North Carolina - COVID-19 Covered

North Carolina

Total Cases: 3,472,644 (March 10)
Fatalities: 28,432 (March 10)
  • Information on COVID-19 testing sites in North Carolina can be found here. 
  • North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is piloting a program to provide 35,000 no-cost, home test collection kits to North Carolinians receiving Food and Nutrition Services and/or are disabled and experiencing barriers to getting tested. (March 26) 


Essential Service Designations:

  • A full list of essential business designations can be found here 

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • North Carolina released official reopening guidance for businesses based on sector. Details for each sector can be found here 
  • The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association partnered with the State Department of Health and Human Services to create and offer “Count on Me NC” a free virtual training program to assist businesses in learning how “to protect customers and employees from COVID-19.” (May 22) 
  • Governor Cooper issued an order establishing requirements for workers in nursing homes such as daily health screenings of both residents and staff, cancelling of communal activities, and requiring personal protective equipment. (April 9) 
  • Governor Cooper issued an executive order allowing employers to file attached claims for unemployment on behalf of their employees. (April 9) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Cooper announced the NC Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions Program would be open for a second application period to assist very low-income renters that are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. (June 2) 
  • The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services announced the expansion of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program to provide P-EBT benefits to eligible children under the age of 6 who are in households receiving Food and Nutrition Services. (May 19) 
  • The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services announced it would expand eligibility for food assistance benefits to help college students during the pandemic. (April 29) 
  • Governor Cooper announced the Grants to Rural Communities fund, which would create 446 new jobs and more than $32 million in private investment in rural North Carolina. (April 15) 
  • Governor Cooper extended North Carolina’s statewide residential eviction moratorium through June 30. (March 30) 
  • The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority approved 12 grant requests to local governments totaling $4,566,930, including commitments to create a total of 439 jobs. (February 18) 
  • The North Carolina Department of Health Human Services announced it would begin issuing additional benefits through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program on February 19. (February 17) 
  • Governor Cooper signed a COVID-19 relief bill that would fund vaccine distribution and school reopenings. It would also extend the deadline for parents to apply for $335 checks. (February 10) 
  • Governor Cooper outlined a plan for allocating federal COVID-19 relief funds for immediate needs and investing state resources to help North Carolina communities build back. (February 4) 
  • Governor Cooper issued a new executive order that would enforce the CDC’S nationwide eviction moratorium through the end of the year. (October 29) 
  • The US Department of Agriculture extended essential flexibilities for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants Children to ensure participants continue to receive the food and health support they need throughout the COVID-19 national public health emergency. (October 2) 
  • The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services partnered with United Providers of Health  to address unmet health care needs of historically marginalized communities. A $7 million statewide effort would support NCDHHS’ COVID-19 response by providing preventative health care services, connections to mental health supports, and help securing non-medical drivers of health like food and housing. (October 1) 
  • The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services announced it would provide additional benefits through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program to help families purchase food for children whose access to free and reduced-priced meals at school had been impacted by remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (September 25) 
  • Governor Cooper announced that North Carolina would receive funding to help provide high-speed internet access to more residents. The projects were made possible by more than $4 million in supplemental GREAT grant funding through the COVID-19 Recovery Act. (September 4) 
  • Governor Cooper announced $175 million to help North Carolinians with rent and utility payment support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. (August 25) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Businesses and nonprofit organizations in North Carolina that have experienced interruption due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic could qualify for up to $250,000 from a new state grant program, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The Department of Commerce is now accepting applications for the Job Retention Grant Program (JRG) through the agency’s website. (August 13) 
  • The state established the “first statewide technology platform” NCCARE360, a pubic private partnership which connects government and businesses to help North Carolinians facing COVID-19. (June 22) 
  • North Carolina received a grant from the US Department of Labor to support job training and provide temporary employment opportunities. The funds will go to the State Commerce Department’s Division of Workforce Solutions who will partner with local workforce development boards. (May 28) 



  • Governor Cooper announced that all businesses in the state would no longer have to operate at reduced capacity and masks would no longer be required in most indoor and outdoor settings. Additionally, the state lifted all mass gathering limits and social distancing requirements. (May 15) 
  • All North Carolina residents aged 12 and older are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (May 13) 
  • Governor Cooper announced masks would still be required indoors but would no longer be mandated outdoors effective April 30. (April 28) 
  • Governor Cooper announced the number of people permitted to gather indoors would increase to 100 and the number of people who may gather outdoors would increase to 200, affective April 30. (April 28) 
  • Governor Cooper announced the state expects to lift mandatory social distancing, capacity, and mass gathering restrictions by June 1. (April 21) 
  • All North Carolina residents 16 years of age or older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. (April 7) 
  • Governor Cooper announced that museums and aquariums, retail businesses, salons, personal care and grooming businesses, and tattoo parlors would be able to operate at 100 percent capacity beginning March 26. Restaurants, recreation centers, fitness centers, pools, and amusement parks would be able to operate at 75 percent capacity indoors and 100 percent capacity outdoors. Bars, movie theaters, gaming facilities, night clubs, auditoriums, and sports arenas would be able to operatee at 50 percent capacity. (March 23) 
  • Governor Cooper announced people in Group 4 who have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk of serious illness and people who live in certain congregate settings would be eligible for vaccination on March 17. (March 11) 
  • Governor Cooper announced that additional frontline essential workers in Group 3 would be eligible for vaccinations. (March 2) 
  • Governor Cooper lifted the Modified Stay-at-Home Order, which required people to stay at home between 10:00PM and 5:00AM. The number of people who are permitted to gather indoors was increased to 25, while a limit of 50 would be in effect for outdoor gatherings. The curfew on the sale of alcohol for onsite consumption was be moved to 11:00PM. (February 24) 
  • Governor Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Health outlined a timeline for Group 3 frontline workers to become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, beginning with anyone working in childcare or in PreK – 12 schools on February 24. (February 10) 
  • The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services added new county demographic data for COVID-19 vaccinations to the vaccine dashboard. (February 5) 
  • The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services expanded its COVID-19 vaccine help center to answer questions and help residents find vaccine locations throughout the state. (February 2) 
  • Governor Cooper extended North Carolina’s Modified Stay-At-Home Order requiring people to be at home from 10:00PM – 5:00AM through at least February 28. (January 27) 
  • People 65 and older in North Carolina will soon be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Thursday. (January 14) 
  • Governor Cooper issued an executive order extending North Carolina’s evictions moratorium through January 31. (December 30) 
  • The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services partnered with the North Carolina Central University’s Advanced Center for COVID-19 Related Disparities to ensure comprehensive COVID-19 information was effective in reaching underserved communities in North Carolina and help residents make informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccines. (December 29) 
  • Governor Cooper announced that the first doses of any approved coronavirus vaccine would be given to health care workers in hospitals and long-term care facilities who treat or work with COVID patients and those who clean areas where COVID patients are present. (December 1) 
  • Governor Cooper issued additional COVID-19 safety measures to tighten mask requirements and enforcement. (November 23) 
  • Governor Cooper introduced a new COVID-19 county alert system that would let residents know where the highest amounts of community spread are located. (November 17) 
  • Governor Cooper announced the NC Housing Opportunities & Prevention of Evictions Program, which would assist eligible low- and- moderate-income renters experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 health crisis. (October 15) 
  • The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services awarded four contracts to regional organizations to administer its new COVID-19 Support Services program, which would support North Carolinians in 20 targeted counties who were asked to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 and needed assistance such as food, relief payments, or access to primary medical care. (August 25) 
  • “¡Recuerda las 3Ms!” (Know your 3Ms) was launched by the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services as part of a larger public outreach campaign designed to reach historically marginalized populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. (August 24) 



  • Governor Cooper signed three bills into law to support public schools in North Carolina. The first would provide a summer opportunity for academic growth, mental health, and physical health. The second would implement the North Carolina Read to Achieve Program, promoting reading proficiency. The third would support children of service members to stay in school through continued in-state financial assistance. (April 9) 
  • Governor Cooper encouraged school districts to hold in-person instruction for all students (February  2). 
  • Beginning in January, students across the state will benefit from the NC Education Corps, a new partnership between the North Carolina State Board of Education, the Office of the Governor, local school systems, and the NC Commission on Volunteerism & Community Service. Education Corps members will provide emergency relief to public schools by employing talented community members — including current college students and recent graduates experiencing financial strain or loss of employment — to provide wraparound services to K-12 students across North Carolina. (November 20) 
  • Governor Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced that schools would open for in-person instruction in August under an updated Plan B that required face coverings for all K-12 students, fewer children in the classroom, and measures to ensure social distancing for everyone in the building, among other safety protocols. (July 14) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of North Carolina universities and colleges that planned to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • Governor Cooper directed $51.4 million in new funding to help students access and complete postsecondary education as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. (May 24) 
  • The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services updated guidance for institutions of higher education. In compliance with existing executive orders, colleges and universities would require and enforce students and staff to wear cloth masks that cover the mouth and nose. The order also recommended limiting social gatherings — whether students are on campus or off campus. The guidance also encouraged limiting on-campus housing, closing communal dining settings, and implementing procedures to isolate and quarantine cases appropriately to slow the spread of the virus. (August 21) 

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