Press Releases

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced it is working with the United States Department of Agriculture to help prevent the spread of rabies by distributing oral rabies vaccine for wild raccoons along western North Carolina’s borders with Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia.

North Carolina’s Community Health Worker Initiative will expand as part of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion's Community Health Workers for COVID Response and Resilient Communities (CCR) initiative. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services was awarded a total of $9 million with $3 million per year distributed over the next three years.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 234 extending, but not waiving, proof-of-immunization and health assessment documentation deadlines for school and child-care facilities. To ensure children are not excluded from school because of increased demands on health care providers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the order will give students and families more time to complete their required vaccines and health assessments. Vaccinations and health assessments are essential to protecting public health and should not be skipped or ignored.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced households enrolled in the Food and Nutrition Services program will see their benefits increase by 25% beginning Oct. 1, 2021, as part of a national re-evaluation of benefit amounts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. More than 1.6 million people are enrolled in FNS in North Carolina.

To strengthen and extend protections against severe illness, North Carolinians at high risk for serious illness or exposure who have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech (COMINARTY) vaccine for six months or more can now receive a COVID-19 booster shot.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) today announced the hiring of Victor Armstrong as the Department’s first ever Chief Health Equity Officer. NCDHHS created the position as well as the Office of Health Equity to lead its focus to advance health equity and reduce disparities in opportunity and outcomes for historically marginalized populations.

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus has recently been identified in eastern North Carolina. Horses in three counties — Brunswick, Pender and Onslow — were recently diagnosed with EEE. In addition, EEE virus was detected in a mosquito sample from New Hanover County. No human cases of EEE have been identified in North Carolina so far this year.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced four new locations offering monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for treatment of COVID-19 managed by local organizations in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, bringing the number of sites in the state offering this therapy to more than 200. FEMA will also help staff one existing site. This partnership will give more North Carolinians access to monoclonal antibody treatment, which can decrease the likelihood of hospitalization related to COVID-19 if taken early.

Advisors to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today the Pfizer-BioNTech (COMIRNATY) COVID-19 booster shot is safe, effective and recommended for individuals who have been fully vaccinated for at least six months and are: 65 years and older; at high risk of severe COVID-19; and, at high risk of occupational exposure. 

Healthier Together, a public-private partnership between the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and NC Counts Coalition, released the second round of funding of up to $500,000 for community-based organizations to apply for grants to help North Carolina achieve its goal of delivering equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Grants will range from $10,000–$25,000 each (or up to $60,000 for collaborative proposals).