January 8, 2021
The Honorable Roy Cooper
Delivered Via Email
Dear Governor Cooper:
On behalf of the North Carolina Nurses Association, we appreciate the work you and Secretary Cohen have done to try to keep the coronavirus pandemic from overwhelming North Carolina. We appreciate the pressure you are under and understand that healthcare needs and economic impacts may not always be congruous to everyone. But we request that the state do more to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nurses need help. Other healthcare workers need help. The patients flooding our facilities need help.
The state must take additional measures to prevent the state’s healthcare system from being swamped. Coronavirus numbers are already breaking gruesome records, and the trends point toward worse news in the coming weeks. At the same time, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are facing dire staffing shortages. If North Carolina does not take drastic action, we will face a crisis that none of us want to consider, including being overworked, understaffed, and unable to properly care for our fellow citizens.
We already know from science that restricting gatherings, wearing masks, and continued social distancing guidelines will help to lessen the spread of the virus. You and the Secretary have diligently offered guidance and recommendations to North Carolinians so people will modify their behavior accordingly, but many have been non-compliant, often intentionally. We encourage and support any forthcoming executive orders that strengthen current restrictions and can meaningfully impact the behavior of our fellow citizens. Meanwhile, we hope to see a dramatic increase in the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible.
This is not a political request. This is a public health request. For the sake of our fellow North Carolinians and our colleagues fighting on the front lines, we must implement evidence-based recommendations that can help curb the pandemic and help the state begin the process of recovery.
Please call on NCNA if we may assist you in any way.
Dennis Taylor, RN, DNP, PhD, ACNP-BC, FCCM
President, North Carolina Nurses Association
Tina C. Gordon, MPA, CAE, FACHE
CEO, North Carolina Nurses Association