Today’s e-mail is an update on some of the steps the Trump Administration is taking to contain, combat and defeat the COVID-19 outbreak here in North Carolina specifically. Here are just a few examples:
- The White House has launched Project Air Bridge, a coordinated public-private partnership facilitating the delivery of critical supplies like Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from other countries to the United States. The below table shows recently delivered supplies to North Carolina entities as of April 15, including Project Air Bridge efforts to bolster private sector supply chains:
Personal Protective Equipment Total N-95 Masks 272,400 Surgical & Procedural Masks 1,424,600 Eye & Face Shields 31,600 Isolation & Surgical Gowns 995,400 Surgical & Exam Gloves 47,594,500
- In addition to the Project Air Bridge efforts, as of April 24th, FEMA has delivered 243,912 N-95 masks, 580,550 surgical masks, 109,547 medical gowns, 3,826 coveralls, 114,427 face shields, and 425,853 gloves from the Strategic National Stockpile to North Carolina.
- As of April 24th, FEMA has allocated $29.5 million for COVID-19 response efforts in North Carolina.
- FEMA has announced the suspension of rent for disaster survivors living in FEMA-purchased temporary housing units in North Carolina. The temporary suspension means residents will not have to pay rent in April, May or June.
- As of April 25th, the Administration has awarded over $35.3 million in funding to 39 health centers across North Carolina to help respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. More information on these grants here.
- On April 22nd, the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services was awarded more than $2.5 million to support smaller rural hospitals and promote telehealth in rural communities. More information here.
- The Department of Education has suspended federal student loan payments and waived interest charges for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, which could benefit as many as 1.1 million student loan borrowers in North Carolina.
- The Department of Transportation has allocated more than $320 million in funding to help North Carolina transportation systems respond to the challenges of COVID-19. Details here.
Here are a few other updates:
- President Trump yesterday announced the release of a COVID-19 testing blueprint that outlines the steps the federal government will take, working in collaboration with state and local governments and the private sector, to expand testing to the level needed to meet our nation’s health and safety needs.
- New Hanover County has announced that its county-specific local COVID-19 related restrictions will not be extended and will expire on Wednesday, April 29 at 5 p.m. Among other changes, this means:
- Restaurants in the county will be able to offer carry-out food service, in addition to their ongoing delivery and curb-side pick-up, but they must continue to comply with social distancing requirements. Dine-in service, including outdoor seating at restaurants, is still not permitted – as outlined in the Governor’s Order.
- Businesses can operate in line with the Governor’s Order. The Governor’s Stay at Home Order outlines businesses that can be open and those that need to remain closed, specifically those that are close-contact businesses.
- Public gardens, basketball and volleyball courts will also be opened, but social distancing must be adhered to and groups cannot be larger than 10 people. Public restrooms at these facilities remain closed.
- More information available from New Hanover County here.
- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is beginning to hire and train staff to support existing efforts of local health departments to track the transmission of COVID-19. Working with Community Care of North Carolina, the state is hiring a Statewide Contact Tracing Team to contact North Carolinians who have been exposed to COVID-19, explain how they can keep themselves and others safe, and connect them to necessary healthcare resources. More information is available here.
- N.C. DHHS will also begin regular reporting on COVID-19 outbreaks in congregate living facilities like nursing homes and correctional facilities. Here is the first report, with a list of outbreaks in these facilities across the state.
For today’s good news story, I’m highlighting the full time residents of Camp Clearwater in Bladen County, who are all working together to keep their community safe and healthy in this time of crisis. It’s just one of the many North Carolina communities that have banded together during the COVID-19 outbreak.