FEMA approves North Carolina request to stand up shelters that follow social distance guidelines

Published 7:03 pm Wednesday, April 8, 2020

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On Tuesday, Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina has received approval from FEMA to provide housing alternatives, such as hotels, motels, and dormitories, for North Carolinians with unstable housing who may need to quarantine in response to or are at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
“North Carolinians without stable housing still need places to go if they are have a mild case of COVID-19 or need to quarantine after being exposed to the virus. These types of alternatives will help people who have no other safe options to self-isolate or social distance while we slow the spread of this virus,” Cooper said.

The state will work with local partners to provide more than 16,500 units of individual housing in dormitories, hotels, trailers or other facilities to:


People who test positive for COVID-19 and need to be isolated but do not require hospitalization, including those discharged from hospitals.

People exposed to COVID-19 and identified by a health care professional as needing quarantine but do not hospitalization.

People needing social distancing as a precautionary measure, as determined by public health officials, particularly for high-risk groups such as people over 65 or with certain underlying health conditions such as respiratory illness, compromised immunities or chronic disease. This may include those whose living situation makes them unable to adhere to social distancing guidance.


The federal government, through FEMA, will pay 75% of the costs associated with operating the non-congregate sheltering program. North Carolina will pay the remaining 25%. Funding includes the cost of all supporting infrastructure, such as electricity and waste disposal, as well as other services such as laundry, food, cleaning and security.

The hospitality industry and other private sector partners will be critical in facilitating the non-congregate sheltering program. Businesses such as hotels, motels, colleges, universities and other large-scale facilities that may be able to serve as non-congregate facilities can email BEOC@ncdps.gov.

To learn more about North Carolina’s response to COVID-19, visit ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.