Latest Updates

All North Carolinians should get the latest information on COVID-19 directly from reliable sources. The COVID-19 outbreak has been accompanied by a flood of misinformation from unreliable sources. Be thoughtful about what you read or hear about the virus and make sure you are separating rumor from fact before you act. COVID-19 information from across state government, including information about unemployment, can be found at www.nc.gov/covid19.

View All Updates by Date

Updates From This Week (September 27-October 3)

Wednesday, September 30

  • North Carolina will move to Phase 3, easing some restrictions while continuing safety measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. Executive Order 169 begins Oct. 2 at 5 p.m. and continues for three weeks through October 23. Read the Order's FAQs and review Phase 3 guidance.

Tuesday, September 29

  • NCDHHS announced a milestone in the use of telehealth and telephonic visits by NC Medicaid enrollees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since establishing telehealth flexibility policies in early March, NC Medicaid has processed claims for approximately more than 1.1 million telehealth and 350,000 telephonic visits.
  • North Carolina has distributed over $2.6 billion in coronavirus relief funds as of September 21 and continues to work to administer remaining funds in coordination with federal requirements. In May 2020, Governor Cooper established the NC Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO) to oversee and coordinate the fiscal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. NC PRO is responsible for overseeing the distribution of the $3.5 billion ($3,585,391,176.20) in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) from the U.S. Treasury to provide support to state agencies, local governments, nonprofits, hospitals, educational institutions, and research organizations.

Monday, September 28

  • As North Carolina’s key metrics continue to remain stable and strong infection prevention and control requirements remain in place, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued a Secretarial Order updating visitation guidelines for nursing homes to allow indoor visitation. Read the press release.

All NC Updates by Date

September 20-September 26

September 20-September 26

Friday, September 25

  • NCDHHS is adding information about antigen testing to the COVID-19 NC Dashboard, including positive COVID-19 cases and deaths diagnosed with an antigen test and the number of antigen tests completed daily. For more information, read the press release and the FAQs.
  • NCDHHS announced it will provide additional benefits through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program to help families purchase food for children whose access to free and reduced-priced meals at school has been impacted by remote learning this fall due to COVID-19. The program provides a benefit on an EBT card that can be used to buy food at authorized retailers, including most major grocery stores. In the P-EBT program this fall, children are eligible if they had access to free or reduced-priced meals at school last year, their school district or charter school is eligible to provide free or reduce-priced meals at school this year, and their school district or charter school utilized remote learning for all students for at least five consecutive school days between Aug. 17 and Sept. 30.

Thursday, September 24

  • A day after announcing the launch of SlowCOVIDNC, more than 50,000 people had downloaded the app. SlowCOVIDNC, the official exposure notification of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, alerts North Carolinians when they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. It is completely anonymous and does not collect, store or share personal information or location data.

Wednesday, September 23

  • NC Medicaid beneficiaries on the NC Innovations Waiver who are attending school virtually due to the COVID-19 public health emergency can now receive waiver support during remote learning. NCDHHS requested a waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to allow individuals to access Innovations Waiver respite during remote learning hours. Other services are still accessible outside of school or remote learning hours. Read the press release.

Tuesday, September 22

  • NCDHHS launched a COVID-19 Exposure Notification app called ‘SlowCOVIDNC’. The app will help North Carolinians slow the spread of the virus by alerting them when they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. It is completely anonymous and does not collect, store or share personal information or location data. SlowCOVIDNC, which leverages Google and Apple’s Exposure Notification System (ENS), alerts users who have the app if they have been in close contact with an individual who later tests positive for COVID-19. It is voluntary to download and use and designed to enhance the state’s existing contact tracing efforts. The app can be downloaded for free through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
  • Governor Cooper and DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced that effective October 2, large outdoor venues would be permitted to open at 7 percent capacity with key safety precautions in place. The announcement was made today during the COVID-19 briefing so these locations could begin putting safety measures in place in order to operate. Large entertainment venues are those that can seat over 10,000.

Monday, September 21

  • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is launching advertisements in community-based print and online publications to amplify the “Whatever Your Reason” statewide public campaign and urge North Carolinians to “Get Behind the Mask.” NCDHHS has secured print advertisements in 21 of the state’s leading community-based print and online publications across the state, with an intentional focus on reaching historically marginalized communities most impacted by the pandemic.
September 13-19

September 13-19

Friday, September 18 - no new updates

Thursday, September 17

  • After several weeks of stable COVID-19 trends and continued low virus spread in school settings, Governor Roy Cooper announced that beginning on October 5, North Carolina public school districts and charter schools can choose to implement Plan A for elementary schools (grades K-5). Plan A continues to include important safety measures like face coverings for all students, teachers and staff, social distancing, and symptom screening, but does not require schools to reduce the number of children in the classroom.

Wednesday, September 16 - no new updates

Tuesday, September 15

  • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced its selection of an additional vendor, Optum Serve, to continue surging COVID-19 testing capacity in the state. These new community testing sites build on North Carolina’s ongoing work to increase access to testing and slow viral spread in key locations, including the previously-announced surge of additional testing capacity in seven counties.

Monday, September 14

  • Health officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services are urging North Carolina residents to protect themselves, their families and those around them by getting vaccinated against Influenza as the state enters flu season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “This year, with COVID-19 still spreading in our communities, it’s critically important to get your flu vaccine,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “Flu can be a serious, sometimes deadly, disease. It is important to get vaccinated against the flu to keep you and your family healthy.” Read the press release.

September 6-September 12

September 6-September 12

Wednesday, September 9

  • Governor Roy Cooper announced nearly $40 million in funding for NC Student Connect, a new partnership created to address internet connectivity gaps that are a barrier to remote learning for many North Carolina students. When school resumed in August, superintendents estimated that at least 100,000 students still lacked a reliable internet connection at home.
  • Governor Roy Cooper and DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen met with Dr. Deborah Birx in North Carolina. The Governor and Dr. Birx also participated together in the call with the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and the governor spoke about the need for our elected leaders and candidates to lead by example on the campaign trail this fall by holding events with face coverings and social distancing.
August 30-September 5

August 30-September 5

Friday, September 4

  • NCDHHS is developing a COVID-19 Exposure Notification app called ‘SlowCOVIDNC’ that will launch across the state in September 2020. The app will help North Carolinians slow the spread of the virus by alerting them when they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Thursday, September 3

  • The Whatever Your Reason (Cualquiera que sea tu razón) campaign, a new statewide public campaign to encourage every North Carolinian to wear a mask in our collective fight against COVID-19, is being launched today by NCDHHS. This distinctly North Carolina campaign features real North Carolina people and places and focuses on the personal reasons North Carolinians across the state are choosing, every day, to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Materials are available in English and Spanish.

Wednesday, September 2

  • NCDHHS launched the NC Medicaid Optional COVID-19 Testing program, which will reimburse Medicaid providers for costs associated with COVID-19 testing of people without insurance. The reimbursement program will continue during the duration of the COVID-19 federal declaration of emergency. The NCDHHS website offers resources for individuals and health care providers interested in learning more about or participating in the program

Tuesday, September 1

Monday, August 31

  • In an effort to continue slowing the spread of COVID-19, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 162 to extend the limited hours on the sale of alcoholic drinks in North Carolina. As the state continues to fight the spread of COVID-19, the Order requires restaurants to end the sale of alcoholic beverages at 11 pm. This Order will remain in effect through October 2, 2020.
August 23-August 29

August 23-August 29

Saturday, August 29

  • The total new lab-confirmed cases on the NCDHHS COVID-19 Data Dashboard for Aug. 29 reflected an increase caused, in part, by approximately 1,000 positive tests from dates in the first half of the month that were reported to NCDHHS by LabCorp in the past 24 hours. The Department is working with LabCorp to understand the cause of the delayed reporting; however, LabCorp confirmed that individuals were not delayed in receiving their results.

Friday, August 28 - no new updates

Thursday, August 27

  • Governor Roy Cooper shared a recommended budget, Support for a Determined North Carolina, which outlines how to use the state’s remaining federal coronavirus funding and make responsible investments in the state’s future.

Wednesday, August 26

  • NCDHHS has added new data to the COVID-19 Data Dashboard – average turnaround time for COVID-19 testing. Located on the Dashboard's Testing page, the graph shows the average daily turnaround time based on data from all laboratories that report electronically to NCDHHS. Individual laboratories may have shorter or longer turnaround times and, therefore, people’s individual experiences may vary.

Tuesday, August 25

  • NCDHHS released a Partner COVID-19 Testing Toolkit designed for organizations seeking to host community testing events. The comprehensive toolkit comes in response to widespread interest among North Carolina organizations such as community-based organizations, churches and nonprofits. The toolkit is available in English and Spanish.
  • NCDHHS awarded four contracts to regional organizations to administer its new COVID-19 Support Services program. The program will support North Carolinians in 20 targeted counties who are asked to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 and need assistance such as food, relief payments, or access to primary medical care.
  • Governor Roy Cooper announced $175 million to help North Carolinians with rental and utility payment support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, August 24

  • NCDHHS launched the "¡Recuerda las 3Ms!” (Know your 3Ms) campaign as part of a larger public outreach campaign designed to reach historically marginalized populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This campaign, which will run in parallel with the “Know Your 3Ws!” English-language campaign, is designed to increase awareness of preventative measures for Spanish-speaking North Carolinians. The 3Ms campaign, originating in Spanish and created by native Spanish speakers, is an authentic and memorable interpretation of the three key steps to prevention, known in English as: Wear. Wait. Wash. Read the press release in English and in Spanish.
August 16-August 22

August 16-August 22

Friday, August 21

  • NCDHHS updated guidance for institutions of higher education, further emphasizing that colleges and universities must work to reduce risk of viral spread of COVID-19 both on and off campus. In compliance with existing Executive Orders, colleges and universities should be requiring and enforcing that students and staff wear cloth masks that cover the mouth and nose and limit social gatherings — whether students are on campus or off campus. The guidance also recommends limiting on-campus housing, closing communal dining settings and implementing procedures to isolate and quarantine cases appropriately to slow the spread of the virus.

Thursday, August 20

  • People living and working in 11 rural counties will get expanded high-speed internet service thanks to more than $12 million in grants awarded by Governor Roy Cooper’s administration. Governor Cooper, along with the NC Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) and its Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO), announced the award of the 2019-2020 Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grant and COVID-19 Recovery Act funding.

Wednesday, August 19

  • NCDHHS announced its selection of an additional vendor — StarMed Urgent and Family Care, P.A. — based in North Carolina, to continue surging COVID-19 testing capacity in the state. The new sites will be located in seven counties: Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Onslow, Orange and Randolph counties. NCDHHS selected locations for the additional testing sites based on epidemiological trends and reports from local health departments.

Tuesday, August 18 - no new updates

Monday, August 17

  • Returning to school looks different this year. If your child is returning to in-person learning, know what to expect and how to prepare yourself and your children. Read more in English and in Spanish.
  • With schools opening in-person and remotely across the state under new health and safety procedures, NCDHHS is expanding the Hope4Healers Helpline (919-226-2002) to serve NC’s teachers, school personnel and their families. Hope4Healers can provide mental health and resilience supports, and is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. When teachers, school personnel or family members call the helpline, they will speak to someone who is trained to listen and offer support.

August 9-August 15

August 9-August 15

Friday, August 14

Thursday, August 13

  • NC is making progress and while that is encouraging we have to keep working to fight the disease, make our schools strong and rebuild our economy. Staying safe and halting virus spread must continue to be a top priority. The Department of Public Safety is sharing direction to law enforcement across the state and on our college campuses about the importance of enforcing the face mask order and limits on large gatherings. It's important for the health and safety of our communities that we all do our part.

  • Governor Cooper announced that NC Department of Commerce is accepting applications for a program to help businesses and nonprofits that have seen a dip in services due to COVID-19 keep employees on payroll. Applications are due Sept. 1.

Wednesday, August 12

  • NCDHHS announced corrections to the state’s daily and cumulative completed COVID-19 test counts after discovering a discrepancy between electronic and manual reporting of testing data that had been submitted by LabCorp. The LabCorp data error resulted in a higher count of total COVID-19 tests performed. The reporting error does NOT affect the key COVID-19 NC Dashboard trends North Carolina uses to monitor this pandemic, including the number of new positive cases and percent of tests that are positive. This error did not impact reporting of results to patients or doctors. Read the press release.
  • Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 156 extending, but not waiving, proof-of-immunization and health assessment documentation deadlines for school and child-care facilities. With health care visits limited in some cases due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the order will give students and families more time to get their required vaccines and health assessments completed. Read the press release.

Tuesday, August 11

  • The North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced a new, expedited reimbursement program that aims to expand non-congregate sheltering options in communities across the state. The new funding option allows local jurisdictions, agencies and community organizations to receive expedited reimbursements from NCEM for all eligible costs for non-congregate sheltering operations and associated wrap-around services (e.g., food, security, cleaning, transportation). Applicants will be considered regardless of whether they currently operate a non-congregate sheltering program.
  • Families and caregivers in need of child care for children up to age 12 can call the child care hotline at 1-888-600-1685 to be connected directly to care options in their community that meet their families’ needs.
  • NCDHHS received its first reported case of a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive dog in North Carolina. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. Review resources and guidance for pet owners.

Monday, August 10

  • NCDHHS is seeking regional partners to administer the COVID-19 Support Services Program for individuals who need support if they need to quarantine or isolate. Applications are due August 14 by 5 p.m.
August 2-August 8

August 2-August 8

Friday, August 7

Thursday, August 6

  • NCDHHS and NC Emergency Management have distributed 3.5 million cloth face coverings, 4.5 million procedure masks, and significant amounts of additional personal protective equipment (PPE) to targeted settings. The ongoing PPE shipments support operations including schools, nursing homes, first responders, agricultural facilities, child care facilities and courthouses. Read more.

Wednesday, August 5

  • Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina will remain paused in Safer At Home Phase 2 for another five weeks as students and staff return to schools, colleges and universities. About the extension, NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said, "While overall we are seeing signs of stability, we still have much work to do. Our recent trends show us what is possible when we commit to slowing the spread by wearing face coverings and following those simple but powerful 3Ws." Read the press release.

Tuesday, August 4

  • As cleanup from Hurricane Isaias continues, don’t forget that the pandemic is still with us. Help your neighbor, but do it safely. Wear your mask, keep your distance and bring your hand sanitizer.
  • NCDHHS has upcoming community testing events throughout the state. For an up-to-date list of events, visit the Community Testing Events webpage. NCDHHS events are listed under the name of their coordinating vendor, NCCHCA, Orig3n or Vidant Health. 

Monday, August 3

  • Due to Tropical Storm Isaias, some community testing events are being canceled or hours are being changed. Please contact the testing site before arrival to ensure that the site is open.

July 26-August 1

July 26-August 1

Thursday, July 30

  • If you are experiencing depression, anxiety or stress, you don’t have to go through it alone. There are resources available. Visit ncdhhs.gov/hope4nc for more, including getting the SCOOP on managing stress:

    • S - Stay connected to family and friends

    • C - Compassion for yourself and others

    • O - Observe your use of substances

    • O - Ok to ask for help

    • P - Physical activity to improve your mood

Wednesday, July 29

  • The NCDHHS, DPH Nutrition Services Branch announces its annual participation in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), ensuring children and adults continue to have access to good nutrition. NCDHHS is committed to providing nutritious food especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and USDA flexibilities are in place to facilitate meeting participants’ needs during this challenging time.

Tuesday, July 28

  • With actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 beginning to have impact, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 153, stopping the sale of alcoholic drinks in restaurants, breweries, wineries and distilleries at 11 pm. North Carolina bars that are currently closed will remain closed. This order will take effect Friday, July 31. The order will not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores or other entities permitted to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption. Local governments that have implemented orders that end alcohol sales before 11 p.m. or that apply to other entities remain in effect. Read the press release.

Monday, July 27

  • NCDHHS has dozens of upcoming community testing events scheduled in Bladen, Duplin, Johnston, Edgecombe, Henderson, Hertford, Northampton, Randolph, Robeson, Sampson and Warren counties as part of the initiative to increase access to free COVID-19 testing for African American, LatinX/Hispanic and American Indian communities that currently have limited testing sites. So far, nearly 130 testing events have been coordinated through this initiative. There is no cost for testing. For an up-to-date list of events, visit the Community Testing Events page of the NCDHHS COVID-19 website. NCDHHS testing events are listed under the name of their coordinating vendor: NCCHCA, Orig3n, Inc or Vidant Health.

July 19-25

July 19-25

Friday, July 24

  • Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order returning regulatory authority for skilled nursing facilities to the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). Current restrictions remain in place as NCDHHS collaborates with industry and advocacy organizations, monitors progress and evaluates options to best protect the health and wellbeing of staff, residents and their loved ones. Read the press release.
  • The NCDHHS COVID-19 Historically Marginalized Populations Workgroup has shared messages in English and Spanish on the effects of COVID-19 on African American and Hispanic/LatinX communities as well as measures to slow the spread of the virus.
  • A new op-ed from Governor Cooper addresses the need for Congress to act now and extend unemployment benefits for struggling workers.

Thursday, July 23

  • Governor Roy Cooper and NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. along with Claudia Velasco-Osorio, Consul General of Mexico in Raleigh, and Jorge Archila, Consul General of Guatemala, released a statement on the effect of COVID-19 as cases increase among the Latinx and Hispanic communities in North Carolina.

Wednesday, July 22 - no new updates

Tuesday, July 21

  • Agriculture is vital to our economy and food supply and it is critical that we protect farmworkers and their families from this virus. NCDHHS is taking further action to prevent and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks among the agricultural workforce, delivering critical PPE for use by agricultural workers.
  • The CDC now recommends a symptom-based, instead of test-based, approach to determine when people are no longer considered infectious and can end isolation. Data are showing that people with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain infectious no longer than 10 days after symptom onset. Learn more about when you can end self-isolation.

Monday, July 20

  • NCDHHS unveiled an updated COVID-19 Dashboard that includes more granular information about hospital capacity and hospitalization trends, both statewide and broken down by region. These new hospitalization data will provide additional insight into North Carolina’s hospital capacity in the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the press release.
  • Governor Roy Cooper announced that NCDHHS has approved a third vendor, NC Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA), to expand free COVID-19 testing to historically marginalized communities that currently have limited testing sites.
  • NCDHHS selected 13 businesses to join its pool of qualified vendors to support the state’s response to COVID-19, bringing the total number of vendors to 39. North Carolina is responding to the pandemic on multiples fronts, including building the state’s testing and contact tracing infrastructure, while surging assets in communities and populations that have been hardest hit by COVID-19. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Round 3, which is for testing and lab capacity, is now posted. The deadline for response is July 31.
  • Governor Roy Cooper sent a letter to the North Carolina Congressional Delegation asking for their continued support addressing the critical needs of the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
July 12-July 18

July 12-July 18

Friday, July 17

  • NCDHHS has upcoming community testing events in Duplin, Edgecombe, Halifax, Hertford, Johnston, Northampton and Sampson counties as part of the CHAMP Initiative. For an up-to-date list of events, visit the Community Testing Events webpage. Events are listed under the name of their coordinating vendor, Vidant Health or Orig3n, Inc. There is no cost for testing.
  • As we head into the weekend, remember your 3Ws! When you leave home, WEAR a cloth covering over your nose and mouth. When in public, WAIT 6 feet apart to avoid close contact. WASH your hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Looking for materials like social media graphics, infographics, video PSAs, signs and flyers? Check out the Prevent and Protect toolkit, which can help inform and educate North Carolinians about testing, contact tracing, and preventive measures they can take to protect themselves and their loved ones and help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Thursday, July 16

  • NCDHHS launched new online tools to help Spanish-speaking North Carolinians to determine if they should consider being tested for COVID-19 and help individuals monitor their symptoms if they have tested positive for or been exposed to COVID-19. Read the release in English and Spanish.

Wednesday, July 15 - no new updates

Tuesday, July 14

Monday, July 13

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been close to confirmed cases, live/work in a congregate living situation, are a front-line/essential worker, work in health care, have a higher risk of severe illness, are a member of a historically marginalized population, such as the African American and Hispanic-Latinx communities, you no longer need to wait for a provider referral to get tested. This also applies to people who have attended protests, rallies or other mass gatherings. Need a COVID-19 test, but haven’t found a site nearby? There are new community testing events added every day. Many are free or will bill your health insurance.

July 5-July 11

July 5-July 11

Saturday, July 11

Friday, July 10

  • Need a COVID-19 test, but haven’t found a site nearby? There are new community testing events added every day. Many are free or will bill your health insurance. Check daily for new sites.

Thursday, July 9

  • Today is our highest day of hospitalizations and second highest day of cases. While North Carolina is not in dire straits like some states around us, we have reason to be concerned and need to remain vigilant in slowing the spread of the virus.

  • NCDHHS seeks a vendor to provide 250 Community Health Workers to help with COVID-19 outreach to historically underserved communities with high caseloads.

  • The Student Response Corps is a new virtual internship program matching students in need of work experience with local governments and nonprofits needing additional support for COVID-19 response. Learn more.

Wednesday, July 8 - no new updates

Tuesday, July 7

  • NCDHHS took action to decrease barriers to COVID-19 testing by issuing a Statewide Standing Order for COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing, as well as a State Health Director Temporary Order on COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Reporting. The Statewide Standing Order allows testing sites to collect and submit samples to a laboratory for COVID-19 testing without requiring a specific order and authorizes testing sites to receive results directly from laboratories. This will facilitate community-based testing sites and reduce barriers to testing, especially for members of historically marginalized populations who may be less likely to have a medical home. Read the press release.
  • NCDHHS launched the Community testing in High-priority And Marginalized Populations (CHAMP) Initiative to increase access to no-cost COVID-19 testing for African American, LatinX/Hispanic and American Indian communities that currently have limited testing sites. As many as 300 temporary testing sites will be deployed throughout the month of July, including drive-thru and walk-up sites. Read more.
  • NCDHHS joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in alerting consumers of adverse health effects associated with methanol-contaminated hand sanitizers. Read the press release and learn more about ways you can stay healthy.

Monday, July 6

June 28-July 4

June 28-July 4

Friday, July 3

  • NCDHHS reported the state’s highest one-day number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases with 2,099 cases reported. Hospitalizations were also at a record high with 951 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

Thursday, July 2

  • NCDHHS Secretary Cohen shared an update on North Carolina's trends. North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases and surveillance data continues to increase. The trajectory in percent of tests returning positive remains steady at about 9 percent and the trajectory of hospitalizations is also leveling.
  • NCDHHS is launching a new social media marketing campaign as part of a larger public outreach campaign designed to reach historically marginalized populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Read more.
  • Please stay safe and don’t forget to practice the 3 Ws as you celebrate Independence Day this weekend: WEAR a cloth covering over your nose and mouth, WAIT 6 feet apart and WASH your hands or use hand sanitizer.

Wednesday, July 1

  • Governor Roy Cooper shared that North Carolina will continue working with schools, teachers, parents and health experts to ensure that plans for school this coming year will protect everybody, especially those at high-risk. “Let me be clear: We want our schools open for in-person instruction in August,” he said. Read the press release.

  • Today was the highest day of confirmed COVID-19 cases with 1,843 new cases. Visit our COVID-19 dashboard for daily updates.

Tuesday, June 30

  • NCDHHS will partner with Omnicare, a CVS Health company, to make facility-wide testing available to residents and staff in all North Carolina skilled nursing facilities. There are over 400 nursing homes in the state with approximately 36,000 residents and more than 30,000 staff. Testing will begin in July and continue through August. Read the press release.

Monday, June 29

June 21-June 27

June 21-June 27

Friday, June 26

  • Starting today, North Carolinians must wear cloth coverings over their nose and mouth when in public places where physical distancing is not possible. Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings or masks, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Learn more.

  • NCDHHS awarded grants to five local North Carolina organizations to help address the disparate impact COVID-19 is having among the state’s Hispanic and LatinX communities. Association of Mexicans in North Carolina Inc. (AMEXCAN), El Centro Hispano, Latin American Coalition, Qué Pasa Media Network and True Ridge will each receive $100,000 to help support disease prevention measures in high-risk Hispanic/LatinX communities.

  • NCDHHS has expanded the COVID-19 Dashboard to include expanded county data on trends, demographics and testing. The updated dashboard also includes a new report on COVID-19 clusters in child care and school settings.

Thursday, June 25 - no new updates

Wednesday, June 24

  • Because of the continued upward trends in COVID-19 related metrics, along with concern for both the public health and for our hospital capacity, North Carolina will remain in Phase 2 until at least Friday, July 17.

  • North Carolina is adopting a face covering requirement to help slow the spread of COVID-19, making it mandatory for people to wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth when they are indoor and in outdoor public places, where staying 6 feet from people who are not part of their households is impossible. Face coverings are a simple way to control this virus while we protect ourselves, our families, and other people around us. Employees and customers of retail businesses and restaurants, as well as workers in manufacturing, construction, meat process and agriculture settings, must wear face coverings in those places.

  • Atrium Health, Carolina Panthers, Bank of America, Honeywell and many other companies have pledged to distribute 1 million free cloth face coverings to communities in need in North Carolina.

  • NCDHHS has expanded the COVID-19 Dashboard to include county-specific data on COVID-19 cases and deaths, including trends and demographic information by county. The updated dashboard also includes a new report on clusters of COVID-19 in child care and school settings.

Tuesday, June 23

  • NCDHHS released improved online applications for Medicaid and Food and Nutrition Services that will help both North Carolina families and county Departments of Social Services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, June 22

  • Through a public-private partnership, North Carolina has created the nation’s first statewide technology platform, NCCARE360, to coordinate whole-person care uniting traditional healthcare settings and organizations that address non-medical drivers of health, such as food, housing, transportation, employment and interpersonal safety. NCCARE360 is now available in all 100 counties.
June 14-June 20

June 14-June 20

Friday, June 19

  • NCDHHS has been awarded $1.5 million to support and expand the Hope4NC program, which connects North Carolinians to mental health supports that help them cope and build resilience during times of crisis. North Carolinians who call the Hope4NC Helpline talk with trained counselors who provide emotional support and share resources on building coping skills during times of crisis. Additional resources and information on staying physically and mentally healthy can be found on the Managing Overall Health and Wellness Resources webpages.
  • NCDHHS selected 26 businesses to form its initial pool of qualified vendors to support the state’s response to COVID-19. North Carolina is responding to the pandemic on multiples fronts, including building the state’s testing and contact tracing infrastructure, while surging assets in communities and populations that have been hardest hit by COVID-19.

Thursday, June 18

  • Today’s numbers show yet another high day with more than 1,300 new cases, percent of positive tests at 9 percent and statewide hospitalizations at 857. Recent U.S. and international studies are showing that face coverings used by the public all the time - not just when symptoms first appear - could significantly reduce the rate of COVID-19 spread.

  • Testing has increased with 16,800 tests per day, on average, for the past week. We now have more than 500 testing locations across the state along with several pop-up community testing sites.

  • Based on updated guidance from NCDHHS, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety has begun the testing of all 31,200 offenders in the prison system for the virus.

Wednesday, June 17 - no new updates

Tuesday, June 16

  • Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed June 15, 2020, as Healthcare Heroes Day to recognize the daily heroic sacrifices made by health care professionals, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In honor of our frontline heroes, a special flag will be raised in front of the North Carolina State Capitol and will fly until July 15.
  • NCDHHS is allocating $35 million in federal funding to local health departments to support the COVID-19 response. Per federal guidelines, counties will be able to use these funds to support COVID-19 staffing, infection controls, testing and tracing, IT infrastructure and data sharing and visualization.

Monday, June 15

  • NCDHHS is targeting additional testing and tracing resources to nine counties (Mecklenburg, Wake, Durham, Johnston, Alamance, Guilford, Forsyth, Lee and Duplin) that have some of the highest COVID-19 case rates.
  • NCDHHS announced that the state’s Community Action Agencies (CAAs) have begun to receive flexible funds that can be used to help low-income individuals and families meet a variety of needs caused by the economic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are part of the federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and can, among other allowable uses, help eligible residents facing eviction with unmet rent and utility expenses.
June 7-June 13

June 7-June 13

Friday, June 12

  • Today is North Carolina’s highest day of new cases (1,768) since the pandemic started. COVID-19 remains a serious threat to our state and the trends are concerning. We have the tools to respond to this crisis and slow the spread of the virus – but we all have to work together to make this happen. Practice the 3 Ws - wear a cloth face covering, wait six feet apart and wash your hands frequently.

  • If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, get tested – even if you don’t have symptoms. If you attended a mass gathering or a protest, work in a setting where you’re at a higher risk of exposure, or at a high-risk setting like a food processing facility – get tested. In addition to the Test Site Finder, North Carolinians may find single or multi-day pop-up testing events in their community. 

Wednesday, June 10

Tuesday, June 9

  • NCDHHS released updated guidance for doctors and clinicians on who should be tested for COVID-19.

  • NCDHHS issued an Abatement Order requiring ACE Speedway to immediately close their facility and halt operations. The Speedway’s recent actions constitute an imminent hazard for the spread of COVID-19, an acute threat to North Carolinians which must not continue. Read more.

Monday, June 8

  • New health guidance was released today outlining requirements and recommendations for schools to re-open their doors. Opening school buildings on time could be affected by a failure to slow the spread. Read the press release.
  • NCDHHS announced that child protective services and adult protective services workers are designated as first responders. This classification will help these critical workers access Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed while working in situations that require face-to-face contact with adults, children and families amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 31-June 6

May 31-June 6

Saturday, June 6

  • NCDHHS reported the state’s highest one day number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases with 1,370 cases reported. Other metrics that the state is watching also increased. The percent of tests that were positive climbed to 10 percent. This metric is based only on labs that report electronically to the state. In addition, hospitalizations have exceeded 700 for three of the past five days.

Friday, June 5

  • NCDHHS reported the first COVID-19-associated pediatric death in North Carolina. A child in the central part of the state died June 1 from complications associated with COVID-19 infection.

Thursday, June 4

  • NCDHHS launched new initiatives to expand COVID-19 testing and contact tracing across the state. Two new online tools can help people determine if they need to be tested and find a nearby testing place. Check My Symptoms (ncdhhs.gov/symptoms) helps those who feel uncertain about whether they should get tested. Find My Testing Place (ncdhhs.gov/testingplace) is a resource for anyone who needs to locate a testing site.
  • COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color. Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 143 to address these disparities. The order will:
    • Create the Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental and Health Equity Task Force. The task force will focus on access to health care; patient engagement in health care settings; economic opportunities in business development and employment; environmental justice and inclusion; and education. NC Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders will lead the group of a diverse panel of experts, state agency leaders and community members of these five focus areas.
    • Directs the NC Pandemic Recovery Office to ensure that COVID-19 relief funds are fairly distributed. It also expands the capacity of our NC Historically Underutilized Business Office to provide those businesses access to opportunities and resources.
    • Directs NCDHHS, in partnership with community health centers, local health departments, rural health centers and free and charitable clinics, to provide COVID-19 testing and related health care to uninsured North Carolinians.
    • Provides direction for other state agencies.

Wednesday, June 3

  • NCDHHS is extending the deadline for questions for its Request for Qualifications (RFQ) that seeks to create a pool of qualified vendors to support the response to COVID-19. Vendors may now submit questions in writing until 2 p.m. on June 4.

Tuesday, June 2

  • NCDHHS Secretary Cohen shared an update on North Carolina’s COVID-19 trends. The state's trajectory of lab-confirmed cases continues to increase. While more testing is happening, this data also shows there is more viral spread in our communities. North Carolina's trajectory in percent of tests returning positive remains level, while the trajectory of hospitalizations has increased slightly since entering Phase 2. There is hospital capacity, but the data will have to be monitored for any regional patterns.
  • NCDHHS is continuing to increase testing and tracing of known infections. North Carolina now has 32 labs analyzing testing samples and there are now more than 400 verified sites that are collecting those samples. Learn more about testing.

Monday, June 1

  • North Carolina held a Day of Mourning to grieve those who have lost their lives to COVID-19.
  • Testing and contact tracing are how we can best protect ourselves and our loved ones and slow the spread of this virus. This is especially important within historically marginalized populations, who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Our communities of color face real barriers to basic disease prevention tools. NCDHHS is focused on addressing these barriers and ensuring this is front and center in our efforts to respond to COVID-19. As we have expanded our contact tracing capacity, we are focused on hiring candidates that reflect the communities they serve.
  • NCDHHS is seeking to create a pool of qualified vendors to support the response to COVID-19. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was issued on May 29 for diagnostic and antibody testing including specimen collection and laboratory processing, reserving potential laboratory capacity and contact tracing. Testing and tracing are part of North Carolina’s strategy to responsibly ease restrictions, while slowing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting North Carolinians. Vendors can apply to be qualified for individual or multiple components that support testing and lab capacity and contact and tracing.
  • June 1 marks the first day of the 2020 Hurricane Season. Now is the time to make sure your family is ready for the season. This year, make sure to include hand sanitizer, face coverings and sanitizing wipes in your emergency kit.
May 24-May 30

May 24-May 30

Saturday, May 30

  • Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order No. 142 to extend the prohibition of utility shut-offs and implement a moratorium on evictions. The Order goes into effect today with the Governor’s signature. Read the press release and the FAQ.

Friday, May 29

  • NCDHHS is requesting Congressional support to extend the Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program to provide food for children beyond the traditional school calendar year. Extending P-EBT benefits through the summer months would help provide the families of nearly half of North Carolina school children about $250 in additional support per child to buy groceries.

  • Governor Cooper announced that North Carolina received a $6 million federal grant to support jobs and workforce training to help address the impacts of COVID-19.

Thursday, May 28

Wednesday, May 27

  • NCDHHS is using radio and video messages to reach historically marginalized populations to share important messages about reducing risks for COVID-19. The messages are part of the Department’s focus during the COVID-19 response to address the underlying causes of long-standing health disparities impacting communities of color across North Carolina.

Tuesday, May 26

  • By the end of this week, 59 counties will have received funds from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, which they may use and also may share with local municipalities. This money will help local governments pay for health and public safety officials, telemedicine, personal protective equipment and more.
May 17-May 23

May 17-May 23

Saturday, May 23

  • NCDHHS reported the state’s highest one-day number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases with 1,107 cases reported on May 23.

Friday, May 22

  • Today at 5 p.m., North Carolina moves into Safer At Home Phase 2. See more about Phase 2. Restaurants, swimming pools, and personal care businesses, such as salons and barber shops, can re-open at 50 percent capacity, with distancing and cleaning requirements. See guidance for these businesses.
  • NCDHHS, North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association, NC State Extension and Visit North Carolina have partnered to create the Count on Me NC initiative, a free online training for restaurant managers and staff that is focused on advanced cleaning, disinfection, social distancing, and hygiene practices to protect the public from COVID-19. So far, more 3,500 businesses have already completed the training. Find a list of Count on Me businesses and sign the Guest Pledge at CountOnMenc.org.
  • NCDHHS began distributing a one-time supplemental payment to families enrolled in the Work First Cash Assistance program with one or more children. These payments are intended to help vulnerable families during the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday, May 21

  • As North Carolina heads into Phase 2 (Safer at Home), the state recorded 738 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday. This is another high number of cases over one day and underscores the need to proceed cautiously as we ease restrictions.
  • NCDHHS reported its first case of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. While children generally experience mild symptoms with COVID-19, recently a possible link has been found between COVID-19 and a serious inflammatory disease in some children and teenagers who have current or recent infections.
  • School nutrition sites in all 115 school districts have provided 23 million meals (breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner) since schools closed on March 16. There are currently 1,000 pick-up/drive-through meal sites and 2,100 yellow school buses delivering meals around the state.

Wednesday, May 20

  • Governor Roy Cooper and NCDHHS Secretary Cohen announced that North Carolina will move into Safer At Home Phase 2 on Friday, May 22 at 5 p.m. After two weeks in Phase 1, the state’s overall key indicators remain stable but the continued increases in daily case counts signal a need to take a more modest step forward in Phase 2 than originally envisioned. Read the FAQs and view the Phase 2 Guidance.
  • NCDHHS unveiled an updated COVID-19 Dashboard. The interactive dashboard includes an enhanced NC map, sections on COVID-like illness surveillance, cases, testing, hospitalizations, contact tracing, personal protective equipment (PPE) and congregate living settings. There is also a section on weekly reports that currently includes presumed recoveries and risk factors for severe illness for North Carolinians.

Tuesday, May 19

  • With Avery County reporting its first case of COVID-19, there are now laboratory-confirmed cases in all 100 NC counties. See more info on the DHHS dashboard.
  • Governor Cooper recently proclaimed May as “Older Americans Month.” Do your part to protect older loved ones, friends and neighbors who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 by following the 3 Ws: WEAR a cloth face covering. WAIT 6 feet apart from other people. WASH your hands often.
  • Yesterday, the North Carolina National Guard delivered personal protective equipment (PPE) to facilities in 59 counties. Shipments included isolation gowns, gloves, face shields, multiple types of masks, goggles, thermometers and hand sanitizer. NC is continuing efforts to purchase PPE, and the state is working with the private sector to manufacture PPE in North Carolina.

Monday, May 18

  • All long-term care facilities in the state will receive personal protective equipment (PPE) packs of needed supplies, and facilities will receive a limited increased rate for some Medicaid services to support infection prevention and management. PPE packs will go to more than 3,000 state-licensed long-term care facilities and include a fourteen-day supply of face shields, procedure masks, gloves and shoe covers. NCDHHS is providing a time-limited Medicaid rate increase for nursing facility services such as skilled nursing and rehabilitation services. 
May 10-May 16

May 10-May 16

Friday, May 15

  • NCDHHS issued updated guidance on who should be tested for COVID-19. The new guidance recommends that clinicians test any patient in whom COVID-19 is suspected. The new guidance recommends clinicians ensure certain populations have access to testing, regardless of symptoms, including:

    • Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19

    • Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms 

    • Persons who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp)

    • Persons who are at high risk of severe illness (e.g., people over 65 years of age, people of any age with underlying health conditions)

    • Persons who come from historically marginalized populations

    • Health care workers or first responders (e.g. EMS, law enforcement, fire department, military)

    • Front-line and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, etc.) in settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain

  • New interim guidance was issued for overnight camp settings

Thursday, May 14

  • Governor Roy Cooper and NCDHHS Secretary Cohen shared an update on North Carolina’s key COVID-19 indicators. The data and trends show that North Carolina remains stable nearly one week into Phase 1. Based on the metrics laid out last month by Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen, officials need to continue watching the trends before announcing a shift into Phase 2. 
  • More testing is becoming available, both at hospitals, doctor's offices and retail partners. View testing locations.

Wednesday, May 13

  • Starting today, families impacted by school closings due to COVID-19 are beginning to receive additional food benefits as part of the new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program.
  • If you think you need a test to determine if you have COVID-19 contact your health care provider and share your symptoms. Not all health care providers provide testing on-site. The sites listed provide testing for COVID-19. Some require an appointment and/or a referral from a health care provider. Locations are subject to change.

Tuesday, May 12

  • More testing is becoming available at hospitals, doctor's offices and retail partners. Later this week, NCDHHS will list testing locations.
  • North Carolina is working with local manufacturers to shift their production to make critical medical supplies. 
  • May is Mental Health Awareness Month, an important reminder that we need to think about whole health as we confront this pandemic. 
  • Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 139, which will provide additional regulatory flexibility to help ensure capacity in the state’s health care system and improve its ability to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, May 11

  • New data on the number of patients presumed to be recovered from COVID-19 was added to the COVID-19 Dashboard. As of this morning, 9,115 patients are presumed to be recovered. Learn how this total is calculated in this summary.
  • Since Friday, teams delivered personal protective equipment to 52 counties and four healthcare coalitions. Shipments included masks, gloves, face shields, goggles, hair and shoe covers, and a few gowns. Additionally, the National Guard has helped distribute more than 870,000 meals for food banks and more than 97,000 meals for schools. 
  • During this time, continue to keep in touch with your doctor and keep up with your regularly scheduled appointments, whether through telehealth or in person. Watch this video to learn more about telehealth.
     
May 3-May 9

May 3-May 9

Friday, May 8

  • As Phase 1 begins, NCDHHS is focused on testing, tracing and trends. North Carolina ranks 15th in the nation regarding total number of tests completed, and 8 out of the 10 past days, has reached the goal of 5,000 to 7,000 tests completed per day. While testing is on right track, it needs to increase, especially for North Carolina’s underserved communities. Securing sample collection supplies from the federal government, additional testing sites and expanded lab capacity will help meet testing goals.

Thursday, May 7

  • Wear. Wait. Wash. As North Carolina moves to ease some COVID-19 restrictions at the end of this week, NCDHHS is asking people to remember these three things to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve.
  • Health care providers and hospitals can use a new portal to request reimbursement for claims associated with COVID-19 testing and treatment of uninsured patients retroactive to Feb. 4, 2020. The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal was launched by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support health care providers in delivering COVID-19 diagnostic testing and treatment at no cost to patients. It can be accessed at COVIDUninsuredClaim.linkhealth.com.

Wednesday, May 6

  • In Phase 1, retail businesses that pose a lower risk can open with 50 percent capacity, although protective measures will be in place to ensure safety. Staying at home is still the best way to slow the spread of COVID- 19, but if you must go out, Know Your Ws: wear a face covering; wait 6 feet apart from others; and wash your hands often. 
  • Due to COVID-19, many health care facilities, particularly long-term care facilities, are seeking to urgently hire staff for temporary, part-time or full-time roles. Interested health care employees with the ability to pick up extra shifts or who may have been laid off from facilities and are seeking full-time roles can register at https://nc.readyop.com/fs/4cjq/697b
  • North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) participants will be able to purchase groceries online using their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards at authorized online EBT retailers. 

Tuesday, May 5

  • Governor Cooper announces a modified Stay At Home order and transition to Phase 1 of easing restrictions effective Friday, May 8 at 5 p.m. Retail businesses are allowed to open at 50% capacity and will be required to direct customers to stand 6 feet apart, perform frequent cleanings, provide hand sanitizer when available, screen workers for symptoms and more. Certain businesses remain closed, including bars, personal care businesses, entertainment venues, and gyms. Restaurants may only continue to serve customers for drive-through, take out and delivery.
  • Phase 1 is set to expire on May 22, but if there is a spike in infection, Phase 1 will be extended. Read a side-by-side explanation of what changes in Phase 1.
  • People should remember the 3 W's when they leave home: wear a face covering; wait 6 feet apart from others; and wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Just over half of NC adults are at risk of severe COVID-19 disease because they are age 65+ and/or have an underlying health condition.

Monday, May 4

  • Governor Cooper signs two bills to provide more than $1.5 billion for COVID-19 relief. Funds will be used to meet needs related to education, health care, health disparities, public safety and small businesses. Some of the funds will be for increasing COVID-19 testing and PPE for health care workers. Health disparities funds will specifically address areas and populations being more affected by COVID-19. Education funds will be aimed at feeding children, providing summer programs and computers for students who need them.
April 26-May 2

April 26-May 2

Friday, May 1

  • New data on lab-confirmed cases by zip code is posted on the NCDHHS COVID-19 dashboard.  

  • NCDHHS Secretary Cohen shares that more than 5,300 tests were completed yesterday and the percent that were positive decreased to 7 percent. While this is good news, North Carolinians should continue to stay home to slow the spread and flatten the curve. About 38 percent of adults under 65 in North Carolina have at least one of the underlying health conditions that the CDC has named as high risk. 

  • As a reminder, stay 6 feet apart and wear a face covering if you can’t keep social distancing, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer frequently, stay home if you’re sick, and if you’re older and at higher risk, stay home as much as possible. 
     

Thursday, April 30

  • Governor Cooper and NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen provide an update on COVID-19. A combination of four metrics will drive the easing of restrictions: 1) COVID-like syndromic cases over 14 days, 2) Lab-confirmed cases over 14 days, 3) Positive tests as a percentage of the total tests over 14 days and 4) Hospitalizations over 14 days.
  • FEMA will provide cloth masks to infrastructure workers, mostly in the energy and food sectors who do not need medical-grade masks for their daily work. North Carolina Emergency Management will also receive 149,000 cloth masks to be distributed to food supply chain workers.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture has programs to provide assistance to people in rural communities affected by COVID-19.

Wednesday, April 29

  • The Stay at Home Order through May 8 remains in effect, and the strong actions of North Carolinians are helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, according to new research from Duke University, NoviSci, RTI International and the UNC-Chapel Hill. New research models from UNC Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research indicate a phased reopening will help avoid overwhelming our health care system. See the report.
  • Meals on Wheels North Carolina continues to serve vulnerable seniors. In the first half of April, approximately 211,000 meals were served to 52,000 seniors. Families who need food assistance can text FOODNC to 877-877 to locate nearby free meal sites. The texting service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877-877.

Tuesday, April 28

  • The Hope4Healers Helpline (919-226-2002) is being expanded to support the staff who work in North Carolina’s child care programs. Hope4Healers also is now equipped with 24/7 call line support. Earlier this month, NCDHHS launched the helpline in partnership with the North Carolina Psychological Foundation to provide mental health and resilience supports for health care professionals, other staff who work in health care settings, first responders and their families who are all experiencing stress from being on the front lines of the state’s COVID-19 response.
  • Next week, the FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency will begin shipping personal protective equipment (PPE) to 430 nursing homes, including gloves, gowns, eye protection and masks. NC ordered another $82 million in PPE yesterday.
  • More than 1,000 people have already expressed an interest in working for NC’s Contact Tracing Collaborative. Interested applicants should visit www.communitycarenc.org/carolina-community-tracing.

Monday, April 27

  • Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative, a new partnership with Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) and the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) is part of Governor Roy Cooper’s initiative to slowly lift restrictions by focusing on testing, tracing and trends. Through this collaborative, up to 250 additional local staff will be hired and trained initially to support contact tracing efforts with the potential to add more. Recruitment will start immediately; interested applicants should visit the collaborative’s webpage.
  • The CDC has expanded the list of symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19. In addition to fever, cough and shortness of breath, other symptoms may include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.
  • Information on congregate living facilities with outbreaks (two or more cases) has been added to the COVID-19 dashboard. It also includes data on testing and tracing capacity, including our supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), number of tests per day and staffing for contract tracing. A new key metrics tab on the dashboard tracks COVID-19-like syndromic cases; lab-confirmed cases; positive tests as a percentage of the total; and hospitalizations.
April 19-April 25

April 19-April 25

Friday, April 24

  • Governor Cooper and education leaders announce that they will continue remote learning for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year for K-12 public schools. Information on student grading for this school year will be sent to schools and parents soon. Teachers and school employees are to continue to work and they remain eligible to be paid. The opening of schools in summer and fall and the availability of summer camps are going to depend on meeting health guidelines.  
  • NC has partnered with AT&T and Duke Energy to provide 180+ hotspots for use in school buses to help students without home internet access. The state hopes to add more hotspots later.  
  • Governor Cooper's proposed budget directs $1.4 billion in federal money from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund for immediate needs in three areas: public health and safety (including PPE and increased testing); continuity of operations for education and other state government services (including funding to enhance remote teaching and learning capabilities); assistance to small businesses and local governments (including bridge loans and critical IT software as we transition more services online).

Thursday, April 23

  • Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 135 extending North Carolina’s Stay At Home order through May 8. Governor Cooper shared details about North Carolina’s plan to lift restrictions in three phases once the data show that key metrics are headed in the right direction. Last week, Governor Cooper laid out the path forward centered on three things: testing, tracing and trends. Today, Governor Cooper and NCDHHS Secretary Cohen shared more specifics on those key metrics. The Stay At Home and other orders are extended today because North Carolina has not yet seen a downward trajectory of those metrics needed to begin gradually lifting restrictions. 

Wednesday, April 22

  • NCDHHS has been awarded a $2 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support the state’s behavioral health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant will support NCDHHS’s efforts to address the growing needs of people with mental health issues and substance use disorder as it relates to the COVID-19 crisis, along with the mental health needs of the general public and health care workers who are on the front lines of this pandemic. Read the press release and learn more about the resources available to support your overall well-being.
  • Two groups made up of private and public leaders across NC met today to discuss the path forward when the state eases restrictions. The main topics of conversation were large gatherings and businesses.
  • Vendors of Personal Protective Equipment or industry representatives can now fill out an online form to get in touch with the Purchasing Team. If your offer meets the team’s specifications, you may get a call. 
  • Information on how to find or donate to a food bank can be found at feedingthecarolinas.org.

Tuesday, April 21

  • NCDHHS received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to temporarily waive certain Medicaid policies as part of North Carolina’s response to the COVID-19. The waivers will provide flexibility to NC Medicaid and providers to address the urgent health care needs of beneficiaries during this public health emergency.
  • NCDHHS, the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDACS), local health departments, plant managers and corporate owners, community health centers and local hospitals are working together to keep workers safe and to help ensure the world’s food supply remains stable. See the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help protect workers at food processing facilities from COVID-19.

Monday, April 20

  • North Carolina has been approved for the new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, which will help families purchase food for children impacted by school closings due to COVID-19. NCDHHS is working to operationalize the program and families will begin to receive this benefit in the coming weeks.
April 12-April 18

April 12-April 18

Friday, April 17

  • Governor Roy Cooper announces that NCDHHS is working with academic partners across the state to understand how widespread cases of COVID-19 with mild or no symptoms are in the state and to monitor prevalence of the disease over time.  
  • NCDHHS convenes a Testing Surge Workgroup to develop a plan to increase testing, expand testing sites and options, and address testing supply challenges, including the availability of personal protective equipment.   
  • NCDHHS shares recommended strategies to support local solutions to maintain and sustain services for individuals with behavioral health needs and intellectual and developmental disabilities along with reducing the burden on emergency departments and hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.  
  • NC Medicaid provides additional funding to support nursing homes and adult care homes for older adult Medicaid beneficiaries diagnosed with or at high risk of contracting COVID-19. COVID-19 guidance and resources for Medicaid providers are available online.

Thursday, April 16

  • Staying home does not mean ignoring your health. Telehealth allows people to get health care services using a computer, tablet, smart phone or other technology. All insurance companies in the state, including Medicaid and Medicare, are covering healthcare visits through telehealth. Increasing access to affordable insurance coverage is an important way for our state to fight COVID-19. The easiest way to understand your health insurance options is go to HealthCare.gov.  
  • Staying at home and maintaining social distancing is keeping North Carolina ahead of the curve, ensuring our health care system is not overwhelmed.   
  • While the supply chain is strong, there is a high demand for certain items, like meat and toilet paper. Please only buy what you need and leave enough for others. To help those in need, visit feedingthecarolinas.org.

Wednesday, April 15

  • Governor Roy Cooper charts a path forward for eventually easing certain COVID-19 restrictions while still protecting North Carolinians from a dangerous second wave of the virus. In order to ease restrictions, the state needs to make more progress in three areas: testing, tracing and trends.​​​
    • Expert modeling has shows it would be dangerous to lift the restrictions all at once because it would increase the chances that hospitals become overwhelmed and unable to care for severely ill patients. Governor Cooper emphasizes that changes in restrictions must protect public health, especially those who are most vulnerable to severe illness, including people over age 65, those with underlying health conditions and people living in congregate settings. 

Tuesday, April 14

Monday, April 13

  • At 5 p.m. today, new social distancing policies go into effect. Stores must: Limit the number of customers inside, mark six feet of distance near areas where people gather like checkout lines and disinfect routinely. Stores are also encouraged to provide hand sanitizer and face coverings for employees. Read the press release and the FAQs.  
  • NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry provided an update on supplies: surgical masks and gloves are being provided to hospitals, first responders and long term care homes. All other forms of personal protective equipment remain in short supply, and we are filling requests in small quantities to meet the most critical needs.  
  • Nearly 1,200 medical professional volunteers are screened and ready to work if they are needed to support hospitals. More than 1,000 people are still going through the screening process. Food banks still need your help in keeping shelves stocked. Visit Feeding the Carolinas to learn more. 
April 5-April 11

April 5-April 11

Friday, April 10

  • In addition to NCDHHS' information on COVID-19, find the latest resources and assistance from across state government here: nc.gov/covid19  
  • Secretary Mandy Cohen thanks North Carolinians for staying home during this year's Passover and Easter celebrations. 

Thursday, April 9

  • Governor Roy Cooper issues Executive Order 131 which addresses three key areas:
    • The first requires retail stores that are still operating to implement new social distancing policies to make shopping safer for customers and employees.  
    • The second makes earlier COVID-19 guidelines mandatory for nursing facilities, and recommends other long-term care facilities to do the same.  
    • The third area is unemployment benefits, issuing changes that will speed up certain benefit payments to those who are out of work.  
    • Read questions and answers about this Order

Wednesday, April 8

  • Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina has received approval from FEMA to provide housing alternatives, such as hotels, motels, and dormitories, for North Carolinians with unstable housing who may need to quarantine in response to or are at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Learn more.
  • NCDHHS has two new mental health resources to support North Carolinians throughout the COVID-19 crisis: Hope4NC Helpline (1-855-587-3463) and the Hope4Healers Helpline (919-226-2002). Learn more about these resources.   
  • Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 130 to provide more access to health care beds, expands the pool of health care workers and orders essential childcare services for workers responding to COVID-19.

Tuesday, April 7

  • NCDHHS established an Emergency Child Care Subsidy Program for essential workers as defined in Governor Roy Cooper’s March 27 Executive Order 121. Essential worker emergency child care financial assistance will be offered through May and may be extended. To receive an emergency care subsidy, parents must complete the COVID-19 Parent Application for Financial Assistance for Emergency Child Care and submit it to their child care provider. Learn more in the press release.  
  • Governor Roy Cooper, NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen and NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry shared an update on COVID-19 in North Carolina. 
    • New Executive Orders will be issued this week that will fast track child care for health care professionals and make more hospital bed space quickly available; and put social distancing limits in our essential retailers.  
    • FEMA has approved the state's request to set up housing alternatives for those who need it.  
    • Yesterday's modeling forecast underscores how critical social distancing is to slow the spread of COVID-19. The interventions North Carolina has put in place are slowing the spread of the virus.

Monday, April 6

March 29-April 4

March 29-April 4

Friday, April 3

  • Governor Roy Cooper, NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen and NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry share an update on COVID-19 in North Carolina. 
    •  As the state enters the first weekend of the Stay at Home Order, Governor Roy Cooper reminded North Carolinians of the importance of staying home. We are in a crucial period for flattening the curve - this means staying home, and if you absolutely must go out, stay at least six feet away from others.   
    • The competition for personal protective equipment is massive. Because these items are in short supply, some manufacturers across the state have shifted their production lines to create these items.  
    • With so many people working and learning from home, be sure to be cyber smart.

Thursday, April 2

  • NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen and NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry are joined by Assistant Secretary Lockhart Taylor of NC Commerce and Commissioner Todd Ishee of NCDPS for the daily update on COVID-19. 
    • Secretary Cohen emphasizes that COVID-19 can be spread by those who have the virus but DO NOT have any symptoms, which is why staying at home as much as you can is so important. Staying home – as directed by the Stay at Home Order – is the best way to slow the spread and protect North Carolinians.  
    • NC Emergency Management continues to purchase protective equipment for healthcare workers. Director Sprayberry reminded citizens to NOT CALL 9-1-1 to report violations of social distancing guidelines.   
    • More than 350,000 unemployment claims have been filed due to COVID-19. While it may take up to two weeks to get your benefits, the NC Division of Employment Security is working to speed up the application process. Learn more by going to the N.C. Division of Employment Security website.   
    • The Division of Prisons is screening all people entering correctional facilities and taking measures to protect the health of offenders and employees. Learn more by going to the N.C. Department of Public Safety website.

Wednesday, April 1

Tuesday, March 31

  • Governor Roy Cooper announces another step to help families by prohibiting utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during this pandemic. Executive Order 124 applies to electric, gas, water and wastewater services for the next 60 days. The Order directs utilities to give residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills and prohibits them from collecting fees, penalties or interest for late payment. To learn more, read the FAQs.
  • Updated Guidance for Interim Long-Term Care Setting

Monday, March 30

  • Governor Cooper signs an Executive Order to get equipment to health care workers, schools and local governments.  
  • To help families access food during the COVID-19 pandemic, NCDHHS is temporarily increasing benefits for March 2020 and April 2020 to current Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) recipients in North Carolina.  
  • NCDHHS State Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore presented preliminary plans for the state's testing and surveillance of COVID-19. More available in the surveillance overview and accompanying slide deck.  
  • NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen and NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry provide an update on COVID-19. Secretary Cohen reminded North Carolinians that the Governor’s Executive Order to stay at home goes into effect at 5 p.m. today. She emphasized that when we don’t have vaccines or treatments, social distancing is the only tool we have to slow the spread of COVID-19. For more information about the Order, read the FAQs.

Sunday, March 29

  • Governor Roy Cooper announces first COVID-19 unemployment benefits will be paid this week.
March 22-March 28

March 22-March 28

Friday, March 27

  • Governor Roy Cooper issues Executive Order 121, a statewide Stay at Home Order beginning Monday, March 30 at 5 p.m. until April 29, 2020. The Executive Order directs people to stay at home except to visit essential businesses, to exercise outdoors or to help a family member. Specifically, the order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to physically stay at least six feet apart from others. Read the press release and the FAQs. To request that a business be deemed essential, visit this N.C. Department of Revenue webpage.  
  • Governor Roy Cooper announces that parents who need food assistance for their children can text FOODNC to 877-877 to locate nearby free meal sites. The texting service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877-877. Read more.

Thursday, March 26

  • NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elizabeth Tilson and NCEM Director Mike Sprayberry hold a media availability to provide an update on COVID-19. Director Sprayberry announces that North Carolina has received a federal disaster declaration, which will make all counties eligible for FEMA assistance to local governments for pandemic response.  
  • Read Guidance for Executive Order 120.   
  • For people who think they might have COVID-19 and have mild symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends they stay home and call their doctor if you need medical advice. Most people who get COVID-19 will have mild illness and recover at home. NCDHHS has developed a fact sheet to help North Carolinians know what to do if they are sick. Read more

Wednesday, March 25

  • NCDHHS provides guidance for dental providers.  
  • NC Medicaid increases support to protect those most at risk for serious illness from COVID-19 and to maintain access to services.  
  • During a press briefing, Governor Cooper and DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen urged North Carolinians to stay at home if they can and maximize social distancing. People who feel sick and have mild symptoms, should stay home and call their doctor. Businesses are encouraged to get social distancing, telework plans in place immediately. NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry announced NC has ordered $66 million in personal protective equipment for health care providers and encouraged people who can to donate PPE to BEOC@ncdps.gov. The Office of Emergency Medical Services is also working to identify additional hospital beds that could be available once the regular beds at the state’s hospitals are filled.  
  • NCDHHS reports the first COVID-19 associated deaths.

Tuesday, March 24

  • Governor Cooper Requests Major Disaster Declaration for COVID-19.  
  • NCDHHS announces hotline for critical workers seeking child care options.  
  • Governor Cooper directs funding to schools to teach and feed students during COVID-19.   
  • NCDHHS holds a media briefing to share updates about COVID-19. State Health Director Dr. Betsey Tilson encouraged North Carolinians who have mild symptoms of COVID-19 to stay at home and contact your doctor. Director of NC Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry provided updates on the second allocation of supplies that North Carolina has received from the Strategic National Stockpile. While the supplies are useful, North Carolina will continue to respond to the national shortage of protective equipment by implementing any strategy to purchase or acquire additional needed supplies for COVID-19.

Monday, March 23

March 15-March 21

March 15-March 21

Saturday, March 21

Friday, March 20

  • Governor Cooper pushes for key federal changes to make food and health care more accessible.  
  • NC Medicaid increasing eligible technology and provider types for telemedicine to address COVID-19.  
  • NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer and State Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Tilson, NCDHHS Chief Deputy Secretary Susan Gale Perry and NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry provided COVID-19 updates. They discussed addressing child care and nutrition needs for families of health care providers and other frontline workers, reiterated NC 2-1-1 text and call services as a resource for the public, and stressed the importance of social distancing now that community spread of COVID-19 is occurring in North Carolina.  
  • NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen calls for doctor/nurse/non-clinical volunteers to bolster the state's health care system.  
  • Food Safety Guidance for School Meal Delivery provided.  
  • NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen requests providers to cancel elective and non-urgent and procedures and surgeries.  
  • Guidance letter sent to Local Management Entities – Managed Care Organizations (LMEs/MCOs).  
  • The NC Department of Revenue announces the tax deadline is extended to July 15.

Thursday, March 19

  • FAQ for Executive Order 118 provided.  
  • Governor Cooper announces a person in Wilson County tested positive for COVID-19 and this is the first time a positive case of COVID-19 is due to community spread. Community spread occurs when people have been infected with the virus and it's unclear how they were exposed to it. NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said hospitals should postpone elective surgeries to conserve supplies and staff to respond to COVID-19.  
  • U.S. Small Business Administration granted request for a disaster declaration for small businesses suffering economic losses due to COVID-19.

Wednesday, March 18

  • NCDHHS seeks authority from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to temporarily waive certain Medicaid and NC Health Choice policies as part of North Carolina’s response to the COVID-19.  
  • NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer and State Health Director Dr. Betsey Tilson, Attorney General Josh Stein and Director of NC Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry held a media availability to answer questions about COVID-19. Dr. Tilson provided updates on North Carolina's public health response while AG Stein cautioned residents to be aware of and report potential COVID-19 scams and price gouging. Director Sprayberry urged people not to call 9-1-1 unless they have an emergency and to refrain from overbuying at grocery stores, which will remain open.  
  • Governor Roy Cooper today announced NC 2-1-1 by United Way of North Carolina as a resource for people. Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162. Sign up for updates by texting COVIDNC to 898211.   

Tuesday, March 17

  • NCDHHS updates and adds new documents to the COVID-19 Guidance page.  
  • Governor Cooper issues an Executive Order to close sit-down service at restaurants and bars and makes state unemployment benefits more widely available.  
  • NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen signs an order of abatement declaring the use of seating areas of restaurants and bars as an imminent hazard for the spread of COVID-19.  
  • Respiratory Protection Guidance issued.  
  • NCDHHS provides updates to the Community Engagement Resource based on the most recent developments for COVID-19 in North Carolina.  
  • FAQ for Executive Order 117 resource provided.   
  • NCDHHS develops a guidance webpage to compile all official guidance issued on COVID-19.  

Monday, March 16

March 8-March 14

March 8-March 14

Saturday, March 14, 2020

  • Governor Cooper issues Executive Order 117 to limit the spread of COVID-19. The order bans mass gatherings of more than 100 people across the state. It also closes K-12 public schools across the state beginning Monday, March 16 through March 30, unless extended. 

Thursday, March 12, 2020

  • Governor Cooper and members of the Coronavirus task force hold a media briefing on COVID-19 Mitigation Measures.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

  • Governor Cooper and members of the Coronavirus task force held a media briefing on COVID-19.  
  • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) is taking proactive steps to protect the health of our community by making recommendations that are meant to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak and reduce the number of people infected.  
  • Governor Cooper declares a state of emergency to to coordinate response and protective actions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Monday, March 9, 2020

  • The Indiana State Department of Health notified North Carolina officials that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 on March 8 was in Durham and Wake counties on March 2 through March 6 while symptomatic. The person is in isolation at home in Indiana.  
  • Five more people in Wake County have tested presumptively positive today for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). All traveled to Boston in late February to attend a BioGen conference. Several cases of COVID-19 across the country have been tied to the conference. These cases are not related to the Wake County individual who tested positive last week. All are in isolation at their respective homes.
March 2-March 7

March 2-March 7

Friday, March 6, 2020

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

  • The Governor’s Novel Coronavirus Task Force announces a North Carolina individual has tested positive for COVID-19. The test, conducted by the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, is presumptively positive and will be confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab. The individual, who lives in Wake County, is doing well and is in isolation at home.  
  • The Governor’s Novel Coronavirus Task Force announces the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health is now able to test for COVID-19. This new capability allows North Carolina to more quickly take public health steps to respond to any positive test result.
January 24-March 1

January 24-March 1

Friday, Feb. 27, 2020

  • NCDHHS shares CDC’s interim Patient Under Investigation form and releases an updated Interim Patients Under Investigation Toolkit for COVID-19.  
  • NCDHHS shares guidance for healthcare providers and facilities regarding conservation of supplies for COVID-19.

Thursday, Feb. 26, 2020

  • The Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force continues to prepare for the possibility of COVID-19 infections and encourages businesses, schools, health care providers, communities and individuals to prepare as well.

Friday, Feb. 14, 2020

  • NCDHHS provides local health departments with updated guidance for COVID-19 investigations.

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020

  • Governor Cooper announces the creation of the Governor’s Novel Coronavirus Task Force to continue the coordination among state, local and federal partners. The Task Force formalizes the state’s ongoing efforts to monitor, prepare for and respond to the 2019 novel COVID-19.

Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020

  • NCDHHS provides an update for travelers returning to North Carolina. NCDHHS continues to work with the CDC and local health departments to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and assure the health and well-being of North Carolinians as residents return from China.

Thursday, Jan 30, 2020

  • NCDHHS provides a healthcare personnel and visitor Monitoring Log for use by healthcare providers and local health department personnel.  
  • NCDHHS releases an interim Healthcare Facility Preparedness Checklist to provide guidance to healthcare facilities on preparing for COVID-19.

Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020

  • NCDHHS provides a COVID-19 update. NCDHHS is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local health departments, and health care providers to closely monitor COVID-19. There are no confirmed cases in North Carolina.

Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020

  • NCDHHS provides Emergency Medical Services agencies with an Interim EMS Preparedness Checklist for COVID-19.

Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020

Friday, Jan. 24, 2020

  • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announces it is investigating a possible case of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The individual had recently traveled to China and passed through Wuhan City, where the outbreak originated, but had not visited the market linked to many early cases. This person arrived at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Jan. 23, 2020.