Greensboro – On Wednesday afternoon, State Senator Michael Garrett (D-27) made the following statement regarding the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

“In speaking with health care professionals and public health officials in recent days, it has become clear to me that North Carolina needs a statewide “stay at home” order, effective as soon as possible. I have conveyed this to Governor Cooper and continue to work closely with him and his team.

Epidemiologists have told us that the single best tool that we have to combat COVID-19 is to cease all non-essential person-to-person contact. While many people have done this voluntarily, with many at great personal cost to themselves, the time has come to make this measure mandatory for the coming few weeks. The sooner we act, the better.

This is not a decision I have come to lightly. As a small business owner myself, I know the gut wrenching challenges facing businesses in this moment of uncertainty. Workers across the country are experiencing significant reduction in hours and many have lost their job just in the past two weeks. The economic impact of a “stay at home” order will be enormous, but the costs in terms of lives and income are much greater if we don’t act.

I’m working with my colleagues in state government to move quickly on programs that will assist those who have been impacted by this virus, from those who have lost out on income at work, lost their job altogether, to those business owners who have had to shut their doors.

I would like to single out Terry Akin, CEO of Cone Health, and the entire Cone Health organization for the tireless work they have been doing on the front lines of this pandemic. Quite frankly, Cone Health sounding the alarm on the need for a “stay at home” order has weighed most heavily in my decision to back the measure. Our nurses and doctors are going to be facing immense strain in the weeks and months ahead. They support us when we are at our most desperate, and we must support them now to lessen the impact of the virus.

I also commend our city, town, and county governing bodies for their bold moves that have extended beyond what state agencies have implemented. Guilford County residents should know that there are often-hidden civil servants working behind the scenes and around the clock to keep them safe in these trying times.

We can and will weather this storm. Now, more than ever, is a time for unity and a commitment to working together. It’s on all of us to do our part to keep our community safe.”

Michael K. Garrett

NC Senate District 27

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