COVID-19 Updates

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. 

Below are the latest updates from the state of North Carolina. For specific questions or concerns related to COVID-19, dial 211 or 888-892-1162. In the event of an emergency, please call 911.

Friday, Oct. 16, 2020

  • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,684 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases, the state’s highest one-day increase to date. The department also reported 1,148 hospitalizations, the second highest number to date.
  • 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.

Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020

Friday, Oct. 2, 2020

  • 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.

Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020

Past Updates

September 2020

September 2020

Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020

Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020

  • The N.C. Pandemic Recovery Office has distributed more than $2.6 billion in coronavirus relief funds (to 75% of the $3.5 billion allocated by the N.C. General Assembly) to local governments, state agencies, nonprofits, hospitals, educational institutions and research organizations.
  • Since establishing telehealth flexibility policies in early March, North Carolina Medicaid has processed claims for more than 1.1 million telehealth and 350,000 telephonic visits during the COVID-19 pandemic, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced.

Monday, Sept. 28, 2020

Friday, Sept. 25, 2020

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020

Monday, Sept. 14, 2020

Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020

  • 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.
  • Gov. Cooper and Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen met with White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx.. The governor and Dr. Birx also participated together in the call with the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and the governor spoke about the need for elected leaders and candidates to lead by example on the campaign trail this fall by holding events with face coverings and social distancing.
Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 2020

Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 2020

Friday, Sept. 4, 2020

Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020

Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020

Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020

  • 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. 

Monday, Aug. 31, 2020

Aug. 23-29, 2020

Aug. 23-29, 2020

Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020

Monday, Aug. 24, 2020

Aug. 16-22, 2020

Aug. 16-22, 2020

Friday, Aug. 21, 2020

  • 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.

Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020

  • Gov. Roy Cooper has announced $12 million to expand internet access in 11 rural counties. The funding, made available partly by the COVID-19 Recovery Act,  is expected to connect 8,017 families and 254 businesses, farms and community institutions to high-speed internet.
  • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has selected StarMed Urgent and Family Care, P.A to continue surging COVID-19 testing capacity in North Carolina. The new sites will be located in Forsyth, Guilford, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Onslow, Orange and Randolph counties. NCDHHS selected locations for the additional testing sites based on epidemiological trends and reports from local health departments.

    Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020

    Monday, Aug. 17, 2020

    • 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.
    Aug. 9-15, 2020

    Aug. 9-15, 2020

    Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020

    Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020

    Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020

    Aug. 2-8, 2020

    Aug. 2-8, 2020

    Friday, Aug. 7, 2020

    Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020

    • The state has distributed approximately 3.5 million cloth face coverings, 4.5 million procedure masks and significant amounts of additional personal protective equipment to targeted settings across the state. The ongoing shipments support operations including schools, nursing homes, first responders, agricultural facilities, child care facilities and courthouses.

    Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020

    Monday, Aug. 3, 2020

    • Due to the threat of Tropical Storm Isais, some community testing events are being canceled or hours are being changed. Please contact the testing site before arrival to ensure that the site is open.
    • The COVID-19 pandemic will add additional challenges and changes to the 2020 hurricane season, which runs until Nov. 30. Find out what you need to know to be prepared.
    July 26-Aug. 1, 2020

    July 26-Aug. 1, 2020

    Thursday, July 30, 2020

    Wednesday, July 29, 2020

    Tuesday, July 28, 2020

    Monday, July 27, 2020

    • The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has upcoming events for free community testing as part of the initiative to increase access to COVID-19 testing for African-American, LatinX/Hispanic and American Indian communities that currently have limited testing sites.
    July 19-25, 2020

    July 19-25, 2020

    Friday, July 24, 2020

    • 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.

    Thursday, July 23, 2020

    Tuesday, July 21, 2020

    Monday, July 20, 2020

    July 12-18, 2020

    July 12-18, 2020

    Thursday, July 16, 2020

    • 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)

    Tuesday, July 14, 2020

    July 5-11, 2020

    July 5-11, 2020

    Saturday, July 11, 2020

    Thursday, July 9, 2020

    Tuesday, July 7, 2020

    • 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.
    • NCDHHS launched the Community Testing in High-Priority and Marginalized Populations (CHAMP) Initiative to increase access to no-cost COVID-19 testing for African American, LatinX/Hispanic and American Indian communities that currently have limited testing sites. As many as 300 temporary testing sites will be deployed throughout July, including drive-through and walk-up sites.
    • NCDHHS joined the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration in alerting consumers of adverse health effects associated with methanol-contaminated hand sanitizers. Learn more about ways you can stay healthy.