The House Committee on COVID-19 and its subcommittees began meeting this month in preparation for legislative action on the COVID-19 crisis. At this time, I am not sure what session will look like, but my office will continue to keep you updated on legislation in the works to provide relief to North Carolinians when the legislature goes back into session.

In the meantime, please send concerns or ideas about possible relief efforts to our office. We are thankful for everyone who has already taken time to provide their ideas and concerns to us.

On April 9th, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 131 ordering North Carolinians to remain in their homes except for performing essential work and essential activities. Three key areas are addressed in Executive Order 131. The first requires retail stores that are still operating to implement new social distancing policies to make shopping safer for customers and employees. The second makes earlier COVID-19 guidelines mandatory for nursing facilities, and recommends other long-term care facilities to do the same. The third area is unemployment benefits, issuing changes that will speed up certain benefit payments to those who are out of work.

Below, you can find a link to a compilation of frequently asked questions about this executive order and a link to the exact language of the executive order.
The CDC has made a new recommendation for everyone to wear a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

It's easy to make a mask using materials commonly found in your home! I'm glad I made mine before making a grocery run for my family last week. You may find more i nformation on wearing and making a homemade mask , here.
Reminder: my office in the General Assembly will be utilizing teleworking technologies indefinitely. My office is not closed. We are still here to help address any questions or concerns you might have. We will just not be physically in the Legislative Building for a short time. You can still contact my office by emailing or by calling 919-715-0795.

Please contact me at any time. I am here to serve you.


Representative Julie von Haefen
Virtual Office Hours
I'm moving my regular office hours online! Join me and Apex Mayor Pro Tempore, Nicole Dozier, next Thursday, April 23rd at 7PM for virtual office hours.

We'll be discussing the state and local response to the COVID crisis and taking your questions on Facebook Live.
If you missed my last office hours with Town of Cary Councilwoman, Lori Bush, you can still access the video of that event, here .
Community Resource Guide
Our office has compiled a great amount of information about available community resources into a single document. In this document you can find information about:

  • COVID-19 Health & Medical Information
  • Family Care and Isolation Resources
  • Financial Resources for Unemployed Workers and Small Business Owners
  • Food Security Resources
  • Volunteering Information

This is a living document and will be updated regularly. If you cannot find information that you need in this document, please contact and we will do our best to assist you as quickly as possible.
Town Hall on Mental Health
If you missed our town hall on mental health, you can check it out here! We had really productive conversations about managing stress and emotions during this difficult time. I learned a lot of great tips to help manage my own household now that everyone's working and learning from home together.

If you want to dig a little deeper into the content discussed during the event, you can follow this link to view the presentations used by our panelists!
Have You Completed the Census?
Have you completed your census yet? If not, there's still time. Take a minute today to make yourself count!
The census affects funding for schools, roads and hospitals, firefighters, and resources for people who need it most. It helps elect community leaders on school boards and city councils.  You have the power to make a difference, right now  -- from your house -- by going online, calling the Census Bureau, or by filling out your paper from once it comes in the mail. Get counted today. 

You can call the census bureau to complete your questionnaire using this number:
COVID-19 Updates
Unemployment and the Federal CARES Act
Program Description: Unemployment insurance (UI) is a joint state-federal partnership, with the state administering the program and setting benefit levels and length within certain federal guidelines. In times of economic distress, the federal government has provided additional relief to state agencies administering the program and offered enhanced benefits to unemployed workers backed by federal funds. 

How it Works: The CARES Act makes several major changes to the UI system nationwide, including:
  • Makes an additional 13 weeks of federally-funded unemployment compensation for individuals who have exhausted their state unemployment benefits available immediately through December 31, 2020. 
  • Adds an additional $600 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation to every weekly unemployment benefit, effective until July 31, 2020. This $600 benefit will be taxable (like regular unemployment benefits), but it will be disregarded in determining Medicaid or CHIP eligibility. 
  • Creates a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program that will cover self- employed workers (including gig workers and independent contractors), part-time workers, and those with limited work histories. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance will be state-administered but fully federally funded. The $600 weekly enhancement mentioned above will also apply to this program.

Our office has received many questions about unemployment for independent contractors and self employed workers. The Division of Employment Security has been waiting to receive final guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor to implement these programs because we administer unemployment assistance on the federal government’s behalf. We recently received final guidance on the program, and benefits should start being processed in about two weeks. DES is already working on the technology and system updates to implement these programs. We will provide the public with more information about eligibility and how to apply for these benefits as it becomes available.

Independent contractors and self-employed workers may file for unemployment insurance assistance at any time. However, until system updates are completed, no eligibility determinations will be made for the federal programs. Being found ineligible for state unemployment insurance does not necessarily make you ineligible for federal assistance.

Anyone who filed a claim due to COVID-19 before this legislation may still be eligible for these benefits. If any benefits are owed for a week previously claimed, payment will be made retroactively.
UNC Health: COVID-19 Testing Update
UNC Health knows there has been concern and confusion in our community about how to seek Coronavirus testing. Over the past month, the CDC has changed testing requirements numerous times, and UNC Health continues to ensure it remains in compliance with those guidelines. 

If you are concerned you have been exposed or have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit  and click the Coronavirus Help tab. This will bring up a coronavirus symptom checker that will lead you through some questions to determine if you need medical follow-up. You can also call your primary care provider. Do not go to your doctor’s office or an urgent care without first determining if further medical screening is necessary. In addition, UNC Health has enabled a Chatbot function on their website to offer additional assistance.
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Below is some information that may be helpful for any inquiries you might have about your BCBS coverage.  For the most up-to-date information, you can also go to .

Member Costs:  First and foremost, Blue Cross NC is waiving cost-sharing for members of Blue Cross as it relates to testing and treatment of the COVID-19 or Coronavirus. 
Blue Cross NC is also allowing a 30-day extension to pay premiums. This will help members and employers who are facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19. Members or employers are encouraged to notify us if they need assistance.  
Options for coverage:  If a member has lost coverage through their employer, they can enroll in an individual plan. Tax credits may be available to help them pay for a portion of the premium.

If members have recently experienced a temporary layoff and/or reduction of hours , we encourage them to please speak with their employer about options for coverage. They can also visit our website to learn about individual and family plans for which subsidies may be available, short term plans, and more. Customers may also call 1-888-802-4171 for help.
Expanding Coverage for Telehealth/Virtual Care Visits:  Virtual doctor visits will be covered the same as face-to-face visits according to a member’s health plan. Virtual visits include appointments with primary care providers, specialists, behavioral health providers, and any NC licensed providers who can provide services via secure video or telephone.
Increasing access to medications:  Blue Cross NC is waiving early medication refill limits. This way, members can have the medicines they need on hand. Members can ask their doctor to order a 90-day prescription of maintenance medication(s) for ongoing conditions or needs and ask for these to be mail-ordered for delivery.
How You Can Help
Volunteer with Wake County Public Schools. The transition to remote classes during the Coronavirus pandemic means access to supporting technology at home is even more critical. Volunteers will help set up 10,500 wireless hot spots to ensure all students have reliable internet access and can continue to participate in classes!
  • Box lunches will be provided.
  • No technical skills required.
  • Volunteers must be over the age of 18.
  • Find out more, here.
Donate blood . There is a critical need for blood donation.

Donating blood is an easy way to make a big impact on individuals who are currently in need of treatment in our hospitals and urgent care centers. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, blood centers have seen an alarming decrease in the amount of blood donations they usually receive. Earlier this month, I participated in a blood drive. I hope you take a minute to do so as well!

Find a place to donate in our community: American Red Cross or check out the Blood Connection
Support our local food bank . An unprecedented surge of people out of work means an unprecedented surge in demand for food donations. Use this link to find a food bank near you. You can also use this link to donate directly to the Western Wake Crisis Ministry food pantry.

Donate unopened medical supplies . If you have access to health supplies (masks, surgical gowns, etc.) and wish to donate them to medical professionals during the current shortage, please contact with details regarding available items.
  • Due to high volume, all individuals and organizations that email will be contacted within 24-48 hours regarding the items and the process for making the donation.
  • Please note that only new, unopened packages of supplies will be accepted. WakeMed is not accepting handmade items.
Thank You Frontline Workers!
Thank you to all the essential workers who are keeping our communities strong during this crisis.

Without you, our families would not have reliable access to food, wellness, power, and safety.

We are grateful for your hard work and for your willingness to keep our communities afloat.