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September 25
Wake County Identifies COVID-19 Outbreak at Intermediate Care Facility in Raleigh
Wake County Public Health has confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 at The Tammy Lynn Center, a residential care facility located at 739 Chapell Drive in Raleigh. No additional information about residents or employees within the facility will be disclosed.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services defines an outbreak as two or more people – residents or employees – testing positive for the virus.

Under N.C. DHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen’s Order No. 3, certain facilities that experience new outbreaks must fall back to previous restrictions and not allow visitors for 28 days. That includes nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult care homes, behavioral health and intellectual/developmental disability services, intermediate care facilities and psychiatric residential treatment facilities.

In addition, the county recommends that these facilities should follow the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, which include:

  • Ensuring staff wear the appropriate personal protective equipment at all times;
  • Restricting employees from working at other locations;
  • Practicing social distancing when possible; and
  • Frequently cleaning surfaces with disinfectant.

Staying Updated
Wake County has made it easy for you to stay updated on the latest information about COVID-19. You can visit our multilingual COVID-19 webpage, which has a set of frequently asked questions to educate residents, a list of COVID-19-related closures and service changes, as well as contact information for people to use to ask specific questions.

The county is also sharing important information on its FacebookTwitter and Instagram accounts.

September 24
​Wake County Kicks Off Yearlong Program to Implement Pretrial Justice Improvements

It’s a fundamental pillar of the American justice system that those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

But, in practice, those presumed innocent may end up spending weeks, or even months in jail because they lack the financial resources to post bail while awaiting their day in court.

Today, Wake County is kicking off a partnership with Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research to work toward improving the county’s pretrial justice system, including implementing the Public Safety Assessment – a nationally-validated model that uses nine research-based factors to predict the likelihood a certain person will appear in court and stay out of trouble if released before trial.

When in place, and when combined with other pretrial improvements, the Public Safety Assessment has been associated with a reduced dependence on requiring money to secure a person’s release, and a decrease in the number of people who spend their days awaiting trial in jail. Crucially, these outcomes do not increase crime or undercut court appearance rates.

“We know that our current criminal justice system should be examined to ensure there is consistent, equitable, and fair treatment for everyone involved” Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman, Project Chair, said. “The Public Safety Assessment, in particular, will help judicial officials in Wake County achieve these results.”

Over the next year, Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research will work with a policy team of key leaders and stakeholders to implement the Public Safety Assessment and recommend other pretrial reforms in Wake County.

The Steering Committee comprises:

  • Judge Vince Rozier, Superior Court Judge;
  • Judge Ned Mangum, District Court Judge;
  • Lorrin Freeman, District Attorney – Project Chair
  • Blair Williams, Clerk of Superior Court;
  • Gerald Baker, Wake County Sheriff
  • Chris Graves, Chief Magistrate;
  • Deonte Thomas, Chief Public Defender;
  • Daniel Bowes, NC Justice Center;
  • Ryan Kelly, InterAct;
  • Niya Fonville, Campbell Law School/Wake County Bar Association;
  • Chris Dillon, Wake County Manager’s Office;
  • Kelli Braunbach, Wake County General Services Administration Director;
  • Ryan Davidson, Wake County General Services Administration Business Administration Director – Team Lead; and
  • Jennifer Gibbs, Criminal Justice Alternatives, Acting Executive Director – Team Lead.

Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research is an initiative dedicated to achieving fair, just, effective pretrial practices, every day, throughout the nation. APPR is a consortium of organizations and consultants led by the Center for Effective Public Policy with support from Arnold Ventures, and is a project of the National Partnership for Pretrial Justice.

For more information, visit AdvancingPretrial.org.
September 24
Free COVID-19 Testing Continues Next Week in Eastern Raleigh

Wake County Public Health will return to the Sunnybrook Building parking deck, located in eastern Raleigh at 2925 Holston Lane, next week to resume free drive-thru testing for residents. Testing will take place Sept. 28–29 and Oct. 1–3.

Appointments are in half-hour intervals from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with 400 testing slots available. The service is free, but people must follow a three-step process to claim their spot:

  • Step 1: Select the time slot that works best for their schedule by clicking on the “Sign Up” button here for the date they’d like to be tested.
  • Step 2: Complete this registration form.
  • Step 3: Print the completed registration form or have it saved in their email for access at the testing site.

Tests are reserved for those who:

  • Have COVID-like symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and loss of smell;
  • Have been in close contact with a known positive case of COVID-19;
  • Are healthcare workers or first responders;
  • Work in high-risk settings like long-term care facilities, correctional facilities or homeless shelters;
  • Are 65 years old or older;
  • Have underlying health conditions;
  • Are a member of a vulnerable or historically marginalized population;
  • Have attended a mass gathering or protest; or
  • Are a frontline worker in a setting where social distancing is difficult.

Candidates who fit the criteria for drive-thru testing should visit our website to schedule an appointment. By selecting a specific 30-minute window of time for testing, residents will avoid long lines and help the process flow smoothly for everyone.

For updates and additional drive-thru testing times available from Wake County Public Health – as well as an interactive map of testing sites run by our community partners – visit wakegov.com/testing.

Staying Updated
Wake County has made it easy for you to stay updated on the latest information about COVID-19. You can visit our multilingual COVID-19 webpage, which has a set of frequently asked questions to educate residents, a list of COVID-19-related closures and service changes, as well as contact information for people to use to ask specific questions.

The county is also sharing important information on its FacebookTwitter and Instagram accounts.

September 23
Wake County Identifies COVID-19 Outbreak at Assisted Living Facility in Cary

Wake County Public Health has confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 at Swift Creek Health Center, an assisted living facility located at 221 Brightmore Drive in Cary. No additional information about residents or employees within the facility will be disclosed.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services defines an outbreak as two or more people – residents or employees – testing positive for the virus.

Under Gov. Cooper’s Phase 2.5, assisted living facilities and nursing homes that experience new outbreaks must fall back to previous restrictions and not allow visitors for 28 days.

In addition, the county recommends that these facilities should follow the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, which include:

  • Ensuring staff wear the appropriate personal protective equipment at all times;
  • Restricting employees from working at other locations;
  • Practicing social distancing when possible; and
  • Frequently cleaning surfaces with disinfectant.

Staying Updated
Wake County has made it easy for you to stay updated on the latest information about COVID-19.

You can visit our COVID-19 webpage, which has a set of frequently asked questions to educate residents in English and in Spanish, a list of COVID-19-related closures and service changes, as well as an email address and phone number that people can use to ask personal health-related questions about COVID-19.

The county is also sharing important information on its FacebookTwitter and Instagram accounts.

September 21
Wake County Seeds COVID-19 Relief Fund for Local Arts Organizations with $1 Million Investment

United Arts to administer fund and raise additional private donations

From shuttered concert venues and art galleries to postponed film festivals and fashion shows, the cultural events that ordinarily bring us together have suffered directly from the social distancing requirements that help contain COVID-19.

Artist Matt Willey paints a mural in Wendell as part of The Good of the Hive initiative supported by Wake County and United Arts Council.

Today, Wake County is providing relief for the local nonprofits that support our local artists, present cultural attractions and contribute to the vibrant quality of life in our community.

The Wake County Board of Commissioners voted to allocate $1 million of federal funds to create the Wake County Nonprofit Arts Relief Fund. Administration will run through the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.

“From the powerful messages we’ve seen painted on boarded up businesses – to the new and innovative virtual programs that help us escape for a while into another world – our local artists have proven we need them more than ever during this pandemic,” said Vickie Adamson, vice chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. “Today, we’re letting our arts community know we’re here for them, too.”

From April to June, the Raleigh metropolitan area lost an estimated 13,616 jobs and $590 million of sales in creative industries, such as art, film, fashion and design, according to a report by the Brookings Institute. That’s nearly a third of all jobs in the local industries, and about 7% of sales.

Through the Wake County Nonprofit Arts Relief Fund, local arts and culture nonprofits can apply to United Arts for up to $50,000 to replace 10% of revenue lost due to COVID-19, based on their average operating budgets from the past three years.

Organizations may apply for up to 20% of lost revenues if they have a specific mission to promote, preserve and enhance the identity and character of African American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American or Native American culture. Leadership of these organizations must demographically represent the identified culture.

“By supporting these nonprofits, we’re maintaining the vital infrastructure that underpins our local arts community,” said Charles Phaneuf, president of the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. “The United Arts Council is in a unique position to pass along every dollar Wake County allocates to our local arts and culture organizations with no overhead, and we’ll work to raise even more money from private donations.”

Wake County’s support for the Nonprofit Arts Relief Fund comes from its $194 million allocation under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The CARES Act requires funds to be spent by Dec. 30.

To learn more, including how to donate or apply for funding, look for updates at UnitedArts.org.

September 21
Wake County’s Strong Real Estate Market Does Not Include Many Affordable Housing Options

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Monday, September 21, 2020
For Immediate Release

Contact: Luther Snyder, Deputy Director
O. 919-856-5462 M. 919-369-7045
luther.snyder@wakegov.com

Wake County’s Strong Real Estate Market Does Not Include Many Affordable Housing Options

Activity Continues to be Relatively Stronger in Above Median Price Ranges

Raleigh, NC - An analysis of August 2020 Wake County core market real estate transactions released today by Charles Gilliam, the Register of Deeds of Wake County, shows that while the overall real estate market continues to appear little affected by COVID-19, the market also continues to trend weaker at lower price points.

Register of Deeds Charles Gilliam stated “The situation concerning affordable housing is not new. Earlier this year I reported on a 5-year decline in affordable housing. It continues to be difficult for a person of moderate means to keep head above water in Raleigh’s swift river of real estate flowing for more affluent people.”

The following chart shows the proportion of transactions that took place in each price range within the core market. The core market is property valued at up to $1 million and it is consistently 97-98% of all transactions.

Property Transfers by Price Range 2014 to 2019.png

Click here for a larger image.

For the price ranges presented in this chart, in 2020’s first quarter 47% of sales were below $300,000. In June 43% were below $300,000, in July it was 42% and in August the percentage dropped to 38%.

The continuing decline in activity for lower-priced parcels can be readily exemplified in the two price brackets of $150K – $199K and $200K - $249K. Taken together, the proportion of activity has steadily declined from 24.5% in the first quarter to 19.5% in August 2020.

This data is consistent with the fact that August 2020 set a new high in monthly median prices at $341,000. For both the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020 the median was $310,000.

The following chart, originally released by the Register of Deeds in April 2020 illustrates how property affordable by people of moderate means has declined over recent years.

Property Transfers by Price Range 2014 to 2019 3D.png

Click here for a larger image.

The following chart shows the number of transactions in the core market in August 2020, as compared to the average month of the first quarter of 2020, broken down by the dollar value of the transaction. June and July 2020 are also included for comparison.

Property Transfers by Price Range 2014 to 2019 3D.png

Click here for a larger image.

Because real estate turnover is seasonal, tending to be slower in the winter and brisker in the summer, the lower absolute number of property transfers in the first quarter compared to the summer months, as shown on this chart, does not mean the first quarter of 2020 was a weak market. In fact, the first quarter of 2020 was stronger than the first quarters of each of the previous three years.

Other information, including results for transactions in the one million dollar and up price range, was published by the Register of Deeds earlier this month and is available at http://www.wakegov.com/news/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=1330

Methodology and Additional Information

The statistics in this report are derived from instruments recorded in the office of the Wake County Register of Deeds. Under North Carolina law, changes in property rights in real estate are recorded with the register of deeds of the county where the real estate is located.

The value of real estate transferred is measured by excise tax assessed on the consideration in a real estate transaction. Excise taxes are calculated as $1 in tax for every five hundred dollars of consideration. About 99% of transactions are property transfers by deed and the balance are miscellaneous transactions such as acquisitions of a right of way. The monetary data in this report includes all transactions.

The core market is defined as property transactions valued at $1 million and less. In August 2020, 97% of transactions were in this core market.

The first quarter 2020 average month was calculated by summing transactions in January, February, and March and dividing the sum by three. For the charts presented in this report, there are 2,160 data points for the first quarter average month, 2,754 for June, 3,034 for July, and 2,706 for August.

The median Wake County real estate sales price for both the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020 was $310,000. In the second quarter of 2020, it was $322,500, and it was $341,000 in August 2020.

Deeds and other instruments recorded with the register of deeds include transfers of interests in real estate where monetary consideration did not change hands, such as transfers within a family. No excise tax is due on such deeds and, therefore, they are not included in the data presented in this report. In August 2020, 22% of deeds attracted no excise tax. In the second quarter that percentage was 22%, and it was 21% in the first quarter of 2020.

On March 14, 2020, public schools were closed and mass gatherings were prohibited by executive order of the governor. On March 17 and 23, 2020 additional executive orders were issued which closed certain businesses and introduced additional restrictions. Based on these events, a starting date of March 17, 2020, can be used to demark the advent of Covid-19 related legal restrictions on economic activity.

For a complete picture of Wake County real estate activity, the information in this report should be considered in conjunction with data available from other sources, such as rezoning applications and new building permits, and a report on August activity released by the Register of Deeds earlier this month which is available at http://www.wakegov.com/news/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=1330

This report was initially released September 21, 2020.

 

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September 17
Free COVID-19 Testing Available in Eastern Raleigh

Wake County Public Health’s free drive-thru testing will return next week to the Sunnybrook Building parking deck, located in eastern Raleigh at 2925 Holston Lane. Testing will take place Sept. 21–22 and Sept. 24–26.

Appointments are in half-hour intervals from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with 400 testing slots available. The service is free, but people must follow a three-step process to claim their spot:

  • Step 1: Select the time slot that works best for their schedule by clicking on the “Sign Up” button here for the date they’d like to be tested.
  • Step 2: Complete this registration form.
  • Step 3: Print the completed registration form or have it saved in their email for access at the testing site.

Tests are reserved for those who:

  • Have COVID-like symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and loss of smell;
  • Have been in close contact with a known positive case of COVID-19;
  • Are healthcare workers or first responders;
  • Work in high-risk settings like long-term care facilities, correctional facilities or homeless shelters;
  • Are 65 years old or older;
  • Have underlying health conditions;
  • Are a member of a vulnerable or historically marginalized population;
  • Have attended a mass gathering or protest; or
  • Are a frontline worker in a setting where social distancing is difficult.

Candidates who fit the criteria for drive-thru testing should visit our website to schedule an appointment. By selecting a specific 30-minute window of time for testing, residents will avoid long lines and help the process flow smoothly for everyone.

For updates and additional drive-thru testing times available from Wake County Public Health – as well as an interactive map of testing sites run by our community partners – visit wakegov.com/testing.

Staying Updated
Wake County has made it easy for you to stay updated on the latest information about COVID-19. You can visit our COVID-19 webpage, which has a set of frequently asked questions to educate residents in English and in Spanish, a list of COVID-19-related closures and service changes, as well as an email address and phone number that people can use to ask personal health-related questions about COVID-19.

The county is also sharing important information on its FacebookTwitter and Instagram accounts.

September 16
Wake County to Suspend COVID-19 Testing at Noon Thursday Due to Heavy Rains from Hurricane Sally

Wake County will suspend drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the Sunnybrook Building parking deck on Thursday, Sept. 17, at noon due to the heavy rains projected to come to the area. The remnants of Hurricane Sally are expected to hit tomorrow, with the heaviest rain predicted to arrive in the afternoon.

People whose testing times were canceled can come back on Friday, Sept. 18, any time convenient for them between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. If they cannot come on Friday, they can sign up for a new time at wakegov.com/testing. Residents do not need to resubmit a registration form.

Wake County will continue to monitor the weather for the rest of the week to determine if additional testing dates need to be modified.

Staying Updated
Wake County has made it easy for you to stay updated on the latest information about COVID-19. You can visit our COVID-19 webpage, which has a set of frequently asked questions to educate residents in English and in Spanish, a list of COVID-19-related closures and service changes, as well as an email address and phone number that people can use to ask personal health-related questions about COVID-19.

The county is also sharing important information on its FacebookTwitter and Instagram accounts.

September 16
​Wake County Makes Final Push for 2020 Census

With two weeks left before 2020 Census enumeration ends, Wake County leaders are urging anyone who hasn’t responded to do so soon.

“A brief moment of your time will pay big dividends for the next 10 years for all of us here in Wake County,” said Board of Commissioners Vice Chair Vickie Adamson. “Currently, 71.8% of Wake County households have responded to the census. That’s great, but we need that number to be higher to make sure we don’t miss out on federal and state resources—and we still have time to make that happen.”

Importance of the Census
The 2020 Census will determine how $675 billion in federal funding is distributed. Each person in North Carolina not counted equals a loss of between $1,500 and $2,500 per year in federal and state funding. Over the next decade, that equates to a loss of $15,000 to $25,000 per person.

The Census also determines how we’re represented in Congress. And this year, North Carolina is projected to gain an additional seat in the House of Representatives – if we get a complete count.

Impact of COVID-19
Like everything this year, the 2020 Census was impacted by COVID-19.

In-person outreach efforts had to be canceled, which meant losing opportunities to connect with people one-on-one. Because of safety concerns, census takers were delayed in getting out in the field.

These effects have made it harder to get an accurate count. But at the same time, COVID-19 also drove home the importance of a getting a complete count. The millions of dollars of federal CARES Act funding allocated in Wake County were based on 2010 census counts. These funds went toward testing and tracing; PPE, food and Chromebook distribution; housing assistance; transit operations; and utility assistance payments.

How to Respond
Responding to the 2020 Census is quick and easy. You can respond online, by phone at 844-330-2020 or by mail. Full details are available at 2020census.gov and wakegov.com/census.

September 14
New Hotline for Housing Assistance Goes Live in Wake County

[NOTE: This is a joint news release with the Raleigh/Wake Partnership to End Homelessness.]

Finding help during a housing emergency just got a lot easier for Wake County residents. Instead of trying to locate housing resources on their own or calling multiple agencies for assistance, they can now call one phone number for any urgent housing needs.

Developed through a partnership between Wake County and the Raleigh/Wake Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness, the House Wake! Access Hub is now the first step in connecting those experiencing a housing crisis with options that meet their specific needs.

“For many, homelessness is a symptom of an even greater underlying problem,” said Wake County Commissioner Sig Hutchinson. “The House Wake! Access Hub will not only help our most vulnerable residents get off the streets into a safe place to live, but it will also link them with the resources they need to address other issues such as unemployment, poor health or addiction.”

Those needing assistance can call 919-443-0096 or email HW_AH@partnershipwake.org. Both are currently monitored Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. with Access Specialists on hand to offer help and gauge individuals’ needs.

The Access Hub is a housing switchboard managed by the Partnership and funded by Wake County. Five full-time staff have undergone homeless management, call center and diversion training to successfully help every caller. The hub runs like a triage system where the specialists quickly identify the callers’ needs and connect them with the services that best address their current situations.

“That first call is so important in establishing trust and support for those needing help,” said Wake County Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization Director Lorena McDowell. “It can be an emotional moment when they reach out to us – maybe because it’s the first time they’ve asked for help and really don’t know what their options may be. This service will ensure they receive accurate information and get the help they need quickly.”

The House Wake! Access Hub is a more efficient approach to homeless crisis response, because it:

  • Helps move callers move through the system faster by identifying the right match for their needs;
  • Keeps people from becoming homeless by offering prevention and diversion resources;
  • Creates consistent communication with those calling; and
  • Generates concrete data on what kind of assistance people in our community need.

“We focus on recognizing the unique needs of every individual we serve,” said Raleigh/Wake Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness Executive Director Kim Crawford. “Instead of worrying about who to call, residents can now feel confident that this first step will be the right one to connect them with available resources. Help is just one phone call away.”

The Access Hub will operate separately from the House Wake! COVID-19 Eviction Prevention Program that Wake County is currently developing. More information on this program will be available in the coming weeks.

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