Pender County Emergency Management is pleased to join NC Know Your Zone campaign

Twenty Coastal Counties Establish Predetermined Evacuation Zones

RALEIGH – North Carolina Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks and Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry today announced the implementation of the Know Your Zone initiative for North Carolina’s coastal communities. The state has worked with 20 coastal counties to create predetermined evacuation zones to help coastal residents stay safe from the impacts of hurricanes, tropical storms and other hazards, while allowing for simple and orderly evacuations.

“The goal of Know Your Zone is to educate coastal residents and visitors about their evacuation zones so that everyone knows the zone they live in and knows to look and listen for that zone when evacuations are ordered,” said Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks. “Knowing your zone and when to evacuate can save lives.”

Development of the zones by county officials began with storm surge modeling from North Carolina’s Hurricane Evacuation Study. County officials were able to use the study maps to determine potential for inundation, and combine that with population data, as well as previous local experience with coastal evacuations to draft the evacuation zones needed for their county.

Some counties only need one zone where others have up to five zones in order to evacuate as efficiently as possible without over evacuating. Some inland counties that are not as susceptible to storm surge developed evacuation zones based on river flooding.

In the past, some evacuation orders have included descriptions based on local geography and elevations. Examples include:
• All unincorporated areas of a county
• Low lying areas in a town or county
• All areas within a certain distance of a particular river or stream

“Most visitors and some residents will not know if they are in a low-lying area, or how far they are from a river or stream,” said Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “Having predetermined zones simplifies the evacuation process for local officials, residents and visitors.”

There is an online address lookup tool at KnowYourZone.nc.gov for residents in coastal counties to find their zone. The website also contains, county-by-county zone maps, educational materials, frequently asked questions and the North Carolina Hurricane Guide. The hurricane guide, which is available in both print and digital form, provides information for storm preparedness, response and recovery, and has been published in English and Spanish.
The Know Your Zone website is also available in Spanish at Conozca Su Zona.

The ReadyNC website continues to be the source for disaster preparedness information for North Carolina residents, with instructions on creating a family emergency plan and assembling an emergency kit. It also features live information on power outages and open shelters. ReadyNC.org is mobile friendly for phones, tablets and desktop computers and is available in English and Spanish. The ReadyNC app was retired after the 2019 hurricane season and is no longer available.

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Hurricane season has arrived, being prepared is critical

PENDER COUNTY – With the start of hurricane season, Pender County is providing hurricane preparedness information for citizens in our county. Pender County is committed to continuing to promote personal and community preparedness techniques to ensure all citizens understand their flood risk, work to mitigate that risk, and stay informed regarding hurricanes and flood events.

“Over the past few years, we have witnessed the devasting impacts hurricanes cause, especially flooding,” said Daniel Adams, Pender County Floodplain Administrator. “High winds, heavy rainfall, tornadoes and floods can cause loss of life and damage to property. As we saw with the impacts of Hurricane Florence in Pender County, all hurricanes have the potential to cause significant damage, even if they are not considered a Major Hurricane of Category 3 or higher.”

Always keep these important facts in mind while preparing:

Know Your Risk: To search for general information about risks in your area, visit https://gis.pendercountync.gov/maps/ and type in your address. Click on layers and select flood zones to see what flood zone you are in or near.

Flood Alerts: To sign up for flood alerts that are tied to the nearest river gages, go to Pender County’s website and search for the webpage “Being Prepared for a Hurricane”. Instructions to sign up for alerts can be found under the Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network (FIMAN) section.

Be Prepared: Act now to be prepared for hurricane season. Make sure you have family evacuation and communication plans, update your emergency supply kit, and evaluate your flood insurance needs.

Survival Kit Supplies: Water, food (non-perishable), flashlight, battery powered or hand-crank radio (can be purchased at the Red Cross store online), extra batteries, deluxe family first aid kit, medications and medical items, multi-purpose tools, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copy of personal documents, cell phone with charger, family and emergency contact information, extra cash, emergency blanket, maps of the area, and if needed: Baby supplies, games and activities for children, pet supplies, and a manual can-opener.

Flood Insurance: Did you know that homeowner’s insurance does not cover damage from flooding? The good news is that Pender County is a member of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Flood insurance is available to homeowners, condo owners, apartment owners, renters and business owners. Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect. Areas in the floodplain are at a high risk of flooding. In high-risk areas, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.

For more information, visit the Emergency Management website or our Facebook page. If you have not signed up for the CodeRed alert system, register for free at http://www.pendercountync.gov/em/special-disaster-information/emergency-notification-system/ or call 910-259-1210 for details.

NCDHHS shares health guidance to re-open public schools

Guidance formed through collaborative process with DHHS and School Leaders

RALEIGH: New health guidelines released Monday represent a first step to help North Carolina K-12 public schools find a safe way to open to in-person instruction for the 2020-21 academic year, health and education leaders announced Monday.

The StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12) lays out a comprehensive set of baseline health practices that public schools should follow to minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19 for students, staff, and families. In addition to specific requirements, the Toolkit recommends practices that schools should implement to minimize spread of COVID-19 while allowing in-person teaching to resume.

Governor Roy Cooper, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson, State Board of Education Chair Eric Davis, and NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen shared the guidance Monday.

“Getting children back to school to learn is a high priority, but they must be able to do so in the safest way possible,” said Governor Cooper. “Every child, family and public school educator in North Carolina deserves strong protection to lower the risk of virus spread.”

Schools are asked to plan for reopening under three scenarios – Plan A: Minimal Social Distancing, Plan B: Moderate Social Distancing, or Plan C: Remote Learning Only. NC DHHS, in consultation with the State Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction, will announce by July 1 which of the three plans should be implemented for schools to most safely reopen. The remaining plans may be needed if the state’s COVID-19 metrics change over time.

“Opening schools will be possible if we keep working together to slow the spread of COVID-19. We will each need to do our part and practice the 3 Ws – Wear a cloth face covering. Wait six feet apart. Wash your hands frequently. These easy actions will have outsized impact in keeping viral spread low to in order to help get our children back to school,” said Cohen.

The Public Health Toolkit was developed collaboratively by DHHS and DPI with input from a range of stakeholders across the state, including local superintendents, State Board of Education members, the Governor’s Teacher Advisory Council, and members of the Governor’s COVID-19 Education and Nutrition Working Group.

“We are working together to balance the need for all of our children to get back to school – especially children who rely on public schools for their education, health, safety and nutrition – while at the same time proceeding cautiously and deliberately to protect their health and safety,” said Chairman Davis. “I know meeting these public health requirements will take a tremendous effort by our schools – but I also know we are doing the right thing and that our schools will rise to the challenge.”

The StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit will be a companion to operational guidance under development by DPI that will offer strategies for how to implement the public health guidance, and cover other non-health areas for reopening planning, including scheduling, instructional practice, and staff training.

“Today, North Carolinians have the important first step of returning to schools in the fall with this release of the final health guidance for schools from the NC Department of Health and Human Services,” Superintendent Johnson said. “In addition, the North Carolina education agency has already been leading workgroups, comprised of diverse stakeholders from teachers to school staff to superintendents to other support professionals, to create draft operational strategies that will help our school systems prepare for the fall. We will now seek feedback on the draft operational strategies from other stakeholders across the state to ensure that we best capture the needs of all our schools.”

The StrongSchoolsNC Public Heath Toolkit (K-12) was developed using the most current CDC guidance for schools and includes requirements and recommendations for eight areas: Social Distancing and Minimizing Exposure; Cloth Face Coverings; Protecting Vulnerable Populations; Cleaning and Hygiene; Monitoring for Symptoms; Handling Suspected, Presumptive or Confirmed Positive Cases of COVID-19; Communication and Combating Misinformation; Water and Ventilation Systems; Transportation; and Coping and Resilience.

For example, it requires students and others to be screened for illness before entering school, and requires floor markings to maintain social distance. It also includes sample screening symptom checklists in English and Spanish, a flow chart protocol for handling suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, and a checklist of infection control supplies schools may need. The Toolkit will be updated as new health guidance is released by the CDC and additional resources are added.

Questions about the StrongSchoolsNC Public Heath Toolkit (K-12) should be directed to StrongSchoolsNC@dhhs.nc.gov (in English or in Spanish).

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Governor Cooper signs Executive Order to address disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color

RALEIGH: Today, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 143 to addresses the social, environmental, economic, and health disparities in communities of color that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Order directs state agencies and offices to provide targeted measures to help communities of color that have been affected by the pandemic.

“COVID-19 is shining a light on disparities that have long existed in our health care and economic institutions for communities of color,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Today’s Executive Order will expand our state’s efforts to help North Carolinians recover from the pandemic and improve access to affordable healthcare and quality economic opportunities in our state.”

To make sure all North Carolinians can recover physically and economically from the COVID-19 pandemic, this Order identifies specific actions North Carolina departments and agencies must take to eliminate disparities across sectors.

The Order does the following:

• Establishes the Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force to focus on economic stability, health disparities, and environmental justice in North Carolina;
• Tasks the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office to ensure the equitable distribution of pandemic relief funds;
• Directs the Historically Underutilized Business Office to provide small historically underutilized businesses with access to opportunities, tools, and resources that promote equitable economic recovery and procurement of State contracts;
• Directs the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to ensure all communities have access to COVID-19 testing and related health care;
• Tasks the Office of Public Engagement to increase awareness about COVID-19, COVID-19 relief services and resources, and provide education on eliminating disparities;
• Directs the Division of Emergency Management to continue coordinating efforts to protect the food supply chain and support feeding operations at food banks and school systems;
• Directs the North Carolina National Guard to provide planning and logistical support and personnel where feasible to support mass testing of food processing plant workers in impacted communities and migrant farm workers; and
• Tasks the Department of Environmental Quality to create a common discourse on environmental justice and coordinate with state executive agencies on the integration of environmental justice considerations into current and future policies, programs, and procedures.

COVID-19 disproportionately affects communities of color for several reasons, including existing social, environmental, and health inequities. Despite making up 22 percent of North Carolina’s population, as of June 1, African Americans account for 30 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases and 34 percent of COVID-19 deaths in cases where race is known. Similarly, Hispanics account for 39% of confirmed COVID-19 cases, in cases where race or ethnicity is known, despite only making up about 10% of the population in North Carolina.

The Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force

The Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force will identify best practices to create economic stability, eliminate health disparities, and achieve environmental justice in North Carolina. Andrea Harris dedicated her life to eliminating disparities in North Carolina, co-founding the non-profit North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development and serving on the Advisory Council for Historically Underutilized Businesses. Secretary of the Department of Administration Machelle D. Sanders will chair the task force.

“Health inequities are the result of more than individual choice or random occurrence — they are the result of the historic and ongoing interplay of inequitable structures, policies, and norms that shape lives,” said NC Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders. “I am deeply honored to carry Andrea Harris’ torch on this new task force, as we grapple with these complex and critical issues for North Carolina.”

Direct Health Assistance
The Order directs the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) to use funding from the COVID-19 Recovery Act to provide COVID-19 related health services to uninsured North Carolinians during this public health emergency.

This will include health services provided by community health centers, local health departments, rural health centers, and clinics. NC DHHS is also tasked with reporting racial and ethnic demographic data; providing testing supplies and PPE to community health centers and nonprofit providers that service vulnerable communities; and partnering with community organizations to establish testing sites easily accessible to communities of color.

Economic Recovery for Historically Underutilized Businesses
Governor Cooper established the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO) to help North Carolina recover from the pandemic. In this Order, NCPRO has been tasked to work with each state agency to ensure COVID-19 related stimulus funds and resources are delivered equitably; to work with the Historically Underutilized Business program and advocate for the economic recovery of minority-owned businesses in the state; and to work with the Department of Commerce to guarantee the equitable distribution of Community Development Block Grants.

A certified historically underutilized business (HUB) is a business that is 51% owned by, and the day-to-day management and daily business operations are controlled by a person of color, woman, disabled, or socially and economically disadvantaged individual. The Historically Underutilized Business Office is tasked with developing and implementing a plan that stimulates economic recovery for small, historically underutilized businesses.

Government-Wide Focus
The Order also involves the Governor’s Office of Public Engagement, the Division of Emergency Management, the North Carolina National Guard, and the Department of Environmental Quality.

Read more about the Order in a Frequently Asked Questions document.

Read the full Executive Order.

As key indicators remain stable, North Carolina moves to ‘Safer At Home’ Phase 2

Phase 2, Safer At Home, begins Friday, May 22 at 5 pm

Bars, indoor entertainment venues, gyms, and public playgrounds remain closed; Restaurants, personal care businesses, and pools open with limitations & safety requirements

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen today announced that North Carolina will move into Safer At Home Phase 2 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, May 22 at 5 pm. Read Executive Order No. 141. After two weeks in Phase 1, the state’s overall key indicators remain stable but the continued increases in daily case counts signal a need to take a more modest step forward in Phase 2 than originally envisioned.

“North Carolina is using the data to guide our decisions about when to lift COVID-19 restrictions, and overall our key indicators remain stable,” said Governor Cooper. “Safer At Home Phase 2 is another careful step forward, and we have to continue taking this virus seriously to prevent a dangerous spike in infections.”

“From the beginning, North Carolinians have joined together to confront this crisis. We need to rely upon one another to practice the three Ws as we begin leaving our homes more. When we wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash our hands often, we are showing we care for our loved ones and neighbors,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen.
Based on the metrics laid out in April by Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen, North Carolina is evaluating a combination of the data from the following categories that shows the state is stable but still has increasing daily new lab confirmed case counts.

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is decreasing.

Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases is increasing.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive has been decreasing and is starting to level.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days                                                                                                                    • North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is level.

In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:
Laboratory Testing
• North Carolina has more than doubled the daily testing rate with more than 8,000 tests completed daily on average. More than 300 testing sites across North Carolina are posted on the DHHS testing information website.
Tracing Capability
• The Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative has already hired more than 150 new contact tracers adding to the 250 already working at our local health departments.
Personal Protective Equipment
• Supply chains continue to improve.

What’s included in Safer At Home Phase 2?
Phase 2 lifts the Stay At Home order moving into a Safer At Home recommendation, especially for people at high risk for serious illness. Teleworking is also urged when possible.

Mass gathering limits in Phase 2 will be no more than 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors in most circumstances. These limits apply to the following: event venues; conference centers; stadiums and sports arenas; amphitheaters; and groups at parks or beaches.

Some businesses will remain closed in Phase 2 including: bars; night clubs; gyms and indoor fitness facilities; indoor entertainment venues such as movie theaters, and bowling alleys.

Certain businesses will be open at limited capacity with other requirements and recommendations including:

Restaurants at 50% dine-in capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements; personal care businesses, including salons and barbers, at 50% capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements; pools at 50% capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements. Employees of personal care businesses will be required to wear face coverings.

Childcare facilities, day camps and overnight camps will be open with enhanced cleaning and screening requirements. Retail businesses allowed to open in Phase 1 at 50% capacity will continue at that level.

Public health recommendations are provided for worship services to practice enhanced social distancing and other cleaning and hygiene practices.

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Read NC DHHS guidance for various sectors.
Read Frequently Asked Questions about Phase 2.

NC COVID-19 indicators remain stable, 200 testing sites available

Phase 1 remains in effect, more time needed to watch key indicators

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen today shared an update on North Carolina’s key COVID-19 indicators. The data and trends show that North Carolina remains stable nearly one week into Phase 1.

“Our COVID-19 decisions are guided by the data and the science,” said Cooper. “We will use the time in this phase to keep a careful eye on the data and the indicators before we are ready to announce the start of Phase 2. North Carolinians should continue to stay home if they can and take precautions to keep themselves safe.”

“Continued stability in these trends is a real positive for our state. While we remain on a good path for the 14-day trends we need to see to move to Phase 2, our progress as a state is still dependent on our individual actions,” said Dr. Cohen. “We need to continue to protect our loved ones and our neighbors. If you leave home, practice three Ws – wear, wait and wash.”

Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen also announced that DHHS now has a list of testing locations on the DHHS website. The list includes more than 200 sample collection sites in 54 counties, with more being added as they are verified. The list is comprised of health care providers, pharmacies and retail locations, local health departments and others that are providing testing for COVID-19. Some of the sites that are federally funded do not cost anything for the individual being tested. Doctors and clinicians may also provide testing at their offices.

Based on the metrics laid out last month by Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen, officials need to continue watching the trends before announcing a shift into Phase 2.

Secretary Cohen reported North Carolina remains stable on the following key metrics:

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is decreasing.

Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases is slightly increasing.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive has been decreasing and is starting to level.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is level.

In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:

Laboratory Testing
• North Carolina has doubled the daily testing rate from approximately 2,500-3,000 to more than 6,000

Tracing Capability
• The Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative has already hired close to 100 new contact tracers adding to the 250 already working at our local health departments.

Personal Protective Equipment
• Supply chains continue to improve with the exception of gowns.

The Phase 1 executive Order remains in effect until 5 pm on Friday, May 22.

However, the end of this Order does not necessarily mean the state will move to Phase 2. Phase 2 will only start if data and indicators remain stable.
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Phase one of re-opening to begin on May 8

Based on data trends, Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina will move into Phase 1 of a 3-phase plan on May 8, which modifies the stay-at-home order and allows some formerly closed businesses to reopen.

Executive Order No. 138 may be accessed at the following link: https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/EO138-Phase-1.pdf

Section 4(A) and (B) of the Executive Order addresses restaurants and bars. Restaurants may remain open if consumption of food and beverages occurs off-premises and restaurants should follow social distancing transmission reduction recommendations, including the use of face coverings.

In addition, the Secretary of NCDHHS has determined that the seating areas of restaurants and bars constitute an imminent hazard for the spread of COVID-19 and restaurants must be restricted to carry-out, drive-through, and delivery only and bars must close.

Section 4(D) of Executive Order No. 138 addresses day camps and allows for operation if following the NCDHHS guidelines and while maintaining social distancing for sports and other activities. NCDHHS guidelines may be accessed at : https://files.nc.gov/ncdhhs/documents/files/covid-19/NC-Interim-Guidance-for-Day-Camp-Settings.pdf.

This Executive Order states that swimming pools may open for the purpose of the day camp, but must otherwise remain closed to the general public. If a swimming pool is to be used by the day camp, it must have a valid seasonal or annual permit to operate prior to opening for the camp. To avoid miscommunication, we recommend adding a statement to the swimming pool operation permit advising that, “issuance of a permit by this department does not negate requirements by Executive Order No. 120 and No. 138, or subsequent Orders in effect.” Please note that overnight camps may not operate in Phase 1.

Executive Order No. 138 is effective at 5 p.m. on May 8, 2020. Enforcement of the provisions in this Order are under state and local law enforcement. Local health departments are not responsible for oversight of these provisions and must not take permit action based on the Order. Alleged violations should be reported to local law enforcement.

For more information, visit the FAQs from Gov. Cooper’s office or read the executive order on the lifting of restrictions.

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Abatement Order Renewal 05 04 2020

Gov. Cooper announces modified Stay at Home Order and transitions to Phase 1 of easing restrictions

New order takes effect Friday, May 8 at 5 pm

Personal care businesses, entertainment venues, gyms to remain closed

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper today signed Executive Order No. 138 to modify North Carolina’s Stay At Home order and transition to Phase 1 of slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions effective Friday, May 8 at 5 pm. Certain businesses remain closed as the state continues battling COVID-19.

“COVID-19 is still a serious threat to our state, and Phase 1 is designed to be a limited easing of restrictions that can boost parts of our economy while keeping important safety rules in place,” said Governor Cooper. “This is a careful and deliberate first step, guided by the data, and North Carolinians still must use caution while this virus is circulating.”

“We must continue to protect our families and neighbors as we take this cautious step forward. When you leave your home, follow the three W’s: Wear a face covering, wash your hands, and wait six feet apart,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

Today’s Order removes the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses. Retail businesses are allowed to open at 50% capacity and will be required to direct customers to stand 6 feet apart, perform frequent cleanings, provide hand sanitizer when available, screen workers for symptoms and more. The Order allows people to leave their homes for commercial activity at any business that is open.

Certain businesses remain closed, including bars, personal care businesses, entertainment venues, and gyms. Restaurants may only continue to serve customers for drive-through, take out and delivery.

All workers at retail and other businesses are recommended to wear cloth face coverings. Teleworking is still encouraged for businesses that can practice it.
Though small outdoor gatherings will be allowed in Phase 1, gatherings of more than 10 people generally are still prohibited. The Order encourages cloth face coverings to be worn when outside the home and in contact with others. Everyone who uses a face covering should adhere to this guidance without fear of profiling or bias.

During Phase 1, childcare facilities will be open to serve families of parents who are working or looking for work. These centers will be required to follow strict cleaning protocols. Summer day camps can operate in compliance with NC DHHS guidelines.

In explaining today’s Order, Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen reported North Carolina remains stable on the following key metrics:
Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is decreasing.
Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases over the last 14 days cases is slightly increasing.
Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive over the last 14 days is decreasing.
Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations over the last 14 days is level.

In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:
Laboratory Testing
• North Carolina has doubled the daily testing rate.
Tracing Capability
• The Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative has received over 4,000 applications and is in the process of hiring 250 new contact tracers.
Personal Protective Equipment
• Supply chains continue to improve with the exception of gowns.

The order is in effect until 5 pm on Friday, May 22. However, the end of this Order does not necessarily mean the state will move to Phase 2. Phase 2 will only start if data and indicators are in the right place.

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Read a copy of today’s graphs and slides.

May 3-9 is Hurricane Preparedness Week

Governor Urges Residents to Update Emergency Kits and Plans, Especially Considering COVID-19

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed May 3-9 Hurricane Preparedness Week in North Carolina and reminded residents that now is the time to prepare for the 2020 hurricane season. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.

“North Carolina knows all too well the damage and disruption that hurricanes can bring, but being prepared can help people fare better and recover quicker,” said Gov. Cooper. “Especially with COVID-19 affecting everyone’s daily lives, now is the time to make sure you and your family are ready this hurricane season.”

Gov. Cooper urges families to use this week to discuss their emergency plans, update their emergency supplies, and review their homeowners and renter’s insurance policies. This year, it’s also important to consider how the COVID-19 virus might alter your typical preparedness for hurricane season.

When considering your evacuation planning during the COVID-19 pandemic, a plan to stay at a hotel, or with friends or family who live farther inland are better options than relying on a large emergency shelter. Be sure to include items in your preparedness kit like hand sanitizer, face masks, copies of your health insurance cards and documents, and your medications. If you do evacuate, be sure to check in with family members, or an emergency contact, to let them know where you are.

“North Carolina is getting ready for hurricane season even in the midst of a pandemic,” said North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “We have responded to simultaneous disasters in the past and will work with our local partners to do so again if needed.”

The most dangerous threats from hurricanes and tropical storms are flooding and storm surge.

During this hurricane season, North Carolina is introducing Know Your Zone, a tiered evacuation system that highlights areas most vulnerable to storm surge from hurricanes and tropical storms, and other hazards. If it becomes necessary, local officials will order evacuations using pre-determined zones created by coastal counties. The Know Your Zone lookup tool is a new color-coded interactive map you can use to determine the evacuation zone where you live, work, or are visiting based upon street address.

Having flood insurance is one of the best ways to prepare for flooding.

“Homeowners with flood insurance experience faster recoveries,” said Director Sprayberry. “Flood insurance is key to recovering quicker and with more resilience.”

“Preparing for an emergency is an easy and simple way to help protect you and your loved ones when a disaster strikes,” said Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks. “By having an emergency supply kit with enough non-perishable food and water to last each person three to seven days, you’ll be ready for aftermath of a storm when you may be without power, water or other essential services.”

Essential items for your emergency kit include:
• Food/water for every member of your family for several days
• Copies of insurance cards/papers and identification sealed in a watertight plastic bag
• First-aid kit
• Weather radio and batteries
• Prescription medicines
• Sleeping bag or blankets
• Changes of clothes
• Hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and deodorant
• Cash
• Pet supplies including food, water, leashes, bedding, muzzle and vaccination records
• Hand sanitizer
• Face masks

During storms, people should stay tuned into a trusted local news source and keep a battery-powered radio nearby for weather and evacuation information. They also need to heed the warnings of state and local officials and evacuate quickly when told to do so.

More information on hurricanes and overall emergency preparedness can be found on the ReadyNC website at www.ReadyNC.org.

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