North Carolina Coronavirus Updates — August 19, 2020 | Beaufort County Now | This week, Rural Broadband Week, Governor Cooper announced $12 million for internet expansion projects in 11 rural counties through the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grant and COVID-19 Recovery Act.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Press Release:

Governor Roy Cooper Announces $12 Million for High Speed Internet Access in Rural NC

    This week, Rural Broadband Week, Governor Cooper announced $12 million for internet expansion projects in 11 rural counties through the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grant and COVID-19 Recovery Act.

    "For some families, the challenge of distance learning is even greater due to a lack of reliable internet. Even before this pandemic, expanding high-speed internet access was a top priority for my administration. Now that we're living in a socially-distanced world, reliable internet is more important than ever," said Governor Cooper.

    The funds from the two programs will provide 8,017 families and 254 businesses, farms, and community institutions better access to high-speed internet.

    For more announcement information read the Press Release.

    For more information on NC broadband connectivity.

COVID-19 Updates: Staying Informed & Prepared

    Information is changing rapidly, this update is current as of August 14, 2020

    It's important to rely on trusted sources of information about COVID-19. Keep up with the latest information on Coronavirus in North Carolina HERE.

    Text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive general information and updates about COVID-19 and North Carolina's response.

    Dial 2-1-1 provides free, confidential information and is available 24 hours a day to help you find resources within your community. They can connect you with people and groups that can help with questions about access to food, shelter, health care, employment and child care.

    Families who need food assistance for their children can text FOODNC to 877-877 to find free meal sites in their communities.

    Make sure to prioritize your overall wellness and don't hesitate to seek additional help. Optum has a toll-free 24-hour Emotional Support Help Line at 866-342-6892 for people who may be experiencing anxiety or stress due to Coronavirus.

    You can track the disease in real time through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services' COVID-19 NC Dashboard. It includes detailed information about the state's COVID-19 confirmed cases, hospital capacity and more.

North Carolina Announces New Partner to Offer More Access to Free COVID-19 Testing

    The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced a new partnership with a high-capacity vendor to offer additional COVID-19 testing sites in Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Onslow, Orange, and Randolph counties. The sites will be free and the counties have been selected based on need for increased testing and other metrics.

    "We know that robust testing is key to reducing spread and keeping our communities healthy. So the state has focused on ways to increase the number of tests. Cost should not prevent people from getting a test," said Governor Cooper. "We'll continue working to make testing more accessible as we continue fighting this virus."

Child Care Hotline Extended to Families Seeking Child Care for School-Age Children

    North Carolina families in need of childcare can call the child care hotline 1-888-600-1685 to be connected with child care options in their communities for school-age children up to age 12.

    "Remote learning and new school schedules present challenges if you are a working parent. This resource can help make sure children have safe, reliable care. We will continue working on ways we can help families through this difficult time," said Governor Cooper.

    The hotline is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Licensed child care professionals meeting the NCDHHS health and safety guidelines are available to provide care through this service. For more information about child care during COVID-19, visit

Free Community Testing Events Around NC

    The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has announced community free testing events in Edgecombe, Halifax, Hertford, Johnston, Northampton, Sampson and Wake counties. For an up-to-date list of events, visit the Community Testing Events page. People who may not currently have symptoms but may have been exposed to COVID-19 should get tested, especially people from historically marginalized communities.

    If someone tests positive for COVID-19, the COVID-19 Community Team will reach out to connect them with needed resources. People should answer when the Community Team reaches out, via phone, text from 45394, or email from with further instructions.

    Find a nearby testing site Find My Testing Place.

    For more information visit the NCDHHS FAQs about Testing and FAQs about Contact Tracing.

Complete the 2020 Census

    Completing the census will help us count the number of people in our state, which is how the federal government divides tax dollars to states and communities. As of July, more than 40% of North Carolinians, over 4 million people, had not been counted, which could mean a loss of $7.4 billion dollars per year for North Carolina for health care, education, highways, and community and economic development is at risk.

    An incomplete count puts representation in Congress and and federal funding our state needs in jeopardy.

    The count is lagging behind in Eastern North Carolina where many of our military families live and where so many have been hit hard by recent storms. Encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to participate in the count. Census workers will begin knocking on doors on August 11th to ensure we all are counted.

    You can complete the 2020 Census safely at home online at and by phone (844–330–2020 in English, 844–468–2020 in Spanish), or submit by mail.

Get All of the Latest Information in Spanish

    During this time it is imperative that everyone is informed about what is going on in our state. Governor Cooper's administration has been working to get information and resources translated for the Spanish speaking population in our state. Many of the Governor's press conferences, press releases, and executive orders are available in Spanish. Resources are also available in Spanish on the DHHS website.

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