Thursday, December 7

Looking back: The start of COVID-19 in Guilford County

Two years ago this week, March 14 fell on a Saturday. The first cases of coronavirus had started cropping up in North Carolina and Guilford County. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered limits on gatherings and shut down the state’s public schools for two weeks.

Today, the highly contagious respiratory virus is on the wane again, after spikes amid the delta and omicron variants. New cases and hospitalizations are dropping, the rate of positive tests is at 2.6% and 71% of the adult population is vaccinated against the illness, according to N.C. Department of Health and Human Services data as of Wednesday. 

Since March 2020, COVID-19 has played a role in the deaths of more than 23,000 people in the state, NCDHHS data shows. Of those, 1,132 came from Guilford County. 

Two years later, here’s a look back at some of what was happening in Guilford County during those early days of the pandemic:

Schools close

Guilford County Schools leaders spent that weekend working out how to help needy children who rely on school meals during that shutdown and working out other logistics.

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Guilford plans for state-ordered school closures that start Monday

ACC Tournament canceled

The week before, the ACC Men’s Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum ended just two days after it started, with Florida State crowned the champion.

ACC Tournament canceled at Greensboro Coliseum; Duke stance helps prompt decision, report says

First case

On March 17, county health officials announced the first confirmed case in Guilford County. City Council called an emergency session to discuss plans by then-City Manager David Parrish for mitigating the spread of coronavirus. It included shutting down public sites such as libraries and parks and recreation facilities and suspending building code enforcement work, for example.

“This is going to be tough,” he told council members. “This is going to be a difficult time for small business owners, for families, for our employees, for a lot of the other employees.”

Guilford sees first case; city says closures effort to stop spread of virus

GREENSBORO — Hours after officials announced Guilford County’s first confirmed case of coron…

Last call

St. Patrick’s Day that year became a final hurrah of sorts as bars and restaurants were ordered to close indoor sales that day. 

Last call  for NC bars: 'I had to do something today, even if it’s the end of the world,' Greensboro woman says

Tanger opening delayed

And other venues started canceling events, including the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, which pushed its opening date to what ended up being September 2021. 

Virus concerns halt Tanger Center grand opening and shut down much of Greensboro's cultural scene


Here’s a look at some photos from that time:

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