NC DHHS COVID-19 Update: April 6, 2020
As we head into our second week of April, we continue working around the clock on our response to COVID-19. We remain focused on slowing the spread of the virus so fewer people get sick at the same time and helping North Carolinians weather these very challenging times. Below are some of the highlights of recent actions and resources. As always, please continue to check our website for the latest news, www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.
- Families are Receiving Enhanced Benefits to Ensure Food Access
- Child Care Access & Financial Assistance Available for Essential Workers
- COVID-19 Dashboard Updated
- New Video on Reducing Anxiety and Stress Available
- Executive Order Prohibits Utility Disconnections
- Executive Order Gets Equipment to Healthcare Workers, Schools, Local Governments
- Daily (M-F) Press Briefings Continue
Families are Receiving Enhanced Benefits to Ensure Food Access
To help families access food during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are temporarily increasing benefits for March 2020 and April 2020 for current Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) recipients in North Carolina. All families that receive FNS will receive the maximum amount allowed for March 2020 and April 2020 for their household size.
Child Care Access & Financial Assistance Available for Essential Workers
We have two resources for essential workers (as defined in Executive Order 121) who are in need of emergency child care.
- We partnered with the NC Child Care Resource & Referral network to launch a hotline, 1-888-600-1685, to connect families with child care programs that have agreed to meet updated health, safety and operational guidelines.
- For those essential workers who need it, financial assistance for emergency child care is available.
COVID-19 Dashboard Updated
Last week, we added new data to the COVID-19 Dashboard. In addition to information on number of laboratory-confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths, there is now more demographic information such as age, gender and race and ethnicity and data about hospital beds and supplies. There is also data about outbreaks in congregate settings including nursing homes, residential care facilities, and correctional facilities.
New Video on Reducing Anxiety and Stress
Dr. Carrie Brown, NC DHHS Chief Medical Officer of Behavioral Health and IDD, has a new video on ways to manage stress and anxiety during COVID-19 social distancing, quarantine and isolation.
Video with Dr. Brown
Executive Order Prohibits Utility Disconnections
Governor Cooper issued an Executive Order directing 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. The Order applies to electric, gas, water and wastewater services for the next 60 days.
Executive Order Gets Equipment to Healthcare Workers, Schools, Local Governments
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 122 to help schools and local governments access state surplus property to help bridge gaps during the response to COVID-19. The Order also provides transfer or donation of personal protective equipment that state government may have and not need.
Daily (M-F) Press Briefings Continue
Public health, emergency management and other state leaders host regular press briefings throughout the week, usually Monday through Friday. These briefings are livestreamed and can be viewed at https://www.ncdps.gov/storm-update.