Council of Governments
Creative Regional Solutions

March 19, 2020
News & Updates for the Mid-Carolina Region
For Your Information
A Thank You to Our Public Servants
MCCOG Operations
NC 2-1-1
COVID-19 Small Business Assistance
NCDOR Service Centers
MCCOG Meeting Adjustments
Helpful COVID-19 Resources
Important Dates
Older Americans Act Reauthorization
A Thank You to Our Public Servants
It would be an understatement to say our day-to-day routines have changed.  With the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, our nation is shaken. We are under local, state, and federal states of emergencies, work schedules are disrupted, businesses are suffering, health care workers are being pushed to the max, and we are concerned about our communities, our neighbors, and our loved ones.  Quite simply, nothing is normal.

The health and safety of our region, our state, and our nation is everyone’s top priority. Through recent conversations with our region’s elected leaders and local government professionals, it is clear to me that these public servants are extremely committed to and personally invested in doing everything possible to reduce and contain the spread of the Coronavirus in our region.

At the same time our local governments are facing this emergency, our region’s corp of dedicated professional public servants are working every day to ensure the services our families need are delivered.  Water must continue to flow, waste must be collected, social services must be delivered, and basic public safety must be maintained.

I hope that this terrible situation will open our eyes to the critical work our region’s dedicated public servants perform each and every day, not just during a time of crisis.  All I can say now to these fine professionals is “ Thank You .” Thank you for being there for your communities and your neighbors. I am sure I am joined in this by countless citizens in our region, our state, and our nation.

MCCOG stands as a partner. Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is any assistance MCCOG or I can provide.  My email is jhembree@mccog.org and my cell number is 828-772-7947.

I have no doubt that unity and partnerships will bring us through this.

Justin Hembree
MCCOG Executive Director
MCCOG Operations
The health and safety of our clients, our employees, and the continuity of operations remain our top priorities. Therefore, MCCOG has implemented teleworking and alternative work schedules until further notice.  We feel this will have minimal impact on service delivery.  We are also canceling or postponing in-person meetings, on-site and off-site, to the greatest extent possible.  MCCOG will continue to work with our local governments and external partners to ensure client and program needs are met while protecting public and personal health .

Please contact Justin Hembree , MCCOG, if the Council can be of assistance as our communities respond to this situation.
NC 2-1-1
NC 2-1-1 is now a resource for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service that families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services resources within their community. NC 2-1-1 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and resources are available in most languages.

Citizens can text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive general information and updates about COVID-19. You can also sign up to get regular alerts on the rapidly evolving situation and NC’s response.

NC 2-1-1 can refer callers to the organizations in their local community best equipped to address their specific health and human services needs including food, shelter, energy assistance, housing, parenting resources, health care, employment, substance abuse treatment, as well as specific resources for older adults and persons with disabilities, and much more. Simply dial 2-1-1 or TTY 888-892-1162 for assistance.

Due to anticipated high call volume, those seeking general information about COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to sign up for texts. People who are trying to locate specific services would benefit by calling.

NC 2-1-1 cannot provide direct medical services, and COVID-19 can only be diagnosed by a health care professional. If you suspect you or someone you care for may have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, you should contact your health care provider. If you do not have a provider, you can reach out to your local health department for guidance.

People should only call 9-1-1 if they are experiencing an emergency.   9-1-1 centers across NC have been receiving general questions and other non-emergency calls related to COVID-19.   Please do not call 9-1-1 unless you have an emergency.
COVID-19 Small Business Assistance
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has granted Governor Cooper’s request for a disaster declaration for small businesses that are suffering economic losses due to the Coronavirus, COVID-19.

Businesses and individuals can obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or 1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov . Applicants may also apply online through the SBA website .
NCDOR Service Centers
The  NC Department of Revenue (NCDOR) service centers in the state will be closed to the public through at least April 1, 2020 .  Agents are available remotely to assist taxpayers with their questions. NC follows the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) individual income filing deadline, which is April 15, 2020. The IRS has not officially announced a change in that deadline. NCDOR will adjust its filing deadline if the IRS deadline changes.
Local Emergency Declarations
NC Emergency Management has been advised that FEMA will not require a local state of emergency declaration as a condition for FEMA reimbursement for eligible emergency protective measures (Category B) expenses related to the COVID-19 emergency.  A local state of emergency is also not required for Small Business Administration disaster loan assistance for businesses in your communities.
MCCOG Meeting Adjustments
Senior Games
The Mid-Carolina Senior Games have been postponed until further notice.  New dates for the games will be announced as soon as practical.

Quarterly Managers Lunch
The MCCOG Quarterly Managers Lunch scheduled for Tuesday, March 24 has been canceled.  We will follow-up with a new date as soon as practical.

Board of Directors Meeting
The MCCOG Board of Directors meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 26 has been canceled. The next Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 28 .

Aging Advisory Council
The Mid-Carolina Aging Advisory Council meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 26 has been canceled.  A new meeting date will be set as soon as practical.

NCARCOG/The Forum Meetings
The NC Association of Regional Councils of Governments and The Forum meetings scheduled to be hosted by MCCOG on Thursday, April 2 and Friday, April 3 has been postponed until Thursday, June 4 and Friday, June 5 .
Helpful COVID-19 Resources
Older Americans Act Reauthorization
The US House of Representatives unanimously approved a bipartisan bill, “Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020” , which reauthorizes the Older Americans Act (OAA) through 2024 . This is the final legislative step for passage of OAA reauthorization. The legislation will now be sent to the President's desk for his signature.

Reauthorization of the OAA indicates a strong commitment to providing support to our nation’s older Americans ensuring that these individuals can receive services like in-home personal care, healthy and consistent meals, transportation to essential medical appointments and other engagements, and access to legal services including those that prevent elder abuse and reduce social isolation. This reauthorization also supports the needs of unpaid and family caregivers who are playing an increasingly significant role in supporting the needs of older adults.

The funding increases recommended in this legislation, if implemented by congressional appropriators, show strong federal support for funding levels that will allow Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) to not only continue but expand upon the important work they do to support the needs of older adults.

This reauthorization also preserves AAA’s “right of first refusal,” an important legislative priority that the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) advocated for, working closely with the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a).   Click here to read n4a’s statement on the OAA reauthorization.
Share Your Good News
If you have news, events, announcements or other items you would like included in an upcoming FYI, please EMAIL Justin Hembree, MCCOG.

Please let us know if you have questions, need additional details about the information we have shared or if there is a way the Council can be of service.
Mid-Carolina Council of Governments
Mid-Carolina Council of Governments is a multi-county, planning, development, and human services organization. We reach across county and municipal borders to provide technical assistance to our local governments and to administer programs that benefit our region’s citizens.

Our mission is to provide creative regional solutions to relevant and emerging issues in Cumberland, Harnett, and Sampson Counites while providing a standard of excellence in the delivery of federal, state, and regional services for our local governments and the people they serve.