RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency.
The declaration activates the Emergency Operations Center to help agencies coordinate from one location and makes it easier to purchase needed medical supplies, protect consumers from price gouging, and increase county health departments’ access to state funds.
In addition to Governor Cooper’s emergency declaration, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) is making several recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the number of people infected.
“The health and safety of North Carolinians is our top priority. We are taking the necessary steps to ensure that North Carolina is prepared and responding to this virus, and this order helps us do that,” said Governor Cooper. “Though we are still in the early stages in North Carolina, time is a valuable resource and we must work together to slow the spread while we can.”
Key provisions in the order are similar to those enacted in a natural disaster.
The order will help with the cost burdens and supplies that may be difficult for providers and public health to access due to increased demand.
It also increases the state public health department’s role in supporting local health departments, which have been tasked with monitoring quarantines, tracing exposure and administering testing.
Today’s updated NC DHHS recommendations are based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), current actions by other states, and the most up-to-date epidemiologic information available to protect the public’s health.
Many of the recommendations are targeted at protecting people at high risk of severe illness, which includes adults over 65 years, those with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, or weakened immune systems.
Additional recommendations are being made for residents of the Triangle region.
On March 9, NC DHHS confirmed five new cases of COVID-19 in Wake County, increasing the total in the county to 6 and statewide to seven.
“We all play a role in keeping our communities safe and healthy. These precautions can help us slow the spread of this virus and protect our more vulnerable neighbors,” said DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “Let’s be guided by compassion and reason and work to support each other as a community.”