North Carolina announced the first coronavirus-related deaths Wednesday.
A person in their late 70s in Cabarrus County died on Tuesday from complications from the virus, according to a press release from Gov. Roy Cooper. The patient had several underlying conditions.
A second person in their 60s also died from coronavirus complications. The person was from Virginia and was traveling through North Carolina.
“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,” Cooper said in the release.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Catawba County had no new coronavirus cases, leaving the county number at four confirmed cases. New numbers have not been released Wednesday morning.
Burke County and Caldwell County both reported their first confirmed cases of coronavirus Tuesday evening.
In Burke County, two people tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning. One is a Burke County resident and another is a resident of another county but both were tested in Burke, according to a release from the Burke County Public Health Department. Both are in isolation.
Burke County is expecting more cases to be identified, but they did not release how many tests have been done.
Caldwell County has one confirmed case as of Tuesday afternoon. The county has done 324 coronavirus tests and had 32 negative results returned.
Statewide, there are over 510 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Tuesday morning, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services website and county health departments.
At least 10,489 tests have been done for the virus. The state lab did 1,071 of those and has supplies for 1,230 more.
As of last week, Frye Regional Medical Center canceled all elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures, Director of Communications and Marketing Marcia Meredith said. All non-urgent outpatient services for the next 30 days are rescheduled, she said. Patients with those appointments have been notified.
“We believe this decision will help minimize the spread of illness by limiting unnecessary contact between patients and providers,” Meredith said.
Frye also changed visitor guidelines. Only people 16 and older can visit after their temperature is taken and they are asked about recent travel and respiratory symptoms, Meredith said. Only one visitor per patient is allowed at a time.
Catawba Valley Medical Center also canceled non-essential surgeries.
On Monday, Cooper signed an executive order closing several types of businesses that violate social distancing rules. Those businesses are ordered to close by 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Those include movie theaters, bowling alleys, gyms, nail salons, hair salons, health clubs, spas, yoga studios, pools, sweepstakes businesses, tattoo parlors and more.