Here's the latest:
- Yesterday, the House passed the Senate emergency coronavirus relief package and President Trump immediately signed it into law. It will put money directly into the hands of North Carolina families and provide critical low-interest loans and grants to small businesses to help them stay afloat through the crisis. Learn more about what's in the package here.
- Governor Cooper announced on Friday a statewide stay-at-home order for all North Carolina residents effective 5 p.m. on Monday. The order enables essential businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies and doctors' offices to continue to operate while prioritizing social distancing measures and limiting gatherings to groups of no more than 10. Drive-thru and curbside pickup of food is permitted, as well.
- New Hanover County has also announced increased restrictions in conjunction with the Governor's order. The county's directive orders the closure of additional types of businesses, including car dealers, hotels, motels, as well as indoor and outdoor shopping malls. A FAQ document for New Hanover County residents is available here.
- If your business is not included among the "essential businesses" list and you think it should be, you can file a request to be considered essential with the N.C. Department of Revenue here.
- Parents who need food assistance for their children can text FOODNC to 877-877 to locate nearby free meal sites. After entering their address, parents will receive a text with the location and serving times for nearby pick-up and drive-thru free meal sites while schools are closed. Sites have been set up across the state for families with children ages 18 and younger, including preschool children, who rely on free and reduced-price meals at school.
- Here is a list of farms across North Carolina that have added on-farm pickup, home delivery and online pre-ordering to accommodate for social distancing. You can support our local farm families by buying locally-grown produce and still comply with the stay-at-home order.
- The federal government's Benefits.Gov has set up a dedicated coronavirus resource page that can help families access the resources they need, available here.
- The CDC and Apple, working in conjunction with the White House and FEMA, have launched a new website and app with a COVID-19 screening tool and resources to help people protect their health. Visit the site here.
And…some more of the "good news" stories of North Carolinians coming together to defeat the virus. Trey Sharpe with PCCS Medical in Wilmington donated $5,000 worth of soap to Wave Transit for use on its buses. Sharpe is also paying for 100 nights of hotel rooms to help hospital workers who are concerned about exposing family members to the virus.
There's also Island Women, a non-profit based on Pleasure Island, that is hand-making masks to donate for use at assisted living facilities. These are just some of the many stories of individuals giving their time and resources to helping their neighbors and communities weather this crisis.
As always, stay tuned to Coronavirus.gov and NC's Department of Health and Human Services website for the latest on the outbreak.