Hoke County COVID-19 updates for March 30

Here’s a list of coronavirus-related updates for Hoke County residents as of Monday, March 30. (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.)

COVID-19 statistics for March 30
As of Monday, there were three known cases of COVID-19 listed in Hoke County; 1,307 known cases in all of North Carolina; 137 people in all of North Carolina hospitalized due to COVID-19; and six deaths in all of North Carolina related to the coronavirus, including one person from Virginia who was traveling through the state. More than 20,864 people have been tested for the coronavirus in North Carolina, with another 8,000 tests still pending processing. 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; the median age is 46. (All data taken from here: ncdhhs.gov)

Stay at home starts today
Hoke County and all other North Carolina counties will be under a statewide stay-at-home order beginning today 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.

Schools on spring break
Hoke County Schools are on spring break this week, and there is no meal delivery or remote learning. Mobile meals and remote learning will resume Monday, April 6, according to the school system. Schools are out until at least May 15 by order of the governor.

City council meeting postponed
The Raeford City Council has postponed its regular council meeting of Monday, April 6 until Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m. in the James B. McLeod Council Chambers of City Hall.

Need food, rent help?
Families who need food assistance for their children, help with utility payments or rent assistance can call 2-1-1 to be connected with resources. The statewide phone line has been set up to offer information and support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

No disconnects
Utility companies Duke Energy and LREMC, and Hoke County and the City of Raeford are currently not disconnecting services due to nonpayment of electric and water/sewer bills. However, the bills still accrue and must be paid, or customers risk ending up with a large bill.

Local governments operating
Hoke County and city of Raeford local governments are still open and operating to provide services, but the office buildings are closed to members of the public. Most business can be done over the phone or online. Visit readyhoke.org for updates and links to county department contact information, and raefordcity.org for city information.

Students, teachers internet access
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.

Online COVID-19 screening tool
Cape Fear Valley has developed an online coronavirus screening tool. See more and find a link to it here.

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