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NC tax deadline delayed; assisted living resident has virus

RALEIGH (AP) — North Carolina’s state April 15 tax filing deadline has been pushed back by three months due to the new coronavirus, the Department of Revenue announced.

The rescheduled July 15 date for state individual, corporate, and franchise taxes follows the federal government’s lead. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced a similar IRS delay on Friday, adding that IRS taxpayers won’t face interest or penalties with the longer wait.

But North Carolina’s tax office only has power to waive penalties if they pay their tax by July 15. Interest will still accrue from April 15 until the date of payment because state law requires it, the department said in a release.

The delay, announced Friday, comes as the number of positive COVID-19 cases in North Carolina keeps growing.

The state Department of Health and Human Services has counted more than 180 positive cases as of Saturday morning, an increase of about 45 compared to Friday. Sixty-percent of those cases are in Mecklenburg, Wake and Durham counties. No deaths have been reported.

The state-reported total of positives in Mecklenburg is about 40 but is expected to be much higher soon. The county health department said Saturday it had more than 75 confirmed cases overall. No explanation was given for the increase. Nearly 5,300 tests have been completed in the state, according to DHHS.

In Wake County, an assisted living resident in Cary has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the operator of the Woodland Terrace residential community for older adults. The exposure’s origin was unknown, executive director Matt Towler said in a news release. The community also includes independent living units and memory care.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Hospitals already are preparing for a surge in patients. Hospital systems in the Triangle — UNC Health, Duke Health and Wake Med — announced that starting Monday visitors won’t be permitted in their hospitals’ inpatient areas, with some exceptions.

Gov. Roy Cooper already closed K-12 public schools through March 30. University of North Carolina system campuses are shifting students to online classes and told them to leave their dormitories. UNC-Chapel Hill announced on Friday that its May commencement ceremonies are being postponed.

Cooper’s executive orders limits assemblies of over 100 people and prohibits restaurants and bars from offering dine-in options. State health officials are urging people to follow federal guidelines of avoiding crowds of 50 or more.

These and other massive scale-backs at North Carolina retailers and eateries led to a wave of unemployment claims. About 42,000 people had filed as of Friday morning, the state Commerce Department reported, according to media outlets. A department spokesman didn’t immediately respond to an email Saturday seeking updated figures. In recent months, about 3,500 claims were filed per week.