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This edition is sponsored by Activate Good. 
Keep scrolling for... What's happening now... Explore your neighborhood without leaving home... Introducing the Raleigh Convergence Social Club... Another act of kindness... More free resources!
Here’s what’s happening now:

K-12 schools will be closed until May 15.

K-12 schools in North Carolina will be closed through May 15, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Monday afternoon.

A joint statement released by the State Board of Education and State Superintendent Mark Johnson about the closure said school buildings will become emergency child care facilities for frontline workers addressing the COVID-19 crisis and will continue to serve people experiencing food insecurity.

“As we look ahead, we want to resume traditional in-school instruction this school year on May 18. We will reopen schools if our public health experts say that we can.” [read the statement]

Closures, tighter restrictions come from Wake County + state:

Gov. Cooper also announced updated restrictions similar to those Wake County already put in place this weekend to stop community spread of COVID-19.

Those steps in Wake County were part of a new state of emergency declaration by Wake County Board of Commissioners that included closing all “fitness clubs, gyms, hair and nail salons, spas, tanning, massage, and tattoo salons, and other professional grooming services.”

Wake County’s Board of Commissioners Chairman Greg Ford said it’s too difficult for those businesses to operate while practicing social distancing.

The restrictions also include prohibiting the use of public playground equipment at parks and those owned by neighborhood associations or other private organizations. [read more]

Public parks’ open spaces and greenways remain open, but bathrooms will be closed.


Also new this weekend, William B. Umstead State Park’s trails and parking lots are open, but bathrooms, facilities and camping are closed. [read more]

Gov. Cooper’s new executive order Monday put tighter restrictions on visiting long-term care facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Visitors won’t be permitted for 30 days unless it’s an end-of-life situation.

Wake County cases and updated risk: 

There are at least 66 “presumptive positive” cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19, in Wake County as of Monday night.

The total North Carolina cases increased to at least 297 on Monday, according to the daily updated numbers on the [NCDHHS site.]

As of this newsletter, The News & Observer is reporting at least 410 cases, with 66 in Wake County. Fourteen new Wake County cases were announced Monday night, 3 on Sunday and 16 on Saturday. [read more]

The number is higher as the news organization is tracking when county health departments announce cases throughout the state, which are added later to the state total. [read more]

The Centers for Disease Control updated their guidance for people at risk of severe illness to include people with underlying health issues of all ages, a change from earlier guidance that mostly focused on people 65 and older. [read more]

In the Charlotte area, where demographic information has been released, half of the COVID-19 cases in Mecklenburg County are ages 20-39. [Charlotte Ledger]


Updated a few times per day: [how to get help + more what's happening now]

New ways to help:

Donate medical supplies to local hospitals

Local hospitals need personal protective equipment, and you can help.

WakeMed: “WakeMed will accept donated supplies to be allocated to the areas of greatest need as it relates to our COVID-19 response efforts. Needed items vary by facility. Currently, the biggest need is additional personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks. 

Anyone with unopened PPE and supplies are urged to email WakeMed at info@wakemed.org with details regarding available items. 

Please note that only new, unopened packages of supplies will be accepted. WakeMed is not accepting handmade items.” [read more]

UNC Health hospitals: The most urgent supplies are N95 masks, surgical masks, surgical masks with shields and nasal swabs for medical use.

UNC is accepting masks sewn at home and included a few patterns.

Drop off locations and more ways to help: [read more]

How to support the local music scene:

A Raleigh Music Venue Employee Fund has been set up for the 48 “behind the scenes” staff at The Pour House, Kings, Lincoln, Slims and The Wicked Witch. Venmo @Raleigh-Downtown-Music-Venues.

More ways to help, from the Pour House Music Hall and Record Shop: Purchase their records and merch online, buy directly from artists or on Bandcamp (which is currently giving musicians 100% of music sales). [read more]


Updated regularly: [more how to help]

Message from Activate Good:

Activate Good, a 501(c)3 organization, remains true to its mission of supporting local nonprofits and connecting volunteers during this time of uncertainty.

In addition to numerous opportunities for those in good health to assist the elderly and other at-risk populations with daily needs, there are several remote volunteer opportunities available for those who are practicing social distancing but want to support nonprofits impacted by the pandemic. 
Volunteer NOW!
Raleigh Convergence is waiving sponsorship fees for local businesses and organizations affected by COVID-19 during the month of March as space is available. If you're interested in a free sponsorship, reply to this email for details.
NEW in The New Neighbor Project:

Explore your new community with these iconic experiences. Some of the items on the Cary, Knightdale, Southeast Raleigh or Raleigh checklists you can do now, and some you can save for later. 

FYI: if you signed up earlier but haven't received an email yet for your community, please complete the form again! There was an issue with the form for some existing subscribers that is now fixed. [sign up]

It's time to reframe community during social distancing.

Although physically distancing ourselves from others is important in stopping the further spread of the coronavirus, it means fewer interactions (or adult conversations) with other people.

It's boring at best, stressful and lonely at worst.

Community exists for a reason. So we're reclaiming that with the Raleigh Convergence Social Club. 

How it works:

  • This club is open to everyone and will take place over Zoom video conferencing.
  • Bring your own beverage -- preferably purchased locally -- and join in. 
  • We'll start with a conversation between co-hosts on a variety of topics, with an open chat box. 
  • Then, you'll be randomly assigned into smaller conversations to talk with a few other Raleighites. 
This week: Editor & Publisher Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen will have a conversation with the hosts of the North Carolina Food & Beverage (NC F&B) podcast, Max Trujillo and Matthew Weiss

Club rules:
  1. Be kind. Be human. 
  2. No personal attacks or weird stuff you wouldn't do in person. 
  3. Cameras on. No lurking. This is for people who want to show up like they would in person.

Details: The conversation starts at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday. 

Use this link to join in [JOIN]  or find the link at RaleighConvergence.com on the night of the social club. 

We're all in this together: Acts of kindness

I'll highlight acts of goodness in newsletters, too. Send acts of kindness + community you see to raleighconvergence@gmail.com.

The Ebony Initiative: After one of the members of Raleigh Raw's Raw U community volunteered to pay for and deliver healthy juices and foods to health care workers, Raleigh Raw decided to take it to the next level with a #fueltheheroes movement. 

Now, you can add on to your order to pay it forward for free healthy food for healthcare workers. It's a win-win for supporting local business and the people on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis. [raleighraw.com]

Now that kids are out of school longer... 
Try these free resources!
  • Marbles Museum Daily Dose of Play. [YouTube]
  • Kid Lab Raleigh's new SPARK series -- something fun to do Monday-Friday around a theme. [Kid Lab]
Take advantage of Wake County Libraries online resources. Don't have a library card? No prob, you can get a 60-day temporary card on their website. [Wake Co. Libraries]
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