Friday Five+: Coronavirus edition 3/20

Welcome to the Friday Five! Every Friday we share our top articles, stories, and quotes for you to read and share with your friends and church families.

During this COVID-19 crisis, the team at NC Values wants to serve you—our coalition members—impacted by the virus as much as possible. We are resolved to be praying over you and all others experiencing the pandemic's impact every monday at 11 am, and ask that you take a couple minutes to pray for our officials and neighbors at that time. In addition, we have decided to focus Friday Five on the latest stories and relief resources from our state and federal government. We may even provide more than our normal 5 articles to ensure you're up-to-date on the latest ("Friday Five+"). We hope that in addition to staying informed, coalition members financially and physically impacted by the virus will find tools to mediate the virus's ongoing impacts.

We encourage you—now more than ever—to be deeply in prayer for our state, nation, and world. Now is not a time for partisanship. It is a time for our country to come together and care for one another. In addition to being deeply in prayer, we ask you adhere to the directions given at the state and federal level, practice social distancing, and stay home as much as is physically possible.

Nonprofits like ours are expected to experience significant impacts to our fundraising efforts. If you support our work, would you consider making a needed $100, $50, $25, $10, or even $5 donation to ensure we have the resources necessary to remain financially healthy during these difficult times?

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1. WRAL: Gov. Cooper closes NC bars, restaurants, adds help for those who lose jobs during coronavirus crisis

"Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order Tuesday closing all bars and restaurant dining rooms in the state amid the coronavirus outbreak. Businesses can continue to offer delivery, take-out and drive-thru options."

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2. WRAL: 'This is a multi-week, maybe multi-month event: Superintendent may clarify outlook for public schools today

"As the first week of having children out of school comes to a close, many parents are still wondering, "How long will the closures last?" On Friday afternoon they may get more clarity on the outlook.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson said he believes closures could last until May. "This will not just be one week. This will not just be two weeks. This is going to be a multi-week, maybe multi-month event," he said.

"We've all got to start getting ready for a new normal," said Johnson."

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3. NC: NC COVID-19 Response Taskforce releases a public hotline and text alert service to help North Carolinians stay updated on the latest news related to the virus

"As the response to COVID-19 continues to evolve, keeping North Carolinians safe and informed is our top priority.
Text COVIDNC to 898211 to get alerts about Coronavirus updates in our state."
"As we continue to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19, North Carolinians can use the 2-1-1 service to:
Get free, confidential information 24/7
Get connected to resources in your community
Get alerts about the latest COVID-19 updates by texting COVIDNC to 898211"

4. N&O: Congress passes coronavirus bill expanding paid leave. Are you eligible?

"Congress passed a new law expanding paid sick leave and family leave for employees of companies with fewer than 500 employees who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

President Donald Trump signed the bill Wednesday night.

The bill also includes provisions to make testing for the virus free and millions for expanded nutrition programs for children, the poor and the elderly. But the widest impact may come from its leave provisions, particularly with schools closed across North Carolina.

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5. U.S. SBA: The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved the request for North Carolina's disaster declaration.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has granted North Carolina's request to provide financial assistance to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Find out more about how to apply online for a loan here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

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+1. FOX NEWS: Trump announces FDA making anti-malaria drug available to test coronavirus treatment

"President Trump announced Thursday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is making experimental drugs -- including those used for treating malaria -- available as part of the ongoing effort to tackle the spread of the coronavirus.

Trump announced at a White House press briefing that chloroquine, a drug designed for use in malaria, will be made available to test whether it helps patients recover from coronavirus. He said it was one of a number of antiviral therapies to limit the symptoms of the virus that the administration is trying to get to Americans as quickly as possible."

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+1. FOX NEWS: Tax Day moving to July 15 amid coronavirus crisis, Mnuchin announces

"Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday that the deadline for filing federal taxes will move from April 15 to July 15 -- a move to ease the burden the coronavirus outbreak has put on individuals and the economy.

'At @realDonaldTrump’s direction, we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties,' he tweeted."

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+1. SPEAKER MOORE: N.C. Unemployment Trust Fund Ready for Emergency Measures with $3.9 Billion Balance and Disaster Reforms

"State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said Tuesday that a $3.9 billion Unemployment Trust Fund Balance is in place for North Carolina to draw on with emergency measures that support families hurting from the economic impact of the COVID-19 response.

North Carolina has the highest trust fund balance reserve ratio in the Southeast, according to the General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division, providing the state financial flexibility to address the crisis.

The state legislature repaid nearly $3 billion in debt from 2011 to 2015 before building the $3.9 billion Unemployment Trust Fund Balance."

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ONGOING PRAYER: CORONAVIRUS

LORD, we pray to you regarding the health pandemic facing our nation and the world. Christ—you are the Great Physician—and we bring to you a solemn petition in regards to our physical, social, and economic health.

Protect our bodies and our nation as we combat the coronavirus. We pray that our leaders in office will be blessed with wisdom to make decisions in the interest of public health and saving lives. We pray in particular for the elderly, who are most at risk to experience complications when infected. We pray for all the medical professionals on the front-lines of battling this virus.

LORD, protect all of us from infection, and may you work through your Church in the midst of this crisis to help bring people to acknowledge you are sovereign and good. We pray deeply that people will come to salvation, and that our neighbors will spend their time wisely with their families praising God for our blessings.

We pray that this virus will quickly die out, that our public efforts—as communities and neighbors—will slow the virus' spread and impact. LORD, we ask for you to work through those individuals currently developing a cure, and plead that it may come soon. We also pray for all those who will be impacted by the economic fallout of the measures taken to combat the viruses. Be with individuals nearing retirement who will have their savings ravaged; be with small business owners and employees—particularly those in recreation, dining, part-time employment, and vacation industries—who may face bankruptcy and financial stress related to economic decline; be with our nation as a whole, as it sets itself on the difficult path of recovering physically and economically from this virus.

LORD, we acknowledge you are good, and that your provision for your children is unquestionable. May your inspired words remind us in this time of panic and anxiety:

"Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment? Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life? And why are ye anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:25-34)

Amen

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Sincerely,

North Carolina Values Coalition

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