CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina leaders announced a plan that offers financial support to some people in COVID-19 isolation, offering help that will include partial replacement of lost wages.
On Friday, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released a Request for Applications (RFA) for regional partner organizations to administer an innovative new program to support individuals in targeted counties who need supports like food and transportation to successfully quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19.
According to health officials, to qualify, people must have been told by a medical professional to isolate and they must sign a form that they will comply with the restrictions.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s office is set to announce a $17 million program that will cover 20 counties, including Mecklenburg. The program is intended to ease financial burdens some people face when they are told to isolate or self-quarantine to prevent spreading the coronavirus.
“When people are asked by a health care professional to quarantine or isolate, many can’t do that without some extra support,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen M.D., “This innovative program will help people safely isolate and help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our hardest-hit rural and underserved communities.”
In the Isolation Supports program, people in target counties who are directed to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 may apply to receive one or more of five social supports to help them do so: nutrition assistance such as home-delivered meals or groceries; a relief payment to offset temporary loss of income or ability to look for work; transportation; medication delivery; and COVID-related supplies such as a mask or cleaning supplies.
“Quarantine is a critical part of slowing the spread of COVID-19, but we can’t ignore the strain it puts on people’s everyday lives,” Cooper said. “This program will ease the burden of isolation for North Carolinians in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this virus.”
DHHS is releasing this RFA today in order to select regional partners who will administer the program in their area, including directly providing or contracting with local organizations that can collectively provide the full array of support services, handling invoicing, reimbursement, and reporting functions related to the delivery of support services, and working closely with local health care professionals who will be referring and coordinating services.
DHHS is prioritizing areas of the state with high per capita COVID-19 case rates for this program, with final target counties selected based on the applications received. This program is temporary and is expected to run until late 2020.