Monday Memo

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Monday Memo is a regular column from the Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners. You can sign up to receive this and other Orange County news in your inbox.

The current edition is posted below. Archives are available on the right.

Monday Memo: Jan. 25, 2021


Dr. Kizzy Corbett Day

Photo of Dr. Kizzmekia CorbettIn honor of the Orange County native who played a key role in designing the COVID-19 vaccine being deployed by Moderna, the BOCC proclaimed January 20, 2021, as Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett Day. You can read our press release here.

Many of you may know Dr. Corbett as Kizzy, the bright and intelligent student from Cedar Grove who attended Orange County schools and then UNC-CH. She currently is a research fellow in the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Vaccine Research Center.

Her mother, friends and relatives joined us via Zoom at our Jan. 19 meeting to celebrate Dr. Corbett and the significant contributions she has made to the global effort to combat the pandemic. Dr. Corbett was adamant in encouraging everyone, particularly in the Black community where health disparities are prevalent, to please “get your shot.”

The COVID vaccine roll-out

Yes, the system had a glitch, and you may have received a strange and frustrating response from the Orange County Health Department. Please know that the Health Department began working on the matter as soon as we became aware. We now have staff members and volunteers doing everything humanly possible to assure that residents can register and get vaccinated quickly, efficiently and safely. Again, we ask for your patience as we move through this vaccination process.

If you are 65 years or older, if you are a health care worker or if you are a long-term care staff member or resident, this is your time to register either through the Orange County Health Department or at UNC Health. The phone bank is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday with plans to expand to seven days per week.

Congratulations to IFC 

Last Thursday, we witnessed the long-awaited grand opening of the IFC Commons located at 110 West Main Street in Carrboro. It was a virtual celebration. Over 200 people were online to share in the joy of a new facility with a welcoming atmosphere for customers and staff and with the space for expanded services as IFC continues to work to bring about dignity and justice for all.

IFC certainly is a beacon of hope in the Orange County community, confronting the causes and responding to the effects of poverty. Programs and services at The Commons include: Community House, HomeStart, Housing Support, Commuity Market, community Kitchen, Emergency Financial Assistance, REAL Transformation, and Activate! IFC. Congratulations and thank you.

Moving Orange County Forward

With the discovery of a COVID vaccine, hope for life beyond the pandemic can become reality. A new day is on the horizon and we need community involvement—your voiceto finalize and operationalize the DRAFT Long Term Recovery and Transformation Plan.  

Orange County, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough have been working with Hagerty Consulting on concepts and strategies that should stimulate and energize our economy and social wellbeing. Nearly 150 community stakeholders have been working on this effort since July.

Watch a brief introductory video to better understand the plan and why we need your participation. Then, share your feedback through a public comment form on the Long-Term Recovery Group’s website available at orangencforward.org. The form will be available through January 29. The video and instructions are also available in Spanish, Chinese-Mandarin, Karen, and Burmese.