Phase Two Extended to Friday, July 17th at 5:00 pm
Friday, July 10th, 2020
Here’s today’s update:
North Carolina officials reported today that 1,034 individuals are hospitalized due to COVID-19 statewide, the highest total to date and the first day that hospitalizations exceeded 1,000. 2,039 new COVID-19 cases were identified yesterday, the second-highest daily total since the outbreak began in March. Visit North Carolina’s COVID-19 Dashboard for the latest statistics.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force held a briefing on Wednesday at the Department of Education to stress the need to safely reopen schools for students this fall. As the meeting highlighted, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently stressed that for a number of reasons – academics, mental health, safety and nutrition among them – that students will be better off in school at the start of the new school year. The full press briefing, including a presentation by Dr. Deborah Birx about the increase in case levels across the country, can be seen here.
North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services announced this week that it would beimplementing steps to further expand testing throughout the state by issuing what’s called a “Statewide Standing Order”. The order allows testing sites to collect and submit samples to a laboratory for COVID-19 testing without requiring a specific order and authorizes testing sites to receive results directly from laboratories. The goal of the order is to facilitate more community-based testing sites and reduce barriers for testing, particularly for those in need. More information from NC DHHS here.
Brunswick County has set up a COVID-19 Dashboard to continue educating and informing the public about the status of the outbreak within the county. This new dashboard will help county Health Services workers better track emerging trends in demographics affected by the virus. View the county’s new COVID-19 dashboard here.
To date, Brunswick County has reported 740 positive COVID-19 cases, with 7 deaths attributed to the virus.
The CDC has an informative post on ways to best spread the word about COVID-19 safety practices for meat and poultry plant workers.The post explains why communicating these kinds of prevention messages is so important to slowing the spread. Read it here.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced it will extend debt relief to veterans affected by the COVID-19 outbreak through the end of the year. The VA is suspending all actions on Veteran debts under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Treasury Department. This includes the suspension of collection action or extending repayment terms on preexisting VA debts, whichever the Veteran prefers.
Forbenefit debts, Veterans should contact the VA Debt Management Center at 1-800-827-0648.
Forhealth care debts, Veterans should contact the Health Resource Center at 1-866-400-1238 or https://www.pay.gov for payments.
For today’s good news story, I’m highlighting the athletes, coaches and staff of New Hanover County Schools, who took to the field for the first time since March on Monday as they resumed training for the season that is expected to open on August 21. It’s a meaningful reminder that there is a light at the end of the tunnel if we continue to be cautious and take steps to keep ourselves and each other safe.