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Charlotte Talks: Nearly 6 Months Into The Pandemic, A Conversation With The Mecklenburg Co. Manager

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WFAE/Steve Harrison

Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020

Since the coronavirus emerged in North Carolina this March, the public health and economy of the state has seen unprecedented challenges. Nearly six months into the pandemic, we sit down with Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio to discuss the state of the county's health and economy.

As of this week, over 25,000 cases and 295 virus-related deaths have been reported in Mecklenburg County. However, the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate had dropped to 6.4% last week, and state health officials set a goal of 5%, which impacts decisions about reopening.

Just this weekend, however, the reported number of North Carolina cases jumped by over 1,000.

Mecklenburg County’s small business revenue nosedived almost 26% this year, and dozens of businesses have closed permanently. Charlotte-Mecklenburgs’s Black Chamber of Commerce notes 30-40% of their businesses have shuttered.

We sit down with County Manager Dena Diorio to figure out how Charlotte is managing outbreaks and propping up struggling businesses as we approach six months since the virus was first reported in North Carolina.

GUEST

Dena Diorio, Mecklenburg County manager

Jesse Steinmetz is Assistant Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.