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: 188 cases, 2 deaths
    • Brunswick County: 206 cases, 3 deaths
    • Columbus County: 415 cases, 29 deaths
    • Duplin County: 1,150 cases, 20 death
    • Johnston County: 802 cases, 25 deaths
    • New Hanover County: 334 cases, 5 deaths
    • Pender County: 129 cases, 1 death
    • Sampson County: 728 cases, 4 deaths
    • Wayne County: 1,467 cases, 20 deaths
    • Statewide, we have 42,676 cases and 1,104 deaths due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  823 individuals are currently hospitalized due to the virus, and North Carolina has completed more than 611,690 tests so far.
    • The latest statistics on the COVID-19 outbreak in North Carolina can always be found here.

  • Friday saw North Carolina’s highest one-day total of new cases (1,768) since the pandemic started.  COVID-19 remains a serious threat to our state.  We have the tools to respond to this crisis and slow the spread of the virus, but we all have to work together to make this happen.  Practice the 3 Ws — wear a cloth face covering, wait six feet apart and wash your hands frequently.

  • An update from the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Employment Security:
    • So far, $3.721 billion has been paid to unemployment beneficiaries since March 15; 691,729 claimants have been paid.
    • Since the start of the crisis, more than one million people have applied for unemployment benefits representing 1.485 million claims.

  • Here’s an update on IRS operations during the COVID-19 crisis.  To protect the public and employees, and in compliance with orders of local health authorities around the country, certain IRS services such as live assistance on telephones, processing paper tax returns and responding to correspondence are extremely limited or suspended until further notice.  All Taxpayer Assistance Centers remain temporarily closed as are many volunteer tax preparation sites until further notice. 

  • In Columbus County: The Columbus Jobs Foundation, the City of Whiteville and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Tourism have partnered to help small businesses throughout the county keep their staffs and customers safe by providing face masks.  To receive a case of 50 masks, business owners should send an email to  The masks will be delivered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For today’s good news story, I’m highlighting Wrightsville Beach Elementary School, which celebrated graduating 5th graders as they finished one chapter of their education and begin the next.

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