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The Daily Tar Heel

Gov. Cooper declares state of emergency in response to coronavirus


Gov. Roy Cooper stands before members of the media following a press conference introducing Well Dot Inc. to the Chapel Hill area on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019.

Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency in response to five new cases of presumed COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, in Wake County. There are now seven total presumed cases in North Carolina.

The University announced on March 4 that it was restricting University-affiliated travel within the U.S. to locations where a state of emergency had been declared related to COVID-19 and coronavirus and discouraged personal travel to those areas. 

Cooper held a press conference on Tuesday discussing his decision.

"The main purpose of declaring a state of emergency is increased flexibility to respond and prevent as well as to allocate funds where needed," Cooper said.

Cooper said the state was in the process of getting more supplies to test for COVID-19.

"Right now we have supplies to test 300 more people," Cooper said. "And like other states, we are doing everything we can to get more supplies and more tests to our state."

Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, also spoke at Tuesday's press conference.

Cohen said the state is recommending that those at high risk of illness should avoid large gatherings of people as much as possible. She also said places that house high risk individuals should restrict visitors 

"Many of the recommendations we are making are targeted at protecting people at high risk of severe illness, which includes adults over the age of 65, those with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or with a weakened immune system," Cohen said. 

North Carolina residents with questions or concerns about COVID-19 can call the state's COVID-19 phone line toll-free at 866-462-3821. 


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