Here is the latest update Sunday from Congressman David Rouzer, who represents North Carolina’s 7th District, which includes a portion of Bladen County:
Here is the latest information from the Department of State for individuals with questions about getting passports issued or renewed. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, passport services are severely limited and the State Department warns you may face delays of up to several months to receive your passport and returned proof-of-citizenship documents. The Department is offering in-person services only for customers who need to travel internationally within 72 hours due to a qualifying life-or-death emergency.
As the nation begins to slowly re-open, travel is likely to start to resume as well. The CDC is frequently updating its guidance for both domestic and international travelers, you can view it here.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions for people who receive their CARES Act stimulus payments via a prepaid debit card. Among the questions answered:
** Can I use my Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Card to buy groceries and make other purchases at stores?
** Can I use my EIP Card to make purchases online?
** How can I get cash using my EIP Card?1
** Can I transfer the funds from my EIP Card to my bank account?
Two additional changes to the EIP Card program that make it more consumer friendly:
** The EIP Card provider has agreed to offer one free replacement card. (The fee was $7.50 per replacement card.) The card provider will credit anyone who has been charged the $7.50 fee for the first replacement card.
** The EIP Card provider has increased the limit on ACH transfers to a bank account from $1,000 per transaction to $2,500 per transaction.
North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services has launched an interactive online tool to help you find your nearest COVID-19 testing site. There are now more than 300 testing sites statewide offering COVID-19 tests.
CVS has announced it will offer COVID-19 testing at 55 CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across North Carolina, including three in the 7th District:
** 2302 South 17th Street, Wilmington, NC, 28401
** 4600 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC, 28403
** 1132 East Cutler Crossing, Leland, NC, 28451
Individuals meeting CDC criteria and age guidelines can register in advance at www.cvs.com to schedule an appointment. Patients will be required to stay in their cars and directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions on how to perform a self-swab. Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has begun releasing weekly COVID-19 response reports to outline how the Department is working to care for veterans during the crisis. As of the end of the day Tuesday, the VA has tested more than 172,000 veterans for COVID-19, resulting in 11,315 positive diagnoses. A total of 3,621 patients have been admitted to VA facilities for COVID-19 care and the system has 546 current inpatients with COVID-19 as of Tuesday.
For today’s good news story, I’m highlighting Colbie Congleton, a 4-year-old Brunswick County girl who has been battling Retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer, since she was two. Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office deputies, friends, family neighbors and others threw her a drive-by parade to celebrate her heroism on Thursday. You can view the video here.