From the desk of Senator Joyce Waddell

Dear Friends

Joyce Waddell

March was Women’s History Month. Its origins date back more than 30 years, when President Carter proclaimed the second week of March as National Women’s History Week in 1980. Seven years later, as the result of a persistent national lobbying effort, Congress passed a public law designating the month of March as Women’s History Month. Since 1987, each president has issued annual proclamations calling upon citizens to observe and celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of American women.

March is a time to celebrate the vital role of women in American history while facing the storm of the century, COVID-19.

The eye of this storm has not yet passed over our state. Governor Cooper has issued a strong response to the first wave of this virus. Legislators stand with Governor Cooper and we are working to deploy relief action at the first break in the clouds.

We are all in this together; and, together, we will weather this storm. Governor Cooper has taken extraordinary measures to ensure North Carolinians are safe, and that healthcare workers have the tools they need to slow the spread of COVID-19. That is priority one for state leaders today. There is more work to do, not only to help slow the spread of this virus, but also to deal with its devastating effect on our economy. This includes changes to unemployment insurance benefits, and establishing lifelines for local businesses.

As this crisis continues, we want to thank Governor Cooper, Dr. Mandy Cohen, and the countless healthcare workers across North Carolina that are focused on priority one: minimizing COVID-19’s impact on the public’s health. Legislators are working behind the scenes, internally and with Congress to ensure that we have a state relief package ready to addresses concerns we hear from constituents every day.

Here are resources that may be helpful:

•If you feel sick and think you might have coronavirus, call your primary care doctor. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, call the COVID-19 helpline at 1-866-462-3821.

•If you have lost your job or had your work hours cut drastically due to COVID-19, consider applying for unemployment benefits here.

•If you own a small business that has been harmed by COVID-19, consider applying for a disaster relief loan here.

•For more information, visit the websites of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Help Lines:

Text Updates: Text COVID19 to 889211 to sign up for statewide updates

COVID-19 Updates: 1-888-892-1162

Childcare Assistance: 1-888-600-1685

General Questions: 1-866-462-3821

Report a Scam: 1-877-5NO-SCAM

Small Business Help Line: 1-800-659-2955

2019 Tax Filing Concerns: 1-877-252-3052