March 21, 2020

COVID-19: Executive Order 122 & 124

Governor Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein addressed the state this afternoon with the latest updates about coronavirus in North Carolina.

Governor Roy Cooper today announced another step to help families by prohibiting utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during this pandemic. Today’s Order applies to electric, gas, water and wastewater services for the next 60 days.

The Order directs utilities to give residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills and prohibits them from collecting fees, penalties or interest for late payment.

Telecommunication companies that provide phone, cable and internet services are strongly urged to follow these same rules.

“This action is particularly important since tomorrow is the first of the month, and I know that’s a date many families fear when they can’t make ends meet,” said Governor Cooper. “These protections will help families stay in their homes and keep vital services like electricity, water, and communications going as we Stay at Home.”

Additionally, the Order encourages banks not to charge customers for overdraft fees, late fees and other penalties. Landlords are strongly encouraged in the Order to follow the spirit of Chief Justice Cheri Beasley’s Order and delay any evictions that are already entered in the court system.

Governor Cooper was joined by Attorney General Josh Stein to announce the order and he thanked companies that have already voluntarily announced policies to prevent shutoffs, including Duke Energy, Dominion Energy, AT&T, and local electric co-ops, among many others. Today’s Order follows the Governor’s Stay At Home order, which is in effect until April 29.

Yesterday, March 30th, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 122. In short,the order was signed to help schools and local governments access state surplus property to help bridge gaps during the response to COVID-19. The Order also provides transfer or donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) that state government may have and not need.

“This crisis has created hardships for so many, but this Executive Order can help students and local governments with the equipment they need,” said Governor Cooper. "This order helps speed more personal protection equipment to frontline healthcare workers. In addition it allows local governments and students to get other equipment they may need."

By request, surplus property including computers owned by the state may be requested by governments and school districts, and the state will supply them to try to bridge the digital divide during school closures.

During today's conference, the Governor spoke on the importance of using 2-1-1 to access resource and have questions answered, and reserving 9-1-1 solely for emergencies. I have been updating a comprehensive list of local, state, and federal resources available NOW to Rocky Mount Residents here: . He encouraged us to be mindful about purchasing only what we need from the grocery store, especially at this week, the beginning of the month, when those in need have just received the resources they need to purchase groceries this month.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, coronavirus symptoms become an emergency when an infected person begins to experience shortness of breath. Call your health care provider if you are experiencing any symptoms and they will let you know whether or not it is necessary to come in, or if it is better to stay home.

Currently in North Carolina, there are at least 1,503 people in 78 North Carolina counties have tested positive for the coronavirus. There are 157 people hospitalized and the median age of those testing positive is 47. Today, a Cherokee County resident was the ninth virus-related death in the state. From what we know about community spread, it is assumed that the number of infected people is far higher than the number of those who have tested positive for the virus.

Please share this information and reach out to with any questions.