September 29
  • WAKE COUNTY SCHOOLS announces changes, including the news that it will transition to in-person classes on October 26 for students Pre-K to third grade. All students through middle school will have in-person classes by November 16. 
  • CHAD DORRILL, a sophomore at Appalachian University, dies from COVID-19. Cases at the university have spiked the past few weeks, with a university dashboard showing more than 700 cases since June. 
September 30
  • Governor Cooper announces that the state will be heading into PHASE 3 beginning October 2 at 5:00 p.m. In this phase, under Executive Order 169, bars with outdoor seating are allowed to reopen, and amusement parks, movie theaters, and outdoor venues are allowed to open at limited capacities. Restrictions come during an increase in statewide cases and will last at least until October 23. 
October 2
  • Shortly before 1:00 a.m., PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP announces that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • Numerous people in Trump’s close circle, including Republican SENATOR THOM TILLIS, test positive for COVID-19. Earlier in the week, during a trip to D.C., Tillis voted on the Senate floor and attended the now-infamous Supreme Court nomination announcement for Amy Coney Barrett. 
  • On Friday evening, a conservative news site publishes intimate text messages between Democratic senate candidate CAL CUNNINGHAM and a woman who is not his wife. The Cunningham campaign confirmed that the texts—“sexts” or “romantic texts,” depending on your definition—were real. The married father of two has apologized and stated his intent to stay in the race.  
  • The TOWN OF CHAPEL HILL cancels all Halloween festivities, including the annual Franklin Street event that draws thousands, which somehow wasn’t canceled until now. 
October 4
  • WAKE COUNTY reports a rise in COVID-19 cases, with a jump from 519 cases the week of September 20 to 651 the week of September 27. 
  • JULIE DAVIS, a third-grade teacher at Norwood Elementary School in Stanly County, dies from COVID-19. The school had implemented a mixture of remote and in-person learning. 
October 5
  • An ETHICS COMPLAINT filed on Monday alleges that Republican legislators are using state funds as a piggy bank, collecting reimbursements for expenses like housing, travel, and more while also reimbursing themselves with campaign funds. 

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