20200522g_nws_phase two

Dennis Quaintance (left), CEO of Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels, watches as staff members rearrange the dining area at Green Valley Grill in Greensboro, N.C., on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, has led to numerous closings, cancellations, postponements and schedule changes since it began spreading in North Carolina in early March.

Here's a roundup of major changes to public services and operations in the Greensboro area. Many government offices and local businesses are closed or have different hours and operations; if in doubt, call first or visit the organization's website. This list was greatly condensed from an earlier version and was last updated at 12:30 p.m. May 21.

Stay-at-home orders

North Carolina will enter Phase 2 of its statewide reopening plan at 5 p.m. Friday.

In Phase 2, restaurants (for table service), personal-care businesses and pools can now open but can operate at just 50 percent capacity and with distancing and cleaning requirements. Childcare facilities and day and overnight camps also can reopen with enhanced cleaning and screening requirements.

Some businesses will remain closed in Phase 2. These include bars, public playgrounds, gymnasiums and indoor fitness facilities, movie theaters, bowling alleys, museums and other indoor entertainment venues.

Mass gathering limits have been relaxed. Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people except for houses of worship, which are exempt from these limits but are encouraged to clean frequently and use social distancing and other hygiene practices. Outdoor gatherings are limited in most instances to 25 people.

Phase 1 went into effect May 8. Phase 2 will run through at least June 26.

Click here to read a news release on Phase 2 from the governor's office, and click here to read Gov. Roy Cooper's executive order that lays out the rules for Phase 2.

The governor announced April 23 that North Carolina plans to lift restrictions in three phases once the spread of COVID-19 slows. Click here to read a news release about that plan, and click here to see a short presentation about the plan for a phased statewide reopening.

Coronavirus cases

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services updates the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and related deaths about 11 a.m. each morning. Click here to see that report, which includes county, ZIP code, demographic and other data.

The News & Observer of Raleigh and Raleigh TV station WRAL keep separate counts of reported cases and fatalities in North Carolina based on the DHHS report and reports from county health departments. Click here for the News & Observer's tally, and click here for the WRAL count.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks cases and deaths across the United States. The CDC updates its information about 4 p.m. every afternoon. Click here for that daily report.

The Guilford County Department of Public Health publishes a report every weekday afternoon on the cumulative number of cases, deaths, hospitalizations and recoveries in Guilford County. Click here to see that report, and note that the numbers reported by the county health department often differ from the Guilford County numbers included in the state report.

COVID-19 testing

State health officials posted a list of COVID-19 testing sites on May 14. Click here to see that list, which includes one location in Greensboro, one in Summerfield and two in High Point. Note that some testing sites require an appointment or a doctor's referral.

The Guilford County public health department is operating a COVID-19 testing site at UNCG. Call 336-641-7527 to make an appointment.


North Carolina's public schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year, according to an announcement by Gov. Roy Cooper on April 24. However, teaching and learning will continue remotely through the end of the school year in June. The last day of classes for Guilford County public schools on the traditional calendar is June 5.

The N.C. High School Athletic Association announced April 24 that it has canceled the spring high school sports season.

Guilford County Schools buildings and administrative offices are closed to the public, and most employees are working remotely. The school system is providing meals to children, laptops, free internet access in school parking lots and other resources to children and their families. For more information, click here or contact your child's teacher or school.

For a list of about 100 meal distribution sites throughout the county, click here. Hours are 11 a.m. to noon weekdays. Children 18 and younger can pick up lunch for that day and breakfast for the next day.

Guilford County Schools has announced dates for drive-through graduation recognition events for each county high school starting June 2. Click here for those dates and times.

City of Greensboro

The city of Greensboro has announced numerous changes to its operations due to COVID-19.

Among them: Melvin Municipal Office Building, city offices, libraries, city-operated indoor recreation centers, museums, cultural centers and the Greensboro Aquatic Center are closed to the public; Greensboro Transit Authority service has been reduced; bathrooms and city parks and lakes are closed; and city-run skate parks, playgrounds and basketball courts are closed.

The city resumed residential collection of yard waste May 4. Throughout May, yard waste will be collected twice from each Greensboro home. Click here for that schedule and restrictions on the amount of yard waste that can be left out.

Police and fire service remain in normal operation. For emergencies, call 911.

For service changes, a complete list of closed facilities and more details about city of Greensboro closings, click here or call 336-373-2489.

Guilford County

Guilford County has made numerous changes to the operation of its parks, animal shelter, social services, health department, tax department, Register of Deeds office, courts and other county offices as well as to jail visitation and acquiring pistol purchase and concealed carry permits.

For more details about access to and operations of Guilford County offices, click here.

Cone Health

Cone Health, which operates Moses Cone and Wesley Long hospitals in Greensboro and more than 100 other health care locations in the region, has limited hospital visitors, reduced the number of routine procedures, closed some facilities and made numerous changes to its regular operations.

On May 11, Cone Health said it has resumed some surgeries and procedures at Moses Cone and Wesley Long hospitals in Greensboro and several other facilities.

Visit www.conehealth.com/coronavirus for up-to-date information about COVID-19 and changes to Cone Health operations.

Colleges and universities

Area higher education institutions have closed their campuses, moved instruction online and postponed in-person commencement ceremonies scheduled for May. Local universities are beginning to announce plans for the fall 2020 semester. Check a school's homepage for campus updates and a link to its coronavirus response.

Unemployment benefits

Laid-off workers with questions about the unemployment application and benefits can click here. Employers with questions can click here.

N.C. courts

Most court proceedings in the state's District and Superior courts have been postponed to June 1. However, first appearances, bond hearings and proceedings for emergency situations (domestic violence, temporary restraining orders, juvenile custody and others) will continue.

On May 21, N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley announced that jury trials won't resume until August. Click here to read her order on court operations, and click here to read her order on filing deadlines.

For up-to-date information on the operation of state courts, click here. For information about court operations in Guilford County, click here.

N.C. parks and museums

State parks reopened May 9. Most trails and restrooms reopened. Visitors centers, picnic shelters, campgrounds and most other facilities will remain closed, and no facility rentals are available. Some state parks intend to close early, and some may limit parking. Visit www.ncparks.gov for more details about state park operations.

All art, history and natural sciences museums operated by the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources are closed.

In Greensboro, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park facilities are closed but outdoor spaces remain open. The Greensboro Science Center is closed through at least May 31.


According to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles website, two driver licence offices in Greensboro — on East Market Street and Coliseum Boulevard — and the driver licence office in High Point are open by appointment only. The office on East Washington Street in Greensboro (at the Depot) is closed.

Click here to find an open office, make an appointment and see what other DMV services are available.

On May 4, the DMV announced that a new state law has granted a five-month extension for renewing driver's licenses, vehicle registrations and other DMV credentials that expire on or after March 1 and before Aug. 1. The new law also extends the deadline for paying motor vehicle taxes tied to registration. Click here for more details about the extension.


The filing deadlines for federal and state income tax for individuals and businesses have been extended to July 15.


Electrical, natural gas, water and wastewater service utilities are prohibited by a governor's order from disconnecting residential service for nonpayment and from charging late fees, penalties, interest or reconnection fees for residential service through May 31. Click here for more information about that order.


Many music, theater and other cultural events scheduled for the spring and summer have been postponed or canceled. Click here for the status of events at the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, and click here for a revised Greensboro Coliseum schedule.

For other local venues, call or check their websites or social media pages.

Other major events

The High Point Market Authority has postponed the spring furniture market to Oct. 17-21.

Eastern Music Festival, which was to have run from June 27 to Aug. 1, has been canceled.

Fun Fourth Festival, scheduled for July 3-4 in downtown Greensboro, has been canceled. However, the city is looking for another venue for a July 4 fireworks show.

The Wyndham Championship pro golf event at Sedgefield County Club has been pushed back a week to Aug. 11-16.

The start of the baseball season for the Greensboro Grasshoppers has been delayed indefinitely.

For more information

For details about North Carolina's response to coronavirus, call 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162, text COVIDNC to 898211 or visit www.nc.gov/covid19.

For health-related information, click here to visit the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services' COVID-19 response website. And click here for an FAQ about symptoms, treatment, testing, precautions and more.

If there are cancellations, postponements or changes to public services and major events not listed here, contact John Newsom at (336) 373-7312 or john.newsom@greensboro.com.

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