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About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses in animals and humans. These illnesses can range from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new strain not previously identified in humans. COVID-19 was originally detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and has now spread to more than 34 countries, including the United States, which prompted the declaration of a public health emergency.

Latest Updates

Governor Cooper and NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen announced that additional frontline essential workers in Group 3 will be eligible for vaccinations beginning March 3. Beginning on March 24, Group 4, beginning with those with a higher risk from COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions, will become eligible to receive a vaccine.

Source: North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (Latest Updates)

Emergency Briefings and Livestreams

PBS North Carolina provides livestreaming of emergency news conferences. These livestreams appear on the PBS North Carolina and the Department of Public Safety websites. In partnership with North Carolina Emergency Management, PBS North Carolina also provides live Spanish interpretation of emergency news conferences from the State Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. A Spanish language web stream has been added to both websites.

Code is available for digital media providers to embed the web streams into their own content.

Watch Now | COVID Uncovered

February 24, 2021

It’s been almost one year since North Carolina saw the first coronavirus case. Since that time we’ve seen lockdowns and re-openings, spikes and declines, now vaccines and new hopes. Governor Cooper announced new relaxations on restrictions this week and we ask DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen to tell us all about these updates. 

COVID Uncovered airs Wednesday, 7:30 PM on PBS NC and is streaming now on the PBS Video app.

What You Should Know

How It Spreads

  • The virus spreads most commonly from person-to-person close contact (within six feet).
  • It is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • It may also be possible that COVID-19 can spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects (although this is not believed to be the main way the virus spreads).

How to Protect Yourself

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are feeling sick, stay home and away from others.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces.
  • Avoid touching your eyes or mouth.
  • Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue, then discard the tissue in a trash receptacle.
  • If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow (however the virus can stay in your clothes and be passed on for up to a week or more).

Symptoms & Testing

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

In more severe cases, symptoms may include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • Kidney failure
  • Death

Call your healthcare professional if you feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Emergency Resources for Parents, Kids & Educators

Watch Now | Elmo & Rosita: The Right Way to Sneeze!

Staying Healthy

Learn how implementing simple, healthy routines are key to keeping healthy,

Resources for Kids


What is it important to wear a mask right now?


Check out this video for kids from WUCF in Florida on the importance of face masks!

Doctor Daniel Game

Learn about all the interesting instruments that doctors use.


UNC-TV's 24/7 PBS Kids Channel provides a destination for wholesome, educational, and entertaining content for children ages 2-8.

Coloring & Activity Pages from Rootle!

Resources for Parents

How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus

Learn important ways to speak with your children about COVID-19.

Daniel Tiger for Parents (App)

The app empowers parents and caregivers with songs and videos from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

PBS Daily

Weekday newsletter offers tips and activities you can use to help kids learn and play at home.

How You and Your Kids Can De-Stress During Coronavirus

Tips and tricks that you can use to help you and your kids stay stress free.

Resources for Educators

At-Home Learning

PBS North Carolina (formerly UNC-TV) and the NC Department of Public Instruction bring curriculum-informed educational content to all students for free.

Further Resources & Information

NC 2-1-1 is now a resource for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.