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COVID-19 response: State of emergency declared in NC, Fla.

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, left, answers questions at a press conference in which he declared a state of emergency for North Carolina on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 after five additional COVID-19 cases were confirmed on Monday. (Julia Wall/The News & Observer via AP)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A state of emergency was declared Tuesday in both Florida and North Carolina in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I know people are worried about this virus and I want to assure you that the state of North Carolina and your public health directors and emergency responders are working hard,” Gov. Roy Cooper said.

As Gov. Ron DeSantis explained, declaring an emergency allows the state to prepare resources, similar to the way agencies plan for events like hurricanes.

It also gives the state budget flexibility and triggers price gouging laws.

As of Tuesday morning, there are seven presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in North Carolina. The CDC lab will confirm if the patients are positive for COVID-19.

In Florida, as of Tuesday morning, there are 19 positive cases of COVID-19. Two residents have died.

Kentucky is the only other southeastern state to have declared a state of emergency in response to the virus.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis meets with reporters on Monday, March 9, 2020, at the state Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida. DeSantis declared a state of emergency over a new strain of coronavirus to better mobilize resources and defended his proposal for teacher raises. (AP Photo/Bobby Caina Calvan)

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