Letter from our CEO
Here you can view a letter from our CEO, Rhett Melton addressing members and the community on the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Learn the facts
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness in animals and humans. Human coronaviruses commonly circulate in the United States and usually cause mild illnesses like the common cold. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease that was identified in Wuhan, China, and is now spreading throughout the world. Learn more about COVID-19 from NCDHHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Frequently Asked Questions (CDC) (NC DHHS)
- COVID-19 is a respiratory illness with symptoms similar to the flu. Symptoms are typically mild to moderate, but there have been cases of severe illness and death due to the virus. Check your symptoms.
- COVID-19 Community Testing Events are held throughout the state. Find a testing site here.
Who is at risk?
COVID-19 is a new virus, so humans do not have immunity to this virus. However, Older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease and those with weakened immune systems seem to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. Early data suggest older people are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. Learn more.
Some pregnant women may be more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. There is no evidence that children are more susceptible to COVID-19. The CDC has information specifically for pregnant women and children.
What should I do to not catch COVID-19?
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid exposure to others who are sick
- Stay home when you are ill
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched
Practice Social Distancing
Social distancing is a way to keep people from interacting closely or frequently enough to spread an infectious disease. You may have noticed that schools in North Carolina have closed and it is now recommended that gatherings of over 50 people not take place. This is one way of practicing social distancing.
The Pyx Health phone app can help you monitor your mental and physical health.
Sometimes, situations like what we are experiencing with COVID-19 can increase anxiety. Here are some ways to combat these feelings:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
You can find more information about managing anxiety and stress on the CDC website.
The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) has and continues to develop resources to assist all North Carolinians. Visit www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus for reliable, up-to-date information.
Included on this page is helpful information for:
- Individuals, families and communities
- Businesses and employers
- Health care professionals
- Colleges, schools and child care providers
- Long-term care facilities
Stay prepared by getting the latest information directly from reliable sources. Be thoughtful about what you read or hear about the virus and make sure you are separating rumor from fact before you share it.
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. No Kid Hungry North Carolina is providing different pickup and delivery options throughout the state. For more information, visit http://nokidhungrync.org/covid19/.
The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) provides grants to fund various supports that help family and informal caregivers care for older adults in their homes for as long as possible.
- NC211 – 24/7 support for resources and information such as food pantries, electric service payment assistance, hotlines and more.
- Aunt Bertha – Access to free or reduced cost services like medical care, food, job training, and more.
- SAMHSA COVID-19 information
- National Council for Behavioral Health
- Mental Health First Aid
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Why Telehealth in COVID-19? (2:53) Video from NC DHHS about the benefits of using telehealth to stay healthy.
- Letter to Medicaid beneficiaries: English | Spanish. Read about COVID-19, temporary changes in Medicaid, and available resources.
- COVID-19 Telehealth Information. Learn how telehealth can help avoid exposure to COVID-19; the types of health care services available through telehealth; and how to talk with your doctor about a telehealth appointment.
- COVID-19 Internet Service Offerings
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
- Resources for Older Adults
Check My Symptoms
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) has a public website to allow you to enter symptoms and determine if you should get tested for COVID-19. If it is recommended that you get tested, you will receive a link to a list of nearby testing sites via email or text. (Note: The symptom checker is an informational tool to help you determine if you may need to be tested. It is not a physician order. Testing sites may require their own screening. Click here to go to the symptom checker.
The Division of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/Substance Use Services and the Division of Health Benefits (NC Medicaid) host a weekly COVID-19 Update Call for Consumers with behavioral health and intellectual/developmental disabilities, their family members and community stakeholders. The call is held every Monday at 2:00 p.m. June 15 call-in information: Toll-free 1-877-336-4441 and enter Access Code 9264293. Closed Captioning.