(The Center Square) – North Carolina has distributed 75% of the $3.5 billion of aid it received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Gov. Roy Cooper said.
Cooper said the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO), the state division that oversees the CARES Act funds, has released $2.6 billion to state agencies, hospitals, nonprofits, schools, colleges and research organizations.
“North Carolina families, businesses and communities have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, and we’re working to get relief to those who need it,” Cooper said. “I’m proud of our administration’s work with federal, state and local officials to quickly and efficiently distribute funds across North Carolina to ensure we can bounce back stronger from this devastating pandemic.”
In late March, the CARES Act, authorized by Congress, earmarked more than $4 billion for North Carolina to cover COVID-19 expenses.
Local governments with more than 500,000 residents received 45 percent of the funds directly from the U.S. Treasury. Smaller counties received an even share of $300 million from the state and were required to disperse 25 percent to its municipalities.
The General Assembly allocated the funds in three separate relief bills. A majority of the aid was used to bolster public health and continue education during the pandemic. Schools, universities and colleges received more than $530 million. Lawmakers allocated more than $560 million to the Department of Health and Human Services to help local health departments, rural and underserved communities, and tests, tracing, food assistance and social services.
NCPRO also disturbed the following:
• $467 million to state agencies to improve broadband, assist businesses affected by the pandemic and communities;
• $440 million to the North Carolina Department of Revenue to provide a one-time grant to parents to offset costs associated with remote learning or child care expenses;
• $187 million to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety for personal protective equipment and to support the State Highway Patrol and National Guard;
• $97.7 million to hospitals for expenses incurred for providing patient care, purchasing personal protective equipment and expanding telehealth capabilities;
• $92.8 million to nonprofit organizations.