The 2020 holiday season is going to be different, but North Carolina retailers are in excited anticipation, and the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA), along with its 2,500 retail members across the state, encourage consumers to #ShopNC this year. The Thanksgiving holiday typically ushers in the official start of the holiday shopping season however, given the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, retailers are adapting their strategies to ensure they are serving customers safely and effectively. Some are choosing to close on Thanksgiving Day; others are offering several months of “Black Friday” deals; and others will be featuring the same deals both in-stores andRead More →

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting the state’s highest one-day number of COVID-19 cases with 4,296 new cases reported. Craven County had 39 new COVID-19 cases reported during that time period. Craven County in total has had 2,754 COVID-19 cases, of which 162 are active and 68 have died. The record-high day follows several days of increasing trends in new cases, the percent of tests that are positive and hospitalizations. The weekly COVID-19 Surveillance SummaryOpen PDF report released Thursday on the number of people visiting the emergency department with COVID-like illness also showed an increase. “I am very concerned,” said NCDHHSRead More →

Craven County passed the 2,700 mark and recorded another death during the past 24 hours, bringing the county’s COVID-19 death toll to 68. There are 2,715 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. There are 196 active cases and 11 hospitalizations of Craven County residents. For more COVID-19 coverage, go here. Out of the 2,715 confirmed positive cases, 2,451 have recovered. Of the 2,715 cases, 30 have been related to out-of-state travel, 573 are from community transmission, 1,725 are a direct contact with a previously confirmed positive case, 161 are still being investigated, and 226 are unknown.   An unidentifiedRead More →

Following a meeting on Nov. 10, the Craven County Board of Education decided all students in grades 1 through 5 will switch to to four days a week of in-person learning starting Jan. 7, 2021. In-person learning will take place on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesday will continue to be a dedicated remote-learning day. This change comes amid a upward trajectory across the nation in the rate of spread of the virulent, deadly virus. And Craven County has been identified as a county with “substantial” viral spread. Moving students to this so-called “Plan A” scheme was authorized by Gov. Roy Cooper. “The current scienceRead More →

Craven County Schools officials say that “most, if not all” the 55 infections of staff and students during the eight months of the current school year have been due to contacts outside the school. Craven County Schools employees take “extraordinary measures daily to ensure the health of everyone in our buildings,” the school district said in a news release. Craven County Schools’ elementary schools will be shifting to in-school, four-day weeks starting on Jan. 7, 2021. This follows direction from state officials, who say that younger children are less likely to be come infected, have symptoms, experience severe disease, or spread the virus. Not onlyRead More →

This weekend, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is offering more than 120 no-cost COVID-19 community testing events, including new locations in partnership with retailers to help North Carolinians protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities as they prepare for Thanksgiving.   In addition to existing testing events throughout the state, grocery stores in seven counties are offering testing on Nov. 20-22: Buncombe, Cumberland, Durham, Iredell, Johnston, Mecklenburg, and Union. Select Carlie C’s IGA, Compare Foods, Food Lion, Ingles Markets, and Target will have walk-up and drive-thru testing. Testing will be conducted by C.W. Williams Community Health Center (in coordination with N.C.Read More →

State to work with key counties to bring numbers down A new COVID-19 County Alert System has been rolled out to pinpoint counties with the highest levels of viral spread and offer specific recommendations to bring numbers down. This system will help give local leaders another tool to understand how their county is faring and to make decisions about actions to slow viral spread. The map will be updated every four weeks.  “By pinpointing counties with high virus transmission and asking everyone in those counties to work with us and do more right now to slow the spread of the virus, we can succeed,” GovernorRead More →

After a lull last week, COVID-19’s direct impacts on Craven County came roaring back over the weekend, with 90 new cases and two reported deaths since the last report from the Craven County Health Department on Friday. While it took a full week to go from 2,400 to 2,500 cases, it took just two days to reach 2,600 cases. That’s the shortest period of time to add 100 cases in Craven County since the outbreak. The previous record was three days. Craven County has 2,649 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of noon Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. There are 259 active cases, although hospitalizations of Craven CountyRead More →

The rate of community spread and unknown source spread have jumped in Craven County over the past two months, coinciding with in-person voting during those two months. Cases caused by community spread and unknown spread earlier accounted for a small portion of total COVID-19 cases. For example, one case from an unknown source could spread the virus to a larger number of family and friends. So when reported by health agencies, it would be one case of community spread and several cases from a known source. But since October, community spread and unknown spread together account for 1 in 3 new COVID-19 infections in CravenRead More →

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced the North Carolina Rate Bureau has requested a 24.5 percent statewide average increase in homeowners’ insurance rates to take effect August 2021. The percentage rate increase for Craven County would be 25 percent. The NCRB is not part of the N.C. Department of Insurance but represents companis that write insurance policies in the state. The Department can either agree with the rates as filed or negotiate a settlement with the NCRB on a lower rate. If a settlement cannot be reached within 50 days, the Commissioner will call for a hearing. Two years ago, in December 2018, the NCRB requestedRead More →