RALEIGH — North Carolina plans to offer financial support to some people in COVID-19 isolation, offering help that will include partial replacement of lost wages.
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 announced Friday a $17 million program that will cover 20 counties, including Randolph in the Triad area and larger counties like 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.
The benefits will include a one-time wage replacement set at $400 per person, or $800 if the person in isolation has a dependant. The program will also include food or home-delivery of groceries, transportation, medicine delivery and COVID-related supplies such as masks and cleaning agents.
Counties from all over the state were chosen based on their high per-capita case rates, said Zack Wortman, chief operating office for Human Services at DHHS, in an interview.
Mecklenburg County has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state with 20,502 cases. Durham has 5,761 cases, as of Friday.
The state Department of Health and Human Services will look for regional organizations to run the program.
“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 in a prepared statement. “This program will ease the burden of isolation for North Carolinians in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this virus.”
Federal CARES Act money will pay for the program. The program will run until the end of the year, the deadline for spending the money, or until the $17 million runs out, Wortman said.
Other counties included in the program are Bladen, Chatham, Columbus, Duplin, Durham, Gaston, Granville, Greene, Johnston, Lee, Montgomery, Robeson, Rowan, Sampson, Stanly, Vance, Wayne and Wilson.