State Government
DHHS Program Helped 40,000-plus Households During Pandemic PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 12 May 2021 08:45
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ COVID-19 Support Services Program has helped more than 41,800 NC households isolate or quarantine during COVID-19.
 
Launched in August 2020 in COVID-19 “hot spots” throughout the state, the Support Services Program focuses on communities hit hardest by COVID-19.
 
In addition to food assistance such as home-cooked meals and groceries, the Support Services Program offered recipients financial relief payments, COVID-19-related supplies (such as masks or hand sanitizer), transportation to medical or vaccine appointments, and medication delivery to individuals who needed support to be able to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19. The Support Services Program started in 20 counties and later expanded to 29 counties.
 
The types of services offered through the program will now narrow because original program funds have been spent. NCDHHS is currently finalizing the continuation of food assistance through the program and will open applications for assistance soon. Food assistance has been one of the top requested services from recipients.
 
Anyone who tests positive for or who has been exposed to COVID-19 and is not fully vaccinated needs to quarantine or isolate. But many North Carolinians struggle to safely quarantine or isolate and still access basic needs such as food and medications.
 
Four vendor partners across the state — ADLA Inc, Duke University Health Systems, Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency, and Quality Comprehensive Health Center — administered the original program.
 
The Support Services Program was featured by Boston-based Partners in Health as part of a series of case studies on care resource coordination during COVID-19. North Carolina also has been recognized nationally for its work to reach underserved and historically marginalized populations and deliver equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
 
The program enabled 88% of recipients who received support through Duke University Health Systems successfully isolate or quarantine. Respondents to a recent Duke survey of recipients, one-third of whom were Spanish speaking, also said it was “easy” or “very easy” to ask for services (86%) and they felt less at risk of contracting COVID-19 because of the services provided (81%).
 
"The Support Service Program has been critical to our fight against COVID-19," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. "Taking a whole-person approach to addressing health, including nonmedical drivers such as food, housing, transportation, employment and safety, leads to better health and well-being for North Carolinians overall, and especially during a pandemic."
 
The Support Services Program builds on NCDHHS’ Community Health Worker Program, which employs community health workers in 55 counties to connect North Carolinians with medical and social supports such as diagnostic testing, behavioral health services and education about vaccines, as well as vaccine registration.
 
The Community Health Worker Program plans to expand to support to all 100 counties by the end of Summer 2021. A community health worker is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of the community, often bilingual, and has a close understanding of the community served. This program has served around 500,000 North Carolinians to date and is currently focused on vaccine support work for historically marginalized populations.   
 
Governor Signs Three Bills Into Law PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 12 May 2021 08:35
Governor Roy Cooper signed the following bills into law:
 
Senate Bill 113: Modify Termination of Parental Rights Appeals
House Bill 142: UNC Building Reserves/Certain Projects
Senate Bill 390: UNC Law Enforcement Recruitment
 
DHHS - 50% Of Adult North Carolinians Have At :East One COVID Vaccine PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 06 May 2021 12:06
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced more than 50% of adults 18 and older in the state have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. More than 43% of the adult population is fully vaccinated against the virus.
 
"This is as significant milestone toward our goal of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and bringing summer back to North Carolina," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. "I hope you will join the more than 4 million people who have taken their shot and help put this pandemic behind us."
 
To date, the state has administered more than 7.4 million vaccines. More than 74% of the population over 65 years of age is fully vaccinated, and nearly 40% of the total population of the state, regardless of age, has received at least one dose.
 
The department is working to ensure receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is easy and convenient for anyone 16 and older. The vaccine is widely available through a variety of providers, often with no wait time and without the need for an appointment. To find a vaccine in your area, use the Find a Vaccine Location tool or call 888-675-4567.
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week shared an updated list of what fully vaccinated people can do. Activities include gathering indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, as well as moving freely outdoors without wearing a mask except in certain crowded settings and venues. Fully vaccinated people who have been around someone who has COVID-19 do not need to stay away from others or get tested, unless symptoms develop.
 
If North Carolina continues to work together, improve key metrics and increase vaccination rates, the state is poised to lift mandatory social distancing, capacity and mass gathering restrictions on June 1, 2021. Additionally, the state has set a goal to get two-thirds of adults vaccinated with at least one shot in order to lift the indoor mask mandate and lighten other public health recommendations. The timeline for this benchmark will be determined by how quickly North Carolinians get vaccinated.
 
DHHS Reaches Milestone With $1 Billion of Food for More Than 1 Million Children PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 29 April 2021 16:27
 As of April 27, 2021, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the NC Department of Public Instruction has provided more than $1 billion of groceries to more than a million children impacted by school closings during the pandemic. North Carolina was one of the first four states to receive federal approval of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program when it launched.
 
“North Carolina recognized from the start that school closings had the potential to create a child hunger crisis,” said NCDHHS Chief Deputy Secretary for Opportunity and Well-Being Susan Gale Perry. “We moved as fast as possible so children who normally received their meals at school would still have regular, nutritious meals.”
 
North Carolina has consistently been one of the fastest states to issue P-EBT benefits for eligible children and began issuing P-EBT to students within three weeks of its plan being accepted. It is one of 35 states approved to provide P-EBT to eligible children and students through the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.
 
The P-EBT program was launched at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to help families purchase food for children whose access to free and reduced-price meals at school has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. P-EBT benefits are entirely federally funded and the program is authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program provides a benefit on an EBT card that can be used to buy food at authorized food and grocery retailers, including most major grocery stores.
 
More information about the P-EBT program can be found at www.ncdhhs.gov/PEBT. For the latest information on COVID-19, visit nc.gov/covid19. 
 
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 April 2021 16:28
 
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