Harnett County,
North Carolina

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COVID-19 Updates

Lastest Harnett County News  

For the latest press releases regarding COVID-19, visit https://harnett.org/publicinfo/news-release.asp 

Latests News from the State of North Carolina

For a full list of updates from Governor Cooper, click here. 

May 26- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is launching a new public campaign encouraging North Carolinians to "Vax Up or Mask Up to support the new guidance that lifts many of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

May 24- Gov. Roy Cooper has directed $51.4 million in new funding to help students access and complete post-secondary education as North Carolina recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately $44 million will help students access college and earn degrees starting this fall; $5 million will support mental health initiatives across state post-secondary institutions; and $2.4 million will fund equity-focused initiatives for K-12 and post-secondary students and families.

May 21- Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order requiring existing claimants of unemployment benefits to fulfill work search requirements, beginning June 6, 2021. The order also directs the N.C. Department of Commerce to explore opportunities to establish a re-employment incentive program for jobless workers who find and maintain employment.

May 19- Gov. Roy Cooper announced his recommendations for how North Carolina can most effectively invest $5.7 billion in federal COVID-19 American Rescue Plan funding. Recommendations include assisting families most impacted by the pandemic, upgrading infrastructure, helping more people get a degree or trade after high school, preparing the state’s workforce and promoting business development and innovation

May 14- Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order immediately lifting all mandatory capacity and gathering limits as well as social distancing requirements. Additionally, Executive Order 215 lifts mandatory mask requirements for most indoor and outdoor settings. Face coverings, however, are still required in some settings, such as public transportation, child care, schools, prisons and certain public health settings.

May 12- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 through 15, clearing the way for North Carolina teens ages 12 and older to be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. 

May 6- More than 50% of adults 18 and older in North Carolina have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported. More than 43% of the adult population is fully vaccinated against the virus.

April 28-  Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order, effective 5 p.m. Friday, April 30, that lifts the state's outdoor face mask requirement and increases indoor and outdoor mass gathering limits to 100 and 200 respectively. Executive Order 209 continues to require face masks in indoor public settings as well as strong safety requirements concerning social distancing and capacity limits. Echoing his statement last week, the governor said at a news conference that he anticipates lifting by June 1 mass gathering, social distancing and mandatory capacity restrictions. He also said he still plans to lift the state's mask mandate completely once at least two-thirds of all adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

April 24-  The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is recommending that providers in the state resume administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine now that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have reaffirmed its safety.

April 21- With stable trends and continued vaccination success, Gov. Roy Cooper laid out a timeline for lifting mandatory social distancing, capacity and mass gathering restrictions by June 1. The governor plans to issue an executive order next week outlining safety restrictions for May.

April 16The latest data from North Carolina's COVID-19 County Alert System shows one red county — an increase from zero on April 1 — 20 orange counties (previously 21), 48 yellow counties (previously 47), 30 light yellow counties (previously 31) and one green county (previously one). These updates account for 18 counties having moved up a tier (toward red) since the last report, 19 counties having moved down a tier (toward green) and 63 counties remaining in the same tier.

April 13-  The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced it is pausing the administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. "Our primary concern is the health and safety of all North Carolinians," officials said in a statement, adding that the safety system in place "is working as it should."

April 7-  Gov. Roy Cooper joined bipartisan legislative leaders to release a PSA urging North Carolinians to get COVID-19 vaccines now that all adults are eligible for vaccinations. The Governor joined House Speaker Tim Moore, Rep. Robert Reives, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and Senator Dan Blue in advocating for vaccinations. View the PSA.

April 6-  Anyone 16 years and older who wants a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination is eligible to get one, beginning April 7.

March 30- Gov. Roy Cooper extended three executive orders on evictions moratoriums, processing unemployment benefits and to-go cocktails that will continue to provide relief to families and economic support amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • Executive Order 205 extends the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission’s authorization to permit the delivery or carry-out of mixed beverages as an alternative to on-site consumption through April 30, 2021.
  • Executive Order 206 extends North Carolina’s statewide residential eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021, in coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recent extension of the nationwide moratorium through the same date. 
  • Executive Order 207 expedites the processing of unemployment insurance claims and is also effective through June 30, 2021.

March 24- Gov. Roy Cooper announced that the state will continue to ease some COVID-19 restrictions under Executive Order 204, which becomes effective March 26 at 5 p.m. The order keeps the state’s general mask mandate in place but fully lifts the 11 p.m. curfew for on-site service of alcohol, increases mass gathering limits and increases occupancy limits in museums and aquariums, retail businesses and shops, barbershops, salons, restaurants, breweries, gyms, bars, sports arenas and other public places.

March 17- Wednesday marked the opening of vaccine eligibility for people in Group 4 who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk for severe illness or who live in certain congregate settings.

March 12- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is updating its visitation guidance for long-term care facilities to allow for in-person, indoor or outdoor, visitation in most circumstances. The change aligns with new guidance released from the U.S. Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reflects rapidly improving trends in long-term care facilities.

March 11- Beginning March 17, people in Group 4 who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk of serious illness and people who live in certain congregate settings will be eligible for vaccination, Gov. Roy Cooper announced. The rest of Group 4, which includes other essential workers will become eligible April 7. The state was able to update its timeline based on provider feedback and expected supply. As with previous eligibility changes, some vaccine providers might not be ready to open to Group 4 on March 17 if they are still experiencing high demand for vaccines in Groups 1 through 3.

March 10- Gov. Roy Cooper visited the newly opened federally supported COVID-19 vaccination site operating for the next eight weeks out of the Four Seasons Town Centre in Greensboro. The site, which offers both drive-through and walk-in service, is operating seven days per week and providing up to 3,000 vaccinations per day. The federal government is providing the center’s vaccine supply, which is in addition to North Carolina’s weekly allotment from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

March 4- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is expanding access to COVID-19 rapid testing in K-12 public schools to protect students, teachers and staff from COVID-19. When schools implement testing combined with the state's strong mitigation strategies, they can detect new cases to prevent outbreaks and reduce the risk of further transmission

March 3- K-12 schools are expected to open for in-person instruction for students following the StongSchoolsNC health guidance released by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Schools should only use remote learning options for higher-risk students and for families opting for remote learning for their children.

March 2-  Frontline essential workers in Group 3 will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination beginning Wednesday, March 3, Gov. Roy Cooper announced. The expedited timeline follows federal approval of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine and an expected increase in vaccine supply to North Carolina. Gov. Cooper also outlined an expected timeline for beginning Group 4 vaccinations. Beginning on March 24, people at higher risk from COVID-19, due to underlying medical conditions, will become eligible to receive a vaccine, as well as people in certain congregate-living settings.

March 1- Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 200 to increase efforts to help North Carolinians who file for unemployment benefits return to work. The order establishes a flexible work search requirement for all new claimants who apply for unemployment benefits on or after March 14, 2021. With the recent end of the Extended Benefits program for state unemployment under federal law, this step will ensure that out-of-work North Carolinians can access job seeking assistance available through NCWorks and other state-sponsored job search programs.

February 24- Gov. Roy Cooper announced that the state will carefully ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions under Executive Order 195, which takes effect 5 p.m. Feb. 26. Among the measures in Executive Order 195: the modified Stay at Home order is lifted and some indoor businesses – including bars and taverns, indoor amusement parks, movie theaters and indoor sports arenas – may open at 30% capacity (with a cap of 250 people). (View frequently asked questions.)

February 22- The latest update of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services' COVID-19 County Alert System shows 27 red counties – a decrease from 61 since Feb. 4 and the fewest red counties in the state since the start of the County Alert System. The update also lists 40 orange counties and 33 yellow counties — both changes from 33 orange counties and 6 yellow counties on Feb 4.

February 18- The federal government has notified the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services of continued delays in some shipments and deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine this week due to severe weather. Both first- and second-dose shipments have been affected. NCDHHS is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as vaccine providers to help minimize the potential effects of these delays.

February 17- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, on Feb. 19, will begin issuing additional benefits through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. These benefits will be received over several days for those who already have an EBT card for Food and Nutrition Services or P-EBT benefits.

February 11- North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services  participants can now purchase groceries online using their EBT cards through Instacart.com or the Instacart mobile app, providing access to an additional authorized online EBT retailer, Food Lion. This flexibility will allow participants to buy food while promoting social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and will help families with transportation and mobility barriers.

February 9-Among the strategies North Carolina is implementing to provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Requiring all vaccine providers to collect race and ethnicity data. 
  • Pioritizing a portion of its weekly vaccines to events that focus on underserved communities 
  • Allocating a baseline weekly amount of vaccine based on county population to ensure geographic equity with vaccine available in all 100 counties. 

February 4-Gov, Roy Cooper outlined a plan for allocating federal COVID-19 relief funds for immediate needs and investing state resources to help North Carolina communities build back as the state turns the corner on the pandemic. The plan also calls for investing some state resources for immediate critical needs. Read the full recommendation.

February 2- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has released new tools to help North Carolinians get their COVID-19 vaccine questions answered and to find vaccine locations in the state. Tools include the COVID-19 vaccine help center line, available by calling 888-675-4567 and the "Find a Vaccine Location" search tool. Last week, NCDHHS also launched "Find My Vaccine Group," an online tool to help people know when they will be eligible to get a vaccine.

Top state education leaders joined Gov. Roy Cooper in calling on K-12 school districts across North Carolina to allow in-person instruction for all students. Increasing evidence suggests that, with prevention measures in place, there are low rates of COVID-19 transmission in primary and secondary school settings even with high rates of community transmission. In addition, ongoing medical studies and peer-reviewed data affirm that children infected with COVID-19 generally have mild or no symptoms and are less likely to spread the disease

January 27- North Carolina’s Modified Stay At Home Order, requiring people to be at home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., has been extended until at least Feb. 28, 2021. Face covering requirements and restrictions on individuals gathering in both indoor and outdoor settings are still in place. 

  • Gov. Roy Cooper also issued executive orders extending the sale of mixed beverages “to-go” or for delivery until March 31, 2021. He also issued an executive order extending until March 31, 2021, North Carolina’s moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent. 

January 25-The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has launched a new online tool to help North Carolinians know when they will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Find My Vaccine Group walks users through a series of questions to determine which vaccine group they are in. People can then sign up to be notified when their group can get vaccinated.

January 23- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported the first identification in a North Carolina resident of the COVID-19 variant called B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom in December. The B.1.1.7 variant was identified in a sample from an adult in Mecklenburg County processed by Mako Medical Laboratories.

January 21-  The N.C. Departments of Health and Human Services and Transportation announced that approximately $2.5 million in Coronavirus Relief Funding is being distributed to local transit agencies across the state to help pay for rides for those who need transportation assistance to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

January 14- Vaccine providers may vaccinate all health care workers and anyone 65 years and older, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced. Because supplies are limited, states must make vaccine available in phases. 

January 12- Gov. Roy Cooper and Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen provided an update on vaccines for COVID-19. Helping local health departments, hospitals and other health care providers get vaccines in arms as quickly and equitably as possible remains the top priority. The state is continuing to see a steady increase in vaccination rates. There was a 113% increase in vaccinations over the past seven days compared to the week before. More than 100,000 doses were given in just the past seven days.

January 6- Governor Cooper extended the modified stay at home order through at least January 29 and Secretary Cohen issued a Secretarial Directive telling North Carolinians to stay home except for essential activities. Read Executive Order No. 188 View the slides from this briefing. For more information on the Secretarial Directive, read the Frequently Asked Questions.

January 5, 2021- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced that Food and Nutrition Services recipients will see a temporary increase in the amount of benefits they receive. This increase is part of the federal Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020.

December 30- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has updated its vaccination plan to align with new federal recommendations issued last week. The changes simplify the vaccine process and continue the state’s commitment to first protect health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19, people who are at the highest risk of being hospitalized or dying, and those at high risk of exposure to the virus.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 184, extending North Carolina’s evictions moratorium through Jan. 31. (View frequently asked questions.) The order, which clarifies and expands the federal eviction moratorium, halts evictions for nonpayment of rent. It also extends protections for individuals applying for assistance through the state’s Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program. 

December 23
To notify people as quickly as possible if they have tested positive for or been exposed to someone with COVID-19, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, in cooperation with local health departments, is expanding how it contacts people. Starting this week, all residents who have provided cellphone or email addresses will receive an automatic text or email message to connect people to follow-up resources and support.

December 21- Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order authorizing the North Carolina ABC Commission to permit the delivery or carry-out of mixed beverages as an alternative to on-site consumption. This Order is effective December 21, 2020 at 5:00 pm through January 31, 2021. Read the Executive Order. Read the FAQs.

December 16- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has selected 17 school districts and 11 charter schools to participate in a pilot program to deploy COVID-19 rapid testing in K-12 public schools where any in-person instruction is happening. 

December 14-Gov. Roy Cooper, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen and Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks have written a letter to local elected officials imploring them to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in their communities by considering additional enforcement measures.

December 11-Executive Order 181, the Modified Stay at Home Order, went into effect. It requires people to stay at home from 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Businesses including restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses, most retail stores and more, will be required to close by 10 p.m. In addition, all on-site alcohol consumption sales must end by 9 p.m. View frequently asked questions.

December 8- North Carolina will enter a modified stay at home order, effective Friday Dec. 11 until at least Jan. 8, that requires people to stay at home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Executive Order 181 also requires that restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses and other businesses to close at 10 pm. Travel to and from work; to obtain food, medical care, fuel or social services; or to take care of a family member is exempted. Read Executive Order 181 or view frequently asked questions about the order.

December 4- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is launching a pilot program to deploy COVID-19 testing in K-12 public schools to quickly identify students and staff who might have the virus to help slow its spread. Public school districts, charter school networks or individual charter schools currently offering any in-person instruction – either Plan A or Plan B – are eligible to apply.

December 1- Gov. Roy Cooper and Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen outlined the state’s plan to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine. Distribution will be prioritized, first for health care workers at high risk of exposure and then to other adults who are at high risk for complications.

November 30- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services will begin issuing automatic payments Dec. 1 to help thousands of eligible seniors and people with disabilities with winter heating bills.

November 25- A new executive order that goes into effect today, Wednesday, Nov. 25 until Friday, Dec. 11, tightens the existing statewide mask requirement and requires large retail businesses to have an employee stationed near entrances to ensure masks are being worn.

November 20- In response to the impact COVID-19 is having on schools and students, North Carolina has launched N.C. Education Corps, a partnership to provide emergency relief to public schools by employing talented community members — including current college students and recent graduates experiencing financial strain or loss of employment — to provide wraparound services to K-12 students across the state.

November 17- Gov. Roy Cooper and Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, announced the new COVID-19 County Alert System to pinpoint North Carolina counties with the highest levels of viral spread and to offer specific recommendations to bring down the numbers. This system will help give local leaders another tool to understand how their county is faring and to make decisions about actions to slow viral spread. The map will be updated every four weeks. 

November 12-Ahead of the holidays, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is sending 74,470 federally funded rapid antigen tests to public and private colleges and universities across North Carolina to test students before they travel home or celebrate the holidays with people who live outside their household. NCDHHS is also working with local health departments in some counties to host community testing events near college and university campuses.

November 10- Effective 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13 until at least Dec. 4, North Carolina’s indoor mass gathering limit will be lowered to 10 people under Executive Order 176 in an effort to drive down North Carolina’s key COVID-19 metrics.  The order does not change the reduced capacity limits for certain businesses that have already been laid out.  View frequently asked questions about the executive order.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced that full-service restaurants may now apply for up to four months of rent or mortgage through the Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief Program. More information is available at the N.C. Department of Commerce’s website.

The N.C. Department of Revenue is now awarding $335 Extra Credit grants to families with qualifying children. For those who filed a 2019 state return and reported a qualifying child or completed an application, payments will be mailed through Dec. 15.

November 9- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services released guidance for Thanksgiving celebrations and Black Friday shopping to help people gauge the risks, protect their friends and loved ones, and slow the spread of COVID-19.

October 30- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services launched an online portal for primary care providers to request reimbursement for costs related to COVID-19 for people without insurance.

October 28- Gov. Roy Cooper has signed an executive order to prevent evictions in North Carolina for people who can’t afford the rent. Roughly 300,000 to 400,000 households across North Carolina are currently unable to pay rent. Without the executive order, nearly 250,000 eviction filings could be submitted by January 2021.

October 21-North Carolina will remain paused in Phase 3 until at least 5 p.m. Nov. 13, as health officials continue to monitor North Carolina’s viral trends. North Carolina has seen increased hospitalizations and trajectory of cases in recent weeks. 

October 16-North Carolina submitted its COVID-19 vaccination plan to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The plan reflects five principles to guide the planning for and distribution of one or more COVID-19 vaccines in the state: 

  • All North Carolinians have equitable access to vaccines.
  • Vaccine planning and distribution is inclusive; actively engages state and local government, public and private partners; and draws upon the experience and expertise of leaders from historically marginalized populations.
  • Transparent, accurate and frequent public communications is essential to building trust.
  • Data is used to promote equity, track progress and guide decision-making.
  • Appropriate stewardship of resources and continuous evaluation and improvement drive successful implementation.

October 15- Applications are now being accepted for the N.C. Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program, which will assist eligible low- and- moderate-income renters experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

October 6- Licensed facilities providing in-person child care from August to October are eligible for $35 million in grants to help offset the financial strains placed on child care to meet health and safety guidelines while serving fewer children.

October 2- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services updated its COVID-19 guidance for places of worship and shared a toolkit to support faith leaders in slowing the spread of the virus. The toolkit is available in English and Spanish. It includes talking points, sample language for websites and newsletters, social media posts, flyers, information to host a community testing event and to request personal protective equipment and FAQs.

October 1-  The N.C. Department of Administration has launched a new grant program, RETOOLNC, to help minority and women-owned businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Roy Cooper announced.

September 30-Under Executive Order 169, North Carolina will enter Phase 3 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions, effective 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2

September 28- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has updated guidance to allow indoor visitation at nursing homes that have gone 14 days without a COVID-19 case and in counties with a percent positive testing rate of 10% or less.

September 19- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has launched a COVID-19 exposure notification app called ‘SlowCOVIDNC’ to alert North Carolinians when they might have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

September 17-Beginning Oct. 5, North Carolina public school districts and charter schools can choose to implement Plan A for elementary schools (grades K-5), which continues important safety measures, such as face coverings social distancing and symptom screening but does not require schools to reduce the number of children in the classroom.  

September 9- Gov. Roy Cooper announced nearly $40 million in funding for NC Student Connect, a new partnership created to address internet connectivity gaps that are a barrier to remote learning for many North Carolina students. When school resumed in August, superintendents estimated that at least 100,000 students still lacked a reliable internet connection at home.

September 4- North Carolina entered “Safer At Home Phase 2.5" restrictions, at 5 p.m. Ahead of Labor Day, Gov. Roy Cooper urged North Carolinians and visitors to remain cautious and practice COVID-19 prevention measures over the weekend.

September 2- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has launched the N.C. Medicaid Optional COVID-19 Testing program to reimburse Medicaid providers for costs associated with COVID-19 testing of people without insurance.

September 1-Gov. Roy Cooper announced a careful step forward, moving North Carolina into “Safer At Home Phase 2.5 beginning 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4. (View FAQs.) Under Executive Order 163:

  • Mass gatherings will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. 
  • Playgrounds will be allowed to open. 
  • Museums and aquariums may open at 50% capacity. 
  • Gyms and other indoor exercise facilities may open at 30% capacity. 
  • The age requirement for mask wearing will include children down to age 5. 
  • Capacity limits at restaurants and personal care businesses, such as hair and nail salons, will stay the same. 
  • Some places will remain closed, including bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, indoor entertainment and amusement parks. Large venues will still be subject to the mass gathering limits. 

Dr. Mandy Cohen also issued Secretarial Order No. 3 to update the visitation guidelines for Nursing Homes. Click here to view updates. 

August 31- Gov. Roy Cooper has signed Executive Order 162, extending the statewide alcohol curfew until Oct. 2.

August 26- Gov. Roy Cooper has shared a recommended budget that outlines how to use North Carolina's remaining $900 million in federal coronavirus funding and make responsible investments in the state's future. Read the proposed budget.

August 25- Gov. Roy Cooper announced $175 million to assist North Carolinians with rental and utility payment support. Information about how to apply will be available once the programs have launched in the coming weeks.

August 21- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services updated guidance for institutions of higher education, further emphasizing that colleges and universities must work to reduce risk of viral spread of COVID-19. both on and off campus. In compliance with existing executive orders, colleges and universities should be requiring and enforcing that students and staff wear cloth masks and limit on- and off-campus. The guidance also recommends limiting on-campus housing, closing communal dining settings and implementing procedures to isolate and quarantine cases appropriately.

August 18-Due to concern for the health and safety of its customers and staff, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles has consolidated in-person services to offices large enough to maintain social distancing.

August 17-Returning to school looks different this year. If your child is returning to in-person learning, know what to expect and how to prepare them and yourself. Read more in English or in Spanish.

With schools opening in-person and remotely across the state under new health and safety procedures, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is expanding the Hope4Healers Helpline (919-226-2002) to serve teachers, school personnel and their families. Hope4Healers can provide mental health and resilience supports, and is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. When teachers, school personnel or family members call the helpline, they will speak to someone who is trained to listen and offer support.

August 13-The N.C. Department of Commerce is accepting applications for the Job Retention Grant Program, a new program to support businesses and nonprofits affected by COVID-19, until Sept. 1.

August 12-Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order giving students and families more time to get required vaccines and health assessments needed for school.  Executive Order 156 extends, but not waives, proof-of-immunization and health assessment documentation deadlines for students enrolled in public, private or religious educational institutions, including child care facilities, K-12 schools, colleges and universities.

August 11- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has received the first confirmed case in the state of a dog with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. Review resources and guidance for pet owners.

August 7-The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a secretarial order requiring bi-weekly staff testing at North Carolina nursing homes. NCDHHS also announced continued state funding for staff testing through November.

August 5-Gov. Roy Cooper has signed Executive Order 155, extending North Carolina’s Safer at Home Phase 2 restrictions for an additional five weeks until Friday, Sept. 11. “Other states that lifted restrictions quickly have had to go backward as their hospital capacity ran dangerously low and their cases jumped higher. We will not make that mistake in North Carolina.”

July 30- North Carolina counties this week received an additional $150 million in COVID-19 relief to help pay for medical and public health needs as well as payroll expenses for public safety and health care employees and expenses to help protect public health.

July 29- The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the N.C. Department of Public Instruction a $17.6 million grant to develop innovative instructional approaches to better meet student needs during disruptions to schooling such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

July 28-A statewide curfew on the sale of alcohol at restaurants goes into effect Friday, July 31, requiring restaurants to stop selling alcoholic drinks after 11 p.m. Bars will remain closed. View Executive Order 153. View Frequently Asked Questions

July 24- Gov. Roy Cooper has issued Executive Order 152, returning regulatory authority for skilled-nursing facilities to the secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Under Secretarial Order 1, current restrictions remain in place, as NCDHHS collaborates with industry and advocacy organizations, monitors progress and evaluates options to best protect the health and well-being of staff, residents and their loved ones.

July 16-The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services launched online tools to help Spanish-speaking North Carolinians determine if they should be tested for COVID-19 and help monitor their symptoms if they have tested positive for or been exposed to COVID-19. (En Español)

July 14- North Carolina will continue to stay paused in Safer at Home Phase 2 when the governor’s current executive order expires on Friday, July 17. The order will be extended for three weeks until Friday, Aug. 7. View frequently asked questions about Safer at Home Phase 2

North Carolina schools will open in the fall for both in-person and remote learning with key safety precautions to protect the health of students, teachers, staff and families.

July 9- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is beginning an initiative to send up to 250 community health workers to historically underserved areas with high COVID-19 caseloads to work with local health departments and help connect North Carolinians to medical and social support resources.

July 7-The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) took action to decrease barriers to COVID-19 testing by issuing a statewide standing order for COVID-19 diagnostic testing as well as a state health director temporary order on COVID-19 diagnostic test reporting. 

  • The statewide standing order allows testing sites to collect and submit samples to a laboratory for COVID-19 testing without requiring a specific order.
  • The order also authorizes testing sites to receive results directly from laboratories.
  • This will facilitate community-based testing sites and reduce barriers to testing, especially for members of historically marginalized populations who might be less likely to have a medical home.

June 29- Under Gov. Roy Cooper's latest executive order,  people are required to wear face coverings while out in public when physical distancing of 6 feet from other people who are not members of the same household or residence is not possible. There are some exceptions. North Carolina will also remain under Safer At Home Phase 2 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions until at least Friday, July 17.

June 26- Effective 5 p.m. Friday, June 26, North Carolinians must wear cloth coverings over their nose and mouth when in public places where physical distancing is not possible. Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings or masks, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus.

June 24-Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order requiring people to wear face coverings while out in public where physical distancing of 6 feet from other people who are not members of the same household or residence is not possible. There are some exceptions. North Carolina will also remain under Safer At Home Phase 2 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions until at least Friday, July 17.

June 22-Through a public-private partnership, North Carolina has created the nation’s first statewide technology platform, NCCARE360, to coordinate whole-person care uniting traditional healthcare settings and organizations that address non-medical drivers of health, such as food, housing, transportation, employment and interpersonal safety. NCCARE360 is now available in all 100 counties.

June 16-The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is allocating $35 million in federal funding to local health departments to support the COVID-19 response. Per federal guidelines, counties will be able to use these funds to support COVID-19 staffing, infection controls, testing and tracing, IT infrastructure and data sharing and visualization.

June 8- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services issued health guidance for schools to resume in-person learning in the fall. Gov. Roy Cooper, however, said the decision to resume in-person learning would depend on health data and metrics. (View guidance)

June 4- Gov. Roy Cooper has signed Executive Order 143 to address the social, environmental, economic and health disparities in communities of color that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

May 30- Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order No. 142 to extend the prohibition of utility shut-offs and implement a moratorium on evictions through July 29. The Order goes into effect today with the Governor’s signature. More information can be found in the FAQ document or read Executive Order 142.

May 22- Gov. Roy Cooper has announced Count on Me NC, a new free online training program to help restaurants, hotels and other businesses learn the best ways to help protect customers and employees from COVID-19.

May 20-North Carolina will move into Safer At Home Phase 2 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions at 5 p.m. Friday, May 22 and runs through at least Friday, June 26 unless changed or canceled. Although the state’s overall key indicators remain stable, the continued increases in daily case counts signals a need to take a more modest step forward in Phase 2 than originally envisioned.

May 15- New guidance from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services recommends clinicians now test any patient suspected of having COVID-19 and provide access to testing, regardless of symptoms, for certain populations.

May 12-Gov. Cooper issued Executive Order 139, which provides 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.

May 11-9,115 patients are presumed to be recovered from COVID-19, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services' COVID-19 Dashboard. Learn how this total is calculated in this summary

May 8- As Phase 1 begins, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is focused on testing, tracing and trends. North Carolina ranks 15th in the nation regarding total number of tests completed, and eight 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.

May 5- Gov. Roy Cooper has signed Executive Order No. 138 to modify North Carolina’s Stay At Home order and transition to Phase 1 of slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions, effective Friday, May 8 at 5 p.m. (View FAQs. View what's new in Phase 1.)

May 4- Governor Roy Cooper signed the following COVID-19 relief bills into law. The relief package, which was passed unanimously, includes almost $1.6 billion in relief measures for critical expenditures related to public health and safety, educational needs, small business assistance, and continuity of state government operations. Of this amount, $1.4 billion has been appropriated and $150 million is set aside in a reserve fund for future local government needs

Senate Bill 704 was signed into law on May 4, 2020. The new law gives NCDMV the ability to extend the validity of vehicle registrations five months for any credential that expires March 1, 2020, through August 1, 2020. Further, it gives NCDMV the authority to waive penalties and interest for this time period. Read the FAQ

April 27- Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative, a new partnership with Community Care of North Carolina and the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers is part of Gov. 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 website.

April 24-Gov. Roy Cooper, along with state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson and N.C. State Board of Education Chairman Eric Davis, announced the decision to continue remote learning for the rest of  the 2019-2020 school year at 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.

April 23- Gov. Roy Cooper on April May 23 issued Executive Order 135, extending North Carolina’s Stay At Home order until May 8. Orders extending the closure of restaurants for dine-in service and bars and closure of other close-contact businesses have also been extended through May 8. Read the order. View FAQs. 

April 23- Gov. Roy Cooper shared a three-phased approach, based on data, to lift restrictions. “The health and safety of people in North Carolina must be our top priority,” he said. “This plan provides a roadmap for us to begin easing restrictions in stages to push our economy forward.” View NC 3 Phase Plan presentation. 

April 21-Gov. Roy Cooper announced a new executive order allowing furloughed workers to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

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 affected by school closings due to COVID-19. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is working to operationalize the program, and families will begin to receive this benefit in coming weeks.

April 17-NCDHHS convened 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. 

April 15-Gov. Roy Cooper charted a path forward for eventually easing certain COVID-19 restrictions while still protecting North Carolinians from a dangerous second wave of the virus. To ease restrictions, the state needs to make more progress in three areas: testing, tracing and trends.

April 13-New social distancing policies went into effect at 5 p.m. that require stores to limit the number of customers inside, mark 6 feet of distance near areas where people gather (such as checkout lines) and to disinfect routinely. Stores are also encouraged to provide hand sanitizer & face coverings for employees. Read the press release or view FAQs.

April 9-Governor Roy Cooper took action to the address the spread of COVID-19 by issuing stronger social distancing requirements and speeding up the process to get benefits to people out of work through Executive Order No. 131The Order addresses the following:

  • Provides new required and recommended policies for retail establishments
  • Addresses COVID-19 mitigation measures for long-term care facilities
  • Expedites the processing of unemployment insurance claims by expanding availability of the attached claims process

The NC Department of Insurance provided more information in a memo sent out on April 10 regarding retail occupancy restrictions Learn more by reviewing the Executive Order 131 FAQ sheet. 

April 8- 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.

April 7- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services established an Emergency Child Care Subsidy Program for essential workers as defined in Gov. 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. Read the press release.

April 6Leading health scientists across public and private sectors presented information on predictive modeling data studying the spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina. These experts released a composite modeling forecast looking at how COVID-19 could affect North Carolina in the coming months, showing that social distancing is necessary to slow the spread and preserve hospital capacity to save lives. Participants included representatives from Duke University, RTI International and the University of North Carolina.

March 31- Governor Cooper signs Executive Order 124 on March 31 prohibiting utilities, including electric, gas, water and wastewater services - from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during this pandemic. To learn more, read the FAQs.

March 30- Governor Cooper signs an Executive Order to get equipment to health care workers, schools and local governments

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.

March 23- Gov. Roy Cooper asks for health care volunteers to assist with COVID-19. 

March 21- Executive Order 119 waives restrictions on child care and elder care, provides DMV flexibilities.

March 19- U.S. Small Business Administration granted request for a disaster declaration for small businesses suffering economic losses due to COVID-19.

March 17- Governor Cooper issues an Executive Order to close sit-down service at restaurants and bars and makes state unemployment benefits more widely available.

March 14- Governor Cooper issues Executive Order 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. 

March 10- Governor Cooper Declares State of Emergency to respond to Coronavirus COVID-19

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