Governor Cooper Announces $35 Million to Support Child Care Programs

News, Press Release
color child care programs

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper announced that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is providing $35 million in operational grants from federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to help child care programs providing in-person child care during the COVID-19 pandemic. From April through July, NCDHHS has provided over $80 million in monthly operational grants for child care programs that served over 105,000 children statewide throughout the pandemic.

“These grants will help offset the significant financial strains placed on child care to meet health and safety guidelines while serving fewer children,” said Governor Cooper. “Our child care programs have been on the frontlines since the start of this pandemic, keeping their doors open so other workers could keep our economy running and the public safe. A strong and safe child care system is essential to our recovery.”

“Our response and recovery are dependent upon having a strong, high-quality child care system open and available. These operational grants help families go to work and children’s learning to be nurtured,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D.

The grants will be awarded to licensed child care providers operating in-person during the months of August through October 2020 to help offset the significant financial strains due to the additional expenses to meet health and safety guidelines, while experiencing reduced revenues from lower enrollment. Providers have the flexibility to use these grants to meet their unique individual business and operational needs.

All eligible licensed child care programs will receive some level of operational grants. Specific grant amounts are based on program size, quality, and whether the program serve infants and toddlers.

Throughout the pandemic, NCDHHS has maintained North Carolina’s long history of investments in child care by providing monthly operational grants since April, child care teacher and staff bonuses in April and May, and an emergency subsidy child care program in April and May.

For more information about child care during COVID-19 in North Carolina, visit www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/covid19/child-care.

NC launches isolation supports programs for Covid-19

News, Press Release
Isolation Supports Community Action Agencies

RALEIGH: The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released a Request for Applications (RFA) for regional partner organizations to administer an innovative new program to support individuals in targeted counties who need supports like food and transportation to successfully quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19.

“When people are asked by a health care professional to quarantine or isolate, many can’t do that without some extra support,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen M.D., “This innovative program will help people safely isolate and help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our hardest hit rural and underserved communities.”

“Quarantine is a critical part of slowing the spread of COVID-19, but we can’t ignore the strain it puts on people’s everyday lives,” Governor Roy Cooper said. “This program will ease the burden of isolation for North Carolinians in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this virus.”

In the Isolation Supports program, people in target counties who are directed to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 may apply to receive one or more of five social supports to help them do so: nutrition assistance such as home-delivered meals or groceries; a relief payment to offset temporary loss of income or ability to look for work; transportation; medication delivery; and COVID-related supplies such as a mask or cleaning supplies.

DHHS is releasing this RFA today in order to select regional partners who will administer the program in their area, including directly providing or contracting with local organizations that can collectively provide the full array of support services, handling invoicing, reimbursement, and reporting functions related to the delivery of support services, and working closely with local health care professionals who will be referring and coordinating services.

DHHS is prioritizing areas of the state with high per capita COVID-19 case rates for this program, with final target counties selected based on the applications received. This program is temporary and is expected to run until late 2020.

DHHS is accepting applications until August 7. The RFA is available on the DHHS website.

A fact sheet about the Isolation Supports program can be found here.

NCDHHS announces $26M to assist families facing economic hardships

Press Release, State & National
Isolation Supports Community Action Agencies

RALEIGH — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (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.

“With the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor’s moratorium on evictions and utility shutoffs is the only thing keeping many families in safe and stable housing,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “This flexible funding will allow our Community Action Agencies to continue to meet a wide array of needs in our communities, including helping families remain in their homes when the moratorium is lifted.”

Community Action Agencies are nonprofit organizations created by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. To be eligible for CSBG-funded services, individuals and families must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.

“Community Action Agencies have helped bridge gaps for low wealth residents and communities for 55 years,” said Sharon Goodson, Executive Director of the NC Community Action Association. “They provide comprehensive services like case management, transportation, housing, employment, education, child care, eviction and emergency assistance programs to ensure low wealth residents increase and maintain their economic stability.”

To apply for help, contact your local CAAs. For additional information on the CSBG funding or contact information for the 33 CAAs in North Carolina, visit ncdhhs.gov/csbg-contacts.

NCDHHS expands measures to prevent COVID-19 in long-term care facilities

Community, Health
long-term care facilities

RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is taking further action to prevent and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities. 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.

“We have a team dedicated to supporting our long-term care facilities as they protect our aging family members and loved ones who require round-the-clock care and the staff who care for them,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “We want to help them do all that they can because once an outbreak occurs in a congregate living setting, it can be difficult to prevent the spread of the virus.”

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. Adult care homes, family care homes, nursing homes, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental health facilities will receive supplies. NCDHHS is partnering with North Carolina Emergency Management and the National Guard to deliver the packs at local distribution centers.

In addition to the PPE distribution, NCDHHS is providing a time-limited Medicaid rate increase for nursing facility services such as skilled nursing and rehabilitation services. The increase is intended to support strengthening infection prevention and management capacities with technical support from NCDHHS. The increase will also apply to personal care assistance and home health services to help providers who support people being able to stay at home where there is less risk to exposure.

NCDHHS also released updated testing guidance to clinicians that recommends testing people who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings such as long-term care facilities.

These actions build on earlier measures North Carolina has taken to protect residents and staff in long-term facilities. Previous actions include:

  • Issuing Executive Order 130, which codified public health and safety requirements for nursing homes, including requiring staff to wear surgical masks, screenings for all staff and residents for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 daily and closing communal areas.
  • Conducting remote infection prevention and control consultation with skilled nursing and other long-term facilities across the state through a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North Carolina Statewide Program for Infection Control and Epidemiology.
  • Providing targeted funding to support nursing homes and adult care homes to provide the more intensive care needed for residents with COVID-19 and limit the spread of the virus to other residents and staff.
  • Providing a toolkit to support long-term care facilities in preparing for and responding to COVID-19 outbreaks in their facility. The toolkit contains an infection control assessment, infection staffing worksheet, infection prevention educational resources and other tools.
  • Helping to fill staffing shortages in long-term care facilities and other health care facilities through a partnership with East Carolina University School of Nursing to match Registered Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants with facilities, particularly long-term care facilities, that are seeking to urgently hire staff for temporary, part-time or full-time roles. Interested health care employees can register at nc.readyop.com/fs/4cjq/697b.
  • Implementing several temporary regulatory changes to assist providers in caring for their residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, including adopting an emergency rule granting reciprocity to nurse aides certified in other states to work as nurse aides in North Carolina, and allowing facilities to exceed the number of licensed beds if needed to provide temporary shelter and services to adequately care for residents with COVID-19.
  • Providing virtual trainings for more than 2,000 staff working in long-term care sites. Trainings are available online at www.ncahec.net/covid-19/webinars.

For NCDHHS and CDC guidance for long-term care facilities visit covid19.ncdhhs.gov/guidance#long-term-care-facilities. A list of congregate care settings with outbreaks is available on the NCDHHS COVID-19 Dashboard.

NCDHHS reports 9,115 COVID-19 patients are presumed recovered

Health, Press Release
recovered

RALEIGH, N.C. – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) estimates that as of May 11, 9,115 North Carolinians with COVID-19 are likely to have recovered from their symptoms. This data along with information about how it is calculated is posted on the COVID-19 Dashboard and will be updated weekly.

To calculate this number, NCDHHS estimates the median time for recovery from symptoms to be 14 days from the date of specimen collection for non-fatal COVID-19 cases who were not hospitalized or if hospitalization status is unknown, or 28 days for hospitalized non-fatal COVID-19 cases.

Patients’ actual recovery times could be shorter or longer depending on the severity of illness. This interval was chosen based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidance, and in consultation with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other state health departments. This estimates how many people have recovered from their symptoms. It does not estimate who many cases are or are not still infectious.

To learn more and find the current weekly reportOpen PDF on COVID-19 patients presumed to be recovered, visit covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard. Go to covid19.ncdhhs.gov to stay informed on the latest COVID-19 updates.

Staying home is still the best way to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect North Carolinians. When going out, remember the 3 Ws. Wear a face covering. Wait at least six feet apart. Wash your hands often with soap and water.

For information on the North Carolina COVID-19 response across state government, visit nc.gov/covid19.

15,816 confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Carolina as of May 13

Health
confirmed cases

In an effort to keep our readers, up to date with the latest number of cases confirmed in N.C., Fetch Your News will continually be updating this article with the most recent updates from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).

As of May 13, 2020, NCDHHS reported 15,816 cases statewide, 597 deaths, and 521 hospitalized. The highest concentration is now in Mecklenburg with 2,204 cases and 61 deaths. NCDHHS reported 210,457 tests have been completed in the state. The confirmed cases report is released each day at 11 a.m.

Up-to-date map of N.C.

NC Counties with Confirmed Cases

County Laboratory-Confirmed Cases Deaths
Alamance County 181 8
Alexander County 14 0
Alleghany County 9 0
Anson County 34 0
Ashe County 16 0
Beaufort County 25 0
Bertie County 72 3
Bladen County 63 1
Brunswick County 50 2
Buncombe County 105 4
Burke County 148 13
Cabarrus County 361 18
Caldwell County 67 1
Camden County 2 0
Carteret County 34 3
Caswell County 40 1
Catawba County 85 2
Chatham County 468 11
Cherokee County 18 1
Chowan County 12 0
Clay County 5 0
Cleveland County 51 2
Columbus County 216 17
Craven County 55 4
Cumberland County 398 10
Currituck County 9 0
Dare County 17 1
Davidson County 232 10
Davie County 37 2
Duplin County 274 4
Durham County 903 35
Edgecombe County 157 7
Forsyth County 449 5
Franklin County 119 20
Gaston County 181 5
Gates County 11 0
Graham County 2 0
Granville County 171 6
Greene County 37 1
Guilford County 670 44
Halifax County 96 1
Harnett County 228 15
Haywood County 19 0
Henderson County 250 30
Hertford County 49 1
Hoke County 128 0
Hyde County 1 0
Iredell County 162 5
Jackson County 22 1
Johnston County 220 17
Jones County 20 2
Lee County 285 2
Lenoir County 125 5
Lincoln County 42 0
Macon County 3 1
Madison County 1 0
Martin County 33 3
McDowell County 29 1
Mecklenburg County 2,204 61
Mitchell County 5 0
Montgomery County 43 2
Moore County 112 10
Nash County 133 3
New Hanover County 112 3
Northampton County 122 9
Onslow County 59 2
Orange County 258 34
Pamlico County 8 0
Pasquotank County 81 5
Pender County 40 1
Perquimans County 19 2
Person County 31 1
Pitt County 182 2
Polk County 29 3
Randolph County 369 6
Richmond County 98 2
Robeson County 440 4
Rockingham County 43 2
Rowan County 497 25
Rutherford County 154 5
Sampson County 176 1
Scotland County 43 0
Stanly County 30 4
Stokes County 18 0
Surry County 47 1
Swain County 5 0
Transylvania County 7 0
Tyrrell County 4 0
Union County 304 16
Vance County 173 16
Wake County 1,080 25
Warren County 23 0
Washington County 25 3
Watauga County 9 0
Wayne County 760 13
Wilkes County 262 1
Wilson County 216 9
Yadkin County 75 1
Yancey County 8 0

All data are preliminary and may change as cases are investigated.

*County case numbers may change once residence is verified. Therefore, the total number on the county map may differ from the number of NC Cases.

 

Phase One of reopening North Carolina begins on May 8

Business
phase one

RALEIGH, N.C. – Starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 8, residents of N.C. will have certain restrictions lifted as the state moves toward reopening.

In Phase One, the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses is removed and individuals can leave their homes for any commercial activity that is open. Small outdoor gatherings are allowed, but gatherings more than 10 are still prohibited. Religious services and First Amendment activities are also allowed but must follow social distancing protocols. However, the 10-person limit doesn’t apply to these gatherings, but they should gather outside unless impossible.

“COVID-19 is still a serious threat to our state, and Phase 1 is designed to be a limited easing of restrictions that can boost parts of our economy while keeping important safety rules in place,” said Governor Cooper. “This is a careful and deliberate first step, guided by the data, and North Carolinians still must use caution while this virus is circulating.”

Those who do decide to go out they are encouraged to wear a face mask, carry hand sanitizer, wash their hands whenever possible, and regularly clean high-touch surfaces.

“When leaving home and wear it inside all public settings such as grocery stores, pharmacies, or other retail or public-serving businesses. A Face Covering should also be worn outdoors when you cannot maintain at least six (6) feet distancing from other people with the exception of family or household members. These coverings function to protect other people more than the wearer,” states the Executive Order.

Retail stores can operate at 50 percent capacity. Additionally, customers must stand six feet apart and retailers should provide hand sanitizer, screen employees, and frequently clean.  NCDHHS is posting the screening questionnaire online.

Phase One summary from Gov. Cooper’s office.

Businesses that remain closed are bars, personal care businesses, entertainment venues, and gyms.

Restaurants may only continue to serve customers for drive-through, takeout and delivery.

All employees are encouraged to wear face masks or coverings and Cooper still recommends teleworking whenever possible.

Long-term care facilities are still closed to visitors.

Parks are encouraged to open if they can accommodate social distancing, but playgrounds should remain closed.

Childcare facilities will be open to serve families who need the assistance. The organizations are required to follow strict cleaning protocols. Summer day camps can operate in compliance with NC DHHS guidelines.

In explaining the decision to move to Phase One, Cooper and Secretary Cohen reported North Carolina remains stable on the following key metrics:

  • Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days – North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is decreasing.
  • Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days – North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases over the last 14 days cases is slightly increasing.
  • Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days – North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive over the last 14 days is decreasing.
  • Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days – North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations over the last 14 days is level.

In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:

  • Laboratory Testing – North Carolina has doubled the daily testing rate.
  • Tracing Capability – The Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative has received over 4,000 applications and is in the process of hiring 250 new contact tracers.
  • Personal Protective Equipment – Supply chains continue to improve with the exception of gowns.

The order is in effect until 5 p,m, on Friday, May 22. However, the end of this Order does not necessarily mean the state will move to Phase Two. Phase Two only start if data and indicators are in the right place.

13,397 confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Carolina as of May 7

Health
confirmed cases

In an effort to keep our readers, up to date with the latest number of cases confirmed in N.C., Fetch Your News will continually be updating this article with the most recent updates from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).

As of May 7, 2020, NCDHHS reported 13,397 cases statewide, 507 deaths, and 525 hospitalized. The highest concentration is now in Mecklenburg with 1,922 cases and 58 deaths. NCDHHS reported that 171,328 tests have been completed in the state. The confirmed cases report is released each day at 11 a.m.

According to NCDHHS data, N.C. does seem to be seeing a dip in positive cases with total positives from this week falling between six and eight percent. However, specimens collected during this timeframe may also be yet to be reported.

Up-to-date map of N.C.

County Laboratory-Confirmed Cases Deaths
Alamance County 143 3
Alexander County 8 0
Alleghany County 7 0
Anson County 33 0
Ashe County 6 0
Beaufort County 22 0
Bertie County 57 2
Bladen County 45 1
Brunswick County 49 2
Buncombe County 88 4
Burke County 126 11
Cabarrus County 333 17
Caldwell County 50 0
Camden County 2 0
Carteret County 29 3
Caswell County 38 0
Catawba County 65 1
Chatham County 421 11
Cherokee County 18 1
Chowan County 7 0
Clay County 5 0
Cleveland County 50 2
Columbus County 184 11
Craven County 46 4
Cumberland County 336 9
Currituck County 7 0
Dare County 14 1
Davidson County 191 9
Davie County 31 2
Duplin County 161 3
Durham County 807 29
Edgecombe County 137 7
Forsyth County 332 5
Franklin County 111 20
Gaston County 157 4
Gates County 10 0
Graham County 2 0
Granville County 164 5
Greene County 33 0
Guilford County 536 35
Halifax County 77 1
Harnett County 199 12
Haywood County 16 0
Henderson County 216 23
Hertford County 45 1
Hoke County 113 0
Hyde County 1 0
Iredell County 137 5
Jackson County 20 1
Johnston County 189 16
Jones County 19 2
Lee County 229 1
Lenoir County 97 4
Lincoln County 37 0
Macon County 3 1
Madison County 1 0
Martin County 27 1
McDowell County 28 1
Mecklenburg County 1,922 58
Mitchell County 5 0
Montgomery County 43 2
Moore County 109 7
Nash County 107 3
New Hanover County 91 3
Northampton County 102 5
Onslow County 53 2
Orange County 239 30
Pamlico County 8 0
Pasquotank County 39 2
Pender County 20 1
Perquimans County 14 2
Person County 27 1
Pitt County 152 2
Polk County 30 0
Randolph County 290 5
Richmond County 80 2
Robeson County 313 4
Rockingham County 36 2
Rowan County 452 24
Rutherford County 148 5
Sampson County 126 1
Scotland County 34 0
Stanly County 29 4
Stokes County 10 0
Surry County 26 1
Swain County 5 0
Transylvania County 7 0
Tyrrell County 4 0
Union County 283 14
Vance County 147 10
Wake County 961 21
Warren County 19 0
Washington County 25 3
Watauga County 9 0
Wayne County 699 12
Wilkes County 186 1
Wilson County 192 8
Yadkin County 33 1
Yancey County 7 0

All data are preliminary and may change as cases are investigated.

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