Gov. Cooper declares a State of Emergency as North Carolina prepares for Hurricane Isaias

Plans include considerations to keep people protected from COVID-19

RALEIGH: North Carolina is preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Isaias with plans including safeguards for COVID-19. Governor Roy Cooper and State Emergency Management leaders updated the public today, urging them to track the storm and prepare for wind and rain.

In preparation for the storm, Governor Cooper declared a state of emergency to issue transportation waivers to allow trucks and supplies to move to where help is needed. The state Emergency Operations Center – already activated for COVID-19 – has activated for the storm as well, and state and local response teams are at the ready.

“Although the track and arrival of the hurricane could still change, now is the time for North Carolinians to prepare,” said Governor Cooper. “Hurricane preparations will be different given the COVID-19 pandemic, and families need to keep that in mind as they get ready.”

The current forecast is for Hurricane Isaias to increase in intensity over the next 24 hours. The storm shifted west Friday afternoon, and its speed and path indicate it could reach North Carolina as early as Monday, making its greatest impact Monday night and Tuesday. However, the state is already seeing signs of the storm with high risk of dangerous rip currents along the coast, and the danger of tropical storm force winds is increasing.

North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM), NC National Guard (NCNG), and the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) are coordinating on where to stage Unmanned Aircraft Systems drone teams in the field based on the storm’s track to provide post-event damage assessments.

The NCNG also has 75 guardsman and high water vehicles on standby should they be activated to respond. The NC Department of Transportation has more than 1,800 personnel, 1,550 pieces of equipment and more than 1,000 chainsaws ready to respond if needed. They have also suspended passenger ferry today, began voluntary evacuations of Ocracoke, waived tolls on evacuation routes, and are preparing facilities and mooring plans for vessels for storm conditions.

Some local governments have already issued evacuation orders. While the state is still combating the COVID-19 pandemic, the state is urging people to make every effort to stay with family and friends, or even a hotel, as the first option. The state will coordinate shelters for those who need to evacuate and this will be an option for those who need it.

People should follow local evacuation orders should they be issued. Evacuees may find that sheltering looks different this year. Some changes may include:
• Residents and visitors seeking shelter will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. If an individual has COVID symptoms, they will be redirected to a non-congregate sheltering option where they can more easily isolate.
• Social distancing means fewer residents in shelters, and if needed, more facilities and volunteers to shelter the same amount of people as in previous seasons.
• Maximizing space requirements may mean not all shelters will offer cots. Be prepared to provide your own bedding and care items.
• Meals will be served in sealed containers and shelters will move away from serving lines or buffets to minimize the potential exposure of everyone in the shelter.

For more information storm preparation visit www.readync.org/.

North Carolina has recently introduced the Know Your Zone program in the 20 North Carolina coastal counties. For more information or to learn your zone, visit knowyourzone.nc.gov.

Read the Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency for Hurricane Isaias.

Governor Roy Cooper signs Executive Order No. 153 Limiting the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages after 11 p.m.

RALEIGH: With actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 beginning to have impact, Governor Roy Cooper is doubling down on prevention measures with Executive Order 153 stopping the sale of alcoholic drinks in restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries at 11 pm. North Carolina bars that are currently closed will remain closed. This order will take effect Friday, July 31.

“Slowing the spread of this virus requires targeted strategies that help lower the risk of transmission,” said Governor Cooper. “This will be particularly important as colleges and universities are scheduled to start, bringing people all over the country to our state. We have seen case numbers increase among younger people, and prevention is critical to slowing the spread of the virus.”

The order will not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores or other entities permitted to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption. Local governments that have implemented orders that end alcohol sales before 11 pm or that apply to other entities remain in effect.

Also today, NC DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen gave an update on North Carolina’s data trends. Dr. Cohen explained that while North Carolina’s numbers appear to be stabilizing, officials need more time to watch the data and current levels of cases and hospitalizations remain high.

“Seeing glimmers of potential progress does not mean we can let up — it means it’s time to double down,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, MD. “The positive signs in our trends should only strengthen our resolve to keep at it with those 3 Ws – wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands often.”

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is starting to level.
Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases is leveling, but is still high.
Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is declining, but still above 5 percent.
Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is increasing, but the state still has hospital capacity.
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 averaged 29,000 tests per day last week. However, concerns remain about testing turnaround times, supply chain issues and the need for federal support.
Tracing Capability
• North Carolina continues hiring contact tracers to bolster the efforts of our local health departments.
Personal Protective Equipment
• Our personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable.
Read the Executive Order.
Read the FAQs.

Pender County Board of Elections opens satellite office in Hampstead

HAMPSTEAD – The Pender County Board of Elections will open a “Satellite Office” at the Pender County Hampstead Annex.

The Satellite Office, will serve residents on Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning Aug. 11. Office hours will be 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

“Opening an additional office will improve access and better serve voters,” said Susan Williams, Pender County Board of Elections director. “Throughout the year, the satellite office will have flexible schedules depending on need during an election-cycle.”

Williams said the Pender County Board of Elections appreciates county leadership which offered the board of elections a space at the Annex, located at 15060 US Hwy 17.

“This provides an opportunity to offer citizens in that heavily populated area the convenience of a satellite office,” said Williams. “We believe the services we can provide there will be a true benefit to voters and candidates.”

The Satellite Office at the Hampstead Annex will be in the downstairs conference room, the first door on the right upon arriving at the front entrance.

The main board of elections office, located at 807 S. Walker St. in Burgaw, will continue normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. A new service window has been installed to assure social distancing.

Resumption of Traffic Court and Online Resolution to Tickets

Traffic Courts in New Hanover and Pender Counties will resume next month. There is a way to
resolve your case without coming to the courthouse. Individuals with a pending traffic citation
should visit https://www.nccourts.gov/services to see if the ticket is eligible for a reduction or
dismissal.

Visit https://www.nccourts.gov/services at least one week prior to the court date to submit your
ticket for review. You will be notified via email if you can handle your case through the online
system without coming to the courthouse.

“We are encouraging everyone to use this technology to effectively manage the volume of people
coming to the courthouse,” remarked District Attorney Ben David.

“We are excited that this technology can save individuals the trip to the courthouse. Not only can
we help you through an electronic platform, but we can collect fines online too,” said New Hanover
County Clerk of Superior Court Jan Kennedy.

In the interest of judicial economy, many cases have already been dismissed. To see if your case
has already been dismissed, please call (910) 772<6600 for New Hanover County tickets and (910)
663<3900 for Pender County tickets.

Traffic court resumes in Pender County on August 5 and in New Hanover County on August 7.
To check your court date, visit https://www.nccourts.gov/court<dates.

State to host public information session by web conference, Aug. 4, regarding PFAS/GenX at Chemours’

State to host public information session by web conference on August 4 about PFAS/GenX at Chemours’ Fayetteville Works facility

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will host a community information session by web conference on Tuesday, August 4, about current actions to prevent and remediate PFAS contamination at the Chemours Fayetteville Works Facility. The public is invited to participate by phone or online.

Topics will include updates on actions pertaining to the February 2019 Consent Order and drinking water well sampling results as well as updates from the divisions of Waste Management, Air Quality and Water Resources. Officials from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services will also discuss the Community Involvement Plan.

Event title: GenX public information meeting
Date and Time: Aug. 4, 2020 at 6 p.m.
Phone: US TOLL +1-415-655-0003, Access code: 161 074 7124
WebEx Link:
https://ncdenrits.webex.com/ncdenrits/onstage/g.php?MTID=e7d23b731e33f5777696ce8ac08c8de4e
Event Password: GenX804

To Comment: Community members who would like to ask questions or provide comments can pre-register by completing this form at: https://bit.ly/32HIRmE, by sending an email with your name to comments.chemours@ncdenr.gov and put “August 4 public information meeting” in the subject line, or by leaving a voicemail with your name and phone number at (919) 707-8233.

Following the presentations by DEQ and DHHS representatives, community members who pre-registered will have an opportunity to ask questions. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions through a chat feature in the web conferencing software.

More information about the state’s investigation can be found at: https://deq.nc.gov/news/hot-topics/genx-investigation. Information for residents can be found at: https://deq.nc.gov/news/key-issues/genx-investigation/genx-information-residents.

Pender County Blueberry Trail

BURGAW – Pender County Tourism announces a Blueberry Trail created to lead you to fresh blueberries, blueberry fields, downtown shops, eateries, history, and more.

July is National Blueberry Month and Pender County is home to many blueberry farms, making us one of the largest growing locations for blueberry producers. Pender County Tourism created a new trail that highlights fresh blueberries, points of interest to Pender County’s blueberry culture, and places to shop for fantastic Blueberry merchandise, and homemade favorites.

“We are excited to introduce this trail” states Stephanie Key, Pender County Tourism Assistant,  “You are sure to find a delicious variety of blueberry desserts, jams, and merchandise being sold at many of our local farms, markets, shops, and businesses at the peak of the season and throughout the year.”

“Pender County is home to everything blueberry,” states Olivia Dawson, Pender County Tourism Assistant.

Annually, during the blueberry season, typically from May to July, Pender County produces millions of berries that are sold to businesses, residents, and visitors by the pints, pounds, or flats.

Pender County and the Town of Burgaw are home to the North Carolina Blueberry Festival, founded in 2003 and held annually on the third weekend in June. The festival is a premier event for Pender County and the Town of Burgaw, attracting more than 50,000 visitors. In addition to celebrating our Blueberry Heritage, the festival hosts the Annual Blueberry Pancake Breakfast each February, there is the NC Blueberry Scholarship Pageant, and the Annual New Year’s Eve Blueberry Drop.

Special thanks to all Town of Burgaw downtown merchants, The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, Pender County Public Library, and the Pender Historical Society for helping put this together.

Visit https://pocketsights.com/tours/tour/Burgaw-Blueberry-Trail-4289 or download the PocketSights app for details on the Blueberry Trail Blueberry Treasures you can find!

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