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 (May 31-June 6)

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.
  • 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.

All NC Updates by Date

May 31-June 6

May 31-June 6

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.