Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates for Johnston County

The Johnston County Visitors Bureau team is closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on behalf of our visitors and tourism partners in an effort to stay informed on the effects this event is having and will have on the Johnston County area. The situation continues to evolve rapidly and the safety and health of our community, its residents, and our visitors is our top priority. We have worked with industry colleagues and both state and county resources to compile the following information on where you can find the most up-to-date news from health officials at every level. In addition, we have provided resources specific to the tourism trade coming from some of the top sources in the industry at this time.

NCDHHS and Gov. Roy Cooper continue to issue new announcements and guidance each day related to the Coronavirus. You can find a full list of press releases with information pertaining to each update on the NCDHHS website here.

Find here the Stay at Home Order, issued March 27th at 4pm. The order goes into affect on Monday, March 30 at 5pm.

For Foodservice and Lodging Partners:

*****As of March 17th, an announcement was made that all North Carolina restaurants and bars are closed for dine-in customers, but will allow takeout and delivery operations to continue.

*****As of the week of March 23rd the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association has created an entire website to organize and share information and resources regarding the Coronavirus as it relates to the hospitality industry. The website also has a very helpful FAQ page, webinars, and guidance for employers and employees who may be dealing with closure and unemployment.

Airbnb and VRBO: Airbnb and VRBO Guidance for hosts and guests.

Posters: There are a number of informational posters for Coronavirus on the CDC’s website here.

Worker Resources:

Governor Cooper lifted restrictions on unemployment for anyone affected by COVID-19 in all industries. These lifted restrictions include; removing the one-week waiting period to apply for unemployment benefits for workers who lost their jobs, removing the requirement that a person must look for another job during this time when so many potential employers are closed and social distancing guidelines are in effect, allowing employees who lose their jobs, or in certain cases have their hours reduced due to COVID-19 issues, to apply for unemployment benefits, permitting applicants to apply for benefits remotely by phone or online, directing that employers will not be held responsible for benefits paid as a direct result of these COVID-19 claims.

Employers can find info regarding unemployment insurance from the NC Department of Commerce, Division of Employment Security. Contact the DES Employer Call Center with any questions or concerns: 866-278-3822.

Unemployment: What to Know Before You Apply

How to Apply for Unemployment in North Carolina 

Apply for Unemployment

Business Resources:

Johnston County/Triangle East Chamber Resources

Interim Guidance for Businesses from NCDHHS 

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers from CDC

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic from OSHA 

Guidance for Businesses 

Resources for Employers 

Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist (HHS & CDC) 

Legal Guidance on Workplace Pandemic Planning (EEOC)

Sample Pandemic Preparation Questions

National Association of Manufacturers: Coronavirus Resources

FEMA Business Continuity Planning Suite

FEMA Business Continuity Resource Kit

SBA Disaster Assistance

U.S. Travel Association toolkit for COVID-19

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Combating the Coronavirus

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers from the CDC

Funding Resources for Business:

Golden LEAF deploys $15M in funding to launch NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program

Thread Capital (NC Rural Center) 

Self-Help Credit Union

Carolina Small Business Development Fund

NC Community Development Initiative

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Forbes Small Business Relief Tracker

JP Morgan pledges $50 million to help customers and small businesses 

James Beard Foundation started a Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund

Yelp providing more than $25 million relief for independent restaurant and nightlife businesses in the form of waived advertising fees


Johnston County-Specific Updates:


  • Johnston Community College has created a web page and will post any relevant Corona Virus updates here
  • Johnston County Public Schools posted an update regarding field trips and interscholastic athletics with detailed information on their Facebook page; they have also posted a plan on their website
  • We will continue to work with the Johnston County Public Health Department, Johnston County Emergency Management, and others to continue to keep you updated on developments
  • We have not activated any visitor-facing messaging at this point. Our Johnston County Tourism Crisis Management Plan will guide our Crisis Management Team as needed when needed
  • As this situation evolves, check with event organizers directly on events that may be impacted or postponed
  • Our team is in regular contact with the State Tourism Office (VisitNC)
  • Johnston County Emergency Services has created a COVID-19 hotline for general questions regarding the virus, at 919-989-5400

Links with factual updates:

  • The most up-to-date information for North Carolina is located at the NCDHHS website here.
  • The most up-to-date information on a federal level is available on the CDC’s website here.

On Social Media:

General Sanitation Guidance:

  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. As a reminder, the Department of Health always recommends everyday preventive actions to help impede the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Covering your cough or sneezing with a tissue, then disposing of the issue.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

We will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and will be working with our industry peers as well as state and local level government officials to respond accordingly and responsibly. We will also be working to keep this page up to date as the situation evolves, but please be sure to also follow the resources listed on this page for the most current information from officials.


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