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-Press Release, NCDHHS
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is taking further action to prevent and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities. All long-term care facilities in the state will receive personal protective equipment (PPE) packs of needed supplies, and facilities will receive a limited increased rate for some Medicaid services to support infection prevention and management.
“We have a team dedicated to supporting our long-term care facilities as they protect our aging family members and loved ones who require round-the-clock care and the staff who care for them,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “We want to help them do all that they can because once an outbreak occurs in a congregate living setting, it can be difficult to prevent the spread of the virus.”
PPE packs will go to more than 3,000 state-licensed long-term care facilities and include a fourteen-day supply of face shields, procedure masks, gloves and shoe covers. Adult care homes, family care homes, nursing homes, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental health facilities will receive supplies. NCDHHS is partnering with North Carolina Emergency Management and the National Guard to deliver the packs at local distribution centers.
In addition to the PPE distribution, NCDHHS is providing a time-limited Medicaid rate increase for nursing facility services such as skilled nursing and rehabilitation services. The increase is intended to support strengthening infection prevention and management capacities with technical support from NCDHHS. The increase will also apply to personal care assistance and home health services to help providers who support people being able to stay at home where there is less risk of exposure.
NCDHHS also released updated testing guidance to clinicians that recommends testing people who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings such as long-term care facilities.
These actions build on earlier measures North Carolina has taken to protect residents and staff in long-term facilities. Previous actions include:
For NCDHHS and CDC guidance for long-term care facilities, visit covid19.ncdhhs.gov/guidance#long-term-care-facilities. A list of congregate care settings with outbreaks is available on the NCDHHS COVID-19 Dashboard.