North Carolina

Elk Falls River North Carolina
At a Glance
  • State Population: 10,383,620
  • Local Health Departments: 85
  • Frequent Public Health Emergencies: Communicable Disease Outbreaks, Environmental Contamination, Tropical Storms/Hurricanes
  • Key Emergency Operations Center Activations: 2020: COVID-19 Pandemic; 2019: Lung Injury and E-Cigarette Investigation, Hurricane Dorian; 2018: Hurricane Florence
  • CDC PHEP Funding:
    FY 2021: $15,545,983
    FY 2020: $15,108,972
  • CDC Crisis Response Funding: COVID-19
    FY 2021: $62,340,758
    FY 2020: $13,820,515
PHEP-Funded Staff
  • Epidemiologists: 4
  • Laboratorians: 15
  • Educator: 3
  • Health Professionals: 11
  • CDC Preparedness Field Staff: 3
  • Other*: 36

*Includes IT specialists, administrative staff, statisticians, and other positions

Top 5 Preparedness Investments
  1. Public Health Laboratory Testing
  2. Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiologic Investigation
  3. Medical Countermeasure Dispensing and Distribution
  4. Community Preparedness
  5. Information Sharing
Stories from the Field
CDC CEFO Serves as Chief Science Officer for North Carolina’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response

CAPT Aaron Fleischauer, a PHEP-funded Career Epidemiology Field Officer, has served as chief science officer for North Carolina public health’s COVID-19 pandemic response since February 2020. CAPT Fleischauer served on the leadership team that developed and implemented guidance and response strategies. These included statewide community mitigation tactics based on the changing COVID-19 epidemiology. CAPT Fleischauer also worked with academic partners across the state to implement community-based seroprevalence studies. The studies monitor the distribution of COVID-19 antibodies and measure how long those antibodies last.

CDC CEFO Develops Communicable Disease Outbreak Resources for North Carolina

Jennifer MacFarquhar, a PHEP-funded Career Epidemiology Field Officer assigned to North Carolina, identified in 2020 a gap in local and regional resources for the state’s post-acute care settings. MacFarquhar advocated to establish regional prevention and response teams and worked with key state health leaders to create 10 support teams. The teams bolster the existing public health infrastructure and are the first point of contact for post-acute care settings in their regions. The teams enhance preparedness and response capabilities to address communicable disease cases and outbreaks. As of July 1, 2021, these teams had reached out to more than 2,600 facilities and completed more than 900 site assessments.

CDC PFA Creates COVID-19 Vaccination Provider Enrollment Survey in North Carolina

Haley Trapp, a PHEP-funded preparedness field assignee in North Carolina, created a COVID-19 vaccination provider enrollment survey for North Carolina’s 100 local health departments and 100 select hospitals. The state used the information gathered from the survey to create the foundation for the COVID Vaccination Management System (CVMS). Trapp also helped to organize and distribute COVID-19 testing supplies statewide, orient volunteers, and provide technical support to CVMS users.

North Carolina E-coli
PHEP Protects North Carolina Residents from E. coli Outbreak

In North Carolina, the PHEP program funded and partnered in the development of a surveillance system, NCDETECT, that integrates disease data from different sources across the state so responders can easily detect disease outbreaks. Sources include hospital emergency departments, a 24/7 public hotline, and others. In June 2018, NCDETECT enabled North Carolina to stop an outbreak of a rare strain of E. coli from spreading in one apartment complex. Fifty people were hospitalized. The state used NCDETECT to track these patients and their diagnoses and monitor their contacts. As a result, the state quickly identified and contained the outbreak with no reported deaths.

North Carolina Hurricane Matthew
Responding to Hurricane Matthew

In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew made landfall in southeastern North Carolina as a Category 1 storm, causing catastrophic flooding and killing 28 people. 16 PHEP-funded staff logged 921 hours coordinating response activities. Due to agreements with surrounding states established through the PHEP program, North Carolina began the process of receiving 20 public health nurses from Tennessee within just three hours of requesting support. The public health nurses, along with North Carolina environmental health specialists, staffed shelters, inspected facilities, and conducted well water and septic system testing in flood-affected areas.

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Page last reviewed: January 19, 2022, 01:16 PM