Gov. Cooper creates coronavirus task force to ‘continue protective efforts’


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper directed the creation of a task force to help North Carolina prepare and respond to the coronavirus.

The task force was created to “monitor, prepare for and respond” to the coronavirus.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 43,101 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide.

More than 1,000 people have died from the virus with 108 dying in China on Monday alone, CNN reports.

North Carolina has not had any confirmed cases of the virus.

Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, North Carolina state health director and the chief medical officer for the Department of Health and Human Services, will serve as chair along with Mike Sprayberry, director of North Carolina Emergency Management, for the Department of Public Safety.

“Though currently the risk to North Carolinians is low, we are taking a proactive approach and are prepared for potential scenarios,” said Cooper. “This task force will continue coordination between our agencies and federal partners so we can keep the public informed and safe.”

DHHS is working with the CDC and local health departments to identify any potential cases across the state.

“The risk to the general public in North Carolina, especially without history of travel to China, is still considered very low at this time,” the governor’s office said in a release.

On Tuesday, Dr. Anne Schuchat with the CDC said coronavirus is spreading much more quickly than SARS did but “virus overall may be less severe than SARS.”

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