North Carolina Coronavirus Updates — September 18, 2020 | Beaufort County Now | After consultation with public health officials and 14 days of steady and downward COVID-19 trends, Governor Cooper announced that North Carolina elementary school grades Kindergarten through 5th grade may now choose plan A for operations as soon as October 5. | governor, roy cooper, coronavirus, covid-19, updates, public health officials, september 21, 2020, cvd19

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

North Carolina Coronavirus Updates — September 18, 2020

Press Release:

Governor Cooper Announces that School Districts May Re-Open Elementary Schools Under Plan A

    After consultation with public health officials and 14 days of steady and downward COVID-19 trends, Governor Cooper announced that North Carolina elementary school grades Kindergarten through 5th grade may now choose plan A for operations as soon as October 5. All school districts will be able to select the plan that works best for their district.

    "We are able to open this option because most North Carolinians have doubled down on our safety and prevention measures and stabilized our numbers," said Governor Cooper. "The number one opening priority during this pandemic has been our schools, and our continuing progress in fighting the spread of this virus is allowing us to do more."

    Plan A requires important safety protocols for students, staff and teachers. Details about the plans and safety protocols are online in the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit. While Plan A will soon be an available option, it is not the right choice for every student. Governor Cooper encouraged remote learning options for them and their families.

    Read the Press Release

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.

Governor Cooper Asks President Trump to Include North Carolina in the Oil Drilling Moratorium

    This week Governor Cooper wrote a letter to President Trump asking him to include North Carolina in the oil drilling moratorium announced for South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida earlier this month.

    "Offshore drilling threatens North Carolina's coastal economy and environment and offers our state minimal economic benefit. Accepted science tells us that there is little, if any, oil worth drilling off North Carolina's coast, and the risks of offshore drilling far outweigh the benefits."

    Governor Cooper stands with the 45 coastal communities who have adopted resolutions opposing oil drilling off the coast of North Carolina. The state's exclusion from the moratorium jeopardizes tourism, commercial and recreational fishing and the natural resources that fuel the coastal economy, generating over $3 billion annually and supporting more than 30,000 jobs.

    Read the Governor's Letter to the President.

    Read the Press Release.

North Carolina Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

    This month Governor Cooper encourages all North Carolinians to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Celebrated between September 15 and October 15, as seven Latin American nations celebrate their independence days. About 10% of North Carolinians from 20 different Latin American Countries call this state home as this population continues to grow it will only make North Carolina better.

    "I am proud that North Carolina is home to so many backgrounds of people in the Latinx community," said Governor Cooper. "North Carolina is a richer, more vibrant place thanks to countless contributions from generations of Hispanic and Latinx people."

    Read the Press Release

    Read the Proclamation.

No Cost 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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