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Governor Reminds Residents to Stay Home

Gov. Roy Cooper, North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, Assistant Secretary of Employment Security Lockhart Taylor and NCEM Director Mike Sprayberry give an update Friday afternoon on COVID-19.

Now is not the time for beach trips or neighborhood cookouts , Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday afternoon during a media briefing.

“We’re entering the first weekend of my order to stay at home. I need you to do just that,” he said. “I know it’s tempting to get away from all this and gather with friends and extended family, especially when Friday means the end of the week. Don’t. This virus is still spreading quickly. No one is immune. There is no vaccination, and social distancing is our best protection.”

He said if you must be with others, please heed the order that bans gathering of more than 10 and stay 6 feet or more apart, he said. “It could save your life and prevent the spread of the virus to people that you care about.”

Cooper emphasized that even though there’s no medicines to stop the virus, “Stopping the spread is in our control. If we avoid mass gatherings. If we wash our hands like never before. If we stay at home as much as we can. If we keep our physical distance, these things work.”

He said the state is fighting for medical supplies and personal protective equipment.

“This is a bad situation folks. North Carolina has received three shipments from the Strategic National Stockpile,” he said. “We’re grateful for the supplies. But to be clear, we’ve gotten just 33% of what we’ve asked for. And they’ve told us not to expect more anytime soon.”

He added that they know they can’t rely solely on the Strategic National Stockpile. Teams are working around the clock to find the badly needed equipment but there isn’t enough in the market to go around for all of those looking for these products.

“So if supplies are short, we have to make more here in North Carolina. We’re encouraging manufacturers across the state to shift their production lines to create the masks, gloves, gowns and other materials that we so desperately need,” he said. “Some of those manufacturers are responding positively.”

Cooper added that another front the state is fighting is to help those who lost their jobs and livelihoods because of COVID-19. Through executive order, he said he made unemployment insurance more widely available. More than 100 times the usual claims have been filed.

“And of course, we’re battling on our most important front to keep people healthy and safe, we remain concerned about our congregate living facilities where people are confined and living closely together,” he said.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said Friday she really needs North Carolinians to understand that “we need to be doing everything possible right now to avoid overwhelming our hospitals in the future. Our actions today will impact how this virus spreads across North Carolina in the weeks and months to come.”

That morning the state had 86 counties with cases, which is up from 61 counties one week ago,” Cohen said. There are statewide 2,093 cases, up from 764 cases one week ago. Of these cases 43% are ages 25 to 49; 29% are people ages 50 to 64; and 20% are in people older than 65. There are 259 people hospitalized and 19 deaths.

As of early Friday afternoon, Dare, Perquimans, Chowan and Gates counties have one case each; Currituck, Pamlico and Washington counties each have two; four in Hertford; Bertie County has six cases; seven cases in Beaufort and Pasquotank counties; and 11 cases in Craven County, according to NCDHHS. Onslow is reporting 11 cases, Carteret County is reporting 16 cases, Brunswick County is reporting 23 cases and New Hanover County is reporting 42. Bertie and Onslow have both had a death.

North Carolina Emergency Director Mike Sprayberry during the briefing said that with so many people working and learning from home right now, the environment is prime for hackers who want to cause cyber disruption.

“Be sure to be cyber smart,” he continued. “Keep your passwords secure and change them regularly. Make sure your computer is up to date with antivirus software and a current operating system. Be smart about the websites you visit and teleconferencing platforms you use. Don’t click on links or attachments in email from people you don’t know. These simple steps can help you stay safe secure and connected, while you stay at home.”

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Craven County announced Friday it has prohibited as of noon Sunday short-term rentals in all unincorporated areas of Craven County and within the jurisdictions of Trent Woods, Bridgeton, Dover and Cove City. This proclamation does not apply within New Bern, Havelock or River Bend.

Volunteer health care workers can register through the State Medical Response System as clinical, clinical support or nonclinical support volunteers.

For more information and updates on COVID-19, visit the website.

About the Author

Jennifer Allen

Born and raised in Swansboro, Jennifer Allen graduated from Appalachian State University in 2002 and picked up a second degree from UNC-Charlotte the following year. She joined the staff of the Carteret County News-Times in Morehead City in 2005 and completed her master's at UNC-Wilmington in 2008. Jenn spent nine years writing and editing at the News-Times before joining the staff at the Town of Beaufort in 2014, where she served as public information officer and town clerk. On June 1, 2017, Jenn came aboard as assistant editor for Coastal Review Online. She has also written for Our State Magazine and other regional and statewide publications. She lives in Morehead City with her fiancé and their pups, Z, Gus and Willa.