Coronavirus Update

Yesterday, March 18, the CDC reported 7,038 cases of the virus, with the death count totaling 97. The virus was found in all 54 of the United States’ territories. Visit the NYT Estimate for an informative look as to why this matters.

As of today, March 19, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services had not reported any cases of Covid-19 in either Jackson, Haywood or Swain Counties. While this news provides temporary relief, I’d like to ask all citizens to adopt safe practices and follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

Myself, Governor Cooper and many of my fellow legislators are all working hard to provide North Carolina with the necessary strategies and resources to weather the Coronavirus. Stay tuned for periodic updates

Unemployment Concerns

On Tuesday, Mar. 17, Governor Cooper announced changes to unemployment benefits to ease the application process and eligibility requirements. Benefits, which normally require a waiting period, are now available to everyone misplaced. Additionally, work requirements and employer payments are not required to receive said benefits.
For your unemployment questions visit the Dept. of Commerce. For our next steps be sure to check out Joe Sam’s Notes below.

Business Concerns

Governor Cooper has requested that the U.S. Small Business Administration grant a disaster declaration for business owners in North Carolina facing economic losses due to the new Coronavirus. SBA approved the Governor’s request late Wednesday afternoon, issuing a disaster declaration for all 100 North Carolina counties. We wanted to provide details to you regarding the process that small businesses will follow to apply for a disaster loan through SBA, as well as provide answers to frequently asked questions about the loans.
For more information about applying click here.
There is no question that the economic impacts of this pandemic are going to be substantial. There will be much more to do as we recover. Stay tuned.

Four Things We Can All Do

First, we all want to stay well by keeping our social distance, washing our hands properly and keeping informed. Secondly, if we’re sick, we should stay home and not unnecessarily spread the virus.

1.  Wash Your Hands

2.  Keep Our Social Distance

3. Stay Home if You’re Sick

4.  Inform Ourselves



Below are some credible and useful links regarding the virus:


Joe Sam’s Notes

This crisis is amplifying the urgent need for North Carolina Legislature to stop the obstruction and work together to:

  1. Expand Medicaid in North Carolina. Now! For more information regarding this check out Billions Better.
  2. Restore North Carolina’s Unemployment Benefits Now! For more information check out this article.
  3. Put forth a full court press for high speed internet in North Carolina for everyone, everywhere for everything. Now! For more on a strategy for broadband expansion check out my Newsletter #14.

Our Legislative Leadership needs to recognize we need a Comprehensive Budget Now! more than ever. It is truly unacceptable in this crisis for them to continue to claim it is just okay to do Nothing.

If you or a loved one is concerned about your health, the numbers for each of District 119’s Health Departments are listed below:

Haywood – (828) 452-6620

Jackson – (828) 586-8994

Swain – (828) 488-3198