39 PEOPLE HAVE DIED FROM COVID 19 IN NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina has at least 2,677 reported cases of the coronavirus as of Monday morning, and 39 people have died, according to state and county health departments. The state identified 183 new cases on Sunday. More than 260 people in North Carolina were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday evening, and more than 40,000 had been tested for the virus, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. More than 90 of the state’s 100 counties have at least one reported case of the coronavirus. Mecklenburg County, considered an epicenter of the virus in North Carolina, has the most reported cases in the state, with 665.
GOVERNOR COOPER SAYS TO FOLLOW WHICHEVER QUARANTINE GUIDELINES ARE THE STRICTEST: Since the North Carolina statewide order went into effect on Monday, some counties have imposed stricter limitations, including a curfew in Columbus County ordered by the sheriff and a Fayetteville curfew ordered by the mayor. In far western North Carolina, Graham County is issuing permits for essential workers to use, though permits are not required by the state. Cooper said that whichever stay-at-home order is more restrictive, including the local orders, is the one residents must follow. So those curfews stand. And if your city or county already had a stay-at-home order in place before the statewide one — as Durham, Wake County and Orange County did — you must follow that one, too. On the governor’s website, you can read the complete stay at home order and a six-page list of frequently asked questions.
WATAUGA SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT FIRES BACK AT PUBLIC SCHOOL CRITICS: A North Carolina superintendent is getting praise for his social media post shaking off critics of public schools during the coronavirus pandemic. “To all the public school haters, social media stars/self promoters, and critical friends: we appreciate all the advice about re-envisioning education but right now we’re busy loving on our students and feeding the community,” Watauga County Schools Superintendent, Scott Elliott, posted on Twitter Saturday. “We’ll catch back up with you in the fall.” Elliot, whose district serves nearly 4,650 students, told The Charlotte Observer that he wrote the post after seeing many messages saying the pandemic should be a catalyst for reforming “broken” public schools. “At a time when teachers are working twice as hard as normal and our child nutrition workers and bus drivers are delivering thousands of meals a day, they don’t need to be told that they need to be fixed,” Elliott said.
STIMULUS IS FAILING AMID CONFUSION AND LACK OF HUMAN RESOURCES: The Trump administration has stumbled in its initial push to implement the $2 trillion coronavirus aid package, with confusion and fear mounting among small businesses, workers and the newly unemployed since the bill was signed into law late last month. Small-business owners have reported delays in getting approved for loans without which they will close their doors, while others say they have been denied altogether by their lenders and do not understand why. The law’s provision to boost unemployment benefits has become tangled in dated and overwhelmed state bureaucracies, as an unprecedented avalanche of jobless Americans seeks aid. Officials at the Internal Revenue Service have warned that $1,200 relief checks may not reach many Americans until August or September if they haven’t already given their direct-deposit information to the government. Taxpayers in need of answers from the IRS amid a rapidly changing job market are encountering dysfunctional government websites and unresponsive call centers that have become understaffed as federal workers stay home. Adding to the confusion were several last-minute changes enacted by federal officials to cornerstones of the relief effort, including a revision to the rules of the small-business loan program hours before it went live and the late cancellation of a requirement that Social Security recipients file a tax form before receiving their relief checks.
NAVY CAPTAIN FIRED FOR SOUNDING ALARM NOW HAS CORONAVIRUS HIMSELF: For days, he fended off fears that the contagion would spread unchecked through his crew. Then last week, the captain of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, who had appealed to his superiors for help, was fired. By Sunday, friends said, he had come down with the coronavirus himself. The military has long adhered to a rigid chain of command and tolerated no dissent expressed outside official channels. Capt. Brett E. Crozier, the skipper of the aircraft carrier, knew he was up against those imperatives when he asked for help for nearly 5,000 crew members trapped in a petri dish of a warship in the middle of a pandemic. But colleagues say the mistake that could cost Captain Crozier his career was charging headlong into the Trump administration’s narrative that it had everything under control. Pentagon officials said that although President Trump never ordered Captain Crozier dismissed, he was displeased with the captain’s actions and let the Navy know — a sentiment Mr. Trump made very public on Saturday when he lashed out at the captain. Even so, the Navy’s top brass clashed about what to do. Adm. Michael M. Gilday, the chief of naval operations, privately urged against dismissal and argued that, per usual Navy procedures, an investigation into what went wrong on the Roosevelt should be allowed to play out. But the acting Navy secretary, Thomas B. Modly, overruled the Navy’s top admiral, saying Captain Crozier had cracked under pressure.