The North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities (NCCDD) wants to be a resource to share valuable information about the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, to help people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families stay safe and healthy.
For the latest news, information, webinars and resources from North Carolina, check the sidebar on the right:
Toolkit that includes resources through NC for a variety of mental health needs: (Download pdf)
Created by the Division of Mental Health Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services in partnership with the NCDHHS Historically Marginalized Populations Behavioral Health Workgroup, this toolkit provides resources through the state of North Carolina for a variety of mental health needs, including resources for parents engaging in online-school, family-based needs, resources for those within the I/DD community and others.
New from NC DHHS: Joint Communication Bulletins
SARTAC Workshops for October
SAME time & SAME link each day, 1:00 ET, Noon CT, 11:00 MT, and 10:00 PT
Join the Zoom Meetings on the computer, tablet, or smartphone or call 1-929-436-2866 and the Meeting ID: 324 815 633
Topics of these 1 Hour Workshops on Zoom BY Self-Advocates from Across the Country:
October 8 - Right 2 Ride (Transportation Advocacy)
October 12 - Getting Youth Involved in Self-Advocacy
October 15 - School to Prison Pipeline
October 19 - Overcoming Transportation Barriers in Rural West Virginia
October 22 - Funding for State Self-Advocacy Groups
October 26 - Supported Decision Making
October 29 - Autism Training for First Responders
COVID-19 Educational Social Story for Exceptional Children: Campbell Medicine Exceptional Camels Interest Group created an illustrated story to help children understand COVID-19 and how they can help stay well. Read the article. Watch the video.
New from NC DHHS – Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program
NCDHHS will provide additional benefits through the P-EBT program to help families purchase food for children whose access to free and reduced-priced meals at school has been impacted by remote learning this fall due to COVID-19. The program provides a benefit on an EBT card that can be used to buy food at authorized retailers, including most major grocery stores.
(ASPR/At-Risk Individuals Program recently published a resource developed in partnership with colleagues from CMS and ACL) This tool is targeted towards nurses, social workers, case managers, and others conducting discharge planning for adults with disabilities. It explains the Olmstead decision, lays out potential pathways for adults with disabilities diagnosed with COVID, explains the CMIST framework and person-centered planning, provides considerations for three potential discharge scenarios to facilitate person-centered discharge planning and care coordination to the most integrated setting, and provides state and federal resources to assist the care coordinators and discharge planners.
NC DHHS: New Updates
Governor’s TaskForce COVID-19 Updates:
NC DHHS: Update from State Board of Education – Department of Public Instruction’s Exceptional Children Division
Guidance on 2020-2021 Re-Opening Schools for Exceptional Children
COVID-19 Updates from NCDHHS Topics covered:
NEW GUIDANCE in Long-Term Care: NCDHHS Guidance for Point-Prevalence Surveys (PPS) in Skilled Nursing Facilities
NEW TESTING SITES added to the Community Testing Events page (Note that this page, previously called “Pop-up Testing,” now has a new name.)
UPDATED “Requesting Specimen Collection Supplies” includes updated specimen collection link
UPDATED Prevent and Protect toolkit; the Know Your Ws social media is on this page, available in separate zip files for ease of access to the different images (more still to come)
UPDATED General Flow Chart: Hospital to Skilled Nursing Facility in Long-Term Care Guidance
UPDATED CLI Surveillance Report
UPDATED Schools Toolkit in Spanish
COVID-19 Updates from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) Topics covered:
• What do Older Adults and People with Disabilities Need to Know?
• For the Aging and Disability Networks
• Resources for Everyone
• American Sign Language
• En Español
Joint NC DMHDDSAS and DHB (NC Medicaid) COVID-19 Update for NC Providers
Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. (New call-in info here)
Ensuring the safety of nursing home residents: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced the members of the independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes. The Commission will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes and make short-term and long-term recommendations.
The latest from CDC: Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its list of people at risk of severe COVID-19 illness to reflect the latest available evidence. Instead of a specific age threshold, CDC now warns that among adults, risk increases steadily as you age, and it’s not just those over the age of 65 who are at increased risk for severe illness. CDC also updated the list of underlying medical conditions that increase risk of severe illness and clarified the list of other conditions that might increase a person’s risk of severe illness to include additions such as asthma, high blood pressure, neurologic conditions such as dementia, cerebrovascular disease such as stroke, and pregnancy.
CMS also published FAQs on visitation considerations for nursing home
Building mental resilience: Across the country, people in helping professions are going above and beyond to serve others. The University of Southern California's School of Social Work has a blog post with advice on how social workers, first responders, public health professionals, and government officials can manage their own mental health while balancing their many roles and responsibilities.
LME-MCO Joint Communication Bulletin # J366 regarding Level of Care and Supporting Documentation During COVID-19 State of Emergency
NCDHHS Reports Highest Day of New Cases Since Pandemic Began
Friday, June 12 was North Carolina’s highest day of new cases (1,768) since the pandemic started. COVID-19 remains a serious threat to our state and the trends are concerning. We have the tools to respond to this crisis and slow the spread of the virus – but we all have to work together to make this happen. Practice the 3 Ws [covid19.ncdhhs.gov] - wear a cloth face covering, wait six feet apart and wash your hands frequently.
NCDHHS Announces $26 Million to Help Mitigate the Economic Disruption of COVID-19
NC Community Action Agencies (CAAs) have begun to receive flexible funds that can be used to help low-income individuals and families meet a variety of needs caused by the economic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are part of the federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and can, among other allowable uses, help eligible residents facing eviction with unmet rent and utility expenses.
To be eligible for CSBG-funded services, individuals and families must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. To apply for help, contact your local Community Action Agency. For additional information on the CSBG funding or contact information for the 33 Community Action Agencies in North Carolina, visit ncdhhs.gov/csbg-contacts [ncdhhs.gov]
NCDHHS Updates Guidance for Child Care Settings
The updated guidance is intended to help licensed/regulated child care facilities make informed decisions about COVID19 and minimize the risk of exposure to both the staff and the children in their care. Health and safety guidance for child care facilities during COVID-19 is outlined in this document, which is also available in Spanish.
NCDHHS Targets Additional Testing and Tracing Resources to 9 Counties
We are responding to COVID-19 on multiple fronts. Statewide we continue to build our testing and contact tracing infrastructure. At the same time we are surging additional testing [covid19.ncdhhs.gov] and tracing [covid19.ncdhhs.gov] resources to targeted communities and populations that have been hardest hit by COVID-19. Our first round of partnerships is with a mix of several of our urban population centers as well as our rural communities, including Mecklenburg, Durham, Wake, Forsyth, Duplin, Lee, Johnston, and Alamance counties.
Governor Cooper Proclaims Healthcare Heroes Day 2020
To recognize the daily heroic sacrifices made by healthcare professionals, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cooper proclaimed June 15, 2020 Healthcare Heroes Day. In honor of our frontline heroes a special flag will be raised in front of the North Carolina State Capitol and will fly until July 15.
“I am so grateful to our healthcare heroes who are sacrificing so much to keep our communities healthy and save lives,” said Governor Cooper. “As this pandemic continues to grip our country, I am thankful for these North Carolinians who have answered the call to help others in need, and we can support them by doing our part in fighting this pandemic.” Read the full Proclamation online.
NCDHHS Updates Guidance on Who should Be Tested
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is releasing updated guidance for doctors and clinicians on who should be tested for COVID-19.
Expanding Testing and Contact Tracing COVID-19 –
A press release with more details is online at https://www.ncdhhs.gov/news/press-releases/ncdhhs-issues-request-qualifications-expand-testing-and-contact-tracing-covid-19
The RFQ is online at https://www.ips.state.nc.us/IPS/AGENCY/PDF/13710800.pdf
NC Moves to Safer At Home Phase 2
Preparing for Hospitalization During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Checklist for People with Disabilities Edition 2.0, 2020 NEW: You should do everything you can to stay out of a hospital, but if you have no choice, these tips help you prepare for what you may face. It will NOT be business as usual.
ADA Compliance with Visitations in Healthcare Facilities: Coronavirus Pandemic Guidance for Advocates Edition 1, 2020 NEW: Offers tips for advocating for visitations and working with healthcare facilities and state governments during current pandemic crisis about how to ensure healthcare facilities comply with Americans with Disabilities Act.
NCDHHS Provides One-Time Payment to Families with Children in Work First Cash Assistance Program
NCDHHS – Federal Stimulus Payments Issued Include Individuals with Disabilities
Federal stimulus payments are being issued and this includes payment to individuals with disabilities. Providers/licensees that also serve as Representative Payees for Social Security Administration (SSA) beneficiaries with disabilities should ensure payees understand that federal stimulus checks, known also as “Economic Impact Payments (EIP),” belong solely for the use of and by the beneficiary –not the payee. We have posted guidance under the Individuals guidance page on our COVID page.
COVID-19 Self Advocate - Link to Resources from California State Council on Developmental Disabilities
$2 million Emergency Grant will Support Behavioral Health Response to COVID-19
A $2 million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will support NCDHHS’ efforts to address the growing needs of people with mental health issues and substance use disorder as it relates to the COVID-19 crisis, along with the mental health needs of the general public and health care workers who are on the front lines of this pandemic. Keep reading.
Telehealth Helping North Carolinians Access Care
Using telehealth, North Carolinians can receive services while avoiding the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Doctors and other clinicians across the state are using telehealth to deliver primary care and prenatal care; help patients manage asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic conditions; and provide behavioral health counseling, physical therapy and more. All insurance companies in the state, including Medicaid and Medicare, are covering healthcare visits through telehealth. DHHS and NC Medicaid have developed a video and a flyer to help alleviate concerns and encourage people to talk with their doctors about using telehealth to get the care they need to stay healthy.
Requesting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
From Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health & IDD Kody H. Kinsley to the Local Management Entities and Managed Care Organization Chief Executive Officers – We recognize a lot of our providers are in need of PPE. Please use this form.
Example of Telehealth In Action: (8 Minute Video on a Telehealth Appt for a Woman with DD)
The National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) in partnership with the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota has developed a survey for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on this workforce and identify the most effective ways to protect DSPs and the people they support. The results of this survey will be shared widely with policymakers, services providers, direct support professionals, families, and stakeholders. Information from this survey can prove useful to state systems as they construct plans for recovery and future disaster planning.
Please feel free to forward this survey [z.umn.edu] to providers or other entities who employ direct support professionals. Their answers will be anonymous.
Providing Access through Sign Language & Text for Low Vision & Tactile Communicators During the Coronavirus Pandemic from the New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative
Disability Rights North Carolina – Accessing Special Education during COVID-19 Fact Sheet
Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities – Safeguard Against Disability Discrimination During COVID-19
NC-Interim Guidance for BHIDD In Home Service Providers from NC DHHS:
Share Your Stories!
Here are a few opportunities for self advocates to participate and share their stories about their experience during this Coronavirus pandemic. Please see the following:
Plain Language Tips for Working with Support Staff during COVID-19
SARTAC (Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center) released a new plain language booklet written by and for self-advocates. The Coronavirus or COVID-19 is changing our lives in many ways for a while. Self-advocates wrote these tips to help people with developmental disabilities deal with changes in how they are getting services. The suggestions are about working with support staff during COVID-19.
The Role of the DSP and the Coronavirus (video): The current worldwide news about the emergence of the Coronavirus is on everyone’s list of concerns, questions and insecurities. The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals created this webinar specifically for Direct Support Professionals to provide them with guidelines for understanding the virus, protecting the individuals they support in the community and offering reliable resources for ongoing news and practices.
Coronavirus 101 sheet for Direct Support Professionals by the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) in California (pdf)