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News & Press: Updates for Members

NC COVID19 Updates and Guidance for Providers

Monday, March 30, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
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Much happened this past week as we continue our response to COVID-19. Below are highlights of some activities. Additional information is available on our website,, and we encourage you to check it frequently.

  • Governor Cooper Issues Stay at Home Order
  • NC DHHS Updates Guidance for Providers
  • COVID-19 Dashboard Includes More Data
  • Texting Tool Available to Access Food for Children
  • New Patient Fact Sheet Available – What to do if you feel sick
  • New Behavioral Health Codes

Governor Cooper Issues Stay at Home Order

On March 27th Governor Cooper ordered people in the state of North Carolina to stay at home for thirty days, until April 29, 2020, in another step to slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 121 takes effect on Monday, March 30 at 5:00 PM and reduces the size of gatherings to 10 people. The Order provides for essential businesses to continue to operate while prioritizing social distancing measures. The Order has the force of law and will be enforced in all 100 counties statewide. You can help reinforce this message with our Stay Home, Save Lives social media tools.

NC DHHS Updates Guidance for Providers

The Department updated its guidance for North Carolina clinicians and laboratory staff. The new version includes updated criteria to submit specimens to the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health and no longer asks providers to complete a person under investigation form for patients tested for COVID 19.

COVID-19 Dashboard Includes More Data

We have updated the COVID-19 dashboard, and it now includes the following information for North Carolina:

  • Number of Cases Statewide and by County
  • Number of Deaths Statewide and by County
  • Number of Tests Completed
  • Number of People Currently Hospitalized
  • Percent of Cases by Age Range
  • Percent of Deaths by Age Range
  • Percent of Cases by Gender
  • Percent of Deaths by Gender
  • Number of Intensive Care Unit Beds – Total and Empty
  • Number of Inpatient Hospital Beds – Total and Empty

NC DHHS will continue to add new data as it validates reporting methods.


Texting Tool Available to Access Food for Children

Parents who need food assistance for their children can text FOODNC to 877-877 to locate nearby free meal sites. The texting service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877-877.


Additionally, No Kid Hungry NC has created a map of local school sites, community organizations and food assistance programs across North Carolina where families can access food. The interactive map can be viewed at and is updated daily.


New Patient Fact Sheet Available – What to do if you feel sick

For people who think they might have COVID-19 and have mild symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends they stay home and call their doctor if you need medical advice. Most people who get COVID-19 will have mild illness and recover at home. NCDHHS has developed a fact sheet to help North Carolinians know what to do if they are sick. 


New Behavioral Health Codes

Effective Monday, March 30, 2020, NC DHHS is temporarily modifying enhanced behavioral health policies and telemedicine and telepsychiatry policies to better enable the delivery of remote care to Medicaid and state-funded beneficiaries during the COVID-19 outbreak. This will include dates of service on or after March 10, 2020 and will remain in effect until the State of Emergency is declared over or when this policy is rescinded.

Details on the temporary modifications are included in the following Special Bulletins:

It is the Department’s goal to support the continuation of quality, medically necessary services for beneficiaries and reduce the number of disruptions in care which could lead to increased anxiety and exacerbation of symptoms. 

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