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.
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.
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
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.
Updated guardianship FAQs: The National Guardianship Association and the ABA Commission on Law and Aging recently updated their FAQs on guardianship issues during COVID-19. The FAQs also are available in Spanish.
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.
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
Remote Learning to Continue Through End of 2019-2020 School Year
“School buildings will stay closed to students for this school year, but school isn’t over. The decision to finish the year by remote learning was not made lightly, but it is the right thing to do to protect our students, teachers and communities. This is a difficult time for many children and parents, and I am grateful for all the educators, administrators, support staff and parents who have gone the extra mile to keep children learning,” Governor Cooper said.
$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.
Example of Telehealth In Action: (8 Minute Video on a Telehealth Appt for a Woman with DD)
Providing Access through Sign Language & Text for Low Vision & Tactile Communicators During the Coronavirus Pandemic from the New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative
NC Dept. of Public Instruction: Exceptional Children COVID-19 Parent’s FAQ
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:
New social distancing measures, long-term rules and streamlining the unemployment benefits process (4/9/20) Gov. Cooper Executive Order 131
Governor Cooper Signs Executive Order to Prohibit Utility Disconnections
On March 31st, Governer Cooper signed Executive Order #124: an additional step to help families by prohibiting utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during this pandemic. The order applies to electric, gas, water and wastewater services for the next 60 days. The order directs utility companies to give residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills and prohibits them from collecting fees, penalties or interest for late payment. Read more here.
If you have an Intellectual/ Cognitive Disability and Need to Go to the Hospital:
Your caregiver may come with you in the ambulance or in the hospital.
Wondering if/how the stimulus checks will affect Medicaid eligibility?
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any refund (or advance payment with respect to a refundable credit) made to any individual under this title shall not be taken into account as income, and shall not be taken into account as resources for a period of 12 months from receipt, for purposes of determining the eligibility of such individual (or any other individual) for benefits or assistance (or the amount or extent of benefits or assistance) under any Federal program or under any State or local program financed in whole or in part with Federal funds.
Following is news from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities
During difficult times, we rely on our community. The State Council on Developmental Disabilities has been making resources related to COVID-19 so that you can more easily stay close to your community while staying safe and healthy. We have listed some of those resources here, and remember to visit the SCDD website for the additional resources.
1) 10 Tips to Support Someone During Times of Change / 10 Consejos para Apoyar a Alguien en Tiempos de Cambio: One of the tips and ideas to support someone during times of frequent change is creating a picture album. We created one for you to check out. Click the photo below to see the bigger version.
3) Ideas for Activities While Sheltering in Place / Ideas para Actividades Mientras Se Refugia en el Lugar: We have some creative ideas for activities to try while you are staying inside. When you do any of these activities, we would love to hear about them. Feel free to share your stories or photos with us by emailing us or tagging us on social media.
New Patient Fact Sheet Available – What to do if you feel sick
For people who think they might have COVID-19 and have mild symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends they stay home and call their doctor if you need medical advice. Most people who get COVID-19 will have mild illness and recover at home. NCDHHS has developed a fact sheet to help North Carolinians know what to do if they are sick: Fact Sheet
Texting Tool Available to Access Food for Children
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. Additionally, No Kid Hungry NC has created a map of local school sites, community organizations and food assistance programs across North Carolina where families can access food. The interactive map can be viewed at nokidhungrync.org/covid19/ and is updated daily: Press Release