NC unemployment claims reach over 100,000 in a week, mostly COVID-19 related

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — State officials say unemployment claims in North Carolina reached 113,002 in just one week.

Officials say approximately 87% were COVID-19 related. 

“There could be more related to COVID-19 where the person filing did not indicate the virus as the reason for separation from employment,” Larry Parker in the state’s Department of Commerce said.

COVID-19 timeline

  • March 3: NCDHHS announces state’s first COVID-19 case
  • March 10: Gov. Roy Cooper declares State of Emergency
  • March 11: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic
  • March 13: President Donald Trump declares a National Emergency
  • March 14: Cooper issues Executive Order 117 closing K-12 public schools until at least March 30 and banning gatherings of more than 100 people
  • March 16: NCDHHS recommends no mass gatherings for more than 50 people
  • March 17: Cooper issues Executive Order 118 limiting operations of restaurants and bars, and broadening unemployment insurance benefits
  • March 23: Cooper issues Executive Order 120 which closes public K-12 schools through May 15 and orders businesses such as barbershops and salons to close.
  • March 25: North Carolina reports its first coronavirus-related deaths
  • March 29: Trump extends social distancing orders through the end of April
  • March 31: Cooper signs Executive Order 124 which prohibits utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during the pandemic.
  • April 7: Cooper will sign executive orders limiting customers in retailers and offers child care assistance to certain workers
  • April 14: Coronavirus-related deaths top 100 in North Carolina
  • April 24: Cooper extends stay-at-home order to May 8
  • May 5: Cooper announces Phase One of reopening will being May 8

Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman Greg Ford signed a new State of Emergency Declaration on Sunday that requires some types of businesses to close, prohibit gatherings of 50 people or more, change visitation practices at nursing homes and restrict the use of playground equipment at local parks.

The restrictions include:

  • Closing fitness clubs, gyms, hair and nail salons, spas, tanning, massage, and tattoo salons, and other professional grooming services;
     
  • Canceling mass gatherings of 50 or more people (which includes both staff and patrons). This does not include organizations that provide critical services like hospitals, government operations and financial institutions. It also excludes retailers that provide essentials goods like grocery stores, pharmacies, pet stores and hardware stores;
     
  • Requiring nursing homes, long-term care facilities and assisted living centers to cease group activities that don’t allow for social distancing. Residents can only have one adult visitor per day, unless it is an end-of-life situation, and the visitor must be screened for:
    • fever of 100.4-degrees or higher,
    • a cough and
    • difficulty breathing before they can enter the building; 
  • Prohibiting the use of playground equipment at public and private parks. This does not include backyard playgrounds or other amenities such as greenways and walking trails; and
    ​​​​​​​
  • Recommendations that retail businesses screen their employees and customers for fever and respiratory illness before they enter the facility and turn away those who are sick.

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