Gov. Cooper says shelters will be open, although people will be screened for coronavirus symptoms.
North Carolina will be offering shelters for those who need it as Tropical Storm Isaias makes landfall this evening, although coronavirus protections will be in place.
“A hurricane during a pandemic is double trouble but the state has been preparing for this scenario so that we can do our best to keep people safe from the weather as well as the virus,” Gov. Roy Cooper told reporters Friday.
Due to the ongoing risk of the novel coronavirus, Cooper urged citizens to make a plan to stay with family or friends at a safe place inland or at a hotel. However, both non-congregate and congregate shelters will be set up as a last resort, although limited, according to Cooper.
People needing a shelter will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and given personal protective equipment like face masks. Anyone with symptoms will be given different sheltering options where it’s easier to isolate. The specific locations of these shelters will be announced in the near future, officials say.
Cooper announced a state of emergency for NC on Friday too.
“Although the track and destination of Hurricane Isaias are in flux today as models differ, now is the time for people to prepare,” Cooper said in a press conference Friday.
Isaias is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane according to the National Hurricane Center.
Several outlets reported the Outer Banks communities of Ocracoke Island, which took a direct hit from Hurricane Florence in 2018, and Hatteras Island issued mandatory evacuations on Friday for all visitors and residents.
As weather experts continue to track and confirm the exact path of the hurricane, information regarding local evacuations can be found here. For those who may need to evacuate, the state has provided specifics on how to plan and prepare safely at ReadyNC.org
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