The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services are consistently providing updates to share information with citizens regarding COVID-19 and it’s impact.
Updated 4/28/2020 at 12:43pm with updates from NC DHHS.
NCDHHS Announces Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative
Apr 27, 2020
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announces today the Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative, a new partnership with Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) and the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
This new initiative builds on the long-standing relationship NCDHHS has with both organizations. The Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative is part of Governor Roy Cooper’s initiative to slowly lift restrictions by focusing on testing, tracing and trends. This collaborative will build upon existing local health department tracing efforts to help meet the surge in demand for contact tracing staff expected as COVID-19 testing increases.
“Extensive contact tracing is a key strategy for North Carolina to stay ahead of the curve,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “Our local health departments are North Carolina’s experts doing this essential detective work and slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. This collaborative will be a critical addition to our state’s capability to do widespread contact tracing and ease restrictions.”
Contact tracing is the process of supporting patients and notifying contacts of exposure in order to stop chains of transmission. When a person tests positive for COVID-19, contact tracing identifies who that individual may have been in contact with so those people can take precautions to avoid infecting others. Contact tracing is a core disease control measure that has been used for decades by local and state health departments, including during the response to COVID-19.
Selection of a partner for this activity was based on the entities’ ability to recruit a locally-based workforce, experience training a workforce and in field outreach, prior experience working with North Carolina’s local health departments and ability to work with North Carolina data systems.
CCNC has over 20 years of experience supporting North Carolina’s primary care delivery system through care management and practice support programs. The NC AHEC program has for nearly 50 years worked through a network of 10 Regional AHECs to develop and implement educational programs that recruit, train and retain North Carolina’s health workforce. They will work with Partners in Health, a nonprofit organization with extensive experience in contact tracing that has deployed a nationally recognized model in their home state of Massachusetts. All three will coordinate with and build upon the contact tracing expertise and workforce available in the local health departments.
“We are excited to partner with DHHS and with local health departments and to use our deep roots in North Carolina to help with this important work,” said CCNC President Tom Wroth, M.D., MPH.
“Supporting the educational and training needs of local and state public health has always been a focus of our work and this project builds on the long-standing partnership between AHEC and public health,” said NC AHEC Director Hugh Tilson, JD, MPH.
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. The collaborative will work with local health departments to deploy trained contact tracing staff to areas where they are most needed.
Recruitment will start immediately; interested applicants should visit the collaborative’s webpage. Special consideration will be given to those who are unemployed, have community engagement experience and live in the communities that they will serve. Successful contact tracers require excellent communication skills with an empathetic mindset.
Updated 3/21/2020 at 3:57pm with updates from NC DHHS https://www.ncdhhs.gov/covid-19-case-count-nc
* This number reflects positive results from all tests, including the NC State Laboratory of Public Health and all hospital and commercial labs.
** This number reflects testing completed by the NC State Laboratory of Public Health and reporting hospital and commercial laboratories.
*** These numbers are provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are updated by the CDC at 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Updated 3/19/2020 at 1:48pm with updates from Gov. Cooper
NC 2-1-1 to Provide Assistance for COVID-19
Governor Roy Cooper today announced NC 2-1-1 by United Way of North Carolina as a resource for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service that families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services resources within their community. NC 2-1-1 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and resources are available in most languages.
“Services like NC 2-1-1 are critical during times of emergency,” said Governor Cooper. “North Carolinians can now call 2-1-1 to get the information they need while we continue working together to prevent the spread of this virus.”
North Carolinians can text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive general information and updates about COVID-19. Sign up now to get regular alerts on the rapidly evolving situation and North Carolina’s response.
NC 2-1-1 can refer callers to the organizations in their local community best equipped to address their specific health and human services needs including food, shelter, energy assistance, housing, parenting resources, health care, employment, substance abuse treatment, as well as specific resources for older adults and for persons with disabilities, and much more. Simply dial 2-1-1 or TTY 888-892-1162 for assistance.
NC 2-1-1 cannot provide direct medical services, and COVID-19 can only be diagnosed by a health care professional. If you suspect you or someone you care for may have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, you should contact your health care provider. If you do not have a provider, you can call your local health department, free and charitable clinics or a Federally Qualified Health Clinic for guidance.
People should only call 9-1-1 if they are experiencing an emergency. 9-1-1 centers across North Carolina have been receiving general questions and other non-emergency calls related to COVID-19. Please do not call 9-1-1 unless you have an emergency.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in North Carolina, go to ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.
Due to anticipated high call volume, those seeking general information about COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to sign up for texts. People who are trying to locate specific services would benefit by calling. To learn more about NC 2-1-1, visit https://www.nc211.org/.
Updated from https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-response-north-carolina/nc-updates
All North Carolinians can prepare for COVID-19 by getting the latest information 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.
Turn to these sources for reliable information:
- NC Department of Health and Human Services
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- NC Emergency Management
- Your local health department
If you have specific questions or concerns related to coronavirus, call 866-462-3821 for more information. In the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1.