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Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Coronavirus Now Present In Mecklenburg; Mass Cancellations


Friday, March 13, 2020

The coronavirus has arrived in Mecklenburg County. Gov. Cooper declares a state of emergency in order to unlock federal funds to fight the coronavirus. We look at local efforts to help us avoid the contagion and plans being made for a potential outbreak. Cardinal Innovations meets with county commissioners to dispute accusations the company did not provide adequate services for county residents.  And is the Hawthorne Lane Bridge soon to open? 

There are more diagnosed cases of the coronavirus (which has now been officially named a pandemic by the World Health Organization) this week, including two so far here in Mecklenburg County.

President Trump has halted travel from most European countries. Gov. Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency for North Carolina, and the Mecklenburg County Health Department is making preparations. Airlines are slashing the number of flights, and several entities are talking about intensifying their cleaning efforts (including Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte Area Transit System and Charlotte Douglas International Airport).

Universities in North Carolina and around the country are suspending classes or moving them online, and CMS has stopped all field trips. We’ll give you the latest.

From left: Ann Doss Helms, WFAE; Glenn Burkins, qcitymetro.com; Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV; Mary C. Curtis, Rollcall.com; Claire Donnelly, WFAE

The Hawthorne Lane Bridge has an estimated completion date for later this month, but the project looks months away from being ready. What are officials saying?

And we'll have local reaction to this week’s primaries.

A panel of local journalists will discuss these stories and more on the local news roundup.


Glenn Burkins, founder and publisher of Qcitymetro.com

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

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV reporter 

Ann Doss Helms, WFAE education reporter

Claire Donnelly, WFAE health care reporter

Charlotte Talks Executive Producer Wendy Herkey has been with WFAE since 1998, beginning in the membership department, and has been on the Charlotte Talks staff since 1999.