Press Releases

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has taken action to ensure NC Medicaid beneficiaries have access to free at-home tests for COVID-19. In alignment with the Biden administration’s requirement last week to provide free at-home tests for COVID-19, State Health Director and NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, M.D., signed an order on Jan. 14, 2022, enabling NC Medicaid beneficiaries to receive free at-home COVID-19 tests from their local pharmacies.

The rate of COVID-19 infections is once again disproportionately impacting Black and Hispanic North Carolinians. Since Dec. 26, the rate of infections was twice as high among the Black population as compared to the white population and as much as 57% higher among the Hispanic population as compared to the non-Hispanic population, according to an analysis of positive cases reported to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will host a live fireside chat and tele-town hall on Jan. 20 from 6 to 7 p.m. to discuss COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, testing and more.

The recently adopted North Carolina state budget includes funds to give a one-time bonus to eligible home- and community-based direct care workers and support staff who provide services to Medicaid and NC Health Choice beneficiaries. The budget also includes a provision to implement a home- and community-based direct care worker wage increase for eligible employees who provide services to Medicaid and NC Health Choice beneficiaries.

Debra Farrington, chief of staff for NC Medicaid, was honored today as the recipient of the 2022 John R. Larkins Award. Established in 1988, the award recognizes commitment to justice and equality in the workplace and in the community and was announced during the state’s annual North Carolina State Employees’ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance Program. The ceremony was presented virtually due to the ongoing pandemic, and the award will be provided to Farrington at an event to follow.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today updated the COVID-19 vaccination dashboard to better show how many people in North Carolina are up to date with current COVID-19 vaccination recommendations.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services published its Olmstead Plan, designed to assist people with disabilities who receive or are eligible for publicly-funded services to reside in and experience the full benefit of being part of day-to-day life in communities alongside those without disabilities. Developed with stakeholders from across the state, the plan’s goal is to divert people from entering institutions and to support those wishing to leave.

In the face of nationwide competition for testing supplies and shortages of testing staff, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is pulling all available levers to support existing testing sites, to open more sites across the state and to increase access to at-home collection kits.

The FDA now authorizes and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individuals who received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine get a booster dose after five months. This announcement from federal agencies comes just three days after the announcement of a shortened wait time for a booster from six months to five months for individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine.

With COVID-19 cases reaching pandemic highs, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services urges K-12 schools to promote vaccination and boosters for students and staff and require students and staff wear masks indoors to keep students in the classroom and limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission.