RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) Governor Roy Cooper’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 Task Force continues to prepare for the possibility of infections occurring in North Carolina.
Officials are encouraging businesses, schools, health care providers, communities and individuals to prepare as well.
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that Americans should be anticipating and preparing for the possibility of widespread COVID-19 in the United States.
Since late January, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and NC Emergency Management (NCEM) have been operating a team to coordinate efforts around the state’s response.
In early February, Governor Cooper formalized this effort with the creation of the COVID-19 Task Force.
“NCDHHS has been coordinating with the CDC and state and local partners to prepare for COVID-19 since the beginning of the outbreak in China,” said Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, State Health Director and Chief Medical Officer for NCDHHS. “We are asking North Carolinians to continue to plan ahead for the possibility of the spread of the infection, while the risk for North Carolina is currently low.”
NCDHHS and NCEM are working closely with local health departments, health care providers and others to quickly identify and respond to any potential isolated cases that might occur in the state and prepare North Carolinians to be ready in the event of more widespread, national COVID-19 transmission.
The Task Force is developing response plans that address a range of possible scenarios
NCDHHS continues to host regular calls with local health providers and partners, develop and disseminate information and guidance and respond to questions from providers and communities.
“We have been working closely with our Public Health and Office of Emergency Medical Services partners to ensure our preparedness for all scenarios as it relates to COVID-19 infection,” said Director of Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry, who co-chairs the Governor’s Task Force with Dr. Tilson. “We would rather be over-prepared to protect the health and well-being of North Carolinians.”
No one group, ethnicity or population in the US is at a higher risk for acquiring COVID-19 infection than others.
While some people may be worried or have concerns about COVID-19, it is important to not let fear and anxiety lead to social stigma towards friends, neighbors or members of the community.
Treat all people with compassion and speak up if you hear others making statements that cause stigma against people in your community.
All North Carolinians can better prepare for COVID-19 by getting up-to-date information directly from reliable sources like NCDHHS and the CDC.
The COVID-19 outbreak has been accompanied by a global flood of misinformation from unreliable sources.
Be thoughtful about what you read or hear about the virus and make sure you are separating rumor from fact before you act.
For more information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
North Carolina resources can be found on the Division of Public Health website at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.
If you have questions or concerns, call the COVID-19 Helpline toll free at 1-866-462-3821.
To submit questions online, go to www.ncpoisoncontrol.org and select “chat.”