Roundup of local COVID-19 updates for Friday, March 27

Here’s a list of coronavirus-related updates for Hoke County residents as of Friday, March 27. (If you have news – coronavirus or otherwise – please contact our reporter by email at cshepard@thenews-journal.com. We’re also interested in hearing how the pandemic is affecting families in Hoke County.)

-As of Friday afternoon, there were two known cases of COVID-19 in Hoke County; 763 known cases in all of North Carolina; 77 people in all of North Carolina hospitalized due to COVID-19; and four deaths in all of North Carolina related to the coronavirus, including one person from Virginia who was traveling through the state. More than 15,000 people have been tested for the coronavirus in North Carolina. Of the current positive cases in the state, the majority of people who have COVID-19 (47 percent) are between the ages of 25 and 49. (All data taken from here: ncdhhs.gov)

-Hoke County and all other North Carolina counties will be under a state-wide stay-at-home order beginning Monday, March 30 at 5 p.m. This means all citizens should stay at home with a few exceptions such as going to work, buying essentials like food and medicine, caring for another person or exercising outdoors (while maintaining at least six feet of distance from other people). The order also banned gatherings of more than 10 people. Gov. Roy Cooper issued the executive order Friday. Read the order – including a list of which businesses are considered “essential” – by going here. There is a list of frequently asked questions with answers about the stay-at-home order here.

-Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin announced on Facebook Friday that his office planned to press charges against anyone found inside an open sweepstakes/electronic gaming business or bingo parlor in Hoke County, including people playing the games. The governor issued an order this week shutting down many businesses including electronic gaming parlors. The sheriff’s office was aware of some in Hoke County that ignored the order and opened anyway, Peterkin said. Read his post here.

-Hoke County Schools will be observing Spring Break March 30-April 3 with no remote learning, no meal deliveries and all school offices will be closed. Remote learning and mobile meal deliveries will resume April 6. The school system also announced changes to the grading periods; see details here.

-Charter Internet is now offering 60 days of free internet for teachers as well as K-12 and college students to help through the coronavirus pandemic. See details here.

-Gov. Roy Cooper announced that parents who need food assistance for their children can text FOODNC to 877-877 to locate nearby free meal sites. The texting service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877-877. See more here.

-Cape Fear Valley has developed an online coronavirus screening tool. See more and find a link to it here.

-Cape Fear Valley also announced Friday some changes to its hours of operation: Starting Monday, March 30, Cape Fear Valley Diagnostic Center will be open Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. A full range of services will still be available with a physician order. Cape Fear Valley Medical Center’s Main Admitting Office and Cashier’s Office will be open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The hospital’s Satellite Admitting Office, on the Patient Services Tower’s fourth floor, will be open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

-FirstHealth of the Carolinas announced Friday changes to its visitor policy. See more here.

-Anyone who suspects price gouging or scams during the time of emergency should contact the North Carolina Department of Justice at 1-877-566-7226, or submit a complaint online here. See advice on avoiding scams here.

-Call NC 2-1-1 for information or coronavirus-related support. Visit NC211.org

-For local updates from Hoke County government, visit readyhoke.org.


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