Here's the latest:
- Negotiations in the Senate on a coronavirus relief package continue, and there are some signs that the Democrats may be relenting on the wish list of unrelated priorities to the legislation. (By the way, $35 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington was the latest item I was informed of last night.) I wrote about what's included in the Senate package, and the list of unrelated Democrat demands holding it up, in an update I sent out last night available here.
- As I mentioned yesterday, Gov. Cooper has issued an Executive Order requiring the closure of certain businesses where a high level of social interaction is inherent to the business as of tomorrow and extending the school closure to May 15th. More information about the Governor's order, including a list of the types of businesses affected, is available here.
- President Trump yesterday signed an Executive Order cracking down on the hoarding of health and medical supplies in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. The order also prohibits price gouging of needed medical supplies. As Attorney General Barr said yesterday, this isn't about families who have a large amount of toilet paper stored in their homes -- this is to prevent bad actors from sitting on warehouses of goods like surgical masks needed in a national emergency.
- The President also announced yesterday that FEMA is distributing 8 million N95 masks and 13.3 million surgical masks across the country, focusing on the areas with the greatest need. FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor said today that the Administration will be using the emergency authority provided under the Defense Production Act to secure about 60,000 additional needed coronavirus test kits, as well.
- A lot of families have questions about COVID-19 and food safety, and how they can shop safely at grocery stores. NC State Extension has a useful flyer with tips on how you can go to grocery stores safely while minimizing your own risk and the risk to your fellow shoppers. I've included the flyer below.
- With so many North Carolina employees working remotely, access to reliable high-speed internet has become more important than ever. The NC Department of Information Technology has compiled this interactive map and a list of free or affordable broadband access services across the state.
- In response to the outbreak, a group of public, private and non-profit entities have launched a new recovery program for North Carolina small businesses and family farms. Click here to learn more about the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending Program.
- North Carolinians can sign up for updates by texting COVIDNC to 898211. You can also always receive assistance with outbreak-related inquiries by dialing 2-1-1.
As always, for the latest on the outbreak stay tuned to Coronavirus.gov and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services' website.