Here’s a round up of COVID-19 related news for 7/10/20. See our Coronavirus Resource Guide for extensive resources and information.
After several weeks of delaying the release of official guidance, N.C. residents can expect a decision regarding schools next week. Governor Cooper cited the need for more time to receive feedback from educators and students, review the latest science on school reopenings, and get more “buy-in across the board.” Some of the options for reopening schools include in-person classrooms with minimal social distancing, remote teaching for all students, and beginning the year with remote learning with the option to transition into an opening model later in the fall.
Schools scheduled to start in July have been asked to conduct remote learning until a decision is made for in-person learning.
The State Emergency Response Team is sending personal protective equipment – including 16,500 thermometers, 17,200 face shields, 81,000 gowns and 347,000 surgical masks – to school districts and charter schools across the state for nurses and staff who provide health care for students.
Cooper said he also will announce next week whether businesses by his executive order — bars, gyms, skating rinks and entertainment venues among them — that’s set to expire July 17 can reopen. He and his administration have said patrons at these establishments in higher-risk activities for spreading the virus. Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen described case data trends are still going in the wrong direction.
Both Mission Health and North Carolina have hit new highs this week for hospitalizations. On July 9th, 1,034 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state of North Carolina, which is up 40 cases from the previous day. North Carolina’s hospitalization numbers have set records for 7 days in a row.
Meanwhile in Buncombe County, Mission Health is experiencing similar trends. Their system hit a new record high on July 9th as well, with 27 hospitalized patients on July 9th. That was up 4 patients since July 7th.
Mission Chief Medical Officer Dr. William Hathaway noted an increase in COVID patients in the 18-49 age group and urged caution. He said that, while the majority of COVID-19 deaths that have occurred in the Mission Health system have been in individuals 65 or older, “that is not the exclusive domain where we have seen deaths.”
The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Extension Act was approved by Congress and subsequently signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020. Now, the Extension Act has been extended. On July 4th, the President extended The PPP Extension Act deadline, which allows more businesses the opportunity to apply for PPP forgivable loans.
The CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, created PPP loans to aid businesses economically impacted by COVID-19 with a June 30, 2020 loan application closure date. As of July 3rd, there was approximately $131 billion (of the allotted $649 billion) in funding still available for PPP loans. This prompted Congress and the President to extend the PPP Extension Act. This new legislation provides two significant changes to the loan process:
1. Re-opening of PPP loan application link
Under the CARES Act, the Small Business Association (SBA) PPP loan program deadline officially stopped receiving new loan applications at midnight on June 30, 2020. The extension of the PPP Extension Act allowed the SBA’s Borrower Application Form Revised June 24, 2020 link to officially re-open and continue accepting applications.
2. Extending loan application deadline
Due to the extension of the PPP Flexibility Act, loan applications will be received until August 8, 2020. This extension reflects an additional 5 weeks for small businesses to apply for a forgivable PPP loan.