Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Phase 1 Begins; NC Behind On Testing; Proposed City Budget

May 7, 2020

Friday, May 8, 2020

The state begins to loosen coronavirus restrictions Friday. The US is woefully behind other nations in terms of testing and North Carolina is at the bottom of the pile among the states.  We rank 45 out of 50.  A city budget for next year reflects the virus. The bottom line is lower, but no tax increases are recommended.  

On the next Charlotte Talks local news roundup ...

We take a look at the latest on the coronavirus outbreak and its impact in Mecklenburg County and beyond.

Today is May 8, the day Gov. Roy Cooper has declared an end to North Carolina’s stay-at-home order as we currently know it. Stay-at-home is still in effect, but with fewer restrictions. At 5 p.m., we begin Phase 1 of the governor’s plan to reopen the state. We’ll talk about what that means here in Mecklenburg County and beyond, and how local businesses are preparing to get back to work.

And while we’re making moves to open up the state again, a COVID-19 tracking project shows that North Carolina does not rank well when it comes to testing for the virus — and experts say testing is the key to stopping the spread. So what does the state say about our 45 out of 50 ranking? We’ll discuss.

Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones recommended the city budget for next year, and included no tax increases or furloughs or layoffs for city workers. The plan also includes no losses in city services. We’ll go over the details.

Although the announcement was made in recent weeks that schools in North Carolina were closed due to the coronavirus, distance learning has continued across the state — for some. How are educators and school officials reaching those students who may otherwise fall through the cracks?

Schools in North Carolina will open a week earlier next year, on August 17. That announcement was part of a COVID-19 response plan signed by the governor this week. What will that mean for educators and families here and around the state?

Host Mike Collins brings those stories and much more along with area journalists.

Guests:

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB 

Jonathan Lowe, anchor/ reporter for Spectrum News

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV Reporter 

Ann Doss Helms, WFAE Education Reporter