These are the coronavirus questions NC 2-1-1 call center is answering

Tuesday, March 31, 2020
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NC 2-1-1 call center is handling about 2,000 coronavirus calls a day.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The NC 2-1-1 call center is getting about 2,000 calls a day from residents affected by the novel coronavirus.

Laura Marx, the CEO of the United Way of North Carolina, which provides the service, said the call volume went up at least 150 percent because of COVID-19.

Because of high demand, the North Carolina Tourism Bureau is training to help answer calls.

NC 2-1-1 is part of the state's emergency plan and provides the public with information and resources during disasters.

During the novel coronavirus pandemic, about 30 people are taking calls from their homes, helping answer North Carolinian's COVID-19 questions and putting them in touch with important resources.

"I just can't quite tell you," Marx said. "Twenty-four hours a day they're there for everyone."

She said many residents are calling to learn about obtaining financial assistance to stay in hotels or motels.

"There's also a lot of others that are precariously housed across the state, who live in motels day to day, month to month, and they've now been laid off so they're unable to pay for that, so that's the No. 1 reason," Marx said. "Second is rent payment assistance because of layoffs."

She added that many are calling for food pantry information to access more food for their families.

"Others are calling because they have symptoms," Marx said. "We do have the ability to connect with a healthcare professional."

If you want to get 211 alerts, you can text COVID NC to 898211.

More info:

ABC11 went through the NC 2-1-1 call data and looked at the top reasons people called 2-1-1 from March 18, when they started answering questions about COVID-19, to March 30. Here are some of the top reasons:

20.2 percent: Housing and shelter, including rent assistance, shelters, low-cost housing and mortgage assistance

12.6 percent: Food, including help buying food and accessing food pantries

9 percent: Employment and income, including unemployment benefits and financial assistance

9 percent: Utilities, such as electric and water

7.3 percent: COVID-19, including symptoms

Complete data