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Gov. Cooper issues executive order; COVID-19 cases grow, reach Craven County

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Governor Roy Cooper has issued an executive order concerning the novel coronavirus outbreak in North Carolina

All mass gatherings of more than 100 people will be stopped. This does not apply to restaurants, shopping malls, or other retail stores.

"As you know we issued this as guidance on Thursday," he explains. "However, despite this several venues continued their events, so today’s order makes it mandatory."

North Carolina K-12 public schools will also close to students beginning Monday. This will last for at least two weeks. More information on school closing can be found here.

Also in the briefing, Secretary of Health and Human Services Mandy Cohen says the state's testing capacity is increasing.

The full briefing can be watched here:

Following the announcement of a coronavirus case by Craven County officials, other counties have also confirmed more presumptive positives on Saturday.

Officials in Brunswick County say a patient is in self-isolation following a presumptive positive on late Friday evening.

Wake County officials say a teacher at Fuquay-Varina Elementary has tested positive for COVID-19. Another person in the county has also tested positive, and both remain in isolation.

Johnston County has announced a second resident has tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus on Saturday, according to affiliate WTVD. Harnett County officials say a second resident has tested positive for COVID-19. Both are currently in isolation at home.

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The North Carolina Department of Health & Humans Services says a total of 23 cases of the novel coronavirus exist statewide, including a Craven County man. This number is as of noon on Saturday.

County officials say the man was tested on Wednesday, and confirmation of the positive results were received from the North Carolina State Lab on Saturday.

According to the Craven County Health Department, the man had traveled internationally and has been in isolation since his test on Wednesday. The department is working to identify close contacts to ensure those people are quarantined.

“We believe this was brought to Craven County from abroad," says Health Director Scott Harrelson. "We do not believe this was a community acquired transmission."

The Craven County COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Team says it is following the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recommended mitigation measures.

Officials with Craven County Schools say that as of Saturday morning, they do not know of any connection between this person and school system.

"Craven County Schools has been working for weeks on plans in the event of school closures," the district says in a statement. "As soon as we have additional information, we will release it."

Per NCDHHS, the number of cases reflects both presumptive positive and confirmed positive tests. A "presumptive positive" test means the patient has tested positive, and the test must still be confirmed by another testing laboratory. Officials say they are responding to these cases as positive by following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines. A "confirmed positive" case means the test has been confirmed by the CDC lab. A map of COVID-19 cases by county can be found online.

Officials say the number of cases only represents testing done by the State Laboratory of Public Health.

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