Claire Donnelly

Health Reporter

Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia. 

Roy Cooper

Gov. Roy Cooper has issued a statewide "stay at home" order for North Carolina residents to slow the spread of the coronavirus. It goes into effect Monday at 5 p.m. and lasts for 30 days.

Mecklenburg County


A new "stay at home" order takes effect in Mecklenburg County on Thursday at 8 a.m. It requires residents to stay home except for certain essential activities in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.


WFAE received many listener questions about the order so we rounded up some answers.


Mecklenburg County Commissioners

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio said the county, city and the six towns have agreed to issue a "stay at home" order starting at 8 a.m. Thursday.

UNC-TV screenshot

Life amid the coronavirus in North Carolina is about to get more restrictive. First, Governor Cooper announced today that the closing of all schools is extended to May 15. And additional businesses. 

Coronavirus graphic

The tumult caused by the coronavirus this week has many WFAE listeners writing into our newsroom with questions about the unfolding pandemic. For instance, "Why do news anchors alternate between saying coronavirus and COVID-19?" "Is there a difference between quarentine and isolation?" "What should I do if I think I have the coronavirus?"

Roy Cooper

Updated 5:10 p.m. 

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is ordering all restaurants and bars in the state to close for dine-in customers as the region scrambles to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Takeout and delivery services will be allowed to continue.


Mecklenburg County reported its first two cases of the novel coronavirus Thursday. Health Department officials said two presumptive positive tests were identified at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, and still need to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Roy Cooper speaks at a press conference in Charlotte on Wednesday.
Claire Donnelly / WFAE

North Carolina officials said Wednesday the state’s lab currently has enough supplies to test 250 people for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. 

Alex Olgin / WFAE file photo

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare executives defended themselves before Mecklenburg County commissioners Tuesday following accusations that the managed care organization, which coordinates behavioral health care for 825,000 Medicaid recipients in 20 North Carolina counties, provided inadequate service. 

American Airlines has 90 percent of the flights at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
David Boraks / WFAE


American Airlines announced Tuesday it’s slashing domestic and international flights over the next few months because of the coronavirus. 

Roy Cooper

Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency in North Carolina on Tuesday as the state has seven presumptive positive coronavirus cases and supplies to test just 300 more people.

Alex Olgin / WFAE file photo


Mecklenburg County commissioners are set to meet Tuesday with representatives from Cardinal Innovations Healthcare less than a month after commissioners accused the company of providing inadequate service. The company coordinates behavioral health care for the county’s Medicaid recipients.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

North Carolina officials say the state does not have enough test kits for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. 

Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said at a press conference Friday the supply of kits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is running low.  

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention /

A second North Carolina person has tested positive for coronavirus, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said Friday. The case is unrelated to the first case identified in the state.

An architect's drawing shows what the proposed CaroMont Regional Medical Center-Belmont would look like from I-85.
CaroMont Health

North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services has approved CaroMont Health’s plan to build a hospital in Belmont near Interstate 85 and state highway 273. 

University of Southern California

The Mecklenburg County Public Health Department launched a hotline for people with questions about the new coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19.


North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen speaks to reporters Tuesday, March 3, 2020.
State of North Carolina

North Carolina’s state laboratory is now able to test for the new coronavirus using kits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which Gov. Roy Cooper said will help health officials respond more quickly to suspected cases.


A rendering of the planned "Ballantyne Reimagined" project.
Northwood Office

Two Charlotte City Council members said a planned redevelopment in Ballantyne needs more affordable housing.

An example of a sexual assault kit.
Nick de la Canal / WFAE


South Carolina is struggling with a problem that exists nationwide — a backlog of rape kits, which are part of an exam used to collect forensic evidence after a sexual assault. Over time, the kits are often lost, but a bill to create a tracking system has bipartisan support by state legislators who are hopeful it will soon become law.

Atrium Health
Atrium Health



A new option for pain relief in labor is gaining popularity in the United States -- nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. At least five Charlotte-area hospitals now offer it during childbirth.