Today, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 245 to strengthen the state’s ongoing fight against COVID-19 with more health care workers and flexibility for care facilities, as well as easier access to vaccines, tests and treatments. The regulatory waivers in the Order are key to facilitating the state’s COVID-19 response at this critical juncture in the pandemic.
“It’s more important than ever to support our health care providers and give them more flexibility and tools. As hospitalizations rise we should make sure people get the medical care they need as well as more access to vaccines and tests,” said Governor Cooper.
North Carolina is experiencing a significant wave of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations due to the increasing spread of the Omicron variant, which is more transmissible than the original virus and previous variants. The spread of this variant and the Delta variant, particularly across the state’s unvaccinated population, has generated increased concern from medical professionals.
The Order extends provisions directing the State Health Director to issue statewide standing orders to facilitate COVID-19 testing, COVID-19 vaccination, and the administration of therapeutic treatments designed to prevent or treat COVID-19, including monoclonal antibody treatments and newly authorized therapeutic treatments.
Additionally, the Order gives the NCDHHS Secretary flexibility to take actions to increase the health care workforce and to ensure continuity of existing operations in the state’s hospitals, adult care homes, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities. Professional licensing boards will have authority to modify or waive requirements that would otherwise prevent qualified individuals, such as retired medical professionals and trained students, from providing care to COVID-19 patients.
The Order received concurrence from the Council of State.
Read the Executive Order.