CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Gov. Roy Cooper and leaders in North Carolina have sent a request to FEMA and the White house for a Major Disaster Declaration.
Director of Emergency Management Michael Sprayberry announced the request, which he said was sent over the weekend, during a press conference on Monday. He said the declaration would authorize “may of the same programs activated after a hurricane.”
Some of those programs include disaster unemployment assistance, disaster case management, individual assistance for families and public assistance for local government.
Sprayberry said officials expect a response from FEMA and the White House “in the coming days.”
“It’s important that we help North Carolinians stay protected from the health impacts of COVID-19 and recover economically from the financial impacts this crisis is having on our state,” Cooper said.
Sprayberry said his department’s top priority is to get medical supplies, such as gloves, masks and face shields, to healthcare workers. Last week, a small number of soldiers with the N.C. National Guard were activated to help with that project.
As of Monday morning, at least 297 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
NCDHHS released its latest count just after 8:30 a.m. Monday. It’s unclear whether NCDHHS’ latest numbers reflect the new cases out of Mecklenburg County.
Gov. Roy Cooper said that despite not getting all the coronavirus tests the state requested from the federal government, North Carolina has found more ways to get people who need it tested. As of Monday afternoon, Cooper said, there were at least 8,438 tests completed with 10,000 more tests waiting to be run.
Sprayberry said North Carolinians can still call 211 with any questions related to the coronavirus or assistance.
On Thursday afternoon, Gov. Cooper confirmed North Carolina’s first case of COVID-19 due to community spread.
- March 10: N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper declares state of emergency
- March 11: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic
- March 13: President Donald Trump declares National Emergency | S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster declares state of emergency
- March 14: North Carolina closes all public schools, bans gatherings of more than 100 people
- March 15: South Carolina closes all public schools, recommends limiting large gatherings
- March 17: North Carolina limits restaurants to carry out or delivery, expands unemployment benefits
- March 18: North Carolina confirms first case of COVID-19 from community spread
At least 45 North Carolina counties have positive coronavirus cases including Mecklenburg County, which had nearly 100 cases as of Monday morning.
An order for North Carolina remains in place to keep mass gatherings to 100 people or less.
Gov. Cooper also previously issued an executive order that closes bars and restaurants to dine-in customers. The order unlocked unemployment benefits for those who lost, or lose, their job during the coronavirus outbreak.