Here’s today’s update:

  • I joined President Trump for a visit to Fujifilm Diosynth in Morrisville, Wake County, this afternoon.  The company is manufacturing a vaccine for biotech company Novavax, which has been awarded $1.6 billion as part of Operation Warp Speed — an initiative by the President and his administration to develop, test, produce and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine in record time.  A lot of vitally important work is being done around the nation as a result of Operation Warp Speed with some of it right here in North Carolina.  I’m optimistic that these efforts will lead to lifesaving results down the line as testing and clinical trials of the various vaccines continue.

  • Drug company Moderna announced today that it has begun final-stage trials of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate – another promising lead on a vaccine being developed quickly thanks to Operation Warp Speed.  In early trials, the vaccine’s results are showing that it is safe and produces an antibody response.

  • As of today, North Carolina has reported 114,338 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide.  1,790 individuals have died from the virus across the state, and more than 1.635 million tests have been completed so far.  Earlier today North Carolina reported 1,625 new cases, about the same as the 1,621 reported yesterday.  Hospitalizations are down slightly from the peaks hit last week, with 1,169 individuals currently hospitalized due to the virus statewide.

  • Here is a snapshot of the virus in the counties that make up the 7th District:
    • Bladen County: 538 cases, 5 deaths
    • Brunswick County: 1,066 cases, 13 deaths
    • Columbus County: 759 cases, 44 deaths
    • Duplin County: 1,874 cases, 40 deaths
    • Johnston County: 2,654 cases, 43 deaths
    • New Hanover County: 2,119 cases, 15 deaths
    • Pender County: 569 cases, 3 deaths
    • Sampson County: 1,386 cases, 10 deaths
    • Wayne County: 2,215 cases, 36 deaths
    • You can always find the most up-to-date statistics on the virus at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ website here.

  • An estimated 92,302 individuals are presumed to have recovered from the virus statewide.

  • Brunswick County announced that it has exceeded the 1,000 case mark as of late last week, and while recoveries have increased substantially in the last five days, the county has still seen a roughly 20 percent increase in cases since Friday, July 17.  More from the county here.

  • Brunswick County Schools on Monday announced that voluntary summer conditioning workouts will resume on Monday, August 3rd.  The workouts are optional, and participation is not required for Fall sports.  Parents are encouraged to contact the athletic director at their child’s school with any questions.

  • Here is the latest update from Johnston County on the status of the outbreak, with information about spread of the virus in congregated living facilities and the most up to date locations and hours of testing sites within the county.

For today’s good news story, I’m highlighting the volunteers of the Garland Senior Center, who have been packing and delivering meals to area seniors since the outbreak began.  Garland is one of several locations serving meals in conjunction with Sampson County’s Department of Aging.  All of these volunteers and workers are serving as a lifeline to seniors that have been pent up at home for months.  It’s a great way to safely give back to the community and look out for your neighbors during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.  Thank you to all for your hard work!

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