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CURRENT COVID-19 INFO FOR BENSON RESIDENTS (6-29-20):
Here is all the recent COVID-19 info we have in one place!
Last week (6-24-20), Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced that North Carolina will remain in Phase Two for three more weeks. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread.
Read the full press release here:https://governor.nc.gov/…/north-carolina-pauses-safer-home-…
Read EO 147 here:https://files.nc.gov/…/d…/files/EO147-Phase-2-Extension.pdf…
STATEMENT FROM BENSON TOWN MANAGER FRED NELSON ABOUT MASKS:
“Our employees will wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible. We ask the public to wear face coverings as they access town hall to pay utilities bills or have other business at the front desks. As staff encounter people in public spaces they wear face coverings and practice social distancing as applicable.”
STATEMENT FROM JOHNSTON COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES ABOUT MASKS AND USING 911:
"You can report face covering violations to your local law enforcement’s non-emergency line. People should not call 911 if they wish to report individuals not wearing face coverings and are encouraged to use non-emergency lines only.”
The Benson Police Department’s non-emergency line is (919) 894-2091.
UTILITY CUTOFF MORATORIUM EXTENSION:
On Saturday (5-30-20), Governor Roy Cooper put forth Executive Order 142, which extends the moratorium on service disconnections for nonpayment for residential customers for 60 more days.
PLEASE NOTE: The current policy in effect halting utility cutoffs in relation to COVID-19 does not forgive any past, present or future balances for utility use. Customers are still required to pay for all electricity, water, sewer, and garbage use.
The Town of Benson urges you to continue paying your utility bill. Large balances can add up when you delay paying your bill and make it more difficult to pay off later. That may result in a disconnection of service.
If you are having trouble paying your bill, please call and speak to one of our customer service representatives at Town Hall — (919) 894-3553.
Read EO 142 here:https://governor.nc.gov/documents/executive-order-no-142…
JULY 4, 2020 IN BENSON:
For this year’s Fourth of July celebration, the Town of Benson and the Benson Parks and Recreation Department have decided not to promote a large gathering. No event is scheduled for the Singing Grove. However, our fireworks display is still scheduled for the Fourth.
The display will be set up and launched from the same location as previous years (McLamb-Tart Rd.), so the fireworks will be viewable from most locations around Benson.
We are happy to continue this tradition and we are encouraging residents and visitors alike to enjoy the night’s celebration from their own backyard, a friend or family member’s home, or their favorite spot around town while adhering to gathering restrictions and social distancing guidelines.
The Benson fireworks display will begin around 9pm on Saturday, July 4, 2020.
COMMUNITY COVID-19 TESTING ON JULY 7
Community COVID-19 testing is coming to Benson via CommWell Health!
On Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at Benson Middle School — 1600 North Wall Street — from 9am to 3pm. This testing event is open to the public with or without symptoms. No Cost. No appointment needed. Testing will be offered to all in the community free of charge.
Check out this flyer for more info:https://www.facebook.com/…/pcb.301442101…/3014416775273166/…
If you plan to attend on July 7, please have this form filled out and ready (link contains both English and Spanish forms):https://drive.google.com/…/1_-f0vIm2FVI9-o11keI0Mg-f7…/view…
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT BENSON AND PHASE TWO:
-North Carolina remains in a “Safer at Home” recommendation, especially for vulnerable populations.
-Bars, nightclubs, museums, playgrounds, gyms and fitness studios, and indoor entertainment venues (movies, bowling, bingo, etc) remain closed.
-Breweries, wineries and distilleries are allowed to reopen while subject to the 50 percent capacity and social distancing guidelines. This ruling continues to exclude bars and nightclubs from reopening.
-Gathering limits are still observed at no more than 10 people indoors and no more than 25 outdoors with social distancing. These guidelines apply to events and places like meetings and event venues, amphitheaters, sporting venues and arenas, groups at the beach, groups at parks, etc.
-Restaurants, salons, personal care businesses, and pools can open, but with a 50 percent capacity — as well as adhering to social distancing and additional sanitation requirements.
-Benson Town Hall and all Town facilities are open to the public, but with restricted access. Residents with town-related questions can still call (919) 894-3553 as phones will be manned during normal business hours.
-Utility customers are able to enter Town Hall to pay bills, however hallways, offices, and meeting spaces are off limits inside the building during Phase Two. One to two customers can be helped at a time inside the Utilities office at the window.
-The Benson Police Department and the Benson Planning Department are open, but follow the same restrictions as the Utilities Office — seeing only one to two residents at a time. As always, for all life-threatening emergencies — dial 911. For non-emergencies, the BPD can be reached at (919) 894-2091.
-Hand sanitizer will be available at Town Hall for customers and employees to use while on site. Additional and extensive sanitation measures are already in place at Town Hall.
-Residents needing to pay utility bills can still use Town Hall’s night dropbox at any point in the day, pay bills online (https://ipn.paymentus.com/cp/tbup), or call and pay over the phone (previous restrictions on phone call payments have been temporarily lifted). All electric and water cutoffs continue to be suspended at this time.
-The Mary Duncan Public Library will reopen during normal hours, but will be CURBSIDE SERVICE ONLY at this time. Please contact the library at (919) 894-3724 for any questions regarding books, checkouts, or returns.
-The Benson Parks and Recreation building and the Benson Museum of Local History will remain closed to the public. Benson’s outdoor parks and walking trails remain open to the public while being subject to the gathering limits and social distancing measures.
-PLEASE NOTE: even though local parks and walking trails will be open, all playgrounds in these locations will remain closed during Phase Two.
HELPFUL LINKS FOR MORE STATE + LOCAL COVID-19 INFO:
NC Department of Health and Human Services:www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus
Governor Roy Cooper:https://governor.nc.gov/
Johnston County Public Schools:https://www.johnston.k12.nc.us/
Visit Johnston County, NChttps://www.johnstoncountync.org/joco-strong/
Johnston County Government’s COVID-19 Info Tracker:https://www.johnstonnc.com/covid19/
Johns Hopkins University Johnston County Info Graphic:https://bao.arcgis.com/covid-19/jhu/county/37101.html