By North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper This pandemic has affected every corner of our state, including our state budget needs. For many families, it has also shifted their priorities. Last week, I proposed a budget that tackles the challenges we’re facing today while building for the promise of tomorrow. We can emerge from this crisis even stronger than before if we invest wisely. My budget, Support for a Determined North Carolina, uses the state’s remaining $900 million CARES Act funding to continue responding to COVID-19 and providing relief to communities. I’ve proposed for $175 million to go toward critical public health services, including contact tracing andRead More →

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) on Thursday launched the NC Medicaid Optional COVID-19 Testing program, which will reimburse Medicaid providers for costs associated with COVID-19 testing of people without insurance. “North Carolina is making COVID-19 testing more available and affordable, and this program will help,” said Gov. Roy Cooper, “but the most important way to keep people healthy is to expand Medicaid so 600,000 North Carolinians can get health insurance, which the legislature should do immediately.” “This new program allows community providers to offer cost-free testing to uninsured North Carolinians. It’s a good step to decrease barriers to testing. However,Read More →

The “Whatever Your Reason” campaign, a new statewide public campaign to encourage every North Carolinian to wear a mask in a collective fight against COVID-19, is being launched Thursday by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). The campaign features North Carolina people and places and focuses on the personal reasons North Carolinians across the state are choosing, every day, to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. “Wearing a mask is a simple, effective way to care for our communities and help our economy. I wear a mask to protect my family and loved ones, and because I know my actionsRead More →

Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday announced that after a summer of hard work to slow the spread of COVID-19, North Carolina will take a modest step forward move into Phase 2.5 starting this Friday, Sept. 4 at 5 p.m.. Mask mandates and other prevention methods remain in effect and are even more important to contain the virus, Cooper said. “Safer at Home Phase 2.5 continues our state’s dimmer switch approach to easing some restrictions,” said Governor Cooper. “We can do this safely only if we keep doing what we know works — wearing masks and social distancing. In fact, a new phase is exactly whenRead More →

In an effort to continue slowing the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 162 to extend the limited hours on the sale of alcoholic drinks in North Carolina. As the state continues to fight the spread of COVID-19, the Order requires restaurants to end the sale of alcoholic beverages at 11 p.m. This Order will remain in effect through Oct. 2, 2020. “North Carolina has made good progress stabilizing our COVID-19 numbers, and this order will help us continue it,” said Governor Cooper. “Now is the time to continue staying cautious and vigilant as we work to beat this pandemic.” Local governmentsRead More →

State asks for court to reinstate North Carolina’s decision to reject consistency certification N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina will continue to fight against seismic testing along the state’s coast. The State of North Carolina has filed an appeal of the decision by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to override the state’s objection to WesternGeco’s plan for offshore seismic testing. “North Carolina has been clear, we do not want seismic testing in our coastal waters, or the damage from offshore drilling that could follow,” said Governor Cooper. “The studies of our waters show little prospect for drilling, and the environmental damage to ourRead More →

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper announced $175 million to help North Carolinians with rental and utility payment support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. “COVID-19 has strained family finances across North Carolina, and many people are struggling to make ends meet,” said Governor Cooper. “People need a safe, stable place to call home, especially during this pandemic, and we must help keep people in their homes and keep their utilities on while our economy recovers.” The announcement includes three programs designed to work together to help people avoid eviction and pay their bills, per the Governor’s direction. Eviction Prevention and Utility Payments: Approximately $94 millionRead More →

East Carolina University has identified a cluster of COVID-19 cases within the university’s football team and Clement Hall. There are currently seven positives related to Clement Hall and 10 positives associated with the football team. ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert announced Thursday that all football activities are pausing indefinitely after evaluating results from the latest rounds of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing. All affected individuals will be isolated based on medical guidelines. Contact tracing will be conducted for close contacts per University protocol and those identified individuals will be quarantined. “Today’s decision to pause all football activities comes in consultation with our medical staff afterRead More →

UNC-Chapel Hill is shifting all undergraduate instruction to remote learning on Aug. 19. Courses in the graduate, professional and health affairs schools will continue to be taught as they are or as directed by the schools. After a spate of COVID-19 infection clusters during the first week of classes, UNC-Chapel Hill will shift all undergraduate instruction to remote learning Wednesday and continue efforts to greatly reduce residence hall occupancy. “Since launching the Roadmap for Fall 2020, we have emphasized that if we were faced with the need to change plans — take an off-ramp — we would not hesitate to do so, but we haveRead More →

BEAUFORT, N.C. — A historic boat that is literally one-of-a-kind has made a temporary return to the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center. Periauger, a historic replica of the long-lost Colonial boat of the same name, was recently brought back to Beaufort for refurbishment. Originally built at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort’s working watercraft center, Periauger sits there once again as repairs continue on the vessel, the only known boat of its kind.“The boat itself, in its historic context, was really important to North Carolina,” the museum’s maritime curator, David Bennett, said. “In the 17th and 18th centuries, it was a popular coastal transport, especiallyRead More →