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THE RALEIGH REPORT

February 29, 2020

COVID-19

By now, we all know that the new coronavirus is likely to become a pandemic, especially given the new case near Sacramento, CA. that was the first in the US without a known carrier.

North Carolina is in a good position: The UNC School of Public Health is ranked second in the nation. DHHS Secretary, Dr. Mandy Cohen, was a top leader at CMS. State Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Tilson has expertise in disease prevention, and Mike Sprayberry, director of NC Emergency Management (NCEM) has made significant upgrades in that program in response to the recent hurricane disasters along the coast.

Since late January, the DHHS/NCEM team has been coordinating efforts around the state's response. In early February, Governor Cooper formalized this effort with the creation of the COVID-19 Taskforce.

This Taskforce is working closely with local health departments, health care providers and others to identify and respond to any potential isolated cases in North Carolinian and to be ready in the event of a more widespread, national COVID-19 transmission.

Please take these common-sense measures now to prepare for potential widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the state:

This Taskforce is working closely with local health departments, health care providers and others to identify and respond to any potential isolated cases in North Carolinian and to be ready in the event of a more widespread, national COVID-19 transmission.

Please take these common-sense measures now to prepare for potential widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the state:

Individuals, Families and Communities

NCDHHS urges everyone to use the following precautions:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds each time.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Be more aware of and limit the number of times a day your hands touch an object or hard surface and then touch your face without being washed.
  • Have a plan in case you need to miss work or other responsibilities due to personal illness or to care for a sick family member.
  • For pregnant women and children, review the information and guidance available on the CDC website.


  • Businesses and Employers

  • Practice good hand hygiene and encourage your employees and patrons to take common-sense precautions to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses.
  • Review your policies and procedures for remote or teleworking where possible.
  • Cross-train employees for key functions so that daily schedules can continue relatively uninterrupted by potential employee absences.
  • Review absenteeism policies to make sure employees are not being encouraged to come to work if they are sick.
  • Establish a relationship with your local health department and communicate with them if you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19.
  • Look for more updates and guidance available on the CDC website.


  • No one group is at a higher risk for acquiring COVID-19 infection than others. Speak up if you hear others making statements that cause stigma against any single group.

    Get information from reliable sources such as NCDHHS at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus and CDC at cdc.gov/coronavirus.

    Be thoughtful about what you read or hear and a separate rumor from fact before you act.

    If you have concerns, call the COVID-19 Helpline toll free at 1-866-462-3821. To submit questions online, go to www.ncpoisoncontrol.org and select "chat."

    Tired of Robocalls? Operation Silver Shield

    This week the North Carolina Department of Justice (DOJ) launched Operation Silver Shield to confront scammers and fraudsters.

    You can help by reporting bad actors with a detailed web form (www.ncdoj.gov/norobo) and a dedicated robo report hotline (1-844-8-NO-ROBO). This information will help NCDOJ investigate potential scammers.

    The anti-robocall initiative is the first program rolled out under Operation Silver Shield. Throughout the year, NCDOJ will continue to protect people from scams, take legal action against fraudsters when necessary, and educate people on how best to keep themselves and their parents and grandparents safe. For more information, please visit www.ncdoj.gov/silver.

    Other News

    Editorial: Want to save N.C.'s rural hospitals? Expand Medicaid now
    Capital Broadcasting Company


    Conservatives, rural leaders in NC call for Medicaid expansion
    NC Policy Watch


    NC needs 2 million people with post-high school degrees by 2030. The workforce demands it.
    The News & Observer


    Disparity in North Carolina public school funding widens
    The Charlotte Post


    NC remains on track for 14th U-S Congressional seat
    Public Radio East


    After years of urging people to get a REAL ID, the DMV now asks: Do you really need one?
    The News & Observer


    Seven years later, the GOPís unemployment reforms still haunt NC
    NC Policy Watch




    How to Engage

    It's tough to keep track of what is happening. Here are some ways to stay involved.

    1. Call me or my legislative assistant Young Bae at 919-733-7208 or email me at Inskola@ncleg.net with How can I get involved in the subject line.
    2. Follow us on Twitter at @verlainsko and Facebook at Verla Insko.
    3. Visit ncleg.net where you can see bills, listen to session, and see daily calendars.
    4. Help us spread the word on social media or by forwarding this newsletter and other alerts or key news items.

    As always, thank you for your support of my work in Raleigh as your representative. Please let me know of your position on issues, your suggestions for legislation and your requests for help.

    Verla Insko

    Please remember that you can listen to committee meetings and press conferences on the General Assembly's website at www.ncleg.net. Once on the site, select "Audio," and then make your selection Ė House Chamber, Senate Chamber, Appropriations Committee Room or Press Conference Room.

    News Archives

    Verla Insko, NC House · 300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 502 LOB · Raleigh, NC 27603-5925 ·
    Phone (919) 733-7208 · Mobile (919) 618-9889 · E-mail verla.insko@gmail.com or verla.insko@ncleg.net