting contact tracing. In-person instruction is suspended through Friday.

“My priority is to keep all the Shaw community as safe as possible,” Shaw President Dr. Paulette Dillard said in a statement.

Brevard College in western North Carolina also announced Wednesday it will temporarily switch to remote learning after multiple members of a sports team tested positive for COVID-19, The Charlotte Observer reported.

The college has quarantined all members of the team and suspended in-person learning until Friday.

NC pastor dies from COVID-19

Wade McArthur Danner, a 67-year-old pastor in Hickory, died Friday of complications from the coronavirus, his brother Gaither Danner told The Charlotte Observer.

He was the chief apostle of Pentecostal House of Praise at the time of his death but has been a fixture in radio, TV and prison ministries across North Carolina for decades.

“’What I can do, I do for Christ,” Gaither Danner recalled his brother telling him over the years. “And he done it for God until his last breath.”

Wade Danner is survived by his wife Annie Elizabeth Danner, four daughters, two sons, three sisters, four brothers, 11 grandchildren and a great-grandchild ”on the way,” The Observer reported. A service will be held Saturday at Gate Called Beautiful Jesus Christ.

Chief Apostle Wade Danner_fitted.jpeg
Wade McArthur Danner, chief apostle of Pentecostal House of Praise in Hickory, died on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, at Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory. He was 67. Jenkins Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Newton, N.C.

Panthers in ‘intensive protocol’ for coronavirus

After at least six Carolina Panthers made in-game contact with a player on the COVID-19 reserve list, the team is in the NFL’s “intensive protocol” for the coronavirus.

On Sunday, the Panthers players had contact with Marlon Davidson, a defensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons. Davidson and others placed on reserve/COVID-19 have either tested positive for the virus or been in direct contact with an infected person.

After an outbreak within the Tennessee Titans, the NFL adopted new protocols, including “that anyone with ‘high risk’ close contact exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual must be isolated for at least five days, even if the person is negative and remains asymptomatic,” The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday.

Panthers players are required to wear face shields or masks on practice fields.

“The team may have in-person meetings, but they cannot be in a room smaller than the full-team room in the facility,” the Observer reported. “The only other player activity allowed in the building this week is for rehab and medical reasons.”

COVID-19 cluster suspends UNC Charlotte basketball

UNC Charlotte is suspending men’s basketball activities after its athletics department announced a coronavirus cluster.

The school, which reported seven COVID-19 infections among players and staff members, said basketball practices won’t resume until all others are cleared through testing. The cases were found through contact tracing and testing, according to the 49ers.

“The individuals are in isolation with proper medical care, and the University’s contact tracing team is currently notifying any affected members of the UNC Charlotte community to begin quarantine protocols,” officials said in a news release.

The announcement comes as basketball players on Wednesday were set to start practices, “although the team had been holding workouts since early September,” The Charlotte Observer reported.

Brewery defends festival as it’s tied to more COVID-19 cases

A Charlotte brewery defended a beer event that has been linked to at least five coronavirus infections.

“Our restaurant and Biergarten remains a safe, relaxing place,” John Marrino, founder of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, said Tuesday in an online post. “Our main concern is that this ‘snapshot’ of a three-day event that was virtually perfect at all other times, has distorted people’s perceptions of the overall event and our brewery.”

Marrino said most people followed health guidelines, though some ignored social distancing and face covering requirements, The Charlotte Observer reported.

His message came a week after Gibbie Harris, Mecklenburg County public health director, said coronavirus cases were tied to the brewery’s Mecktoberfest. The festival drew thousands of people from Sept. 25-27.

After the county urged event attendees to get tested, the brewery helped offer drive-thru testing over the weekend.

Source :

Coronavirus live updates: Here’s what to know in North Carolina on Oct. 15 | Raleigh News & Observer