Up & Coming Weekly

March 24, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 11 of 28

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MARCH 25-31, 2020 UCW 11 Local government officials have declared a state of emergency in Cumberland County. County Commis- sion Chairman Marshall Faircloth and Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin an- nounced their decisions at a joint news conference on March 16. e communi- ty's first case of positive coronavirus was confirmed the next day at Fort Bragg. A civilian employee who lives in Harnett County was diagnosed and is now in isolation. "is is a proactive measure to ensure we have the flexibility and resources needed," Faircloth said. e declaration activated the coun- ty's emergency operations center and authorized the county to take appropri- ate action to protect the public welfare. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all res- taurants and bars closed for dining in to dampen the spread of COVID-19. County Manager Amy Cannon sus- pended all county employee travel and all events — unless they are mandatory — through the end of the month. e county postponed its six-week citizens' academy as well as all programming at the Cumberland County Public Library system. e headquarters library down- town and seven countywide branches are closed. Meetings by organizations scheduled at the department of social services and the health department have been canceled. "We will keep the public updated on any changes through the COVID-19 webpage on our website at co.cumberland.nc.us and our social media platforms," Faircloth said. Mike Nagowski, CEO of Cape Fear Valley Health System, was direct in his prediction about the pandemic reaching Cumberland County. "It's just a matter of time," he said at the news briefing. "is virus is serious, espe- cially among the elderly." Nagowski told media representa- tives the health system has enough respirators for now but that more will likely be needed. Dr. Jennifer Green, the county's public health director, said a limited number of available test kits are being reserved for those with symptoms and have had negative flu tests. "We know the state has a limited capacity for testing," she said. "We want to make sure that those who are symptomatic ... have testing available to them." Court cases scheduled through April 17 will be rescheduled for at least 30 days, with limited exceptions. North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley entered an order implement- ing measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 and minimize the risk of exposure caused by crowded sessions of court. Information on the court schedule is also posted on the county website at co.cumberland.nc.us. PWC said that through March 30, it will not disconnect utility services for nonpayment. Bills are not being waived, but customers will have ad- ditional time to pay. Customers must call to arrange payment plans. PWC's Customer Service Payment Center is closed to walk-in traffic through the end of the month. e drive-thru will be open during normal business hours. All other customer service transactions can be conducted by phone, at 910-483-1382, Monday through Friday. FAST Bus Service to the PWC Payment Center has been suspended. Residents with questions about coronavirus can call Cape Fear Val- ley Health System at 910-615-LINK (5460). Also, the county has opened a general information line about county services at 910-678-7657. e public is encouraged to seek infor- mation from credible sources, Green said, including the Cumberland County COVID-19 webpage at co.cumberland.nc.us/covid19 and the North Carolina DHHS website at ncdhhs.gov. Community prepares for COVID-19 by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS Cape Fear Valley Health CEO Mike Nagowski and Cumberland County Public Health Direc- tor Jennifer Green at the county's March 16 news conference. gallery 208 1/2 v 208 Rowan St. | Corporate Offices of A FREE public event Refreshments & door prizes! For more information: 910.484.6200 Gallery 208 HELD OVER john biggers: The Lasting Legacy Catering provided by Two Brothers Catering FAYETTEVILLE CUMBERLAND CO. FAYETTEVILLE CUMBERLAND CO. FAYETTEVILLE CUMBERLAND CO. FAYETTEVILLE CUMBERLAND CO. and presents

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