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State Government
North Carolina Identifies First Case of COVID-19 PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 03 March 2020 17:48
A North Carolina person has tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The test, conducted by North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, is presumptively positive and will be confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab. The person is doing well and is in isolation at home.
 
“I know that people are worried about this virus, and I want to assure North Carolinians our state is prepared,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Our task force and state agencies are working closely with local health departments, health care providers and others to quickly identify and respond to cases that might occur.”
 
The North Carolina person from Wake County traveled to the State of Washington and was exposed at a long-term care facility where there is currently a COVID-19 outbreak. Local health department officials are identifying close contacts to monitor symptoms and contain spread. To protect individual privacy, no further information will be released.
 
While awaiting confirmation of results from the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will treat presumptive cases as positive and follow CDC guidelines to protect public health and limit the spread of infection.
 
Today’s announcement represents an isolated case, and COVID-19 is currently not widespread in North Carolina. Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, North Carolinians should take the same measures that healthcare providers recommend annually to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes.
 
Last month, Governor Cooper established the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force to support the state’s ongoing effort to monitor, prepare for and respond to COVID-19. State actions include:
 
Aggressively pursuing containment strategy of rapid identification, testing and contact tracing.
Engaging in daily collaboration with federal, state and local partners to ensure rapid response.
Mobilizing resources for our providers, local public health system, local emergency management, and other.
Developing detailed response plans for multiple sectors for a range of scenarios.
Developing guidance for planning for multiple sectors for a range of scenarios.
Preparing healthcare providers and facilities to streamline and standardize response activities.
Activating a Joint Information Center to provide timely information.
Testing patients in the NC State Laboratory of Public Health.
Leading regular calls with local health departments, hospitals and local emergency management.
Providing guidelines for health care providers, child care, employers, schools, colleges and universities, and others.
Monitoring residents who have returned from China through local health departments.
Staffing a COVID-19 phone line to answer urgent questions from the public.
Maintaining an up-to-date website with information about COVID-19 disease, risk and guidance. 
It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS.
 
For more information, please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus  and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus, which will also include future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina.
 
Senator Berger Mourns The Passing Of Rep. Linda Johnson PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:25
Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and the Senate Appropriations Chairs are heartbroken to hear of the passing of Rep. Linda Johnson (R-Cabarrus) on Feb. 18.
 
"Rep. Johnson's spirit and enthusiasm will be missed in the General Assembly. She was a fierce advocate for education and never lost her focus amid even the most stressful budget negotiations," Sen. Berger said.
 
"Rep. Johnson was a relentless fighter and supporter of youth programs and education. She was always looking for different ways to tackle those issues," Senior Appropriations Chairman Sen. Harry Brown (R-Onslow) said. "If not for her, I don't know if the David H. Murdock Research Institute in Kannapolis would have been funded." 
 
Appropriations Chairman Brent Jackson (R-Sampson) said, "Rep. Johnson was a very special lady and a dear friend. She fought tooth and nail for everything she could get for education. She was a tough negotiator, but she always had fun doing it." 
 
"Rep. Johnson was as hardworking and passionate as they came. She was gracious and encouraging but knew when to stand her ground, especially on education issues," Appropriations Chairwoman Sen. Kathy Harrington (R-Gaston) said. "Her quick wit and intelligence will be missed." 
 
Rep. Johnson was 74. She was in her tenth term in the House.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:28
 
Governor Cooper Orders Flags At Half-Staff In Honor Of The Late Representative Linda Johnson PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 20 February 2020 09:10

Governor Roy Cooper ordered all United States and North Carolina flags at state facilities to remain at half-staff until sunset on Friday, February 21, 2020 in honor of NC House of Representative Linda Johnson, who passed away on Tuesday. A representative for Cabarrus County, Rep. Johnson served in the North Carolina's House of Representatives for more than a decade. Last year, she served as a senior appropriations chair. She was also co-chair of the joint education oversight committee. 

 

Statement from Governor Roy Cooper:

 

"Kristin and I send our deep condolences to the family and friends of NC Rep. Linda Johnson. She served our state with honor and distinction and we are grateful for her life and service."

 

As a show of respect, individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the duration of time indicated.

 
Governor Creates Coronavirus Task Force PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 13 February 2020 10:05
Governor Roy Cooper formalized the state’s ongoing effort to monitor, prepare for and respond to the 2019 novel coronavirus (CoVID-19) with a state Novel Coronavirus Task Force. The task force will continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and coordinate across state agencies to protect the health and wellbeing of North Carolinians.
 
The task force will be chaired by Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, North Carolina State Health Director and the Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Mike Sprayberry, Director of North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM), for the Department of Public Safety.
 
“Though currently the risk to North Carolinians is low, we are taking a proactive approach and are prepared for potential scenarios,” said Governor Cooper. “This task force will continue coordination between our agencies and federal partners so we can keep the public informed and safe.”
 
Currently, DHHS is working with local health departments and clinicians to evaluate any potential cases and coordinate care and testing as needed. Working closely with the CDC, the department is coordinating health information sharing as this situation continues to evolve. North Carolina has not had any confirmed cases of the virus.
 
The task force agencies will continue coordinating communications with local entities through the Department of Public Safety and its NCEM division’s traditional channels as needed.
 
The risk to the general public in North Carolina, especially without history of travel to China, is still considered very low at this time. Remember that the steps to take to prevent the spread of flu and the common cold could also help prevent the spread of other respiratory viruses like 2019-nCoV: 
 
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
Avoid exposure to others who are sick.
Stay home when you are ill.
People who have questions or concerns related to 2019-nCoV can call 866-462-3821 for more information. Press 1 for English or to ask for a language interpreter. Spanish speakers should press 2. To submit questions online, go to www.ncpoisoncontrol.org and select "Chat."
 
There are also resources available on the Division of Public Health website atwww.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus and on the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
 
 
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