State Government
North Carolina Surpasses 10,000 COVID 19 Deaths PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 10 February 2021 08:48
North Carolina has reached a sobering milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic — more than 10,000 North Carolinians have died from the virus. The state also surpassed 800,000 total cases today. 
 
"Together we grieve with the family and friends of the North Carolinians who have lost their lives to this terrible pandemic," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. "Each one of these numbers represents a daughter or son, a parent or grandparent, a neighbor or friend — people who are deeply loved and who were part of the fabric of our community"   
 
Both CDC and NCDHHS guidelines say everyone should keep wearing a mask, waiting at least 6 feet apart and washing hands often to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 
 
"We are still seeing very high levels of spread across North Carolina," Secretary Cohen said. “Our most powerful tools to help protect ourselves and our loved ones are to practice the 3Ws and get vaccinated when it’s your turn."
 
North Carolina’s goal is to vaccinate as many people as quickly and equitably as possible. As of today, North Carolina has administered more than 1.4 million doses of the vaccine. Over 100% of first doses received by the federal government for NC providers have been administered, as well as 50% of second doses. Last week, NCDHHS added county demographic data for COVID-19 vaccinations to the vaccine data dashboard.
 
Vaccine supply is limited; therefore, states must vaccinate people in groups. North Carolina is currently vaccinating people in Groups 1 and 2, which include health care workers, long-term care staff and residents, and people 65 and older. Group 3 will include frontline essential workers; Group 4 will include adults at high risk for exposure and increased risk of severe illness; and Group 5 will include everyone. 
 
Detailed information about each vaccine group is online at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov (English) or vacunate.nc.gov (Spanish).
 
Recently, NCDHHS launched a new online tool to help North Carolinians know when they are eligible to get their vaccine. Find My Vaccine Group walks users through a series of questions to determine which vaccine group they are in. People can then sign up to be notified when their group can get vaccinated.
 
House Approves Deferral Of ABC Renewal Permit For Bar Owners PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Donna Martinez   
Thursday, 04 February 2021 12:48
The North Carolina House approved legislation Thursday that extends deferrals for ABC permit renewal fees to benefit bar owners unexpectedly hit with renewal bills last month despite continued restrictions on their operations. 
 
House Bill 4 Extend ABC Permit Renewal Fee Deferral would retroactively extend the deferral of ABC permit fees for businesses prohibited from operating under the Governor's Executive Order 141 until 90 days after all orders limiting those permittees' full operation are rescinded or expire. 
 
The legislation allows certain ABC permittees whose operation is limited by executive orders to request a refund of any permit fees paid for 2020-2021, and directs the ABC Commission to reinstate or reactivate any permits that the Commission cancelled or moved to inactive status. 
 
House Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee Chairman Tim Moffitt (R-Henderson) said Thursday that struggling bar owners deserve relief and regulatory certainty for their financial planning. 
 
"These are family businesses hurting in North Carolina, who need help now and should not be required to pay fees to a state government that is strictly limiting their ability to generate revenue and operate as planned," Chairman Moffitt said. 
 
"The folks working in our service economy are facing unprecedented challenges and I am committed to supporting their continued needs as we turn North Carolina towards recovery." 
 
Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) thanked House lawmakers for getting to work quickly on the issue. 
 
"House lawmakers began working to get relief to these business owners again as soon as the news of their permit renewal fees was reported, and we are committed to delivering this assistance as they continue to face economic restrictions on their livelihoods," Speaker Moore said Thursday. 
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 February 2021 12:50
 
$1.6 Billion COVID 19 Relief Package Passes General Assembly PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 04 February 2021 11:47

The state General Assembly has approved a relief package for North Carolina communities that includes $1.6 billion to help local school districts safely reopen and an extension of $335 state grants for families without enough earnings to file a tax return. 

 
Senate Bill 36 COVID Relief Bill Modifications extends the deadline for using previous relief allocations for schools and emergency needs, and appropriates an additional $95 million of federal funding for vaccine distribution. 
 
Up to $546 million in eligible emergency rent relief is also appropriated in the bill, with another $155 million in federal funds for local governments with over 200,000 people. 
 
A $30 million rural broadband fund is also secured through the legislation to increase economic and education connectivity through the legislature's successful Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) program. 
 
Senior House Appropriations Committee Co- Chairs Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), Dean Arp (R-Union), and Donny Lambeth (R-Forsyth) released a joint statement: 
 
"The General Assembly is delivering additional relief as soon as possible through bipartisan legislation that ensures state and federal funding reaches North Carolina communities now, and we will maintain this commitment to a strong recovery this session," the Senior House Appropriations Co-Chairs said Thursday. 
 
Speaker Moore said $1.6 billion for public schools in the legislation can support safe school repoenings and robust summer programs for remedial learning: 
 
"Powerful education funding in this bill will help students safely return to the classroom and receive robust summer learning opportunities to overcome the challenges of the last year and realize their highest academic and career potentials," Speaker Moore said Thursday. 
 
"This legislation represents a strong beginning to another successful session delivering on our promises to serve North Carolinians in need, and I appreciate the bipartisan work of my General Assembly colleagues to accomplish this important step for families and businesses who are hurting." 
 
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 February 2021 11:51
 
DHHS Offers New Tools To Help People Get COVID Vaccine PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 02 February 2021 10:12
 The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released new tools to help North Carolinians get their COVID-19 vaccine questions answered and to find vaccine locations in the state. 
 
“We want North Carolinians to be able to get answers to their questions – whether that is about the vaccines and how they work, when they are eligible to take their shot, or where their spot is to get a vaccine. They can call our hotline or go to YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov and get honest information,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. 
 
The newly expanded COVID-19 vaccine help center can be reached at 888-675-4567 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Callers can get help with general COVID-19 vaccine questions, information on eligibility groups, clinical questions about the vaccine, how to find vaccine locations and transportation services.
 
The COVID-19 vaccine help center supports English and Spanish calls, and TTY. Callers will be able to select call back assistance where they receive a call when agents are available instead of waiting in line for an agent. The language line will be available for all other languages needed. 
 
The Find a Vaccine Location search tool lets North Carolinians enter their ZIP code or current location to find nearby vaccine providers. The Find a Vaccine Location tool will be updated regularly with the latest available data. Users should contact vaccine providers directly to confirm availability and schedule appointments. Vaccine supplies remain very low, and people eligible to be vaccinated may have to wait for an appointment. North Carolina is currently vaccinating health care workers, long-term care staff and residents, and people 65 and older (Groups 1 and 2). Not all vaccine providers may be ready to vaccinate all eligible groups yet.
 
Last week, NCDHHS launched an online tool to help North Carolinians know when they will be eligible to get their vaccine. Find My Vaccine Group walks users through a series of questions to determine which vaccine group they are in. People can then sign up to be notified when their group can get vaccinated.
 
Until the country begins to get ahead of the pandemic, the CDC says everyone should keep wearing a mask, waiting at least six feet apart and washing hands often.  
 
Learn more at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov (English) or Vacunate.nc.gov (Spanish).  
 
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