As of May 14, 2021, the state of North Carolina has lifted its indoor mask mandate for most settings, and has lifted all mass gathering limits and social distancing requirements.
Information on the state's vaccine distribution is available at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov (English) or Vacunate.nc.gov (Spanish). People can find nearby vaccine providers using NCDHHS' online tool, Find a Vaccine Location. The state's COVID-19 vaccine hotline number is 888-675-4567.
The N.C. League continues to encourage all of our communities to get vaccinated. The dashboard below is regularly updating. If you would like to download the most up-to-date vaccine information, click here.
The NCDHHS vaccine homepage provides all information to answer the most important questions regarding distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. What is the priority order, when will it be available, where will it be available--all of those topics are addressed. You can find that homepage here.
State lifts gathering limits, social distancing requirements and indoor mask mandate - Updated May 14
On May 14, 2021, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. shared an update on the state's COVID-19 progress. Throughout the pandemic, state officials have taken a data-driven approach and have been guided by the science in making decisions. Following May 13 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that fully vaccinated individuals can safely do most activities without wearing a mask or the need to social distance from others, the state will remove its indoor mask mandate for most settings. Additionally, the state will lift all mass gathering limits and social distancing requirements. These changes are now in effect.
The ability to lift restrictions sooner than anticipated following the CDC's guidance shows the importance of vaccinating all North Carolinians. As of this week, even more people can get vaccinated. Younger teens between 12 and 15 can now get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Young people are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, just like everyone else, and the percent of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina children 17 and under has been increasing.
“I am so proud of the incredible progress we have made in beating back this pandemic," said Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “Vaccines continue to be incredibly effective at protecting individuals from this terrible virus. And as more and more people get vaccinated, the results show in our stable metrics with lower cases, lower hospitalizations, and lower deaths."
In accordance with the new CDC guidance, there will still be certain settings where masks and other safety measures will be required. Masks will still be required in child care, schools and camps as most children are either not yet vaccinated or are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. Everyone, including people who are fully vaccinated will still be required to wear a mask in certain settings such as public transportation, health care settings like hospitals, doctor's offices and long-term care settings like nursing homes, and certain congregate settings like correctional facilities and homeless shelters.
NCDHHS will continue to have strong public health recommendations for individuals to continue to protect one another until more people are vaccinated. People who are not vaccinated should wear a mask and maintain distance in all indoor public settings and in outdoor settings when they can't maintain six feet of distance.
EO 163, 'Phase 2.5'
EO 153 Regarding Alcohol Sales Restriction
EDA and CARES Act Opportunities
Coronavirus Relief Fund
What changes with the 'Phase 2' extension and mask requirement?
Legal Issues: Public/Open Meetings
Employment & Human Resources
Workers' Compensation & Coronavirus Coverage
Childcare For Essential Local Government Employees
Health Benefits Trust - Notice of Fee Waivers & Health Insurance
Questions Posed to Governor on March 26 Call
NC PRO | Funding and assistance explainers
NCDHHS | 'Prevent and Protect' Media Toolkit
US Treasury | CARES Act Guidance for Local Governments
NCLM | Recommendations for Law Enforcement Operational Response
CDC | CDC Community Mitigation Guide
NCLM | Vendors and Services to Help Local Governments
UNC SOG | Meetings and Public Hearings Under the Coronavirus State of Emergency
UNC SOG | Guidance on Teleworking
NLC | Resources for Local Leaders
NLC | Guide to Identifying Essential Workers
NCDHHS | North Carolina's Response to Coronavirus
NC DPS | N.C. Emergency Management
NC Main Street & Rural Planning | N.C. Main Street and Rural Resources
NCDHHS | Communications Resources
Sept. 1 | Executive Order 163: 'Phase 2.5' (Increased Mass Gathering Limits; Gyms Open)
July 28 | Executive Order 153: Late-Night Restriction on Alcohol Sales
June 24 | Executive Order 147: 'Safer at Home' Extended, Masks Required
May 30 | Executive Order 142: Extending Prohibitions on Utility Shutoffs
May 20 | Executive Order 141: Phase 2 Easing of Restrictions
May 6 | Executive Order 138: Modifying Stay-Home Order; Phase 1 Easing
April 23 | Executive Order 135: Extending Stay-Home Order
April 9 | Executive Order 131: Add'l Retail Restrictions
April 7 | Executive Order 129: Law Enforcement Training Flexibility
April 6 | Guidance for LEOs on EO Enforcement, COVID Testing
April 3 | Guidelines for Allocation of PPE
March 31 | Executive Order 124: Utilities, Evictions, Financial Services
March 31 | Executive Order 123: Extending Childhood Advisory Council
March 30 | Executive Order 122: State Surplus Property
March 27 | Executive Order 121: Stay at Home
March 26 | Guidance on Open Meetings
Find My Testing Place
Check My Symptoms
Guide to Federal COVID-19 Funding
A Guide to Employee Temperature Checks
Up-to-date Coronavirus info from the CDC
Filing for Unemployment (Guide from Division of Employment Security)
Unemployment and COVID-19 FAQ
Community Mitigation Strategy Guide
CISA Memo on Identifying Essential Workforce
Small Business Resources
Preparing Communities for Potential Spread of COVID-19
Resources for First Responders and Law Enforcement
Communications Resources Regarding Coronavirus
What You Need to Know About COVID-19 (CDC onesheet) | (Spanish version)
By NCLM Communications, Sept. 1, 2020
Playgrounds can open, mass gathering limits are increased, and museums and gyms may open at limited occupancy as part of the new "Phase 2.5" of statewide pandemic-related policy unveiled by Gov. Roy Cooper. Bars remain closed under this phase, laid out in Executive Order 163, effective at 5 p.m. Sept. 4. The mask mandate remains in place. "Safer at Home Phase 2.5 continues our state's dimmer-switch approach to easing some restrictions," the governor explained. "We can do this safely only if we keep doing what we know works -- wearing masks and social distancing. In fact, a new phase is exactly when we need to take this virus even more seriously."
A press release about the order provides contextual detail and data the governor's team used to formulate the new phase. They also released slides with numbers and trends presented to the public at a press conference Sept. 1. A Frequently Asked Questions document was also released in anticipation of inquiries.
The specific changes going into effect Sept. 4 at 5 p.m.:
• Mass gathering limits will be increased to 25 people indoors and 50 people
• Playgrounds will be allowed to open.
• Museums and aquariums can open at 50 percent capacity.
• Fitness and competitive physical activity facilities can open at 30 percent capacity.
• All employers in North Carolina are strongly encouraged to provide face
coverings to their employees.
By NCLM Communications, July 28, 2020
The following from the governor's office:
"With actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 beginning
to have impact, Governor Roy Cooper is doubling down on prevention measures
with Executive Order 153 stopping the sale of alcoholic drinks in restaurants,
breweries, wineries, and distilleries at 11 pm. North Carolina bars that are
currently closed will remain closed. This order will take effect Friday, July
release from Governor Cooper made clear that the order won't apply to
grocery stores, convenience stores "or other entities permitted to sell
for off-premises consumption. Local governments that have implemented orders
that end alcohol sales before 11 pm or that apply to other entities remain in
Read the news
release for full context and this FAQ
guide from the governor's office.
By NCLM Communications, July 10, 2020
By NCLM Communications, June 24, 2020
coverings are now a requirement in public places, statewide, in an effort from the
governor’s team to decrease the spread of respiratory droplets and risk of
COVID-19. Gov. Roy Cooper this week announced a new executive order, EO 147,
extending the current Safer at Home phase of public restrictions through 5 p.m.
July 17, with his team pointing to data showing that the coronavirus numbers
are far too worrying to relax policy. The new executive order, issued on
Wednesday, “strongly recommends” two years of age as the starting point for
the same general conversation, the governor last week vetoed
a bill from the General Assembly to reopen gyms and bars. The General Assembly
subsequently held a vote to override the veto this week, but it failed.
Legislators followed up with additional reopening bills.
press release from Governor Cooper’s team on the new executive order details
the public health data points they’ve worked with in their decision making. It
also quotes individuals from the healthcare field. “As the leader of the
state’s largest health system, I am pro-health and also 100 percent
pro-business. In fact, the two are inextricably connected and I’m very proud of
the way business leaders and health experts are working together to keep our
economy strong,” the release quotes of Eugene A. Woods, president and CEO of Atrium
Health. “Medical science says to reduce the spread of COVID-19 masking works,
and my sincere hope is that all the people of North Carolina can join forces to
make wearing a mask not something we feel we have to do – but something that we
want to do to keep each other, our neighbors, our children and our loved ones
healthy and safe.”
state has released a FAQ document
to help with the fine points of EO 147.
By NCLM Communications, June 22, 2020
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has
launched new tools and resources to help North Carolinians through the
pandemic. They include Check My Symptoms (www.ncdhhs.gov/symptoms) and Find My
Testing Place (www.ncdhhs.gov/TestingPlace).
To get the word out, DHHS has created the Prevent and Protect Media Toolkit available in English and Spanish. The toolkit includes
sample social media posts with images, flyers directing people toward the Check
My Symptoms tool, an infographic explaining the testing and contact tracing
process, and customizable flyers for testing sites and events in your
community. The agency says it will add new tools to the kit over the coming weeks.
More information about testing is
Information about contract tracing is at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/contacttracing.
By NCLM Communications, May 20, 2020
Gov. Roy Cooper has announced a second phase of restrictions-easing. On May 20, he issued Executive Order 141, which lifts the stay-home order and allows for more business activity, like on-premises dining at restaurants, effective 5 p.m. on May 22. "It is important to stay home if you are sick," notes a Frequently Asked Questions document released along with the order. It outlines all of the practical changes. Governor Coopers office also released related guidance on bars.
While the coronavirus remains a public health crisis, the easing of restrictions is based on science, the governor's office said. “North Carolina is using the data to guide our decisions about when to lift COVID-19 restrictions, and overall our key indicators remain stable,” said Governor Cooper in a news release. “Safer At Home Phase 2 is another careful step forward, and we have to continue taking this virus seriously to prevent a dangerous spike in infections.”
By NCLM Communications, May 5, 2020
The following update comes verbatim from the office of Gov. Roy Cooper:
Governor Roy Cooper today signed Executive Order No. 138 to modify North Carolina’s Stay At Home order and transition to Phase 1 of slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions effective Friday, May 8 at 5 pm. Certain businesses remain closed as the state continues battling COVID-19. “COVID-19 is still a serious threat to our state, and Phase 1 is designed to be a limited easing of restrictions that can boost parts of our economy while keeping important safety rules in place,” said Governor Cooper. “This is a careful and deliberate first step, guided by the data, and North Carolinians still must use caution while this virus is circulating.”
“We must continue to protect our families and neighbors as we take this cautious step forward. When you leave your home, follow the three W’s: Wear a face covering, wash your hands, and wait six feet apart,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services. Today’s Order removes the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses. Retail businesses are allowed to open at 50% capacity and will be required to direct customers to stand 6 feet apart, perform frequent cleanings, provide hand sanitizer when available, screen workers for symptoms and more. The Order allows people to leave their homes for commercial activity at any business that is open.
Certain businesses remain closed, including bars, personal care businesses, entertainment venues, and gyms. Restaurants may only continue to serve customers for drive-through, take out and delivery.
All workers at retail and other businesses are recommended to wear cloth face coverings. Teleworking is still encouraged for businesses that can practice it.Though small outdoor gatherings will be allowed in Phase 1, gatherings of more than 10 people generally are still prohibited. The Order encourages cloth face coverings to be worn when outside the home and in contact with others. Everyone who uses a face covering should adhere to this guidance without fear of profiling or bias.
During Phase 1, childcare facilities will be open to serve families of parents who are working or looking for work. These centers will be required to follow strict cleaning protocols. Summer day camps can operate in compliance with NC DHHS guidelines.
By NCLM Communications, April 28, 2020
Frequent question - Our town government has considered repurposing one our buildings to help combat COVID-19. What should we consider regarding insurance?
By NCLM Communications, April 27, 2020
The following is from the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
As we transition into the second month of the COVID-19
response, this week’s FEMA Bulletin highlights a Best
Practices webpage with centralized information for medical
practitioners, emergency managers and other critical stakeholders. The
experiences and successful interventions of other communities that have already
faced certain COVID-19 challenges can help communities during their own
Bulletin also includes some important program application reminders.
-FEMA Region IV External Affairs
By NCLM Communications, April 23, 2020
By NCLM Communications, April 21, 2020
By NCLM Communications, April 20, 2020
The N.C. Retail Merchants Association has asked that the following be posted for local governments' consideration with regard to the provisions of Executive Order 131, which the governor issued April 9, adding new restrictions on retail to safeguard against COVID-19 transmission.
"Dear Local Leader,
"On behalf of retailers across the State, the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA) sincerely appreciates your tireless efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic in your communities.
"NCRMA is working with our members to communicate the provisions of Executive Order 131. As you know, the order requires retailers to implement new maximum occupancy standards, marking of 6-foot distances in high-traffic areas and cleaning of high-touch areas. Having these provisions consistent statewide is of great importance allowing retailers to keep their primary focus on the health and safety of customers and employees while serving communities.
"In addition, there were items included as recommendations in the Executive Order rather than requirements. This distinction came about after much discussion and policy considerations which are highlighted below. We understand that many of you may look to other jurisdictions or practices already implemented by specific retailers and consider whether these types of measures should be required for all retailers in your communities. Below are some of the policy considerations and real-world experiences from retail store operations illustrating why these measures should continue to be strongly encouraged throughout all of North Carolina but not required. Should you have questions or wish to discuss any of these issues or ideas we welcome the opportunity to do so with you."
View the full document of policy considerations from the Retail Merchants Association.
By NCLM Communications, April 20, 2020
is a certified way to connect essential providers in need of supply materials
or finished goods with those who have them available. “Manufacturers and
material suppliers are pivoting to meet the needs of essential providers during
the COVID-19 crisis. Be a part of the effort,” the site reads. Presented as a
directory, users can click portals like “Can Help,” “Need Help,” “Find Supplies,”
“Find Needs,” and so on. North Carolina Emergency Management has endorsed the
site, which is working with NCEM to provide connections.
FEMA Briefing Updates on Federal Efforts, DiscussionsBy NCLM Communications, April 20, 2020
A briefing from the Federal Emergency Management Agency
released this past Friday provides a bulleted overview of what’s happening improve
circumstances as COVID-19 continues its impact. The briefing discusses “reopening”
ideas and says FEMA “continues to expedite movement of commercially pre-sourced
and commercial procured critical supplies from the global market to medical
distributors in various locations across the U.S. through Project Airbridge.” It
also has a “By the Numbers” section breaking out stats from the crisis. At the
time of publication, 42 states, four territories and more than 37 tribes had
issued stay-at-home orders and all 50 states had been approved for major
By NCLM Communications, April 9, 2020
Retails establishments that are permitted to operate under previous
COVID-19 measures from state government now must take additional steps to cap
the risk of community transmission of the coronavirus and make sure people
adhere to social distancing, per a new executive order the governor issued
Thursday. Executive Order 131 also
seeks to expedite the processing of unemployment insurance claims. For retail
establishments, the order “limits retail establishments to no more than 20
percent of the business’s stated fire capacity or five customers for every one
thousand square feet of the retail location’s total square footage. Retail
locations may choose which of the two calculations on which they base their
maximum occupancy. For the square footage calculation, it includes the full
footprint of the interior building, and all retail- and non-retail space.”
That’s according to an anticipated-questions-and-answers document the
governor’s team issued along with the order, which spells out a social
distancing requirement as well, along with a number of recommendations for
retail spaces. “The Governor expects retail establishments will comply with the
Order to ensure the safety of their employees and customers and believes that
most of them will,” the document notes. “If necessary, the Order will be
enforced by local law enforcement.” Read the full document
for more, with particulars on how it may affect local orders.
By NCLM Communications, April 9, 2020
By NCLM Communications, April 8, 2020
The Raleigh News & Observer included the League's perspective this week in taking a comprehensive look at how COVID-19 has economically impacted local governments. "When people stay home and businesses close, it helps keep the coronavirus in check, but it also leaves local governments with less money to pay for policing, fighting fires, collecting trash and other services," the piece begins, going on to look at the hardhit sources of revenue that support it all. Further, the article notes, "Local government officials say they haven’t been able to focus on the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic because they’ve been responding to the immediate crisis: making sure residents can get food, housing, information and access to online education. The League's Scott Mooneyham is sourced in laying out the context and financial considerations for local governments big and small. Read and share the full article.
By NCLM Communications, April 7, 2020
By NCLM Communications, April 6, 2020
Local governments may begin applying to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Public Assistance Program for reimbursement of COVID-19-related expenses. Those interested must take part in an applicant webinar, which N.C. Emergency Management is conducting this week. See the schedule and a summary of the program.
By NCLM Communications, April 3, 2020
The events of the past weeks have changed circumstances dramatically and in ways that the available data does not yet reflect. We have surveyed the available information and done our best to synthesize that in a way that we think reflects the current reality for North Carolina’s municipalities, but if there is one common thread that runs among recent analyses, it is that this period of economic activity is unlike any seen in recent decades. What is unfortunately clear, Nida explained, is that cities and towns are facing substantial declines in revenue, due primarily to the drop in sales tax revenue, occupancy tax revenue, and utilities payments. Nida, responding to questions, confirmed that despite the lack of necessary data, the statutory deadlines for passing a budget have not been addressed by the N.C. legislature, and thus balanced budgets must still be ratified by July 1.
By NCLM Communications, April 3, 2020
By NCLM Communications, April 1, 2020
By NCLM Communications, April 1, 2020
Presenting to the N.C. House Select Committee on COVID-19 Tuesday, NCLM Chief Legislative Counsel Erin Wynia spoke clearly on the situation municipalities face as they navigate this health crisis.
“We've spent the past few weeks working with local officials as they've gone through horrible decisions that no local official wants to make," Wynia said.
Nearly every sector of life has been affected by the pandemic and subsequent social distancing, Wynia explained. Cities and towns have felt this acutely, as small business have shuttered their doors and local economies have grinded to a halt, resulting in severely diminished tax revenue from several different sources. These include sales tax, occupancy tax, and utilities payments. The services themselves, however, continue to be provided, making for fiscal shortfalls in nearly every municipality statewide.
As laid out by Wynia to lawmakers, North Carolina cities and towns face urgent needs in three areas. They are listed below.
Sales tax revenue account for approximately $1.3 billion annually, or 28 percent of the general operating budget for the median city in North Carolina. Occupancy taxes, which result primarily from the tourism industry, account for another $300 million. Local water systems serve 89 percent of the state's population.
All three areas will be severely impacted by this crisis—sales and occupancy tax revenue due to significantly diminished commercial activity, and utility revenue through non-payment and commercial/industrial customer loss.
Maintaining cash flows will be crucial. Without support, cities and towns will be forced to make budgetary cuts to public safety and transportation. The federal CARES Act directly appropriated funds to municipalities only with populations over 500,000, so for every city outside of Charlotte, these shortfalls will have to be addressed by additional legislation.
Budget Development and Procedural Clarification
This category represents perhaps the most pressing need.
First, municipalities, by law, must pass a budget by July 1. However, budgets are developed by balancing expenses with the upcoming year's projected revenue. The present crisis has made it nearly impossible to project revenue, making the process immensely complicated.
Second, the state needs to provide clarity on the authority to meet remotely. City affairs must proceed, but it is not clear how to maintain social distancing while also conducting full council meetings, board meetings, and public hearings.
“The need for reliable internet could not be more obvious right now," said Wynia. Yet, many parts of the state are disconnected. Passing the FIBER NC Act, which would allow for public-private partnerships to address the problem, must become a priority of the General Assembly.
Slides from the League's presentation can be viewed here.
By NCLM Communications, March 31, 2020
The unemployment rate is soaring upward nationwide as COVID-19 prompts measures that impact workplaces. Affected individuals in North Carolina can apply for unemployment benefits through the Division of Employment Security, with information at https://des.nc.gov/apply-unemployment.
Additionally, the agency has published a Frequently Asked Questions page specific to unemployment and the coronavirus. It covers the fastest way to file a claim, materials you will need for filing, benefits info, and more.
By NCLM Communications, March 30, 2020
Last week, Gov. Roy Cooper and fellow state officials held a call with the League and more than 2,000 local government officials to brief everyone at once on the latest with the COVID-19 response. During the call, a chat window allowed the local officials to submit questions. The following is a roundup of questions asked with answers from the state.
Gov. Roy Cooper has issued a statewide stay-at-home order, effective 5 p.m. on Monday, March 30, for 30 days. The following is complete information from the governor's office:
Governor Roy Cooper ordered people in the state of North Carolina to stay at home for thirty days, until April 29, 2020, in another step to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Governor Cooper's Executive Order No. 121 takes effect on Monday, March 30 at 5:00 PM and reduces the size of gatherings to 10 people. The Order provides for essential businesses to continue to operate while prioritizing social distancing measures. The Order has the force of law and will be enforced in all 100 counties statewide.“To continue our aggressive battle against COVID-19, I have signed a Stay at Home Order for the entire state of North Carolina. Though it is difficult we must do this to slow the disease spread," said Governor Cooper. “We need our medical system to be able to care for the friends and family we know will become seriously ill from the virus."The Governor noted today that three North Carolinians have died due to COVID-19 and the state has 763 confirmed cases of the virus in 60 counties. He called on all North Carolinians to protect themselves by staying home and following social distancing guidelines. North Carolina is now considered to have widespread transmission of the virus, which means people who have tested positive cannot trace where they were exposed to the virus.The Order directs people to stay at home except to visit essential businesses, to exercise outdoors or to help a family member. Specifically, the order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to physically stay at least six feet apart from others.“I know this order may lead to even more hardship and heartache. Although we are physically apart, we must take this step together in spirit," Governor Cooper said. The Governor's full order is available HERE [click.icptrack.com].Unless noted in the order, previous closures and orders stand as written as do local government orders in cities and counties. Frequently Asked Questions about the Order can be found HERE [click.icptrack.com].If you do not think your business is included in the essential services list, and you think it should be, you may apply online at the NC Department of Revenue to be designated essential HERE [click.icptrack.com]. Until your exemption is reviewed, you may operate as long as your business can accommodate social distancing in your workplace.For more information about health recommendations and who is designated at high risk for becoming seriously ill, please visit the CDC's website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus [click.icptrack.com] and NCDHHS' website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus [click.icptrack.com].
By NCLM Communications, March 27, 2020
By NCLM Communications, March 26, 2020
With open-meetings law, even in bad weather, North Carolina cities and towns know what they're doing. But given the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 impact on operations head-to-toe, new questions are coming to mind. With that, State Attorney General Josh has produced a new guidance document on what law allows under these special circumstances. Here's an excerpt:
"Can local governments carry out their necessary meetings via electronic means during these exigent circumstances?
"Yes, because electronic meetings are allowed under N.C.G.S. §143.318.13, and the requirements of notice, access and minutes can be met through electronic means. Due to the unprecedented circumstances we are all faced with, and the fact that local governing bodies conducting meetings remotely is not expressly prohibited by statute, I conclude that local governments can carry out necessary meetings electronically and remain in compliance with Open Meetings Laws."
Read the full document.
By NCLM Communications, March 26, 2020
By NCLM Communications, March 24, 2020
By NCLM Communications, March 23, 2020
Cyber attacks are on the rise and municipalities need to be extra vigilant in protecting municipal assets from cyber attacks during the Covid-19 pandemic, when cyber criminals will be working harder to infiltrate computer systems. If a member of the League’s property and liability insurance pool experiences a cyber intrusion or incident, time is of the essence in mitigating the extent of the event. Members should contact our cyber insurance provider, Beazley, to report the claim and to mobilize resources.To report a claim and to receive support services, please visit Beazley Breach Response Claims.Employees are the front lines of defense against cyber attacks and must be extra vigilant in conducting computer activities.
It is anticipated that cyber criminals will use the Covid-19 crisis to infiltrate systems by hosting phony websites for items such as PPE, sanitizers, and other mitigation measures. Please be aware of unsolicited emails promoting products or services. The Federal Bureau of Investigation Cyber Crime website provides the following tips for preventing ransomware (primarily aimed at organizations and their employees, but some are also applicable to individual users):• Make sure employees are aware of ransomware and of their critical roles in protecting the organization’s data. (suspicious emails and links should not be accessed)• Be Careful What You Download: Carelessly downloading e-mail attachments can circumvent even the most vigilant anti-virus software. Never open an e-mail attachment from someone you don’t know, and be wary of forwarded attachments from people you do know. They may have unwittingly advanced malicious code.• Patch operating system, software, and firmware on digital devices (which may be made easier through a centralized patch management system).• Ensure anti-virus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and conduct regular scans.• Manage the use of privileged accounts—no users should be assigned administrative access unless absolutely needed and only use administrator accounts when necessary.• Configure access controls, including file, directory, and network share permissions appropriately. If users only need read-specific information, they don’t need write-access to those files or directories.• Disable macro scripts from office files transmitted over e-mail.• Implement software restriction policies or other controls to prevent programs from executing from common ransomware locations (e.g., temporary folders supporting popular Internet browsers, compression/decompression programs).• Back up data regularly and verify the integrity of those backups.• Secure your backups. Make sure they are not connected to the computers and networks they are backing up. Source: FBI.GOVFor More information. Please visit: FBI CYBER CRIME RESOURCES
By NCLM Communications, March 20, 2020
By NCLM Communications, March 20, 2020
Michael Leighs, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, provides us the following update on how the state is responding to community spread of COVID-19 and what we might expect:
Yesterday, we shared our first documented case of COVID-19 community spread, meaning this person didn't have contact with someone who had tested positive or traveled to highly impacted area. Confirmed community spread is a signal that we need to further accelerate the next phase of the work.
North Carolina has already been taking actions as if we already had community spread to get ahead of the virus. Governor Roy Cooper has taken aggressive actions to limit large gathers, close restaurants and bars with the goal of flattening the curve – the idea is to lessen the number of people who get sick at the same time and avoid overwhelming our hospitals and health care system.
And as we move into this next phase, we need to continue to reduce the chances for further spread and exposure and protect our health care system, so it is there when you need it.
Protecting our health care workforce and making sure they have the protective equipment they need is paramount. We are asking hospitals to stop elective surgeries. Testing for people with mild illness will also become less important as we transition to this next phase. We want to reduce the chances that people will be exposed to the virus or expose others. We will begin to deploy other surveillance methods to understand the spread of the virus and drive our decision-making.
We know this a challenging time. But it is important to remember that the vast majority of people who get COVID-19 will have mild illness and will recover at home.
There are several resources to help you navigate these challenging times.
-NC 2-1-1 by United Way of North Carolina is now available for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus
-COVID-19 text information and updates are available. To sign up, text COVIDNC to 898211.
-Our website, ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus publishes regular updates, including new guidance that is developed, information about Executive Orders and other important information.
Thank you for all that you are doing in your communities.
By NCLM Communications, March 19, 2020
The following message comes from the State Employees Credit Union:
Effective Thursday, March 19th, State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) branches statewide will temporarily transition to drive-thru only for the majority of its services to reduce the possibilities of transmission of the coronavirus to members, their families and SECU employees. Members who need to access safe deposit boxes, drop off tax return information, or inquire about a loan should call the branch to schedule an appointment. While SECU is closing branch lobby access for branches with a drive-thru to help protect the community, SECU remains open for business to make loans, take deposits and provide other financial services to its members during this time of uncertainty.
Read the full statement for all details.
By NCLM Communications, March 18, 2020
Gov. Cooper Announces Third Executive Order of Month, Closes Bars and Restaurants
By NCLM Communications, March 17, 2020
UPDATE: March 19, 2020 | FAQ Clarifying Executive Order 118 Re: Restaurants, Outdoor Dining Areas and More
How COVID-19 Has Affected Municipal Operations in NC
By NCLM Communications, March 16, 2020
By NCLM Communications, March 13
On Friday, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency regarding the coronavirus pandemic. A few days prior, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper had declared a state of emergency over the same. Are local-level state-of-emergency declarations called for? According to the state's director of emergency management, Mike Sprayberry, they're welcomed and may help municipalities' positioning with access to resources and logistical support.
"It can give you the powers for expedited procurement, make sure there's funding coming down that may require a state-of-emergency (declaration) and gives you extra authorities and powers and take more stringent actions than ones you get from the state," Sprayberry explained to local government officials on a conference call Thursday co-organized by the League, the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition and the N.C. Association of County Commissioners.
Local emergency managers will know the procedure to request resources, "like any other disaster," Sprayberry said, noting also that the state's "Web EOC" (online Emergency Operations Center portal) has set COVID-19 as its default topic.
Governor to Public Officials: Break the Handshake
By NCLM Communications, March 12
By NCLM Communications, March 11
League Executive Director Paul Meyer attended a briefing in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to align the White House with local-level leaders as COVID-19 cases continue spotting the United States and as preparation mounts to prevent community-level spread. Vice President Mike Pence addressed a gathering of National League of Cities (NLC) board members and a subset of state leagues, including the N.C. League, with emphasis on local leaders' frontline role and the vitality of intergovernmental and intersector communication. "Community efforts are the first line against the spread of this virus, which is why the League is taking this so seriously," Meyer said. "We're in constant contact with all levels of government, from your town hall to the White House, to make sure we're all on the same page in positioning our communities for the best outcomes."
While the quality of information is evolving by the hour, the League has assembled a resource page that may be helpful to cities and towns at www.nclm.org/coronavirus. The White House has advised that local communities cite its Framework for Mitigation sheet on non-pharmaceutical ways to slow the chances of infection.
NLC President Joe Buscalno, president pro tem of the Los Angeles City Council, said the after the meeting that the group was "grateful for the opportunity to put federal-local partnership in action...." He added: "There are a number of issues we can work on together to serve America's cities, towns and villages, and I look forward to productive communication and partnership in the coming weeks."
NLC has also compiled a resource list, available at nlc.org/coronavirus.