State to provide masks to NC farm workers
Gov. Roy Cooper and state health and safety officials provide a July 21, 2020, update on the coronavirus outbreak in North Carolina and the state's response to it.
18 in North Carolina. As of today, we have 102,861 lab confirmed cases. 1815 new cases reported today, 1179 people in the hospital. And sadly, 1668 people have died since our last update. We passed the 100,000 mark of confirmed cases. This is, ah, somber, serious benchmark. We pray for those who've lost loved ones to this virus as we continue fighting Cove in 19 on many fronts. I'm glad to announce today that North Carolina is delivering over 900,000 masks and other supplies to farm workers across our state. Agriculture is vital to our economy and our food supply, and it's a tough job that you can't do from home. This personal protective equipment will be delivered this week to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Centers across the state and then be distributed to our farmers. The 31 counties that are home to three force of our states farm workers will receive the first delivery. This effort is a partnership among our Department of Health and Human Services, the N C Cooperative Extension the state Department of Agriculture, the state Department of Labor and the N. C. Agra Medicine Institute. We must keep food in our grocery stores and on our tables. To do that, we must help protect the farmers and their families from this virus. I appreciate the collaboration that made this delivery of equipment possible. And speaking of protecting people from this virus, I want to take a moment to thank major retailers like Wal Mart, Costco, Fresh Market and Lows and so many other businesses, small and large, which are requiring facemasks in their stores. This type of leadership, by example, shows the public that these retailers truly care about their customers and their employees. For those who continue to defy basic decency and common sense because they refused to wear a mask, either wear one or don't go in the store. The refusal to where a mask iss selfish it infringes on the life and liberty of everyone else in the store. Not only is wearing a mask the decent neighborly thing to do, it's the best way to boost our economy. Meanwhile, North Carolina continues to focus on ways to make testing more accessible and mawr available to communities that need it. Our Department of Health and Human Services has expanded Free Cove in 19 testing to underserved communities that currently have limited testing sites. All of these efforts helped move us closer to success. Now, as July draws to a close many North Carolinians who are out of work or worried about the upcoming reduction in their unemployment benefits. The federal Pandemic Unemployment compensation program offers people an additional $600 a week to unemployed workers who have been out of work through no fault of their own. This program has been a lifeline for families and their communities, giving people the ability to pay their rent or utilities to put food on the table and to make ends meet. I am urging Congress to act quickly to extend this benefit that we right now are adding jobs back into our economy. That's good. Folks are still struggling, and many are still out of work. So far, here in North Carolina, we have paid over 815,000 people mawr than $6.2 billion and it will hurt these people and our economy if there benefits are drastically reduced. We've seen the dire consequences of reopening to early in places around the country. Their hospitals and I see you. Beds are full and the virus is worse than it was in March and April. Many people cannot safely go back to work, they can't go back to their jobs, and many don't have jobs to return to. And while this virus continues to spread, we have to support these workers and their families. This extra $600 has been especially important here in North Carolina, where the Legislature several years ago slashed unemployment insurance benefits to among the lowest in the nation and made them available for only 12 weeks. While legislators were in session the last few months, they refused to do anything to help. When the Legislature returns, I urged them to reevaluate North Carolina's own unemployment compensation to support people who find themselves sidelined because of this virus. Now, remember this federal funding has a multiple effect. It has a multiplier effect, really going from families pockets back into our local communities, helping small businesses and our economy stay afloat. This federal assistance will expire at the end the week the clock is ticking, and all eyes are on Washington. Right now, I encourage people to make their voices heard on this issue with me today is our secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr Mandy Cohen, our emergency management director. Mike Spray Berry and Secretary of Public Safety Eric Cooks, Karen Magoon and Monica McGhee, or our Sign language interpreters. And behind the scenes Jackie and Jasmine Motive. Here are Spanish language interpreters. Uh, I will recognize Dr Cohen at this point. Dr Cohen. Thank you, Governor, as governor just shared, we've passed 100,000 cases in the state, and over the weekend we again set record for highest number of new cases reported in one day. Are percent of tests coming back positive has remained stable, though still higher than we would like, and we continue to see small increases in hospitalizations across are straight here in North Carolina. This pandemic remains at a simmer, not a boil. We can and must avoid becoming the next Arizona where the next Florida flattening the curve and keeping it flat requires a daily ongoing actions. There's no one and done here. We've shown throughout this ordeal that North Carolinians air strong and that we will work together to do what is needed to protect one another. Throughout our department's response to the pandemic, we've been doing our best to provide timely and transparent information. One tool we used to do that in addition to these briefings, is our online Cove in 19 dashboard. It gives an interactive overview of the key metrics were monitoring to inform our pandemic response and some key decision making this past weekend. We were able to add new data to that dashboard related to hospital capacity. You can now find information on hospitalizations by region impatient and I see you bed usage over time and a breakdown of hospitalizations by suspected and confirmed Cove. In 19 cases moving on to testing yesterday, Governor Cooper announced our selection of 1/3 vendor to expand free community testing to historically marginalized communities. The North Carolina Community Health Center is that new partner. They join our to existing vendors, vitamin and origins who have already coordinated more than 70 commuting community testing events, providing Free Cove in 19 testing in African American, Latin, X, Hispanic and American Indian communities. Information about additional upcoming community testing events can be found on our Website Cove in 19 that NCD to dust dot gov We know more work is needed to get faster turnaround times for tests, As I've shared previously, our commercial labs are swamped with samples from around the country, and our hospital labs are still struggling with supplies. We're attacking this problem in a number of ways, including pairing testing sites with labs that do have MAWR throughput capacity buying reserve lab capacity on behalf of the state and working to diversify our testing modalities, including exploring the use of more anti gin testing and other techniques. Now this is not an issue unique to North Carolina again, we need federal leadership here to make fast and faster improvements. I also want to highlight some new CDC guidance about testing that should also help alleviate some of the testing backlog. The CDC is now recommending a symptom based instead of a test based approach to people to determine whether they no longer need to be considered off infectious and can end isolation. Data is now showing that people with mild to moderate Cove in 19 really only remain infectious no longer than 10 days after symptom onset. So now someone who has had symptoms and tested positive for Cove in 19 can stop isolating when they can answer yes to the following three questions. First, has it been at least 10 days since Simpson? Since your symptoms started to, Has it been 24 hours since you last had a fever without using fever reducing medicines? And three have your symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath improved? We at the state are updating our guidance to align with this new CDC guidance, and this should make it easier for North Carolinian businesses and employees to get back to work. Until now, we know that many businesses were requiring a negative test result in order to return to work. This new CDC guidance said. That is not necessary. It is my hope that this broad awareness and understanding of this new CDC guidance and these changes will help alleviate some of our pressure on that testing infrastructure and help improve turnaround times. And then there's another, even more impactful way. We can reduce pressure on our testing infrastructure. It's by slowing the spread of this virus. And again, there are three simple steps that everyone in North Carolina can take to reduce viral transmission and ultimately get North Carolina back to work back to school, supporter local businesses and reignite the economy. You know what it is. It's those three W's wearing a face covering over your nose and mouth, waiting six feet apart and washing your hands often. Where? Weight and wash. Thank you, Governor. Thank you, Dr Cohen. Now we'll hear from Mike Spry Bury our director of emergency management, Mike. Thank you, Governor. Thank you for your leadership. Good afternoon. Today is day 1 34 of the State Emergency Operation Centers Cove in 19. Response as the governor discussed our work to supply PPE to our state's farmworkers is well underway. That has been a priority project for us, and we are 98% complete on these shipments to agricultural extension offices in a day addition to supporting essential workers in the food sector of our economy, we are also pushing out cloth face coverings for school students. That project is approximately 60% complete with deliveries made to 213 of 336 schools and school districts. We're also developing plans to push PPE to meat processing plants and to local boards of election in all 100 counties in order to support poll workers and voters. And this fall's elections, our supplies of PPE remain good. The supply chain for face coverings, gloves, gowns and other protective gear continues to improve. We have more than a 90 day supply of most of our key items of PPE, and I'd like to give a special thanks to Assistant Secretary Cooper over it. DHHS and her team. For that, the State Emergency Response Team is currently consolidating all PPE supplies into one central warehouse under the outstanding guidance of our certain teammates at the Office of Emergency Medical Services. But we're also still filling daily requests for personal protective equipment. So far, the state has spent more than 168 million for PPE purchases for the Cove in 19 Pandemic. I want to take some time today to thank our North Carolina National Guard partners as they wind down a major portion of their activation mission in support of the Cove in 19 response. For more than 130 days, National Guard personnel have supported food banks with warehousing and distribution, and they delivered meals to support school nutrition programs and many other things they've helps receive, unload, ship and deliver PPE from our warehouses. And they've helped to ensure our state I T infrastructure remains secure during an elevated time of cyber intrusions. And most recently, they have supported community testing sites and testing in our state correctional facilities as we test all of our offenders. For the past few weeks, the Guard has been working to make sure the partners they're supporting or well positioned to carry on the cove in 19 response after they're gone. At the end of this week, almost all of those men and women from both the Army and Air National Guard in their activation and return to their civilian jobs. We thank them and their families and their employers for sharing them with us to the National Guard team, you have provided vital services to the state. Here's ah hardy hand salute for a mission well done. Many counties have been using the non congregate sheltering program to help slow the spread of the virus by sheltering individuals in hotels who are vulnerable and with no other safe place to quarantine, isolate or social distance. While the federal government ultimately covers the cost of providing those hotel rooms and the associated services. Local governments must first pay those costs and then seek reimbursement through FEMA's public assistance program. For many local governments, this is a significant financial challenge at a time when local revenues are lagging due to the pandemic. Last week, a proposal by the CERT for a state centric plan for non congregate sheltering during the Cove in 19 Pandemic was approved. Making the shift to a state centric program will allow North Carolina Mercy Management to cover cost and then obtained the federal reimbursement relieving. Local governments of that fiscal and administrative burden were working to implement this program quickly, so stay tuned for further guidance in coming days. Lastly, like you just heard, Madame Secretary, remember to observe the three ws where a cloth face covering wait at least six feet apart and wash your hands offer. That's where weight and wash This is. How we slow the spread of the virus. Working collectively together, we have the power and is always don't forget to look out for your family. Friends and neighbors call your loved ones daily guarantee they'll appreciate it with kindness and cooperation. We'll all get through this together as one team, one mission and one family. Thank you, Governor. Thank you, Mike. Thank you for your leadership. Well, now take some questions. And if you can identify yourself in the organization that you represent, we would appreciate that we'll have our first question. Question is for Michael Highland with CBS 17. Hi, Governor. This is Michael Highland from CBS 17. I want ask you is we're seeing Mawr School District's choose to start the year with remote learning. Are you considering any changes to the Plan B option that may make that somewhat more workable for school districts? You've said it's a goal of yours. Half students back for in person learning. Thank you. We want to make sure that the local school boards and superintendents have the option if going all remote if they believe that is in the best interests and the health and safety of their students. We believe that in person instruction can be important and that other school districts are looking at continuing to go forward with Plan B. They also have a remote option for families. So we believe that we're in good shape where we are We want those local school districts to make the best decisions that they can for those Children, and we're here to continue to help provide guidance to them as they go through this. This is a difficult time for parents and students. It's a tough time for teachers and staff. Is there struggling the best way to do this? There's no easy answer to all of this, but I do think we have a good plan in place with both Plan B and Plan C that school districts can choose from. Thanks, Question is a follow up from Michael Highland's CBS 17 Higher to fall upon an unrelated topic based on many conversations and plans you've seen from the state Board of Law Examiners. Do you feel comfortable with them holding the bar exam in person and Raleigh next week? You're always concerned about people's safety, particularly when they're indoors, and I would encourage the state bar of law examiners to make sure that they make accommodations for people and they keep people a safe. It's possible. Yes, I'm concerned about it. However, this is a decision by the State Board of Law Examiners. They have the statutory authority here to make that decision. Next question, please. Our next question is from Sam Walker with Outer Banks today there, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said last week he's worried about the spiking cases of the Norfolk area, which could move into the northeast corner of the state. Your residents after work and shopping handsome roads. Have you had direct conversations with Governor Northam about this? And how concerning it is? It's some northeastern North Carolina counties have some of North John's love case counts just could cause a spike here. We know that the virus does not respect state boundaries. So, yes, we're always concerned when there is a spike in violent virus in the states that surround us. We're definitely looking at that in South Carolina, and Georgia and Tennessee, to a certain extent, have not talked directly with Governor Northam lately. We have conferred on the Corona virus and were often on conference calls among governors and with the federal Corona Virus Task Force. I think it's important that we continue our efforts to slow the spread of the virus both in North Carolina, in Virginia. I think unlike South Carolina, you have in Virginia mascot mandate and they've taken steps to try to slow the spread of the virus. We just ask people to continue to be smart about what they do, practice the three W's and will continue to work with of other governors to work together to make sure we slide the spread of this fires. Next question. The next question is a bottle of Sam Walker Outer Banks today. Secretary Colin, with many in northeastern North Carolina seeking their healthcare in southeastern Virginia, are you able to incorporate that into the lift? Jonah's data on hospitalizations in any way? And how is that impacting How the state looking at things in the Northeast? Thanks for the question. So our hospitalization data is really strictly based on what is happening here within the state of North Carolina. But we definitely are keeping our eye on places where we know there is a lot of cross border cross crossing in order to get their care. Actually, the place that we are watching most closely is in the Charlotte area, and we have had reports of increased amount of folks coming from South Carolina into North Carolina to get treatment at some of the hospitals in the Charlotte area as well as get testing. So we'll continue to keep our eye on that as well as the Northeast part of our state as well. Thank you. Next question, please. Our next question is from Nate Morabito wcnc their governor even before this pandemic. The federal government right, North Carolina, last in the country for timely unemployment benefits. We know the state has hired 2000 more employees, changed leadership and offered new training. But we continue to hear from the unemployed, were growing more and more frustrated. Some who are able to get through and get hung up on multiple agents were telling them different things. People are ready extended periods of time for the money they so desperately need. Wendell, the state fix these problems first. There's been significant progress made in this area. As you know, a system that was used to 12,000 claims a month was overwhelmed with over a 1,000,000 claims in a short period of time. However, it is critically important to get these payments to these families who are living on the edge and one of the reasons why I'm urging Congress to extend this federal benefit which will make ah world of difference to these people because in North Carolina we rank near the bottom of the amount of money that we pay to people who are unemployed as well as a short, very short period of time that those statements last. That being said, there's been over $6.2 billion pay to over 815,000 people. There have been about 251,000 people who have been denied claims because they did not qualify for it. And there are several 1000 people about, I think, 4% at the state level and 6% at the federal level where they're claims are more complicated. Those claims may be contested and the department is working hard to get those claims resolved. They've increased the number of people on the funds they put in a chat function, so they're having Mawr Mawr communication with these people to try to answer to their questions and continue going to work every single day to try to make sure these benefits are available to people. In addition, we're pulling people from other agencies, two de es in order to be able to help them and assist them with this significant but highly important task. And they're going to keep working every day, and I'm gonna keep pushing them. Thanks. Next question. Our next question is from Gary Robertson with The Associated Press. Yes, hi, Gary Robertson With AP, Dr Colin could talk about emergency rooms. We've heard a lot about a lot of discussion about hospital capacity in bed capacity. And clearly, when, um, the number of people with Kobe like symptoms are entering the emergency rooms, it would lead one to believe that perhaps emergency rooms themselves are being stressed by the number of patients received. Can you give us sending inside as to whether emergency rooms are seeing ah mawr pressure in terms of capacity compared to hospitals? Are they the same as there been any thing that you could tell us anecdotally about what's happening there? Thank you. Thanks, Gary. For that, And as you know, part of our surveillance data that we report on our dashboard every day is about emergency room visits. And what percentage of those are we seeing that are cove it like illness visits again? This is before even a test result comes back so you can go and make sure that you were tracking along with us on that surveillance data. Um, and what we can say is that in certain parts of the state, we are seeing more folks come to the emergency room. Um, we still are tracking or hospitalizations. You can now see that by region you can see I see you usage. But I say we are increasing slightly on our hospitalizations, and we're continuing to watch that closely, but both from an emergency room capacity as well as AH hospital overall hospital capacity. We still have the ability to to take on additional payment patients, whether their covert patients or someone who is having a heart attack or in a car accident. So that is good news. And I think that takes hard work from all of us to continue to keep that virus level low. What we're seeing in other states whether it's Tech, Teoh, Texas or Arizona or Florida, is that they are running out of hospital hospital capacity. Their emergency rooms are getting strained. We don't want to be in that situation. I think that is why you continue to hear us say that we have to do the three W's. We need folks to take leadership on on face coverings. It is working, right. We are not seeing what other states are in terms of boiling over. But we have hospital hospital capacity. We do have emergency room capacity, but we need to do hard work every day to keep it that way. Um, and that's what I think we're going to keep our eye on as we continue to go through this summer. Thank you. Next question, please. Our next question is from Air Stamberg with the Charlotte Business Journal. I've got No, This is Eric Samberg from the business journal in Charlotte. I'm curious us since you know, Charlotte Mecklenburg County have been ah, you know, trouble spot throughout this. Typically with the most cases, um, there is a movement to get a curfew for alcohol sales. That's going to happen soon. Are there any other restrictions or limitations on business or movement that you would like to see to try and quell some of the spread in the Charlotte Mecklenburg area? We're continuing to monitor the trends and the data. We have not made any particular steps to go backward yet, and we do not want to do that. We encourage local governments if they're seeing particular problems and hot spots to make decisions that they think would be in the best interest of slowing the spread of the virus and protecting their communities. And I know that our department, Health and Human Services and Public Health is working with their local public health officials on these kinds of decisions. Those decisions can be a good one because we know my dad used to tell me nothing good ever happens after 11. Well, people do. When they are in bars and they're together or in restaurants and are together, then they could potentially increase the spread of the virus. And this is a kind of tool that can be used in order to slow that down. Would you have anything to add to that, Dr Cohen? Okay, thanks. Next question. Our next question is from Lynn Bonner with the News and Observer. Second, when Bonner from the News and Observer. Dr. Khan wondering At what point do you become worried or alarmed about hospital? Is it hospitalizations? You say that the numbers concerning but when, um, does it be come? More of a problem is it when 1500 people hospitalized or 2000. At what point are hospitalization regions in an I C U dangerous sound for, for example, it was reported recently that the Duke region has 14 empty staff I few beds and Metroliner has 38 empty staff I seabed. Is that too few? Thanks, Lynn. For that question, I think there are a number of factors we look at first. You want to make sure that we are looking at hospitalizations both statewide as well as regionally. Um, and you want to look at the number of beds that are available, as well as the beds that folks could staff up to. Hospitals often do move around there. Their personnel, they're doctors. They're nurses to make sure that they are going to where the patients are and staffing to appropriate needs. So we have capacity in our system. The things that we're looking for is both. Are we increasing, but also the pace of acceleration? How quickly are those hospital beds filling up? How quickly our folks needing to be in the I C U. What we have seen and you can see from our dashboard? Now that we have more granular information there is. Actually, our usage of I C U beds has been pretty stable. We've been around 300 people who have been using. I see use a little below a little above, um for for a number of weeks. And so the stability there is a good sign. And so we continue to watch that, of course. And if there are any things that that we see some trends going in the wrong direction, we will get on the phone directly with those systems to make sure we understand that that data again I see you usage can be because of cove it. But it could be because of other things. Unfortunately, heart attack, stroke, other things. Eso We often are in touch, making sure folks are are able to articulate to us. You know what's going on in their hospitals? Do they need help? Can we assist in any patient movement we haven't needed Teoh enact any of our surge plans at this point, which is a good thing, but we'll continue to keep our eye on it. And again, I think it is both. Is it increasing, but also the pace of acceleration that we are are looking for a swell Thanks. Thank you. Next question, please. All up when Bonner uses observer. Thank you, Dr Cohen. I was looking at the seven day rolling average of new cases, and it seems to have been leveling off. Can you provide insights on why this is happening? I mean, has the state gotten past, um, peaks that related to holiday gatherings, or are all of the peaks for a nursing home and prison cases? Is that all past and or is it Is it too soon to look at trend lines because test results are being delayed? Um, what looks behind the leveling off? So, Lynn, thanks for that question. I would not call us leveling off yet. And the reason for that is Saturday was our highest day of new cases that we reported in a single day. Um and so we are still eking up, But I think you are right and saying we are not accelerating at the pace. We're seeing some of the states around us accelerate. And that is a good thing. So I don't know yet if a couple days of what we're seeing is a trend or is that to your to your point that you made in the question is that some lag in test results coming back? I think it's too early to tell. What I would want to encourage folks to say is, Look, we still know we have a high number of new cases coming back every single day. We know what actions we need to take to slow the spread of that virus. We don't want to boil over as a state. And so we're seeing these early warning signs. The more we can do right now to keep that virus level low, maybe we will be starting to see that stabilization. That would be terrific. We would love to see that stabilized. I think we're not quite there yet, but we'll continue to watch our trends. And again, unfortunately, with the highest day of new cases last Saturday, I think we need a little bit more time to understand exactly where we are. Which is why, again, we always talk about what is our What is that? Um, those trends look like over a 14 day period. Thanks. Thank you. Next question, please. Our next question is for Michael, purchased with a D C. 11. Good afternoon. It's been a few weeks statewide. Masked man. It has been in effect. However, we haven't necessarily seen any sort of market drop or changed in the case Numbers or hospitalizations. Um, at what point would you anticipate a The result from the mask mandate, Um or do you feel that the results have been reflected that we haven't seen any sort of massive spike? Especially now that we are about 2.5 weeks out from the July 4th weekend? I certainly believe that the mask mandate is contributing to the fact that we are not spiking. Like some other states. We wanted to have an effect at some point to slow the spread of the virus and had these numbers start at downward trend, and we believe that it will contribute to that. There has been increased compliance with wearing face coverings across the state. Were getting that anecdotally we're hearing from retailers, and I think people are becoming mawr and mawr aware of this and how important it is. I made some pretty strong comments earlier today about people who are being selfish and refusing to wear a face covering what you're doing when you wear it is protecting other people around you. You're protecting your family. You're protecting strangers. So we're going to continue to encourage this. And we hope that we see even more positive results from the figures that we're seeing. Dr. Cohen, where you want to add to that? Okay, next question, please. Our next question is from Matthew Hurtic with W i t n Governor Cooper Matthew her stick with W i t n uh, Can you talk about testing times right now? Obviously with the news BBC 10 day guideline and some testing in laboratories taking 78 10 days to get testing results back looking, they do at this point maybe increased that last time. We're continuing to establish more places for testing and collecting more samples and getting it done on the front end. One of the problems that we've been seeing those last few weeks is the lack of supply chain with testing supplies and re agents that these labs need in order to turn around the test results in a period time. And when you go to 345 even six days waiting for a test, that person is supposed to isolate and not be around people and not go to work. And that's hard for somebody dealing with that. In addition, our contact tracers I want to be finding out if this person is positive, who they've been in contact with, so reduces the effectiveness of a lot of things we're doing when we have a slow turnaround time. We've continued to push the federal government on this issue. I think Ah, lot of this has to do with the lack of a coordinated federal strategy who could get a hold of the supply chain and continue to push it in the right direction. Meanwhile, we're going to do everything we can to find ways to get more testing to people, to work on our contact tracing and help try to find these supplies and re agents in order to be able to speed up the turnaround time. Dr. Cohen would you want to say something? Sure, just to reiterate what I shared earlier. There's a number of ways in which we're trying to attack this problem. There's no one solution. One. We're trying to pair up those the testing collection sites with labs that do have more capacity We know some of our bigger commercial labs are really swamped, but there are smaller labs that do have capacity, and we need to make those matches happen. Second, we're actually as a state buying lab reserve capacity. You will see in some of our our f Q process use that we have actually gone to procure lab capacity to be able to make sure that we can try to improve some of our lab turnaround time. I think the third thing that we're doing is needing to explore other modalities of testing. This, again, is where more federal leadership is needed. We want to explore using other types of testing like Auntie Gin testing. This is a different than antibody testing, but Auntie Gin testing detects the virus again, another modality that we can use to try to diversify the kinds of ways in which we are doing lab testing as well as other mechanisms. We have a lab test surge work group with a lot of lab leaders who have come together to really help us think through what other ways can we get at this turnaround time problem? There's no one easy solution. We're gonna work on it here, obviously, in North Carolina. But this is, as the governor said, is where really federal leadership in an overall ah, coordination of a federal strategy is really needed. Thank you. Thank you. Next question, please. Our final question today will be from sharing vans whitened with spectrum news. Hello, Governor. This is Sharon Van Zweden from Spectrum News. We'd like to know what kind of investments is the state making in high speed diagnostic lab equipment for hospitals and medical offices. I'll let you take that. Hi. Thanks so much for the that question. So we are certainly making investments for the state public health lab and bringing on new diagnostic platforms in order to get some additional throughput at our own state labs. Um, number of our commercial lab partners are also doing the same thing and trying to bring on additional capacity again, we continue to be limited by some of the re agent. So even if you bring on some of these expensive lab platforms, you still need the re agents to run those platforms. So I know that there are a number of hospitals who are trying Teoh make changes, but they've committed to some of these larger platforms. They've invested the money and the resource is and bringing these platforms online. Now they need the supplies to actually make them run. So again, we're trying to look at in multiple different ways in which we can try to improve testing turnaround time and will continue to work closely with our partners and see how the state can continue to support all of those efforts. Thanks. Is there a follow up to that? We have a follow up from Sharon V and Beaten Spectrum News. Right. Thank you. We'd like to know what specific federal assistance you've requested or intend to request. Sure. Um, on, I assume you're still referring to two testing and testing turnaround time. So there's a number of things I think from the federal side that that folks have been talking about. Um, some of that is just transparency. How our supplies being moved around the country. And how how do we make sure that North Carolina is getting, ah, the supplies they need, particularly to some of our heart hot spots, like our hospitals in the Charlotte area. So I think that's one second is how can we use the Defense Production Act or other mechanisms from the federal level to think about the supply chain issues. And third is regulatory. How do we use the regulatory arms of the federal government to speed up some of the innovation and different ways to implement diagnostic tests? I think the step the CDC took today or over the weekend in terms of new guidance to say you don't need a repeat lab test to go back to work. I think that was helpful and good. Are there other ways in which we can? The FDA or others can use their regulatory power to help us do different diagnostic methods. Give us the guidance to know which population should we use for different technologies, those kinds of conversations Ah, that I know are ongoing and that we'd like to see Mawr happen at the federal level. We will be doing that here at the state level, but we're not alone in this. Every state is sort of going through this at the same time. So really having that coordination at the federal level is important. Thank you. Thank all of you for joining us today. Remember the three W's and stay safe out there. Thank you.