North Carolinians urged to heed stay at home orders

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In an address to the public on Friday afternoon, April 3, NC Governor Roy Cooper stressed that the state’s residents should continue to stay at home this weekend.

“This virus is still spreading quickly; no one is immune. There is no vaccination, and social distancing is our best protection,” he said. “Now is not the time for beach trips or neighborhood cookouts.”

Under the current orders both the state and Swain County is under, as part of the State of Emergency declarations for the coronavirus, people are to avoid gatherings of 10 or more and are to keep a distance of 6 feet or more when they go out in public.

Currently in North Carolina, there are 2,093 confirmed cases across 86 counties with 19 deaths and 259 patients hospitalized. By comparison, there were just over 700 cases this time last week.

The state is in a crucial time period for flattening the curve, Cooper said.

“This pandemic is a war,” he said.

He also added the state is working hard to meet the massive number of unemployment claims.

“Every claim represents a family on the edge. Every claim is crucial,” he said. “I will continue pushing until this is fixed and the process works more smoothly.”

Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary for public health, had even stronger words for the need for social distancing:

“People should only be out to buy food, pick up medication, get healthcare, or if they are an essential worker to go to work… We need to do everything possible right now to prevent overwhelming our hospitals…when supplies are scarce it forces decisions that no one wants to make.”

During the meeting, the emergency team also addressed the need for more medical supplies. Cooper said the state has received three shipments from the national strategic stockpile but it’s still just 33% of what was requested.

“There simply isn’t enough on the market to go around,” Cooper said.
he added the state is encouraging manufactures to make the gowns, masks, and other equipment needed.

Mike Sprayberry, emergency management secretary, said the state is working in coordination with the NC National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers in developing plans for how to deal with hospital surges.

In other matters, he urged the public the importance of cyber security as so many are turning to video chats and spending more time online. Use anti-virus software and updated operating systems and update your passwords regularly, he said.

“We need everybody to stay home, stay distanced and stop the spread,” Sprayberry concluded. “Call your loved ones, look out for your friends and neighbors, and be kind.”