Press Releases

There is increasing urgency for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the more dangerous new Delta variant is rapidly spreading in the United States, including in North Carolina. Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified the Delta variant as a ‘variant of concern’ because it spreads faster than current COVID-19 variants. Early studies from the United Kingdom have also shown a possible increased risk of hospitalization in people infected with the Delta variant. The currently available COVID-19 vaccines are the best protection against the virus and its variants.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is launching an expanded COVID-19 screening testing program to support public, charter and private K-12 schools in protecting students and staff from the spread of COVID-19. The program will launch in fall 2021 and schools can register to participate beginning in early July.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced more than 80% of adults 65 and older in the state have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced North Carolina has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) food assistance program through Summer 2021. The P-EBT program helps families with eligible children whose access to free or reduced-price meals at school or other food assistance has been impacted by COVID-19. Summer P-EBT is an extension of benefits for the 2020-2021 school year.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced the selection of organizations to serve three regions of the state, marking a major milestone towards launching the nation’s first comprehensive program to test evidence-based, non-medical interventions designed to reduce costs and improve the health of Medicaid beneficiaries. The groundbreaking program will create a systematic approach to integrating and financing non-medical services that address housing stability, transportation access, food security and interpersonal safety into the delivery of health care.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced all Medicaid beneficiaries currently eligible to transition to managed care have selected or been assigned a health plan with 97% enrolled in a plan that includes their current primary care provider (PCP) in network.

The North Carolina 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.

A new tool created by the NC Department of Health and Human Services that maps social vulnerability and vaccination rates by census tract has helped North Carolina vaccine providers increase vaccinations by 50 percent in 89 underserved communities.

As part of its ongoing effort to get more North Carolinians vaccinated and safely bring summer back, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is offering $25 Summer Cash Cards at select vaccine sites to offset the time and transportation costs of getting vaccinated.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today expanded its NC COVID-19 Dashboard to include a new metric – wastewater monitoring. Since January 2021, NCDHHS has been testing wastewater samples to look for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as part of the CDC’s National Wastewater Surveillance System. This new statewide program, known as the North Carolina Wastewater Monitoring Network, is a collaboration between 11 wastewater utilities, 8 local public health departments and researchers at the University of North Carolina.