Support Services Program

What is the COVID-19 Support Services Program?

The COVID-19 Support Services Program is an innovative new program to support individuals in targeted counties who need access to primary medical care and supports to successfully quarantine  or isolate due to COVID-19. These support services will be funded through approximately $17 million of North Carolina Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding.

Who are the COVID-19 Support Services Program partners?

Regional partners have been procured through a Request for Applications (RFA) to directly deliver, or partner with local community-based organizations to provide, access to primary medical care and deliver social supports to individuals in isolation or quarantine and their families. The partners are:

  • Region 1: Quality Home Care Services doing business as (d/b/a) Quality Comprehensive Health Center;
  • Region 2: Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency;
  • Region 3: Duke University Health System; and
  • Region 4: ADLA, Inc.

Why are support services needed?

Frontline workers often spend time in environments where they are at higher risk of exposure and less likely able to physically distance. As a result, evidence from testing in North Carolina and around the country indicates they are experiencing higher rates of infection. Often these occupations are low-wage and do not offer paid sick leave or health insurance. Without supportive services, individuals asked to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 are forced to choose between compliance with the health directive or working to meet their financial and family needs. This is a barrier to slowing the spread of the virus.

Where will support services be available?

Support services will be provided in areas of the state with the highest rates of COVID-19 cases, in target service areas of contiguous counties to scale available resources.

The regions are:

  • Region 1: Mecklenburg, Gaston;
  • Region 2: Rowan, Stanly, Montgomery, Randolph, Chatham, Lee;
  • Region 3: Durham, Granville, Vance; and
  • Region 4: Robeson, Columbus, Bladen, Sampson, Duplin, Wayne, Johnston, Wilson, Greene.

The Department may adjust the service areas over time as the COVID-19 pandemic and areas of North Carolina with high case rates change.

Who is eligible to receive support services covered by this program?

To be eligible for support services, individuals must first be identified by a medical professional or a state or local public health official as needing to quarantine or isolate because the individual:

  • Tested positive for COVID-19,
  • Is waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test,
  • Was exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or
  • Needs to do so as a precautionary measure because the individual is in a high-risk group (e.g. over 65; suffers from underlying health conditions, such as respiratory or chronic disease or compromised immunities).

The individual must attest to certain additional eligibility criteria, including that he or she lives in the target service area, has been asked by a health care professional to quarantine or isolate, will only be able to safely and effectively quarantine or isolate with one or more of the support services, does not have alternative means of accessing the support services, and agrees to remain in quarantine or isolation for the entire length of time he or she is directed to do so.

The individual must also attest to certain additional criteria to be eligible for specific services, such as a COVID-relief payment and medication delivery, to ensure that support services are used appropriately. Individuals may receive support services for up to 14 days, or longer if a health care professional verifies their need for additional time in quarantine or isolation.

Download the attestation form that an individual must complete to be eligible for support services.

How does someone receive support services?

When a health care professional identifies an individual, who should quarantine or isolate and who requires support services and access to a primary care medical to do so safely and effectively, the health care professional should  refer the individual to a Community Health Worker organization. These entities will be responsible for supporting the individual throughout their quarantine or isolation period and ensuring they receive the support services they need.

The community health worker or an LHD team member responsible for coordinating support services will perform a needs assessment, determine eligibility for support services, make a support plan, connecting individuals to organizations that can provide support services, and monitor the individual’s needs throughout the isolation or quarantine period.

What support services will be available?

DHHS

The Department has identified five categories of support services based on identified need, in addition to helping people access primary medical care, including:

  1. Nutrition assistance such as home-delivered meals or groceries;
  2. A one-time COVID-19 relief payment, provided in response to the federally-declared COVID-19 public health emergency, to assist the individual and his or her family in meeting basic living expenses such as housing, food, utilities, medical costs, child care costs, and household bills while in isolation or quarantine;
  3. Private transportation provided in a safe manner to/from testing sites, non-congregate shelter, medical visits, and sites to acquire food (if delivery is not feasible);
  4. Medication delivery; and
  5. COVID-related over-the-counter supplies, such as a face mask, hand sanitizer, thermometer, and cleaning supplies.

When will support services be available?

The Department expects support services to be available beginning in early September. Support services are expected to be available until late 2020, depending on when funds are exhausted. This fact sheet provides an overview of the program and actionable steps that partners, including providers, testing sites, and contact tracers, can take to refer residents to support services.