05 StayhomeDuring these unprecedented times, I want to reassure all Cumberland County residents that North Carolina is managing a statewide response to COVID-19 that protects the health of our citizens while balancing the well-being of our economy. Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen have done a tremendous job acting early and aggressively to “flatten the curve” in North Carolina. Gov. Cooper’s administration is actively working through the next steps of preparing North Carolinians and our business community to emerge from this pandemic stronger in this “new normal.”

While I proudly represent you in the North Carolina Senate, I am also a father and small business owner. I’ve seen the damage inflicted by this pandemic on multiple fronts. I’ve heard from many of you directly, and I appreciate your thoughts, opinions and concerns. Along with my constituent services staff, I have helped people register for unemployment and spent time talking to small businesses across our community and state. I remain committed to ensuring that the voices of all residents and small businesses in Cumberland County are represented, working with Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to draft specific COVID-19 legislation for our legislative session on April 28, and staying in constant contact with our local elected officials to make sure we are supporting them at the state level. Please know that I am listening and acting to create solutions. I want to assure you that we will get through this together.

During this crisis, I am reminded of the resiliency that our community displays time and time again. Community members and organizations are rallying to support our children in need, our small businesses and our at-risk demographics.

One thing is clear — social distancing works. Because of the stay-at-home and social distancing orders in place, our efforts to flatten the curve and save lives are working. But we know we cannot stay home forever. As the state considers how and when to ease restrictions, there are three important pieces to consider, including testing, tracing and trends. We need a major increase in testing capabilities to isolate and track new cases of COVID-19. This means having the supplies and lab capacity to do more diagnostic testing as well as reliable antibody testing that can tell us who may have experienced mild or asymptomatic illness and has now recovered. We have to boost our public health workforce to trace and track new cases of COVID-19. Contact tracing can be effective at containing new outbreaks, but it requires a lot of people and legwork. When a new positive case pops up, the tracing efforts will work to identify people who have been in contact so they can get tested and take the right precautions. In order to ease restrictions, we have to see COVID-19 trends moving in the right direction. This includes trends in the number of new positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths, as well as available supply of personal protective equipment, hospital capacity and more.

My wife Jenny and I continue to take precautions such as working remotely, social distancing, washing our hands and wearing masks when we go out to the store or to pick up food from a local restaurant. We are encouraging others to do the same. Please help me make sure we all do our part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Jenny and I keep our community in our prayers and ask you to keep us in yours.

My staff and I are working overtime to handle any and all constituent concerns. I encourage anyone who needs resources to visit www.SenatorKirkDeViere.com/Coronavirus, contact my office at 919-733-5776 or via email devierela@ncleg.net. Stay safe.

In this together,
Senator Kirk deViere
North Carolina Senate, District 19

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