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Here is the latest on stimulus payments, more on North Carolina’s school closure order and other updates from U.S. House District 7 Representative David Rouzer from his Saturday newsletter.

More information on Governor Cooper’s decision to close school buildings for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year: remote learning will continue through the end of the school year, and the state Department of Public Instruction is launching an effort to equip school buses with Wi-Fi. The buses will travel to areas with insufficient Wi-Fi access to enable students to turn in assignments, download instructional materials and connect with teachers. Here is Gov. Cooper’s statement with more information and here is a statement from the Department of Public Instruction on the order.

An update from the IRS on the status of CARES Act stimulus payments: so far, 88 million Americans have received their stimulus payments, worth nearly $158 billion in payments in just the first three weeks of the program alone. Here in North Carolina, nearly 2.8 million individuals and families have received their payments, worth more than $5 billion.

Our office continues to hear regularly from people who have not yet received their payment. We understand it is frustrating, and depending on your situation (whether the IRS has your direct deposit information or must mail you a physical check, etc.) your payment may take a bit longer to process than others. Please read the IRS’ coronavirus payment information page very carefully, as it contains answers to many of the most frequently asked questions.

I’ll continue to provide updates on the status of payments as we get information from the IRS.

The Small Businesses Administration announced Friday it will resume processing PPP applications at 10:30 a.m. Monday now that this latest allocation of funding has been signed into law. Here is the latest Frequently Asked Questions document from Treasury, updated Friday with the latest information for borrowers.

The Department of Health and Human Services has launched a dedicated telehealth website that helps both patients and providers understand telehealth services and how they can be utilized to make receiving needed medical care safer in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. Expanding access to telehealth services, which enable you to see a health care provider remotely without traveling to a hospital or clinic, has been a major priority of the Trump Administration since the beginning of the crisis.

The Department of Justice announced that the North Carolina Department of Public Safety will receive a $15.4 million grant as part of the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program, a provision of the CARES Act that helps law enforcement agencies cover the costs of COVID-19 related expenses, like overtime, training, and the purchase of supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE). It’s just one of many ways the CARES Act is putting resources into the hands of our first responders as we combat the crisis.

The Justice Department also has a useful COVID-19 resource page, with information on how to identify and report scams, fraud, hoarding and price gouging—some of the many ways bad actors are seeking to profit from the outbreak.

For today’s good news story, I’m highlighting Jashawn Faire, who along with his friend Feronte Webb started Hope for Goldsboro, which is providing meals to children out of school and the homeless during the COVID-19 outbreak. They’ve prepared and delivered dozen of meals to students and families in need that are struggling because of the crisis — another way that individual North Carolinians are helping out their neighbors as we tackle these challenging times together.

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

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