March 30, 2020

Dear Friends,

First, with great sadness and personal loss, I want to let you know that our wonderful colleague Representative MaryAnn Black has passed away. As her NC House colleague, I have been inspired and blessed by her dedication, knowledge, grace and friendship. NC has lost a tremendous leader. We send our words and thoughts of sympathy to her family and all of the others who will miss her and her contributions to our state.
As we are all adjusting to the challenges of the requirements of “social distancing”, school closures, working from home, and the closures/changes in operations of many businesses, I want you to know that my thoughts continue to be with you and your family. These are very difficult times and we want to connect you with the best answers to your questions or ways to address any concerns, so please reach out to our office by email or phone if you need help.

I know you may be overwhelmed by the number of emails you are getting from various groups, but I thought it was important to send you a few important updates since our last newsletter.

Wishing you safety and good health and well being,

ALL North Carolinians to “Stay-At-Home”
At 4:00 PM Friday, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 121 , which is a mandatory order for all North Carolinians to shelter in place.  The order takes effect today, March 30 at 5:00 PM.

“Being apart from family and friends is difficult,” Governor Cooper said on Friday. “Conference calls can be frustrating. The sounds of our lives—the school bell or the halftime buzzer—they’re gone. Losing your job or closing your business has to be painful. But we have to act now in the safest, smartest way when we have the chance to save lives.”

Does this mean I can’t go out? NO. You can go out, when necessary to:
  • Shop for essential supplies (e.g. groceries, prescriptions)
  • Go to the post office, bank, hardware store, laundromat
  • Get gas for your vehicle
  • Take care of family members
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle – exercise and other outdoor activities are OK

Whatever you do, please continue to maintain responsible social distancing -- keep at least a 6-foot distance from others. And remember that gatherings are now limited to 10 or fewer people . Also PLEASE continue to follow the World Health Organization's 5 steps to kicking out coronavirus . And get other tips on how to protect yourself from the CDC.
Here are some additional details about what you can and cannot do during the Stay-at-Home order:

And, to the extent that a local order contains more restrictive requirements, the more restrictive local order must be followed. Wake County’s Stay-at-Home Order went into effect at 5:00 PM on Friday, March 27 th.

Some State Parks Closing
25 state parks have already closed in order to protect communities from the spread of COVID-19. These parks were experiencing extreme overcrowding, making it hard to enforce social distancing measures.

Please visit the NC State Parks Website for up-to-the-minute information on closings.
COVID-19: NC Projections
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington has a model it is using to forecast the i mpact on hospital bed-days, ICU-days, ventilator days and deaths by US state in the next 4 months. The model indicates that North Carolina will reach its peak resource use by April 22nd, assuming "... the continuation of strong social distancing measures and other protective measures. "

There are excellent interactive graphics which I encourage you to view. These visuals drive home the point about the importance of following all measures closely. Together, we can flatten the curve...and help save lives!

$2T Federal Stimulus Bill:
How It Will “Trickle Down” to NC
With the unprecedented stimulus bill just signed into law last week, details about the benefits to our state are still emerging. We do know that:

  • Unemployment benefits will be enhanced and extended by 13 weeks
  • Direct payments will be sent to qualifying taxpayers
  • Hospitals/health systems will receive assistance
  • Small businesses who retain their employees will be eligible for federally-guaranteed loans
  • The Federal Reserve will provide aid to local governments and industries

Your Reliable Sources of Information
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or the
District 49 Legislative Assistant, Patty Williams , with your questions or concerns.
It is my privilege to serve the people of North Carolina!
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