Here’s the latest this weekend on the COVID-19 crisis:

  • As we begin a new week, here is the status of the COVID-19 outbreak in the counties that make up the 7th District:
    • Bladen County: 162 cases, 2 deaths
    • Brunswick County: 142 cases, 3 deaths
    • Columbus County: 368 cases, 27 deaths
    • Duplin County: 1,006 cases, 19 death
    • Johnston County: 620 cases, 19 deaths
    • New Hanover County: 259 cases, 5 deaths
    • Pender County: 108 cases, 1 death
    • Sampson County: 597 cases, 4 deaths
    • Wayne County: 1,306 cases, 20 deaths
    • Statewide, we have 35,546 cases and 996 deaths due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 696 individuals are currently hospitalized due to the virus, and North Carolina has completed more than 511,200 tests so far.
    • The latest statistics on the COVID-19 outbreak in North Carolina can always be found here.

  • Each Friday, the CDC updates a weekly summary of COVID-19 activity across the country.  Here’s the key finding for this week:
    • "Nationally, levels of influenza-like illness and COVID-19-like illness and the percentage of specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, continue to decline or remain stable at low levelsMortality attributed to COVID-19 also decreased compared to last week but remains elevated above baseline and may increase as additional death certificates are processed.
    • View the full report here.
  • Here is the latest update from Brunswick County on testing, contact tracing and other efforts to slow the spread of the virus within the county.  Access it here.

  • Cape Fear Valley Health is modifying the patient visitation policy at Bladen County hospital and its other facilities.  One care companion per day for most inpatients is now being permitted between Noon and 8 p.m. daily.  Patients age 17 and younger may have two care companions who are the patient’s parents or legal guardians.  Care companions will have rules to follow, such as wearing a mask, completing a health screening temperature check and respiratory questions.  Access is limited to the patient’s room.  Clergy are permitted to visit between Noon and 8 p.m.  More info available here.

  • Here are the latest stats on unemployment benefit payments and claims from the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Division of Employment Security:
    • $3.301 billion in unemployment payments have been made since March 15, including more than $1.767 billion in federal pandemic unemployment insurance authorized by the CARES Act.
    • So far just over a million individuals in North Carolina have filed unemployment claims, the vast majority of which have been online rather than over the phone. 10,282 claims were filed this past Thursday alone.
    • More information, and DES’ full update, is available here.

  • Pender County’s libraries in Burgaw and Hampstead are now open to the public, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., during Phase Two of the state’s reopening.  The libraries will continue to offer outdoor pickup service to customers who do not wish to enter the libraries.  More information is available on Pender County’s website here.

For today’s good news story, I’m highlighting the work of the Goldsboro Family YMCA.  Teaming up with Wayne County Public Schools, the YMCA has been delivering meals to children in our community who are unable to access the schools’ meal distribution sites.  Since March, YMCA members, staff and volunteers have been delivering meals daily to approximately 150 children – 18,000 meals in total for kids in need.  It’s just another way our community is looking out for one another in these challenging times.