Dear Fellow North Carolinians,
Disability Rights North Carolina (DRNC) understands that the confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in North Carolina are a serious concern. DRNC is staying on top of the changing situation. We are closely following reliable information to make appropriate, fact-based, timely decisions and recommendations.
We know that many people with disabilities are at higher risk and that our client community will be disproportionately affected by an outbreak. We are taking steps to remain safely operational and continue providing the strong advocacy people with disabilities need.
In light of recommendations regarding large gatherings issued by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, DRNC has decided to postpone our disability advocacy conference previously scheduled for April 30. We want to do our part to keep the community safe and stop the spread of this disease. We are coordinating with the venue and keynote speaker Judith Heumann, and will announce a new date soon.
Knowledge is power. This resource page will be updated to provide information for the disability community to understand risks. There are many things you can do to protect yourselves and help slow the spread of the virus. Don’t panic – prepare.
Things to know:
Governor Cooper has called a State of Emergency. This makes it possible for North Carolina to get extra funding and resources, and prevents price gouging on supplies.
Pandemic refers to the geographic spread of an infection. Covid-19 is called a pandemic because it has spread to many different countries.
- Wash your hands often and well with soap and water. This is one of the best protections. Wash for at least 20 seconds, getting your palms, backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. This is how the disease can enter your system.
- If you cannot wash, use a large squirt of hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol. Scrub like you were washing your hands until they are dry.
- Avoid places where there are lots of people. Maintain distance between yourself and others. Do not shake hands.
- The most common COVID-19 symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have these symptoms, go or stay home and call your doctor.
- If you cough or sneeze, cover with a tissue, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, covering with the inside of your elbow is better than using your hands.
- These guidelines are especially important if you are in a high risk group. Take care of yourself and others.
If you rely on a support person, contact your LME/MCO or home healthcare agency to find out if they have a plan in case your care providers get sick.
If you are not in a high risk group:
- Reach out to those who might need help with getting supplies to their homes.
- Offer to pick up groceries or supplies for them.
- Let them know they can call you if they need anything.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Stay home if you are sick to minimize risk to others.
There is a lot of unreliable information going around. Make sure to get your information from reliable, official sources like these:
If you have concerns about accessibility of information around coronavirus or your legal rights, call DRNC:
Toll Free (within NC): 1-877-235-4210
Be informed and prepared. Call DRNC if you need help.
Virginia Knowlton Marcus
Chief Executive Officer