North Carolina declares state of emergency over coronavirus

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order Tuesday declaring a state of emergency as the number of COVID-19 cases in the state grows.

Cooper’s declaration activates the state’s Emergency Operations Center to help agencies coordinate from one location and makes it easier to purchase needed medical supplies, protect consumers from price gouging, and increase county health departments’ access to state funds, the governor’s office said.

“The health and safety of North Carolinians is our top priority,” Cooper said in a news release. “We are taking the necessary steps to ensure that North Carolina is prepared and responding to this virus, and this order helps us do that. Though we are still in the early stages in North Carolina, time is a valuable resource and we must work together to slow the spread while we can.”

After Monday’s disclosure of five new COVID-19 cases in Wake County, North Carolina has a total of seven confirmed cases – six of which are in Wake County.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The disease has caused 26 deaths in the U.S. COVID-19 symptoms appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has issued recommendations to help slow the spread of the virus. The recommendations are based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, action taken in other states and the most-recent epidemiologic information.

Many of DHHS’ recommendations are meant to protect people at high risk, including adults over 65 years old and those with underlying health conditions and weakened immune systems. The recommendation for high-risk people include avoiding large groups of people at places such as concert venues, conventions, church services, sporting events and crowded social events.

“We all play a role in keeping our communities safe and healthy,” DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said in a news release. “These precautions can help us slow the spread of this virus and protect our more vulnerable neighbors.”

For a full list of recommendations, visit DHHS’ coronavirus website.

This article was first published by The Center Square.

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