Here’s today’s update:

  • New Hanover County Regional Medical Center has announced modified visitor restrictions first implemented in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Beginning Tuesday, August 25, NHRMC will allow hospitalized patients to identify one person over the age of 18 who may visit the patient between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The designated person will be the only permitted visitor for the duration of the patient’s stay. Anyone who is over 65, pregnant, or immunocompromised is discouraged from visiting.
  • Columbus County Schools announced yesterday that it has decided to begin in-person learning for Grades Four and Five starting on Monday, August 31st.  The school system reports:
    • "This decision was made after evaluating the ability to meet safety guidelines with additional students, as well as the ability to meet the educational needs of in-person students.  We also recognize the difficulty for some parents to find childcare during the school day.  This is only for students whose parents did not request 100% virtual.  All parents who requested 100% virtual will remain at home. Schools will be posting further instructions."
    • Visit the Columbus County Schools website for more information.

  • The St. Stan’s Polish Festival in Castle Hayne, normally held the 1st Saturday in November, has been cancelled.  However, organizers will be having a frozen food sale beginning in December for those that always enjoy the festival’s food.  Thanks to newsletter reader Debbie for bringing this to our attention!

  • As we approach peak hurricane season, the IRS is reminding residents to take steps to secure their important documents in the event of a severe storm.  Original documents such as tax returns, birth certificates, deeds, titles and insurance policies should be stored inside waterproof containers in a secure space.  More info from the IRS with additional tips here.

  • Another reminder from the IRS: unemployment compensation income is considered taxable.  Many Americans are receiving unemployment benefits, many for the first time, and the IRS is reminding taxpayers that they can have tax withheld on that income now to avoid having to pay tax on it when they file federal income taxes next year.  More information here.

For today’s good news story, I’m highlighting Deeper Life Church Ministries in Goldsboro, which will be hosting “Groceries on Us” for about 200 families on Sunday, August 30 from 1 to 3pm (or until food runs out).   It’s a perfect example of how people of faith are coming together to help those in need put food on their tables in this challenging time.

As always, stay tuned to Coronavirus.gov and the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ website for the latest on the outbreak.