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COVID-19 Media Releases

Posted on: March 23, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Media Release COVID-19 - March 23, 2020

For Immediate Release              

Phone: 980-432-1800

Rowan County COVID-19 Confirmed Cases:  4    

Governor Cooper announces changes to schools, businesses and social distancing

Today North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced he will sign an executive order that will extend North Carolina School closure through May 15th, 2020. The Executive Order will prohibit mass gatherings of more than 50 people.  Numerous entertainment facilities and Personal Care/Grooming Businesses are ordered to close no later than Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 at 5:00 PM.

Rowan County Social Services makes operational modifications

Rowan County Department of Social Services remains operational and committed to serving residents during this healthcare crisis.

The following programs are mandated services that must continue:  

  • Medicaid applications and determinations
  • Food and Nutrition Services applications and determinations
  • Work First Family Assistance applications and re-certifications
  • Adult Services including Special Assistance, APS, Guardianship
  • Child Support
  • Energy Programs
  • Non-Emergency Medicaid Transportation
  • Children’s Services including CPS, Foster Care, In-Home Services, Adoptions
  • Subsidized Child Care
  • Refugee Assistance

Based on guidance provided by the CDC and NCDHHS on social distancing and measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, we are publishing instructions and guidance on how to apply for services when those protective measures are put into place. 

Applicants/Beneficiaries can apply for Medicaid and Food and Nutrition Services through the ePASS System.  ePASS is a quick and easy way for individuals and families to learn about and apply for available benefits and services. Online applications are available for Food and Nutrition Services (formerly Food Stamps) as well as Medical Assistance (Medicaid and NC Health Choice or CHIP). You can learn if you are potentially eligible for Medical Assistance by completing an electronic pre-assessment screening.  When applying, please use the following link:

The Social Services page on the Rowan County website also has a “quick link” to e-PASS.  An additional new feature added to the Rowan County website is the ability to supply verifications requested by your caseworker electronically.  You can use your smartphone to take a picture of the documents and upload these verification documents through a link on the Rowan County website.  This link is under Social Services and then Economic Services Division.  Please feel free to use this link to upload any needed verification documents for your pending applications and re-certifications.  Remember – this upload capability is for verification documents only such as pay stubs, contribution forms, and bank statements.  Applications must be mailed, faxed, dropped off to agency, or completed online electronically.

The State website also has applications via Word documents that you may print out from home for all programs that include FNS, Medicaid, Energy, Work First and Subsidized Child Care Assistance. If you do not have access to a computer, you may stop by the DSS office to pick up a paper application and submit it via our external drop box.  We encourage you to use the best method for you in order to apply for any benefits you may need. 

If you are already receiving benefits and have questions, please call 704-216-8330 and you will be put into contact with your current caseworker.  These needs may include completing an interview for your recertification, reporting a change of address, or adding an individual to your case.  Most of the transactions for DSS benefits can be completed by phone, including interviews. When a signature is needed, mailing the information to the agency is an acceptable way to correspond.  

As a service-oriented agency, DSS wants to encourage customers that attending to your health and safety during this time should be your top priority. 

Rowan County Public Health Department operational modifications to include screening all staff and clients

In an effort to protect the safety and well-being of clients and staff, beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 8:00 am, access to the Health Department will be limited to the badge access only doors on the side of the building. Rowan County Health Department staff will start performing COVID -19 screening for each staff member reporting to work and each client presenting for an appointment. 

RCHD hours will be Monday-Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm

  • Late Clinics are cancelled until further notice 
  • No walk-in appointments
  • For scheduled appointments, we are limiting to minor and 1 parent or if an adult appointment then client only.

Care Management

Staff will continue services via phone communication only. 


Emergency situations only. For emergency clients, we will limit to the client and 1 parent. For appointment information, please call 704-216-8796.

Family Health Services

We are providing the following services only: communicable disease, immunizations, prenatal, and sick visits; however, no walk-in appointments. We are limiting appointments to minor and 1 parent or adult client only. For appointment information, please call 704-216-8782.


Operational as normal with the exception of no walk-in appointments. All appointments must be made ahead of time by dialing 704-216-8797 and please leave a message. This appointment line will have up-to-date information regarding changes to the WIC Program operations if any.  We are requesting only the WIC client attend WIC appointments or one adult attend the child(ren)’s  WIC appointment.  

Rowan County Animal Shelter implements appointment only adoptions and surrenders

In the interest of following federal, state and local guidelines for social distancing, The Rowan County Animal Shelter, will be implementing appointment only adoptions and surrenders of stray animals. Please call the shelter at 704 216-7768 before you visit the shelter to arrange an appointment.  Additionally The Animal Shelter volunteer program is currently suspended until further notice.

Indoor walking at West End Plaza suspended 

While citizens can still access County Government services at West End Plaza walking for the purpose of exercise inside has been suspended.  


Download Media Release COVID-19: March 23, 2020 (PDF)

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