Yesterday, Governor Cooper announced that North Carolina will move into Phase 3 of reopening at 5:00 PM on Friday, October 2nd. Throughout September, our state's metrics remained stable, allowing us to cautiously ease some restrictions while continuing safety measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.

This announcement does not mean that the pandemic is over. We must all continue to wear our masks, wait 6 feet apart from each other in public, and wash our hands, to prevent the spread and keep our families and neighbors safe.

More details about Phase 3 will be included in the body of this newsletter. Please remember that although the Governor's office may be easing some restrictions, that it is up to all of us to control the spread of this virus.

Finally, please take note of these important and upcoming dates for early voting in North Carolina:

If you have not voted already, I hope that you and your family are making appropriate plans to vote and to make your voice heard in this election.
Reminder: although the General Assembly has adjourned, my office is open and utilizing teleworking technologies to meet your needs. We are still able to 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
COVID-19 Update
Governor Cooper Moves North Carolina to Phase 3 With Stable Numbers
Yesterday, Governor Cooper announced that as North Carolina's metrics and capacity remain stable, the state will ease some restrictions on gatherings an businesses starting Friday.

Executive Order 169 begins Oct. 2 at 5 p.m. and continues for three weeks through October 23. Its new provisions include:

  • Large outdoor venues with seating greater than 10,000 may operate with 7% occupancy for spectators.
  • Smaller outdoor entertainment venues, like arenas or amphitheaters, may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less.
  • Movie theaters and conference centers may open indoor spaces to 30% of capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less.
  • Bars may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less.
  • Amusement parks may open at 30% occupancy, outdoor attractions only.
  • The limits on mass gatherings will remain at 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
  • The 11 pm curfew on alcohol sales for in-person consumption in locations such as restaurants and outdoor bars will be extended to October 23. 

State and public health officials will continue watching the key COVID-19 trends over the next several weeks to determine if any further restrictions can be eased when the current Executive Order expires October 23.
Wake County School Board Approves Plan To Partially Reopen Schools
On Tuesday, the Wake County school board approved a plan to partially reopen schools for in-person learning beginning October 26th. Further information about which grades will return to a rotating schedule of in-person instruction and virtual learning may be found below:

  • All students in PreK through third grade and all students with K-12 special education regional programs will return to the classroom on a rotating basis beginning Oct. 26 before attending class on a daily basis beginning Nov. 16.

  • Students in grades 4 and 5 will return to school in three-week rotations beginning Nov. 16 and continue until the end of the semester. 

  • Students in grades 6, 7 and 8 will return to school in three-week rotations beginning Nov. 9 and continue until the end of the semester. 

  • Students in grades 9-12 will attend remotely through the end of the first semester. Students would return for any state exams that require in-person attendance. 

  • Students who attend the WCPSS Virtual Academy will remain in the Academy through the end of the first semester. Those who registered for the entire school year may remain so, unless they opt for in-person instruction for the second semester.

During the rotation period, students will be in school one week and learning remotely for two. Parents will receive information from their school regarding which schedule their child will be assigned.
Extra Credit Grant Program for Parents: UPDATE

The latest round of COVID-19 relief includes a $335 payment to parents with children, and some families may expect to receive their grant payments as early as October 15th. More details are below:

  • NCDOR will award a grant to eligible individuals who reported at least one qualifying child on their 2019 state individual income tax return (“state return”); spouses who filed a joint state return count as one individual.
  • Eligible individuals who have filed their state return do not need to take any action to receive the grant. 
  • Note: You must have reported at least one qualifying child on line 10a of Form D-400 of your 2019 tax return to automatically receive the grant.
  • The grant amounts of $335.00 per eligible individual will be sent automatically to eligible individuals who filed a 2019 state tax return by October 15, 2020. The NCDOR will send grants as soon as possible, but no later than December 15, 2020.
  • The grant amount is $335.00 total for each eligible individual, even if the individual has two or more qualifying children.
COVID Exposure Notification App
Last week, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced the launch of a COVID-19 Exposure Notification app called SlowCOVIDNC.

The app will help North Carolinians slow the spread of the virus by alerting them when they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. It is completely anonymous and does not collect, store or share personal information or location data. The more people that use the app, the better it works.
SlowCOVIDNC leverages Google and Apple’s Exposure Notification System (ENS) to alert users who have the app if they have been in close contact with an individual who later tests positive for COVID-19. It is voluntary to download and use and designed to enhance the state’s existing contact tracing efforts. The app completed Beta testing earlier this month and can now be downloaded for free through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. The app is available in English and Spanish.
Here’s how SlowCOVIDNC will work and keep your data totally anonymous:

  1. Download the free SlowCOVIDNC Exposure Notification app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and enable Bluetooth and Exposure Notifications. Bluetooth must be on for the app to work.
  2. After opting-in to receive notifications, the app will generate an anonymous token for the device. A token is a string of random letters and numbers which changes every 10-20 minutes and is never linked to identity or location. This protects app user privacy and security.
  3. Through Bluetooth, phones with the SlowCOVIDNC app work in the background (minimizing battery) to exchange these anonymous tokens every few minutes. Phones record how long they are near each other and the Bluetooth signal strength of their exchanges in order to estimate distance.
  4. If an app user tests positive for COVID-19, the individual may obtain a unique PIN to submit in the app. This voluntary and anonymous reporting notifies others who have downloaded the app that they may have been in close contact with someone in the last 14 days who has tested positive.
  5. PINs will be provided to app users who receive a positive COVID-19 test result through a web-based PIN Portal, by contacting the Community Care of North Carolina call center, or by contacting their Local Health Department.
  6. SlowCOVIDNC periodically downloads tokens from the server from the devices of users who have anonymously reported a positive test. Phones then use records of the signal strength and duration of exposures with those tokens to calculate risk and determine if an app user has met a threshold to receive an exposure notification.
The ReBuild NC Homeowner Recovery Program
The ReBuild NC Homeowner Recovery Program provides assistance to repair, reconstruct, replace or elevate homes or reimburse for completed repairs.
Legal Aid of North Carolina and the NC Pro Bono Resource Center are partnering during the months of September and October to provide assistance with ReBuild NC applications to North Carolinians. We encourage any Hurricane Florence and/or Matthew survivor who needs help to call 1-866-219-5262 for assistance

Even though they are conducting special outreach during this time for ReBuild applications, Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Disaster Relief Project is always available to low income survivors of natural disasters with many different types legal matters related to the recovery process. Survivors are encouraged to call 1-866-219-5262 to see if they qualify for assistance.
Office Updates
Wake FAST (Families and Schools Together) Program
This week, I visited the Kraft Family YMCA, located in District 36, to get a tour of the Wake FAST program (Families and Schools Together), which was started by several community partners to provide support for remote learning during the workday.

The YMCA of the Triangle operates several locations, including this one at Kraft. The FAST program has applied for grant money appropriated by the General Assembly this month to run these remote learning centers.
I was impressed with the social distancing, mask wearing and hygiene protocols in place to protect students and staff while in the facility. This important program allows parents to work while giving their children a safe place to attend school virtually. 
Census Extended Through October 5th
The deadline to complete the US Census has been extended through October 5th. This means we have just 5 days left to count the estimated 4.7 million North Carolina households in the 2020 Census. How is NC doing as of September 21?

  • North Carolina’s response is low compared to other states, both nationally and within the southeast. 
  • Nearly 400,000 North Carolina housing units need to be counted within the next week to get a complete response.
  • Young children, rural communities, and heavily minority communities remain at risk of an undercount. 

What can you do to make sure everyone counts?

  • Make sure you have completed the 2020 Census. You can respond to the Census online at, over the phone by calling 844-330-2020, or through the paper questionnaire received in the mail.
  • Ask your friends and family members if they have completed the 2020 Census.

We only have a few short days to make sure everyone counts in North Carolina. Please take some time today to contact your friends and family members to ensure that they're counted before the deadline!
Flu Season is Around the Corner!
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses, like flu, this fall and winter is more important than ever. The CDC has worked with vaccine manufacturers to have extra flu vaccine available this flu season.

Manufacturers have already begun distributing flu vaccine and will continue to distribute vaccine throughout the season. The CDC recommends getting a flu vaccination in September or October but getting vaccinated anytime during the flu season can help protect you and those around you from getting sick.

Follow the links below to find
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed October "Domestic Violence Awareness Month" in North Carolina. During the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout the year, domestic violence services agencies are open and available to support survivors.

This year, the NC Council for Women partnered with the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the NC Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and Women Veterans Support Services to kick off the month. 

We have created a compilation of videos recognizing the importance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and recognizing the nuances of domestic violence in North Carolina during a pandemic. We invite you to watch these videos in honor of this month.