Governor says NC residents need to act responsibly to keep coronavirus numbers on decline
Gov. Roy Cooper and state health and safety officials provide an Aug.19, 2020, update on the coronavirus outbreak in North Carolina and the state's response to it.
Cove in 19 in North Carolina. As of today, we have 147,932 lap confirmed cases, 1153 new cases reported since yesterday, 1000 and one people in the hospital. And sadly, 2431 people have died. For those mourning a loved one, please know that we're with you and praying for you. A review of our key metrics make it clear that most of North Carolina's indicators remain stable and some are declining. That's positive. We can do even better if everyone would practice the prevention efforts of the three W's wearing a face mask over your nose and mouth, waiting 6 ft apart and washing your hands. These all work to slow the virus spread while we're encouraged by the numbers. Just remember, this is because many North Carolinians are doing the right things, taking the right precautions and making good decisions. Those who are making good decisions to fight the spread of the virus have to continue. Those who aren't need to start, and we often say we're all in this together. That means that we should support each other, but It also means that individual actions impact our statewide numbers. Personal responsibility for people of all ages is key. Over the last few weeks, we've seen a decrease in the number of people asking to be tested. We know that robust testing is key to reducing spread and keeping our communities healthy. So the state has focused on ways to increase the number of tests. Today, the Department of Health and Human Services is announcing a new effort to provide MAWR free testing sites in communities where it's needed. Cost should not prevent people from getting a test, particularly if they have symptoms has been have been exposed or work in high risk jobs will continue working to make testing more accessible as we continue fighting this virus this week, most of North Carolina's K through 12 public schools are back in session, and he is safe to say that this will be a school year like no other. Some students are back in the classrooms with Mascone. Others are learning from kitchen tables and lap disks. I've talked to parents and teachers and school leaders, and it's clear that the pandemic and the scarred started school year have caused concern, anxiety and some frustration. I know it's hard for students to. I appreciate all of our parents, educators and school staff who going the extra mile to make this school year work, no matter what plan their school district chose to use. Remote learning puts more of a burden on parents and care givers than ever before. Many of you are balancing work and family needs with your new duties as homeschool teacher assistance. That has to be challenging in many ways. But I appreciate all of you working to keep our Children in schools safe and your commitment to keep students learning as we fight this pandemic. For some families, the challenge of distance learning is even greater due the lack of reliable Internet. Today I'm announcing $12 million to expand Internet access through two programs. The Great Grant Program and Covad 19 Recovery Act funding. This money is expected to connect an additional 8000 families in more than 250 businesses, farms, a community institutions in 11 counties. The Great Grant program provides matching grants to Internet service providers and co operatives to expand high speed Internet service and counties that needed even before this pandemic, expanding high speed Internet access with his top priority for my administration. Now that we're living in a socially distant world, reliable Internet is more important than ever for students learning remotely and people working from home. Internet access is an absolute must half that will continue working hard to expand it to every part of our state. College campuses across our state are also adjusting to learning during a pandemic. UNC Chapel Hill made a pivot this week to undergraduate remote learning and is reducing density in the dorms. In an effort to slow the spread on campus, the state Department of Health and Human Services and local health departments are engaging with UNC Chapel Hill and other college campuses, both public and private. They want to ensure that colleges air following health guidance and that really enforcement of the mass gathering limits and mask wearing is happening. Social distancing, gathering limits, mass remote learning. This isn't the way any students from kindergarten to college wanted to start the year. But when it can mean illness or health and even life or death, we have to do inconvenient things. I'm now going to recognize Dr Mandy Cohen our secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Talk to go with. Thank you, Governor. As you said, our key metrics show progress after a lot of hard work. Our surveillance data are early. Warning data continues to show. Declines are new, cases are slightly declining. Are percent of tests that are positive is holding stable at 7% and our hospitalizations air stable. Remember that this progress is fragile and it takes ongoing work following the three W's Every day there is no one and done as a governor mentioned, We also continue to ramp up testing, and we have a new partner to continue Surging Cove in 19 testing capacity in the state. Star Med. Urgent Care and Family Care is a North Carolina company that will be deploying testing sites in seven counties Forsyth, Guilford, Airedale, Mecklenburg, Onslow, Orange and Randolph counties. These tests will be free. Costs should not be a barrier to any North Carolinian who need to test, and we anticipate continuing to expand our testing partners in the weeks ahead. Today, I'm also going to share a few updates and some important phone numbers so folks at home might want to grab a pen and paper. As the governor said, It's a big week. Has North Carolina and our kids head back to school? And whether it's all remote or a mix of remote in in person? This school year comes with new challenges particular for working families. From the start of the pandemic are childcare. Community has been on the frontlines, continuing to nurture, teach and care for our Children so that other essential workers could provide the vital services we all rely upon with school starting. They continue to be there for families and Children to help families find the child care they need for school age Children, we've stood up a child care hotline. Families can call 1888 616 85. That's 1888 616 85 to connect to their options for child care in their communities. And it's not just parents who need a helping hand. Our educators and school teams are working in an unprecedented situation. We want to make sure our teachers and school staff have access to mental health and resilience support that they may need, whether they're teaching in person or remotely. This year. Our hope for healers help Line provides mental health and resilience, support to health care and child care workers. And now we've extended that to educational staff who may be experiencing stress from being on the front lines of the States. Cove in 19 response assistance is available for teachers and staff and their families through the hope for healers. Help line at 9192262002 That's 9192262002 With Children headed back to school and flu season right around the corner, it's more important than ever this year for everyone to get their recommended immunizations, especially students. Childhood immunizations keep kids safe and protect public health by lowering the likelihood of an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease like measles. Whether Children are home schooled or a 10 school in person or remotely, they are required by state law to receive certain immunizations. These requirements are listed on the DHHS website and will be making special efforts doing during this unusual back to school season to help families make sure that Children can stay current on all of their age. Appropriate vaccines as I said before, getting students back into school has been a top priority, and that includes our college students. All colleges and universities should be requiring and enforcing that. Students and staff where cloth mass that cover their mouth and their nose. And limiting social gatherings to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors. Whether students are on campus or off campus. The cause Cove in 19 is highly contagious. Communal living such as dorms make it challenging to control these outbreaks. Reducing the number of students living in dorms and limiting gatherings can help prevent the spread of the virus. I've talked to higher education leaders across the state about learning from the experience at UNC Chapel Hill and how they can work to protect their campuses and the surrounding communities. There are simple steps all of us can take to slow the spread and give North Carolina students their best shot at returning to normalcy. This school year, you know what it is. It's those three W's wearing a face covering over your nose and mouth, waiting 6 ft apart and washing your hands often are three W's wear weight and washed. Thank you, Governor. When they will recognize our director of emergency management, Mike's Bradbury Mike. Thank you, Governor, and thank you for your leadership. Good afternoon. Today is Day 1 63 of the State Emergency Operations Centers Cove in 19 response. The search continues to work to push PPE throughout the state as a major logistical operation. This week. We're focused on large orders for the Board of Elections as well as a resupply PPE for our correctional facilities. Our supplies of PPE remain good. The supply chain for face coverings, clubs, gowns and other protective gear is currently sustainable. We have more than a 90 day supply of most of our key items of PPE. The State Emergency Response Team has finished consolidating PPE supplies into one central warehouse under the outstanding guidance of our certain teammates at the Office of Emergency Medical Services. Next, I want to talk about disaster recovery. Today, the CERT is working to complete damage assessments from several recent disaster events to include 15 eastern counties for Hurricane East. Isis impacts several counties in and around Sparta, North Carolina for earthquake impacts in Harnett County for flash flooding impacts. These damage assessments will help determine if these events will qualify for federal or state disaster recovery assistance for Hurricane. He stays us. We are working with our local partners and FEMA to conduct joint damage assessments. The FEMA team includes an s expert and assessing damages. The beaches in Burti County, where the tornado struck 58 people from 20 families, remain housed in hotels. Burti County has acquired 14 travel trailers from Hyde County, and those trailers are being prepared to house tornado victims who need temporary housing solutions quickly. We're meeting today in Bertie County with their long term housing group toe. Identify more permanent housing solutions. A request for a disaster declaration from the U. S. Small Business Administration has been submitted for Burti County by the governor. We're very thankful for that, sir. This is the first step before moving ahead to request a state or federal disaster declaration. It's important to note that many voluntary disaster relief organizations have been doing great work to support recovery operations throughout the state, helping to cut and remove trees, cleared debris feeding and much more. Let's move on to the earthquake in your Sparta. More than 530 homes and businesses are reported with damages so far and that number will likely increase. At least 60 of those structures sustained major damages of at least 40%. We're very grateful to the structural engineers from our North Carolina Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces and the Office of State Fire Marshal who helped local and state emergency managers in that earthquake damage assessment process. We have submitted information to the U. S. Small Business Administration for their review so they can understand what we need as faras another request for S B a disaster declaration for that event. We're also working to assess damages in Harnett County, where strong storms and rains on August the sixth brought flash flooding to Lillington, which affected homes and damaged some town maintained roads. A do want to note that we're monitoring three systems currently in the Atlantic for potential tropical weather. While it's too early to know the potential impacts to North Carolina, we're asking that everyone remain aware and make sure your personal emergency kit includes necessary items such as face coverings and hand Scient Isar and making sure that you have an evacuation plan should you or your family need it. If you have questions about evacuations, please visit ready and see dot org's for more information about preparedness kits, personal emergency planning and evacuations as part of our know your zone initiative. Lastly, Justus, the governor madam secretary, said, Remember to observe the three W's where a cloth face covering Wait at least 6 ft apart and wash your hands often. That's where weight and wash this is. How we slow the spread of the virus. Working collectively together, we have the power. As always. Don't forget to look out for your family, friends and neighbors and to call your loved ones daily. Guaranteed. They'll appreciate it with kindness and cooperation will all get through. This together is one team, one mission and one family. Thank you, Governor. Thank you. In addition, Director Spray very two directors prepare a Very and Dr Cohen. We have our secretary of public safety, Eric Cooks, and Brian Tipton and Monica McGhee, our sign language interpreters and behind the scenes Jackie and Jasmine Materia. Our Spanish language interpreters will now take questions from the media if you can identify yourself and the organization you represent, and we'll get started with the first question. Our first question is from Chandler Morgan with WBTV for this is Morgan from WBTV. Many districts chose to start back remotely This week is you know, but the NCs cloud after a little can. Or can you repeat that question Because you you blank out on us? No problem. Can you hear me? I can't now. Yes, Thank you again. Mrs Tanner Morgan from WB TV. Many district They started back remotely this week, but the NC ed cloud it continues to crash. Student can't log on. So hours are being missed from a learning standpoint. Is this a priority for your administration, toe work and press and TV p I to get the server fixed? And if more crashes happen in our hours are locked. Do you worry that students might lose instructional days and fall behind? It's it really is unacceptable to have those kinds of technical glitches when you're trying to do remote learning. That has to be frustrating to teachers, students and parents. The Department of Public Instruction is responsible for that. I know are Department of Information Technology has offered assistance to them if they need it. I know that that it needs to be fixed because our students learning remotely need toe have this kind of connection with their school. Next question. Please follow up. Chandler Morgan wbtv But he governor for your answer. And just because of these crashes, obviously, teachers and parents have had to get resourceful and be flexible to find ways to get instruction and otherwise during that time when it crashes. So what can you say to those teachers and parents who are really bending over backwards to make sure that teaching goes on? Despite those repeated glitches so grateful for our teachers and our parents, who are working so hard under such difficult conditions, Having to learn remotely is a really challenge, and I know that they're coming up with many innovative ways to do it. So we're going to continue to offer our support and to make sure that this is the best year possible. We know it's gonna be a school year like no other, but we have to make it work because number one we need to keep our to teachers and students safe and number two are students have to keep on learning. Thanks. Next question, please. Our next question is from Nikki Hauser with W I t n Ah, yes, it's Nikki has There was wdtn. Thanks for doing this, Governor, like you, said, UNC Chapel Hill did suspend their in person classes after finding for Kobe 19 clusters on their campus. You see, you is now seeing a cluster pop up on their kids on their campus right now. But there, right now, sticking with in person learning. Do you agree with that decision? And do you think that the school is doing enough to stop the spread of the virus? Well, first protection of our students and our faculty have to be the number one priority. It's also important for students to keep on learning. First and foremost, it is critical for the university and the towns that they're in, and the county is there in to enforce the safety guidelines of wearing masks, avoiding mass gatherings. And we want the university's toe work hard to enforce it. Along with local law enforcement. I know our secretary of public safety has sent a message to all campus police and two chiefs in these towns where these universities are that it is so important to enforce the rules and we want we want learning to be productive But we also wanted to be safe. And I'm also going to turn it over to Dr Cohen, who has had some more in depth discussions with, uh, the president and with the various chancellors of our university system, along with independent private colleges. So Dr Cohen, thank you, Governor. That's right. We're trying to make sure that we are being proactive, learning some lessons about what happened at Chapel Hill. And how do we apply those lessons across the state? I've talked to a number of chancellor's within the UNC system. I did speak with the chancellor of VCU just this morning about how we can work together as a team on making sure that we're are are enforcing, as the governor said. Those mandates around masks and around social gathering both on and off campus. And I think we have a They have a very productive plan on how there will not just going to work with law enforcement, but use the tools at the university. Eddie, see you toe hold students accountable, so I think that that is a good step forward. I think we also need to make sure if there are outbreaks to make sure that there's close connection between the universities and the local health department so that we can quickly jump on issues and make sure if we see a cluster of cases, it can remain as small as possible. So the kinds of things that we're doing, like I said, having a number of conversations to reinforce our guidance to help prioritise the work that they are doing to keep their campuses and their communities safe. Thanks. Next question. Please follow up. Nikki Hauser, W I t n Thank you so much. My only other question is for counties for county, too. Case through 12 goals went back to school in person this week, but are still, you know, seeing increases in cases with your office. Try to work with them to move back online. And if so, um, is there a timeline for that? We've given all of the school systems the choice of being either fully remote or partly in person, in part remote, and we certainly want to provide any kind of guidance to any school district that is making decisions about what they might want to do. So, Dr Cohen, our staff will we continue to consult with the State Board of Education and with individual superintendents of school districts if they want information about decisions that they need to make next question police. Our next question is from Don Bond with the News and Observer. I don't bond with the news and observer. What did you If you could explain about the mandates and how they were more reopening mandates around 12 public schools but not universities? And what Dr Cohen you mentioned about reducing the number of students and dorms? Will that come as a mandate from the state? And if not, why not? Well, first, we want to keep safety at the top of the list here and the public school system. Obviously the governor of the state Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction need to make decisions about opening of schools and how they open. The university is, ah, separate entity. They need to make their decisions about what they need to do. But at the same time, our Department of Health consume human services, is giving them God. It's and make making recommendations, and we hope that with that cooperative effort that they can come up with a good plan going forward. Some of these universities have real good plans going in some of the need to learn lessons of what happened at UNC Chapel Hill that went in a little earlier than some of the other universities. So I think working together, we can get through this thing, making sure people are safe, but also making sure that students continue to learn. Next question. Police follow up, Don Bond News and Observer, I think for kicking a follow up. So is there no option during executive order? Otherwise, to mandate some of these, um, guidelines guidance for the university and I cars enforcement so that that's something that possibly could occur. We believe that working together cooperatively with the universities that we can make sure that students are protected. But Dr Cohen has been talking to some of them, and there is a potential that something could be done. I'll let her address that short. Hi, Don. Thanks for that question. So, as you know, we've worked collaboratively with the other bodies that do govern the space of education. Um, so in the case of K 12 we work closely with the Board of Education that actually adopted our guidelines and those are what is governing. Ah, the the requirements and the recommendations that K 12 schools a run undergoing. We similarly have guidance for higher ed that has been a product of work that we've done with the higher ed folks and leaders in that space for a number of months. I think we can learn some lessons from from what happened in Chapel Hill to think about prioritization of activities. And again, enforcement does jump for me to the top of that list, son prevention. How do we prevent the spread of the virus in the first place? And so that's making sure again, the mask mandate and the limiting of social gatherings both on and off campus is certainly a top priority for our focus of work and that takes partners together to do that. Those at the university, our local law enforcement, local health department, the state. So we are trying to bring all of those folks together to make sure that we are prioritizing everyone's efforts. And I think there are some very focused activities that if the university does see the start of an outbreak that they want to get in touch with local public health. And then there's some procedures that we want to make sure everyone is taking to keep those outbreaks as small as possible. Thanks. Next question, please. Our next question is from Richard Craver with The Winston Salem Journal. Yes, Governor, this is Richard Kramer with the Winston Salem Journal. I had a couple questions for you one. I was trying to see if you haven't update on the North Carolina application for that lost wages program that President Trump and I guess it with his executive order. And the second question would be for Secretary Cohen about the number of cases declining in terms of testing and result in terms of infection cases. And if there's any concern that there may be any kind of link toward ah, lower number of level number cases and test being funneled to the federal DHHS. Thanks for that question, we want to get the most unemployment benefits, help two people as quickly as we possibly can. The best way to do this would be for Congress and the president to agree on funding the program that already exists. Instead of this new program and a different agency that's gonna have to be administered in a different way. However, if that's the only option for North Carolina, we want to take it so the application is being finalized. And just like other states across the country, are struggling with this. We're waiting for guidance from the U. S. Department of Labor on the rules of how this ought to be administered, and R D S is going to do it as quickly as possible. And we want to get as much money to North Carolinians as we possibly can. I still hope that they will come together and agree on funding. This program that already exists can get it to people quicker and that $600 sure did help people. How that Dr Cohen answer the next question. Hi, Richard. Great question about the interaction between the cases and the testing, and that is remind folks why we look at a number of metrics to understand what is going on in terms of viral spread in the state. So we do see ah dislike decline in the number of new cases that we're seeing, and you're right. We're also seeing slowing of testing, but that's why we have a metric of the percent of tests that are positive does help us to try to understand if in the universe of our testing, how many of those air positive and what we have seen is stability there. We continue to see that b 6% 7%. We want it to be five or less, but we've we've hold steady there, even though we're seeing some decline in testing. So that that tells me that we are stable with that metric that our cases going down. Um, you know, we do see that in our cases, and I think that is positive news. But as we were saying today, we think we need to do more testing. And that's why we're announcing yet another new partner today to doom or free testing across the state in another seven counties. Um, and today we had more than 26,000 tests that were done in the last 24 hours. So there is a fair amount of testing going on, but again, I think we want to see even more to make sure that we are understanding spread of the virus. We want to remind folks if you have symptoms, fever, cough, certainly to be tested, but also have you been exposed or you work in a high risk setting? Um, where you might be more likely to be exposed to Cove in 19. We want to make sure you know, testing is available, that you're getting your results faster that the results are coming back faster now. So we want to make sure folks know that testing is available. Um, and and to make sure to seek it out. Thanks. Thank you. Next question, please. Our next question is for Michael Highland with CBS 17. Hi. I wanted to follow up first on the unemployment issue. Are there any steps you plan to take if you already pursuing this program to ensure that people actually get the full $400? I have talked to members of the General Assembly who are not committing to that at this point. Thank you. Yeah, we want if this is the only option, we would rather have the $600 under the existing program. But if this is the only option, we want to try to get that $400. We want to try to get as much unemployment compensation to people who are out of work through no fault of their own. Get it to them as quickly. It's possible many of them now have been a while without getting that extra $600 a week. And that means that might not be paid in food Night might not be on the table. I think is unconscionable that the president and Congress has left and left this issue on the table. This executive order that the president have signed creates a new program that has to be administered, were edited to to do it and want to get the full $400 to people. Still, we would rather Congress and the president take action on the existing program. Thanks. Next question. Follow up. Michael Highland's CDR 17. Hi. I had a question on one unrelated topic. Do you intend to participate in a debate this fall against Lieutenant governor Forced? I'm not gonna answer political questions here at this. You can contact my campaign and we can talk to you about that. Thanks. Next question. Our next question is from Kate Martin with Carolina Public Press. Good afternoon, Governor. This is Kate Martin with Carolina Public Press Trust. I'm wondering if you can share with us. What contact? Tracing, uh, can tell us about how students in these covert clusters contract id Kobe 19. No. Keep emphasizing the gatherings both on and off campus. I'm hoping you can also explain the nature of these gatherings. Finally, can you be a little more explicit about what you're telling police chiefs and how they Kenbrell up some of these gatherings? Thank you. I'm first going to let Dr Cohen address the first part of, but I may let our director of public safety talk about his discussions with police chiefs. Dr. Cohen. Hi, Kate. I think we're just at the beginning of understanding exactly the viral spread on some of the campuses. I can say antic totally in my conversations with some of the chancellor's and other presidents that they are saying that the clusters are into into vein. Some of them are amongst their athletic teams that have been practicing together and have been on campus for longer. A number of them had been related to some sorority fraternity, other Greek life events where they live in the same location. Ah, couple of others they think might be linked back to a social gathering, so I think we're still understanding this. But again, I think it goes back to the things we know about this virus, which this virus spreads when folks are close together, where they're not wearing a mask and with when indoors ISMM or more likely to see viral transmission. So we're very much encouraging everyone to enforce that mask mandate, um, and to limit social gathering. And I'll turn over to Secretary Hooks to share more about that. Thank you, Secretary Cohen. Throughout this entire pandemic, we have been engaged with our law enforcement partners across the board concerning all issues that impact communities. And we certainly recognize that law enforcement has to be a part of the community. So they have, ah, a natural connection to those communities that they serve. And so we will. We have really just double down on that aspect of community or unit type policing where they engage with individuals and encourage them to do the right thing, basically, because we want self compliance. But for those individuals that do not readily comply, we wanted to make sure that they had all the tools in their toolbox at their disposal to enforce these executive orders. And it does not necessarily mean arresting people in Mass, but it could be issuing citations. And I have provided model guidance language both to local sheriff's departments and police departments, campus departments as well, and have shared that information with the conference of District Attorneys for more appropriate enforcement of mass gatherings and other aspects of the EOE concerning wearing a mask. Thank you. Secretary Hooks and Secretary Cohen. Next question police. Our next question is from Laura Leslie with W Oreo. Hi, Governor. W all right. I'm kind of a follow up question, I guess is sort of Yes, metal. Um, so we're talking about guidance Clinicians University, uh, did it. And coming up later. Did you just tell us exactly? Will not open dorm at school? What happens if you get a copy of that? And that's what other question? I know that he had a mask mandated several local bought enforcement. I'm willing to enforce the law as that on an issue and any of your college community. Yeah. Thank okay. You're breaking up a little bit, Laura. I know that our department of helping the human Services provided general safety health guidelines to the university's. Before that, they put their plans into place and Dr Cohen is continuing to engage with them. And I'm gonna let her address exactly what that his conversations have been about. Thanks, Laura, For the question. Yes, we worked with our higher ed ah leaders to put together guidance. And so we did not make the decision for the university's whether or not to open their dorms or open fully online or not online. What we did, as we did for many industries, has put out our guidance. We worked with the industry's whether it's higher after another to put that guidance together, Um, and make sure that that was was clear to folks. But the decision about whether or not to open and how to open exactly was made by the universities themselves. Thanks. Lord, I know you had a second question there. I think it had to do with law enforcement, but I didn't quite catch it. So can you repeat the second part of your question? We're not on a lot, not all minimal. It just advise you will be schools and other colleges not to open the door at full capacity. Okay, Hi, Laura. So we did not have that that question. I do know that the local Department of Healthy Orange County health director did give some other advice to Chapel Hill, but our conversations really focused on the kinds of guidance that we were putting together. And then those decisions were left to the university to make thanks, Banks. Next question, please. Our next question is from Robin Canady, Woodstock 46. Hi. Good afternoon, Governor and Secretary Cohen would ask Why you guys believe that we're seeing a decline in cases and also a stability of the percent positive? Well, first, I think a lot of North Carolinians are doing the things they need to do to slow the spread of the virus. We talk about the three W's Mawr and Mawr. North Carolinians are understanding that there's a positive into this that it helps reduce the spread. I'll let Dr Cho and give more specifics if she has them. Thank you, Governor. I think that's exactly right. We're seeing a decline in cases that tracks back directly to when the governor instituted his requirement for face coverings here in the state. That was institute the very end of June. Within three weeks of that time, he started to see our first declines of cases here in North Carolina. Um, and I think that that very much shows that that that mask mandate is very much driving our success. But I think the important part to know is that success can be fragile, that progress is fragile, and it takes ongoing vigilance to make sure that we're continuing with the three W's in order to make sure we have continued success and continued progress. Thanks. Thank you. Next question. Place. Follow up. Robin Kennedy Foxx, 46 and also with the colleges and universities wanted Teoh Find out if you all are recommend Dane that given what happened in Chapel Hill and some other locations where we have seen positive cases in some clusters, do you will recommend that the universities go all remote with learning this fall. I do believe that universities need to learn lessons from what happened at UNC Chapel Hill. Each universities in a different situation, but one thing I know need to happen. They need to follow the safety guidelines need to understand that in congregate living when people live, it live together. That you have to take steps to make sure those students are protected there. They need to enforce strong honor codes with students about not doing things that would violate the rules and would spread the virus. And they have to work with off campus law enforcement as well, because many students live off campus or either travel off campus and come back. So our universities and our towns all have to work together with the Health Department and every everybody else to slow the spread of the virus. And I think that as these universities air getting ready, toe open or in the process of opening, they need to look to see what has happened at UNC Chapel Hill and make decisions accordingly. Next question, please. Our final question today will be from Brian Anderson with The Associated Press Hi Governor Brian Anderson here with The Associated Press. Thanks for taking the question and wishing you luck with your Carolina Hurricanes tonight against the Bruins. Uh, so I went toe Unc Chapel Hill yesterday and spoke with him, too. Uh, these are just some of what they said to made it that I really feel stressed out right now. I definitely saw yesterday for like an hour, and that Charlotte students said they can't risk us dying with courses in session. That would be a PR nightmare for them. Um, so we know there's Cove in cases at E, C, U and C State. We also know there's widely different information levels of transparencies and dates these universities are reporting there on campus coded cases. I just want to know what will you do to ensure uniformity in these college campuses? Reporting of Koga data? And can you ensure that students will get refunded their housing, meal plans and athletic feat if in person classes are canceled and students want to go home? Well, first, I think students should be given the the option of remote classes if they haven't been already. That's something that every student should get the opportunity tohave. Second, I think a lot of universities already are talking about re funding money to students who have paid room and board to stay at a university, but then have not because of the circumstances that have occurred, and I do understand the stress that students air feeling that parents are feeling. I think that's why it's so important that we all look out for each other. I think it's important for us to to know the data at each of these universities so that everybody can can keep up with it. And I'll let Dr Cohen addressed the data part of it, because I do believe that's important. Hi, Brian. As you as we've talked about a number of times, there are certain things that we at the department have requirements about by law that folks must report to us in terms of cases. That is the case for K 12 schools. They are required when they have on a cluster to report to us. That's not not the case at universities and colleges. But I will say in all of my conversations that we've been having since the beginning of this, but certainly in the last number of days, we have very much been encouraging all of our colleges and universities to reach out to their local health departments. If they see ah starting of ah cluster of cases at at the at the university or college one to help us do the reporting that you're talking about, but also so that we can jump on top of those outbreaks and slow the spread of the virus as quickly as possible. But do you know that we do not have a legal requirement for them to report to us? I would ask them to be as transparent as possible because I think it's important, as you were saying for us to all know what is happening so that we can work together to slow the spread of the virus on the campus. Thank you. If there's a follow up. Brian. Yes. Yeah. Sorry. I just had one separate follow up regarding voting this November. Uh, what What are some of these contingencies that are being discussed? Uh, particularly I'm thinking, if someone receives a positive coded diagnosis, recording isolation and it might be too late for them to request the mail ballot or if a polling place becomes contaminated and needs to be closed. I'm just curious. If you could just sort of talk about in the age of covert What? Voting contingencies. Air being discussed right now. State Board of Elections wants to ensure that everybody can exercise his or her constitutional right to vote. And even during a pandemic, there have special challenges and they're working very hard to make it easier for people to vote absentee by mail, with no excuse. Also to open up mawr polling places and particularly Mawr early voting. They've had challenges with many of the poll workers who have an average age of around 70 years old who don't feel comfortable and working the polls anymore, trying to get new workforce to be ableto keep the polls open and keep the people being able to vote at the polling places. And as to specific situations, I'm gonna let Dr Cohen talk about what they have talked about regarding covet outbreaks. Hi, Brian. So you can check on our website. We do have very detailed guidance related to elections and how folks can be sure on the front and to do as much prevention as possible. And what I would say to as many folks who are listening is to vote early. Um, right, so that we don't get into a situation where there is an issue either with your own health, um, or with a polling location, they'll be opportunities for early voting as a governor mentioned by mail and such. But then we have protocols on how to work with these individual locations if there was to be some sort of exposure at at the polling place itself again, we want to do everything possible to make sure that, um, folks can exercise fully their right to vote either in person or by mail, even though we have cove it here in our communities. Thanks. Thanks, everybody, for being with us today. We appreciate it.