NC Politics in the News

March 30, 2020

Pardon Our Dust

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SPECTRUM NEWS: Farmers Markets Remain Open Across the State
Four state-operated farmers markets across North Carolina will remain open, officials say, along with a number of certified roadside stands and markets.

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in a release Friday, “According to guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, farmers markets fall under the same classification as grocery stores and are considered an important source of food for local communities.”

THE WARREN RECORD: State issues notice for essential food, agriculture employees
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences is taking preventative measures to help farmers, agribusinesses, and food workers in the event that the state of North Carolina issues a shelter-in-place order. 

Economic Development

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: COVID-19 leaves small businesses struggling. Orange County, Carrboro offer some help. 
Orange County governments have joined state and federal agencies throwing a lifeline to small businesses hit with lost sales and other coronavirus-related setbacks. The Orange County Board of Commissioners approved a program this week that will provide up to $300,000 in grants and no-interest loans to small-business owners.

INDEPENDENT TRIBUNE: Local manufacturers shift to produce health care gear
One of the primary concerns for many local, state and national leaders is that nurses and health care officials could potentially run out of personal protective equipment, which could prove to be catastrophic for health care officials working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, a group of manufacturing companies and nonprofit organizations are stepping up to aid with this problem, as they are transitioning production to produce medical supplies after a request from local health care providers.


ABC 11 : Major grading changes, graduation requirements coming to NC students during COVID-19 crisis
As schools continue to remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, North Carolina public schools will drop the use of traditional letter grades on spring courses for high school seniors. The State Board of Education (SBE) unanimously approved the changes on Friday from the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI) administrators to pass high school seniors based on their performance in classes of March 13 — the last day before schools were closed.

SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS: Online technology helps students through pandemic
All North Carolina public schools will be shut down through May 15 after Gov. Roy Cooper signed another executive order Monday. On March 14, Cooper originally ordered schools to close for a minimum of two weeks — essentially an extended spring break — but as the virus continued to spread across the country, it became clear further measures needed to be taken. While almost every aspect of normal daily life has been impacted by the coronavirus, the closing of schools is an incredible disruption of norms for families across the state. 


ABC 11: What counts as ‘essential business’ in North Carolina amid COVID-19 stay-at-home order
As of Monday evening, the entirety of North Carolina will be under a stay-at-home order in an additional effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the order, all businesses not labeled as an “essential business”– and businesses that cannot allow employees to work from home or conduct business remotely or via curbside pickup and delivery– must close.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: 20 new cases of COVID-19 reported by Wake County on Monday morning
Wake County reported 20 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday morning. That brings the county’s total to 166. The statewide stay-at-home order by Gov. Roy Cooper begins at 5 p.m. today. Essential businesses will remain open, and people can still go out to do basic life tasks like getting food and groceries, receiving health care and going outside as long as they maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing.


ABC 11: As Congress makes deal on stimulus, North Carolina lawmakers start negotiating their own COVID-19 plans
There can be bipartisanship after all. For the first time in North Carolina history, a group of lawmakers met remotely and in official capacity, tapped by leadership to prepare for the state’s own legislative action to address to coronavirus crisis.

MADISON: North Carolina GOP convention pushed back to June by virus
The North Carolina Republican Party’s state convention is being delayed by three weeks due to the new coronavirus emergency. The state GOP announced that the convention will now be held June 4-7.


WCNC: NC Clinical Leaders Harness 3-D Tech to Provide PPE for Frontline Health Care Workers
Doctors, nurses, technicians, nursing home staff, and just about anyone who works in a health care setting needs more PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment. PPE protects people on the frontlines saving others from the scourge of COVID-19 that today has essentially shut down the State of North Carolina. Teams of doctors and engineers from NC hospitals and local universities are working around the clock to mass-produce face shields they designed using 3-D printing and injection molding technology. 


THE DISPATCH: NC FIRST seeks public comments for transportation strategies
The N.C. Future Investment Resources for Sustainable Transportation Commission is requesting video and online public comments through April 14 for future transportation investment strategies, according to a press release from the N.C. Department of Transportation.