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Can’t pay your water or gas bill during the COVID-19 pandemic? Get ready for an extension minus the fees

Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order Tuesday prohibiting utilities from disconnecting people during the coronavirus pandemic.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Are you having trouble paying your water or power bill during the coronavirus pandemic? If so, help is on the way.

Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order Tuesday prohibiting utilities from disconnecting people during the coronavirus pandemic. The order applies to electric, gas, water and wastewater services for the next 60 days.

It also directs utilities to give customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills and prohibits them from collecting fees, penalties or interest for late payment.

Cooper is also urging telecommunication companies that provide phone, cable and internet services to do the same.

“This action is particularly important since tomorrow is the first of the month, and I know that’s a date many families fear when they can’t make ends meet,” said Governor Cooper. “These protections will help families stay in their homes and keep vital services like electricity, water, and communications going as we Stay at Home.”

The order also encourages banks not to charge customers for overdraft fees, late fees, and other penalties.

Cooper is also hoping landlords will delay any evictions already entered in the court system.

The NC Department of Revenue also announced expanded tax relief measures today, waiving penalties for late filing or payments of multiple state tax categories.

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CORONAVIRUS NEWS

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FACTS NOT FEAR

Remember facts, not fear when talking about the coronavirus. You should take the same measures recommended by health leaders to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses. That means washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes.

RELATED: Facts Not Fear | What you need to know about the COVID-19 outbreak

WHERE YOU GET INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS IS IMPORTANT

It is important to make sure the information you are getting about the coronavirus is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. Be careful not to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media.

For more information visit the CDC OR NCDHHS

NC CORONAVIRUS HOTLINE 

The state also has a special hotline set up where you can call 2-1-1 or 866-462-3821 for more information on the coronavirus. You can also submit questions online at ncpoisoncontrol.org or select chat to talk with someone about the virus.

You can also text keyword VIRUS to WFMY News 2 at 336-379-5775 to find out more information.

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