Cooper: State sending public health workers to help in NC coronvirus hotspots
Gov. Roy Cooper and state health and safety officials provide a July 9, 2020, update to the coronavirus outbreak in North Carolina and the state's response to it.
1003 149 lab confirmed cases, 2039 new cases reported since yesterday, 1034 people in the hospital and sadly, 1461 people who have died. We continue to pray for the victims and their families. Today, we're continuing to watch with concern. It's covered cases and hospitalizations increase. Today, Dr. Mandy Cohen, our secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, will share an update on our data trends that are state monitors. As we battle this pandemic, today is our highest day of hospitalizations in our second highs day of cases. It's good that we still have hospital and I see you bed capacity. But what we know is this the disease continues to spread and the North Carolina isn't a surging hot spot like some other states, we could be if we don't stay strong in our fight. There are critical decisions ahead on how we reopen schools and whether we continue to ease restrictions on certain businesses on schools. We continue to get excellent input from teachers and superintendents and health officials. We want our Children back in school safely and will have an official announcement next week. We'll also have an announcement next week about the executive order that ends on June. Lives of 17 on the covet testing front were experiencing new delays in getting test results back. It is tough when a person gets a test and sometimes has to wait almost a week to get the results. That's unacceptable. Labs here and across the country are slowing down, partly due to a nationwide shortage of important testing supplies. Meanwhile, we continue to make progress in chasing down and working to contain the disease. Contact tracers, help us notify people who may have been exposed and were hard more of them. We plan to hire 250 new contact tracers, but has gone beyond that. We now have 480 half of whom are bilingual, with a focus on Spanish speakers. With these additions, we have more than 1500 people in our state working on contact tracing. We know we need mawr. Every state needs more and every status facing similar challenges in this work. Please know that if you get a call from a contact tracer work with him, it's important for your health and the health of your family. We're also deploying up to 300 new no cost testing sites concentrated in our underserved communities that currently have limited testing options. The's free sites will increase capacity in MAWR than 100 zip code areas across our state. This pandemic is hitting historically marginalized, marginalized populations really hard. Long standing and equities have left these communities mawr vulnerable to cover 19. And this major addition of free testing sites will help save lives. Testing is only a part of the picture, though. We need to support people and their families who've gotten sick. Today. We announced that the Department of Health and Human Services is beginning an initiative that will send up to 250 community health workers to areas with High Cove in 19 tastes. Caseloads. These health workers will work closely with local health departments and contact tracers and be responsible for connecting North Carolinians to medical and social support. Resource is that includes testing in primary care, mental health services and helping people find a safe location toe isolate if they test positive. We've seen cases surge within the communities as entire families become sick because of an inability toe. Isolate Ah, positive family member. Today. We're also pleased to announce a new program aimed at matching students in need of work experience with local governments and nonprofits who need additional support for Cove. In 19 response, the Student Response Core initiative will provide virtual public service internships. This is a win wins for students who may have lost jobs or internships. Duthie do pandemic and for local governments and nonprofits who are in need of extra help Right now, this effort is a part of my administration's N C job ready initiative to make sure students were prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Job readiness, maybe even Mawr important during a pandemic for students interested in being matched up with a job or an internship will link mawr information on our website. I'm now gonna ask Dr Cohen to share an update on our state's data and trends. So Dr Cohen will recognize you. Great. Thank you, Governor. Good afternoon. And as the governor reported across the state, we see an increasing number of cases and the number of concerning trends in data which I'm going to break down for you in a minute But nationally, we continue to see dangerous spikes in viral transmissions and a number of states and some areas. Were medical systems air hitting capacity? That's alarming. While we in North Carolina are not in dire straits like some around us, we have reason to be concerned and need to remain vigilant and slowing the spread of the virus. Flattening the curve is not a one time thing. It takes constant effort and attention to keep it flat. I know North Carolinians don't shy away from doing what is needed to keep our state strong. I'm heartened to see people wearing their face coverings when they're out and making an effort to keep their distance. Okay, so now, turning to our trend as a reminder, we use a combination of metrics that are based on public health data and original White House guidance. Thes metrics include cove it like syndrome, a cases lab confirmed cases, positive tests of the percentage of total tests and hospitalizations. Some of these indicators help us understand the rate of transmission in the past few days, while other metrics like hospitalization, tell us where we were a few weeks ago. That's why we think of these indicators as different chapters in the same book, instead of relying on any one metric to tell the whole story. All right, so our first graf again looks at people who have come into the emergency room with cove it like symptoms. This is the most timely data we have, and it's our earliest detection mechanism. So taking a look at the yellow line, you can see that this is increasing. This metric is not impacted by testing rates or other factors. It's an early warning indicator. For the past few weeks, this data has been telling us the virus is spreading in our communities, and this continues to be concerning on her next slide. Here we look at lab confirmed tests. It's another one of our more timely key metrics. We continue to see an increase in new lab confirmed cases with Cove in 19. We would obviously like to see these trends level off, but unfortunately it continues to go upward. And as you can see over to the right today, we have that second highest day of new cases at 2039 new cases today. Over the last week, the number of tests being performed actually has been relatively flat, which is related to a number of factors. Now we also we had a holiday weekend, so that's a factor. But we've also seen increased nationwide demand for testing, which is slowing down the test processing times. And we're seeing ongoing supply chain challenges with various laboratory re agents and supplies Some of the chemicals needed toe analyze testing samples. We continue to ask our federal partners for decisive action on this front. Now. Next, we look at the percent of tests that are positive and you can see the yellow line the percent of total test returning positive. It's really been in that 8 to 10% range, relatively stable, but we'd rather see this number closer to 5%. So while it's stable, it remains elevated. But our nets metric here is day over. Day hospitalizations this metric continues to increase, and we have now more than 1000 people currently hospitalized with Cove in 19. Right now, our hospitals still have capacity to meet this increased demand, and that's a good thing. However, again, the people who are in but who are going to the hospital today are those who are infected days or weeks ago. That's why we call hospitalizations a lagging indicator. The more timely indicators that we've discussed suggest that infections are increasing, which is why we need to think about how this hospitalization metric would be moving. Ah, few weeks from now. We're particularly concerned about the Charlotte area and their hospital capacity. Our team, we're in touch with them all the time. It had a call with all of the hospitals in the Charlotte area, and I'll say they're doing a great job of handling the higher number of cases they're seeing and a really being thoughtful about planning for more. At this point, there is not a need for further intervention, but we will continue to reassess this decision. We don't want to be in a situation where we're needing addition, where we're nearing our I C U capacity, and we want to avoid a situation where hospitals are forced to postpone procedures or surgeries or other essential non cove in care. Okay, so where are we today? Our surveillance data continues to increase, so that gets a red X. North Carolina's trajectory of lab confirmed cases continues to increase that also gets a red X. North Carolina's trajectory in the percent of test returning positive, remains stable, but is concerning Lee Hae. So we give that a yellow line. Stability is good. We're not experiencing the spikes in many other states are. But, as I said, we like to see this number cut in half to about 5%. North Carolina's trajectory of hospitalizations had an uptick, but we still have capacity. So this trend gets a yellow line as we think about our tracking are critical capabilities those abilities that allow us to respond to this kit pandemic. Here we see a mostly positive good sign and good trends. Testing. You'll notice has a diagonal arrow this week while we continue to complete a high number of tests around 20,000 per day again, that national shortage we're seeing and critical supplies has re emerged, and as a result, labs are taking longer to provide results. Federal action is needed on contact tracing. We continue to hire contact tracers of the governor mentioned to bolster our efforts with our local health department, and our PPE supplies are stable. We are in a critical period right now, and we need all hands on deck so we can maintain capacity through our health systems, get our kids back to school and reignite the economy. Our collective hard work to slow the spread of the virus has allowed us to avoid what we're seeing in other states. But ongoing attention is needed. Each North Carolinian has the responsibility to one another to practice the three W's wearing a face covering over your nose and your mouth, waiting six feet apart and washing your hands often where weight and wash. Thank you, Governor. Thank you dot cohen for that update. Our trends are not where we want them to be right now. It's good that we still have hospital and I see you bed capacity. But his doctor, Cohen said, We watched this closely and are paying particular attention to our hospitals in the Charlotte area. Just take a look at some of the other states where a swift uptick in cases quickly caused hospitals to fill up, and we do not want that to happen here. So as the summer continues on and we all try to salvage family traditions and vacations, please continue to treat this virus like the deadly threat that it is, find ways to connect with friends and family in a safe way. Where your face covering in public when you're around others and treat each other with kindness as we all work to do our part to fight this virus. Also with us today is our secretary of public safety, Eric Hooks, and emergency management Chief of staff Will Ray. Monica McGee and Cameron Larson are sign language interpreters and behind the scenes Jackie and Jasmine Motive ear our Spanish language interpreters. We will now open the line for questions. And if you can identify yourself and the name of your organization, we would appreciate that, and we'll take our first question. Our first question is from Eric Span Berg with the Charlotte Business Journal. Ah, Governor, you've spoken often about trying to balance the public health side of this with the economic concerns. And I'm wondering, given the trends of what you're seeing with the cases, how do you try to offset those at this point? Particularly for some of those businesses that have not been able to reopen, such as fitness centers and bars, we very much want toe have all of the economy open as quickly as our as we can. We have to keep the public health and safety of North Carolinians number one, and we have seen these other states where you've seen elevated percent positives. You've seen hospital beds fill up, and it can jump on you quickly. One of the least expensive and easiest way for us to get our economy fully humming again is for people toe wear, the face coverings practice to social distancing and continuing. Teoh wash their hands. I know that simple, and we say it over and over and over again. But it's so true because if we do that, we can make progress on this virus and we can continue to ease restrictions. And one. The most important things we've got to do is to get our Children back into our schools. So everything we do, all the efforts that we make, uh, we're trying to make sure that we can, uh, get this economy humming again and giving the people confidence to engage in the economy again. And we do that by making sure things are as safe as possible. Thanks. Next question. Our next question. It's on Garrett Burnquist with Spectrum News Governor Gary Burnquist, her respect from News one A couple questions. The state Republican convention was scheduled to start in Greenville today. Now going entirely virtual, the Republican state Party leadership is claiming that DHF waited until basically about 10 days out to inform them that the measures they had in place were not going to adequate wanted to get, uh, DHS's response to that. Were there any efforts to communicate with the Republican Party prior to the end of June And then second, what specifically was wrong with the state GOP's plan? Why were the measures they had proposed? Not enough. It's my understanding that the state Department of Health and Human Services gave them the same advice they would give any large gathering. When you look at the numbers that are elevating across the country and when you see how rapidly the virus can spread, particularly when you have large crowds together indoors, obviously the the state Department of Health and Human Services would tell them they probably shouldn't do that, and I commend them for taking that advice and cancelling the convention. Dr. Cohen, I don't know if you have anything additional. She doesn't have anything additional on that, you know pandemic response cannot be partisan, and I think the department, Health and Human Services provides that advice to anybody that would be planning any kind of large gathering. Next question. Our next question is from Kate Martin with Carolina Public Press. Good afternoon, Governor. This is Kate Martin with Carolina Public Press. Please correct me if I'm wrong. If someone has thought to have been in close contact with a coated 19 positive person, they're asked to isolate at home for several days until their test results come back, how is this gonna work in a school environment? Teachers will be exposed to dozens of Children throughout the day. If there's a single positive case, will everyone who's been in contact with the code positive person be asked to isolate? And what about teachers who were considered at higher risk for injuries and deaths because of the health issues or their age? I realized this isn't an easy decision because their parents at home who need to work and may not be able to if their Children are home. But I'm interested in your thinking when you're coming up on making this decision for the state. Thank you. The those are good questions, and those kinds of questions are being fought out right now as the plans are being put together and that we will announce next week we want our schools to be safe for students and for teachers. And the plan that we're gonna put Ford works toward that goal. And I'll let Dr Cohen respond to the rest of the question. Hi, Kate. Thanks for that question in terms of folks who come into close contact with someone who is a confirmed positive, whether it's in a school or another setting. We want close contacts to stay home and stay quarantine for 14 days to get tested, obviously, but we want them to stay quarantine now. I was specific in saying close contacts. And remember, that means being within within six feet of that person for more than 10 minutes. And we know in a school setting like a classroom that is possible. Which is exactly why we're putting in additional UM, protections that help reduce that risk of viral transmission things like face coverings, things like social distancing, right so that you aren't within six feet for long periods of time with folks, even when you're in a classroom, right. When you're in stationary places, you are able to maintain that social distance again. It's the good hand, hygiene and all that. But look, we know that this virus spreads, and we need to also have protocols in place that if we see a positive case in a school, that we have particular protocols and those kinds of things. As the governor mentioned that we're working on and supporting the schools in order to make sure that they have those as far as teachers or students that may have medical, ah, reasons or their age that puts puts them into a higher risk category. Yes, we have already in our guidance that says that there, we need to make sure that they're going to be opportunities to make accommodations for those folks on again when we all do our part to wear face coverings were not just protecting, um, art. Students were protecting those teachers as well, so I think it's that comprehensive strategy that we've been working on from the public health perspective, but also from the the educators and the teacher and student perspective that we've been working on so hard. Thanks. Thank you next question, please. Our next question is from clear Donnelly with W s A. Hi. Claire Donnelly was still view FTE. I'm Secretary Cohen. I know you've been talking a lot about the testing bottleneck, and that was ballooning. Wait time. I'm wondering how many supplies, like those free agents you guys are short and then what? The plan is for getting more. And you said you talked to Secretary a Czar, but is there any update on that? What? You know what? The plan going forward, it is just gonna keep getting worse. Thanks, Claire. So I want to be clear about who is having the supply shortage. So we have a state public health lab and actually are. Our lab has the the regents it needs. It is really the hospital systems that have some of our higher throughput testing devices that are really seeing the shortage. Now, we because we, the state lab, are able to get some of our supplies directly through a mechanism through the CDC. But is the hospital systems that that deal directly with some of these suppliers that are really having challenges? And I'll give you an example, which then further strains are other systems. When our hospitals can't be testing and using their through throughput at the capacity that they want to, then they have to send those tests somewhere and that what they do is they test. They send it to some of our commercial labs, which are already seeing a high volume because of what's going on around the whole country. So what we're seeing, for example, we work closely with atrium with Wake Med with others who are having supply issues in a myriad of things. It's like all of the things, and you sort of you fix one, and then another hole develops you. You make sure you have enough pipettes and then you don't have enough chemical re agents. It's actually a lot of the supply chain is just really tight. Um, so what we want to do and it's really our hospital systems that are really feeling squeezed with the re agent issue, and then they're having to rely on moving their samples and to get getting them run at the commercial labs that are already seeing. As I said, Ah, high volume. So we wanna work again with the federal government as best we can I think the thing that would be most helpful is honestly transparency. Like, where are these supplies? Where are they going? Because we know in North Carolina were not the only ones experiencing this. So I think the first step that we would ask for his transparency and then work to see how can we improve these supply chains as we go? Go forward. Here. Thanks. Next question, please. Our next question is from Dawns on with the News and Observer. I don't bond with MSM server. Thanks for taking my question. Um wanted if I tried to explain a little bit on Kate question about the response when their outbreaks at schools and since the judicial that dashboard has those reports of ongoing clusters and childcare in school setting, will that be expanded to include on the university sends athletes. Are you back? I'll let you take hi don. So, as as we've shared and what we post on our website, there are certain entities that are required by law to report to us an outbreak or a cluster. An outbreak is two cases. A cluster is five for child care and schools. That means K 12 public or private. Those are the entities that are required to report to us. And we already post those on our on our website, not just the detailed information, but we do post the exact location of where that outbreak is on and you can see we've had quite quite a low number of outbreaks in childcare settings or in schools. Actually, the school outbreaks that we've reported have really been amongst teachers who have been gumming back to the building without students. And I think it reminds us that we want to make sure, of course, toe have our students do social distancing. But we have to remember the adults in the building actually are the ones that are mawr easily the ones that transmit the virus. We actually see Children not being as good transmitting the virus, which is a good thing. But we gotta make sure the adults, the staff, the teachers and others making sure they're not congregating in various parts of the school, the couple of outbreaks that we've seen have really been just teachers who are working in close proximity without face coverings. Again, it goes back to the kinds of requirements that we have in our school guidance. Four face coverings onda other precautions to slow the spread of this virus. We know that these activities are going to reduce the risk. It doesn't eliminate the risk. So when we see an outbreak, if that was meant, if that was to happen, we have protocols in place. Ah, that we work with our our education partners on on how they can do the appropriate amount of response to those efforts. Thanks. Thank you. Next question. Please follow up dawns on news and observer. I think you're kicking that followed questions I just want to ask more about mass with, especially in schools and other government buildings who will be enforcing the mass wearing and also for Governor Cooper. I understand that Secretary DeVos is on a call with governors earlier this week. Were you on that? And what did you think of what she says? Well, we know that face coverings are important in slowing the spread of this virus, and when we make an announcement on schools next week, we're certain to talk about face coverings because they do a good job of slowing down this virus along with social distancing and washing we're on calls with the Corona Virus Task Force at the federal level frequently either the president or the vice president. This past week, we did have the vice president and secretary DeVos talk about wanting to get our Children back in school. I think it's really important that way. Separate all of the politics here and talk about what's best for our Children. We know that they need to get back in school. They need to do it in a safe way, and that can be a combination of in person learning and remote learning, depending on the circumstances, depending on the student. But we have been working on this for quite a while. This is a tough call. How how to open up schools is something that every single state, every single governor is struggling with and governors who were on that call. We're talking about how they were going to approach this in their state. Each state will be different because each state is having a different kind of fight with the spread of Corona virus. Each state has a different education model set up, but I think it's important for us to work together to make sure that our Children get all of the benefits from school. We want them to get the nutrition and the health care and the socialization along with the academics. But we also recognize that our teachers need to be safe and our students need to be safe. And that's why we're working so hard to get this right for North Carolina. I can't remember. Do you have a I can't move. If there was a Follow it for Dr Cohen. But thank you for that next Western place. Our next question is from 7 11 with W C and C. Hi there, Savannah with wcnc. Thanks for taking my call. Latest data. North Carolina State wide shows we are 76% hotel or a hospital bed capacity for inpatient. 80% capacity for I see you bed. Are we at the point where work and turned about this And at one. What point? You know, is there a threshold where immediate action is gonna be needed? T be taken? And what would that actually look like? You know, Would it be considering field hospitals, Uh, and at what point will be have to consider rate to consider that kind of immediate action into your Yes, we are concerned about this because we're seeing a continued steady increase in our hospitalizations with today being a new high. But as you heard from Dr Cohen earlier, were in constant contact with our hospitals. And remember, when this pandemic began, the hospitals were able to surge and they were able to create mawr hospital beds and mawr. I see you beds by doing less other procedures in order to be able to handle the potential served of Corona virus cases. We worked hard. We didn't end up having that surge, but hospitals learned how to make that search. So the numbers that you're seeing now on the dashboard reflect the capacity that we have now. But remember that hospitals concerts up and create even more capacity both with hospital beds and I see you beds, and we can continue to keep a watch on that. We've seen how quickly this virus has jumped on other states and on other medical systems. We don't want that to happen here, and that's why our Department of Health and Human Services doing such a good job with communicating with our hospitals across the state. We want to avoid that kind of thing. That's why we're keeping such a close eye on the numbers and with these lagging indicators. That's why you have to keep an eye on people that are going to the emergency room with covert like symptoms. That's why one of the many reasons we want speed up the time of getting a test result, because the more time that goes by, the longer that person has to sit there. And the longer the lag in those numbers that go up on the dashboard telling us where we are. So we'll continue to watch this. We're going to continue to take action to make sure we slow the spread of the virus and say again, each and every one of you out there can make a real difference by wearing a face covering, uh, standing six feet apart and washing up dot Cohen, would you want to add that? Okay. Next question, please. Our next question is from Richard Craver from the Winston Salem Journal. Yes, Governor. This is Richard Kravitz in the Winston Salem Journal. I have a question. I get more for Secretary Cohen at this point being July night. Um Have you actually seen any evidence of any kind of super spreader or any kind of events with its protest or any kind of public event that has led to the increases and only cases but hospitalizations? Hi, Richard. Thanks for that question. What I think we're seeing is a slow and steady increase in our cases. We haven't seen one event that has set off, Ah, fire within our state like we have seen and others other states, and that's a good thing. So I do want to thank all of North Carolinians who are really working hard to do their part on social distancing and wearing a face covering. I think it is working. It doesn't mean more stable yet, and we have more work to do. What we're seeing in terms of spread a virus now is really in workplace settings and at home, Um, and so people are potentially transmitting this virus in work settings, particularly higher risk work settings, agricultural settings, manufacturing settings, meat processing plants. Those are the places where were we have definitely stepped up efforts on prevention right with it, with not just face coverings but wearing medical grade face covering mass in some of those settings, so I think we're doing a zoo much as we can, But we always need to do mawr on the prevention side with more more focus on face coverings and social distancing. But what we're also seeing is that my folks may get exposed and pick up the virus at work. They're bringing it back to home and their communities, So we are starting to see more spread in. Some of the leisure activities were seeing spread in church, obviously spring spread within the home. Governor Cooper mentioned in his remarks earlier about how we're seeing spread to families. Um, and we want to make sure we're helping folks isolate even from their own family members, which is incredibly hard. And we need to support people to do that and is not. It is. It is not an easy thing to do, particularly when staying home means not being able to pay rent or put food on the table again. This is why some of the work we're trying to do with our community health workers and some other additional surging of resource is to help people be able to stay home. But I would not say we see anything like a tie, necessarily to a protest or another gathering. At this point, I will say We see some of those gatherings happen and we do see increases in those spaces. But yet we haven't yet been able to tie it to any one thing, which is why we want to make sure everyone is being careful and all of the different public settings that they're in. Thanks, Thanks. Next question. Police follow up. Richard Craver, Winston Salem Journal Yes, Governor. The other question I had was given the outcome of the veto bills yesterday. Are you anticipating any more or any additional the opening type bills, whether it's involved in a council of state or individual industry sectors, especially since we're sort of in a limbo position with the bowling alley? Legal actions? I think the Legislature is gone until September the second, so I don't expect any more of those kinds of bills to come before us. Not until then, anyway. Next question, please. Our next question is from Lakewood with W A S W Governor Cooper, like, would hear what ws of you news. As many school districts look into person learning to some extent this fall. How can you ensure that there is enough TP four students? An. Exactly. And how would they say distribute protective equipment to school systems statewide? When we do open schools, we want to make sure that all of the teacher, the faculty, the school employees on students have enough PPE. There's several ways that that's happening. First, the federal government has provided some funding to local schools to help with coveted response. The state of North Carolina will also be helping we pass legislation that provided, I think, $7 million for that. But we hope that additional state money can come. And, you know, we hope that individual people and businesses and nonprofits will also pitch in to help our schools. They do that anyway, on school supplies and and things that schools need. But now PPE will be something that schools need as well. So we hope people and members of the community will help step up and make sure that they have all that they need. We want to as a state, also make sure that our schools have all there all they need. Would you have anything to add to that court. Just one thing to add as a reminder. The state has already distributed protective equipment to health care and nurse professionals in our schools where they may need a higher level of protective equipment because they are administering, um, different kinds of treatment for for students that, um, delivery of protective equipment has already occurred for our our districts around the state. Thanks. Thanks. Next question. Please follow up. Lakewood, W A S W Yes. And how often will student the staff be tested for Kobe? 19 in schools across the state, if at all. I like good question about testing. They were really as you were we've been talking about today. We're already seeing ballooning testing times. And so it's been an interesting to think about where is testing appropriate for which populations on. And I think there was, ah, what was talk or thought Should we be doing any proactive testing of folks before we return to school? And really, that has not ah born out in the research in the scientific evidence and what we're really focusing on again are the simple, low cost, very prevalent actions that we can take related to face covering social distancing hand washing other hygiene mechanisms. So that's really where we're focused on. Testing really becomes important when someone has a symptom or they've been exposed to someone with Cove in 19 and have been in close contact with them. Then there are some other places where up folks work in high risk areas or in high risk jobs that we also want to encourage testing. And, of course, if folks have been in a mass gathering, so those are the places where we're we're really focused in terms of our testing at this point. So there is no plans for any proactive testing in order to make sure that kids need to come back to K 12 education again. We can continue to monitor this with a scientific research, but it does not lend itself to moving in that direction. What it really continues to reinforce our these lower costs, but much easier to ah operationalize and execute on our the the face coverings and the the social distancing in the hygiene. Thank you. Next question, please. Our next question is in rows Hoban with North Carolina Health news. Currency. What are you there? Hello? You hear me? Okay, Um Okay, so, um you know, speaking of transparency, um, Secretary Cohen this week during a roundtable hosted by the Keenan Flagler Business School at UNC Um, the experts, they're praised ewers and the governor's response to the pandemic. But they also said that in order for businesses to know what to do, they need more granular data. For example, you know, we were seeing an increase in hospitalization. Like who are the like, How old are those patients? What kind of status? Like are their normal beds bed and that they would better be able to gauge what to do. Is that kind of data going to be more accessible to the public? Thanks, Rose. And you know, we think data is very important. It's why we've put such a focus on having our dashboard be updated and we put new data up all the time. We just put new data down to the county level on demographics and on testing, and will continue to add additional data to that dashboard. I do think it's important, but really the important things that I think are going to help businesses re continue to stay open and make sure that we don't have to go backwards like we're seeing a number of states dio his face coverings. It's washing your hands. It's waiting six feet apart. So those are the things that I I hope to see in the next iteration of work by all of the business academic community is to focus on how businesses can support those simple activities. In addition to date, I don't want to take away from the importance of it, but it's focused on the actions we can take today right now, in order to reignite the economy and keep businesses open and keep us moving forward and making progress. Thanks. Next question. Please follow up. Rose Hoban, North Carolina. Help you. But, um, thank you for taking my follow up. You know, I'm actually working remotely from New York state this week where I'm visiting family. Um, and here the rate of positive tests is 1% as opposed to ours being nine or 10%. Yeah, there's I'm seeing much more vigorous enforcement of the mask mandate here, Such as fines being levied. Have you folks considered more rigorous enforcement of the mask mandates in North Carolina? We're continuing to encourage businesses to make sure that people have masks on when they come inside, and we're seeing Mawr and Mawr of them do that. We want to get our percent positive down. We're continuing to hover between eight and 10%. But the work that we've done has presented that prevented North Carolina from getting into the 20 percent orm or in some of these other states that have experienced this surge lately. Uh, we know that face coverings are a key to this, and what we need even more than enforcement here is for leaders across this state political leaders, celebrities, sports figures, business leaders to step up, and number one where the face covering to show. This is something that you ought to be doing but talk about it. And I think if we continue to push this and continue to get people to understand that this is the best way to get our economy going full speed again on making sure that people understand that and stop spreading false science that we know is not true. These things work. There aren't 100% foolproof, but they significantly reduce the spread, so we will continue to look at all avenues of enforcement, but we need to get buy in from the people here, and that's happening Mawr and Mawr. And we just need leaders across the state of all stripes Teoh to step up and help us with this. Banks Next question. Police. Our next question. That's from Hannah Jeffries with W I t N Hi, Governor. He knows everybody. W I hear news. The GOP held a practice numbers this morning at the side of where they were supposed to hold their convention tonight. Chairman Michael Watley claims that they took drastic steps to make sure they were ready to attempt to hold this safely, but that your administration didn't work with them. To see that through, he says, if they would have gone forward with it there, there would have been potential criminal and civil penalties associated on What do you think about this plane? So, as I said earlier, the Department of Health and Human Services to state Health toe work director worked with them, just as they would any other organization that would want toe hold. Ah, large gathering recommended against it, particularly when you're seeing these spikes and other spaces states and you're seeing, uh, Cove in 19 being spread indoors in large crowds recommended against it, but also provided some suggestions to them if they were gonna hold it anyway. I commend them for making the decision to cancel the in person part of of their convention. I think it was a smart thing for them to do. Next question. Please follow up. Hannah Jeffries, W I t n. So just clarify Governor there would not have been criminal or civil penalties associated if they did decide to go forward with the convention. Don't know what they were going to do, but what the state health director did was give them advice on what they should do if they were going to hold this convention. But she also recommended that they not have it because having hundreds of people indoors can spread, covered 19. And they made the decision that they were not gonna have it. I think it was a good decision. Next question, please. Our final question today will be from Laura. Luckily with W Oreo governor floor Leslie with WRL I hope you're well Ah, a couple questions are really well one relating to the most recent legislative session as you're no doubt aware a state law will require all students to be back in school physically. For the 1st 5 days of the school year, legislators decided not to change that. I guess I'm wondering questions for U. N for Secretary Cohen. Is that something that, uh, working out or you can have a say in? And is there a way to do that? Basically, at this point, well, we will announce next week we're gonna have the culmination of all of this work that has gone on a monks, teachers and superintendents and health officials. And it's going to be something that follows the law. And it's going to be something that gets our kids back into school safely. And I believe that that kind of that kind of getting back into school is going to require some in person but also remote learning. And we look forward to presenting that plan next week. Dr. Cohen, if you wanted to add anything to that Okay, thank you all very much for being with us today. Please stay safe and healthy out there. Thank you very much.