Here’s today’s update:

  • Negotiations are underway in the Capitol today on an additional round of COVID-19 relief legislation, which will likely include assistance for our schools as they seek to re-open safely this fall, an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program for those who continue to suffer from the Pandemic and the shutdown, a rework of the unemployment payments, and possibly more stimulus payments to individuals.  Stay tuned to this newsletter for more information about exactly what will and won’t be included in the next phase of COVID-related legislation as it becomes available in the coming days.  Details will change multiple times over the course of the next two weeks.  Passage would likely be the first week of August.   

  • After three days of declining hospitalizations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, North Carolina reported a new record today – 1,179 individuals presently hospitalized.  It’s also the 13th consecutive day of 1,000+ hospitalizations.  1,815 new cases were reported statewide today, reaching a total of 102,861 since the outbreak began.  An additional 26 deaths were reported today, bringing the statewide total to 1,668.  A total of 1,458,997 tests have been completed as of today’s update.

  • New Hanover County Schools has published its Back to School guide for the 2020-2021 school year, which lays out how the school system plans to reopen.  There is also a useful frequently asked questions document for families here.

  • The deadline for families with students in Brunswick County Schools to apply for 100% remote learning for the 2020-2021 school year, previously scheduled for tomorrow, has been extended until 8 a.m. on Thursday, July 23rd so that parents have additional time to consider their decision.  The application can be found online here.  The remote learning option is a one-semester commitment. 

  • Here’s an update from Wayne County Public Schools, which opted yesterday to re-open schools under “Plan B”.  More information is available here.

  • Pender County Schools held a Board of Education meeting earlier today in which it selected Option 5 for school re-opening this fall.  In Option 5, K-8th Grade students will be divided into two groups, each of which will receive in-person instruction two days a week and three days a week of remote learning.  Traditional high school students will be divided into three groups, each of which will receive a full week of in-person instruction for one week and then receive two weeks of remote learning for two weeks before returning to the classroom.  More information will soon be available, but here is the school system’s initial statement following the meeting.

  • The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles is temporarily waiving the requirement for a road test for some drivers who are seeking a full provisional drivers license.  Specifically, NCDMV is waiving road tests for qualified drivers who are 18 or older.  Those qualified for a road test waiver must make an appointment at a DMV license office?.  Chose “Driver License – First Time” as the type of appointment, then pick an office and select a date and time. ? More information about eligibility and next steps a driver needs to take can be found on the NCDMV website here.

One additional non-COVID item of note:

  • I’m pleased to announce that Hayden Wall of the Wayne Country Day School is the winner of this year’s 7th District Congressional Art Competition for his photo “Nautical Delight”, of the Jolly Roger Pier in Topsail Beach.  North Carolina is blessed to have many young people with great talent.  It''s always exciting to see the incredible artwork on display each year in the U.S. Capitol from all across the country.  Congratulations to Hayden on being this year’s winner in the 7th District. I am sure his family and his art teacher at the Wayne Country Day School, Karen Barfield, are very proud.


For today’s good news story, I’m highlighting 17 year old Olivia Gillespie of Clinton, who spent her recent birthday gathering food donations for those in need.  As of last week, almost 5,000 individual food items had been donated by people helping support Olivia’s birthday project – food items that will go to help those struggling the most during the COVID-19 outbreak.  Great work using your birthday to give back to your community, Olivia!
As always, stay tuned to and the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ website for the latest on the outbreak.