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News involving COVID-19 and its spread continues to pour in, but our office wants to give you the most up-to-date information that we can possibly give you. As of Friday, there are 736 cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina, including seven confirmed cases in Wilson County.
On Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 121, ordering North Carolinians to remain in their homes except for performing essential work and essential activities such as taking care of others, obtaining necessary supplies and for health and safety purposes.
This stay-at-home order will help slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the medical system from being overwhelmed by keeping individuals from being exposed to the virus and keeping those who have the virus from spreading it to others.
SCHOOL LUNCH HELP
Right now, school districts have put a plan in place to deliver meals to children who relied on daily meals at school during the school shutdown. The school district will offer free meals for children ages 1-18 at sites throughout Wilson County each day. Families can pick up a bag that will include lunch for that day and breakfast for the next morning.
Free or reduced-price families can also text FOODNC to 877-877 to find nearby meal sites. Spanish speaking families can text COMIDA to 877-877 to receive the same information in Spanish.
If you’d like to help out with meals through the community, please contact The SPOT at 252-991-4018 or the New Christian Food Pantry at 252-363-0755.
COVID-19 COMMITTEE APPOINTMENT
I was named to the North Carolina House Select Committee on COVID-19 and to the Health Care Work Group within that committee. Our country is in the midst of a health care crisis and there are steps we need to take for the immediate crisis, but also steps we need to take to prepare for the long-term. The high number of uninsured people in North Carolina makes us particularly vulnerable.
The committee will begin meeting immediately, but meetings will be held remotely through phone or videoconferencing. I am ready to get to work with my Republican and Democratic colleagues to work on solutions, We need input from citizens, doctors, nurses and health care professionals on their best ideas.
People may contact me directly at 919-733-5898 or submit online input at https://www.ncleg.gov/RequestForComments/33.
CALL 211 FOR COVID-19 HELP
Last week, Gov. Roy Cooper announced N.C. 211 by the United Way of North Carolina as a resource for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
N.C. 211 is an information and referral service that families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services resources within their community. N.C. 211 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and resources are available in most languages.
North Carolinians can text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive general information and updates about COVID-19. Sign up now to get regular alerts on the rapidly evolving situation and North Carolina’s response.
N.C. 211 can refer callers to the organizations in our community best equipped to address their specific health and human services needs including food, shelter, energy assistance, housing, parenting resources, health care, employment and substance abuse treatment, as well as specific resources for older adults and for people with disabilities, and much more. Simply dial 211 or TTY 888-892-1162 for assistance.
N.C. 211cannot provide direct medical services, and COVID-19 can only be diagnosed by a health care professional. If you suspect you or someone you care for may have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, you should contact your health care provider. If you do not have a provider, you can call your local health department, free and charitable clinics or a federally qualified health clinic for guidance.
People should only call 911 if they are experiencing an emergency. 911 centers across North Carolina have been receiving general questions and other non-emergency calls related to COVID-19. Please do not call 911 unless you have an emergency.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in North Carolina, go to ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.
Due to anticipated high call volume, those seeking general information about COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to sign up for texts. People who are trying to locate specific services would benefit by calling. To learn more about N.C. 211, visit nc211.org.
BE PREPARED, BUT DON’T PANIC
We understand that this is an uncertain time in our community and the news can be unsettling. I want to encourage Wilson residents to prepare but not panic during this time. With warmer weather approaching, it’s a great time to visit one of our city parks, including the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, which was just nationally recognized!
4 THINGS TO REMEMBER
• Wash your hands (frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds).
• Keep your social distance (at least 6 feet away from people at all times).
• Stay home if you’re sick (call your health care provider if you have any COVID-19 symptoms).
• Stay informed (go to cdc.gov or wilsontimes.com for up-to-date information).
RAPID RECOVERY LOANS
The North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending program supports North Carolina small businesses and family farms as they recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. This rapid recovery loan helps small businesses bridge the gap between when crisis strikes and when federal loans, insurance payouts, and other relief funds are approved, or businesses have time to recover.
This is not a grant program!
NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery loans are not designed to be a singular source of assistance for small businesses. Repayment is expected either from more permanent funding sources or from the future cash flow of the business.
For more information, visit https://ncrapidrecovery.org.
STATE TAX EXTENSION
The N.C. Department of Revenue has extended the deadline to file state taxes to July 15. To access other frequently asked questions, please visit https://files.constantcontact.com/de80e294701/499a865e-8fd6-49da-86a7-9a3af0d6b18b.pdf.