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Coronavirus: How to make your own face covering and other updates

Dear Friend,

Here are a few updates for today:

  • Putting a mask on does not decrease your risk if you aren’t following these four items of guidance as well.  In fact, it may very well increase your risk if you are adjusting your mask constantly and therefore have your hands at your face.  It’s also been my observation that many using masks are standing much closer than 6 feet due to what I presume is a false sense of protection.



  • Vice President Pence said yesterday that 1.67 million Americans have now been tested for the virus and received results, — far more than any other country.



  • Treasury and IRS have also launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payrolls during the pandemic.  The refundable tax credit is 50 percent of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.  Updates on the implementation of this credit and other information can be found on the Coronavirus page of  It’s important to remember that businesses that receive Paycheck Protection Program loans are not eligible to receive the Employee Retention Credit.


  • Some encouraging news: the FDA is launching a national effort to develop new blood-related therapies that can be used to help combat COVID-19.  It’s one of the many ways the FDA, the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies are working around the clock to speed the development, testing and deployment of innovative new testing and treatment options.  Learn more about the effort here.


  • Microsoft’s Bill Gates said last week that his foundation will spend billions of dollars to construct factories for the most promising efforts to develop a vaccine.  And Apple CEO Tim Cook said last night they will produce 1 million face shields per week for medical workers, on top of the 20 million N95 masks they have already donated.

For today’s “good news” story, I want to highlight N.C. State’s Nonwovens Institue, which is manufacturing material for 500,000 surgical masks per day.  The masks created from this material will go directly to those on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight.  Our nations has tremendous resources to bring to bear in the effort to contain the outbreak, and this is just one of the many ways we’re doing it right here in North Carolina.

As always, stay tuned to and NC’s Department of Health and Human Services website for the latest on the outbreak.


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