8/26 Update on Durham County Cooperative Extension Services During COVID-19 Pandemic

— Written By and last updated by
In accordance with the State of Emergency declared by our State and County Government, and to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina, Durham County Government closed most County buildings on March 23, limiting services and focusing on essential functions.

Programming Updates

Our building is closed to the public as of March 23 and staff are working remotely and will respond by phone and email. All events, training series, and workshops have been canceled or postponed. Some alternate remote learning methods will be used for some activities. Read on for available services below.

Services for Young Children & Families

  • The Welcome Baby Giving Closet has reopened on Thursdays from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.! Distribution of clothing is by appointment only and will be done through the same drive through, contact-less system employed for our Diaper Distribution.
    Call 919-560-7150 to make your appointment. Families with no appointments will be turned away. Guidelines for distribution include:
    • Orders are due by 5 p.m. Tuesday (no late orders will be accepted)
    • Send completed order forms through FB messenger, email welcomebabydurham@gmail.com, Fax 919-560-0530
    • Arrive on time to check in at the Durham County Cooperative Extension’s parking lot entry way. If you miss your appointment, you will have to reschedule for the next available time.
    • Open to Durham County residents only. You will be asked to show proof of residency, children’s birth certificate or Medicaid and parent’s ID.
    • We will also be checking children’s car seats. If your child is not properly restrained, we will be not able to serve you until you have attended a car seat safety workshop.
    • We will not be distributing diapers on this day. Diaper distribution will still be on Fridays
  • Our Welcome Baby program will provide Drive-Up Diaper pick-up for Durham County Welcome Baby clients in need with children ages 0-5. Families should drive to the back of the building at 721 Foster Street and should stay in their cars. Staff will provide the appropriately sized diapers. Some Giving Closet requirements will be waived. Pick up will take place on Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ONLY. Pick up will not take place on Durham County Government holidays. Staff will wear gloves and maintain appropriate social distance.
    • You may come every other week.
    • Do not arrive early.
    • You need to know the ages and weight of each child
    • We will place diapers and supplies on a table for you to pick up.
    • Please pick up items quickly,
    • If you or someone in your home are sick, please STAY HOME.
    • If you have any questions or need additional resources, please feel free to call us at 919-560-7150 or email us at welcomebabydurham@gmail.com.
  • Car seat and crib distribution and training is available on an emergency basis for immediate needs only.Families or service providers must call 919-560-7150 to schedule an appointment. Appointments are only available on Fridays.
    Please note that Department of Social Services referrals to address any urgent clothing or supply needs for young children can be addressed on an as-needed emergency basis and would be fulfilled on Fridays only.

    • County staff must call 919-560-7150 to explain the need and if available, staff will prepare items for client pick up.
  • To make the time at home with kids more fun and productive, we are distributing a monthly email with activities for home learning. If you would like to subscribe to this email, please contact: durhamparentadvocacy@gmail.com

Gardening & Farmer Services

  • Gardening questions? You can still receive high-quality gardening advice from our Master Gardener℠ at durhammastergardener@gmail.com or via their phone hotline at (919) 560-0528.
  • Farmers can call our Agriculture Agent, Ashley Troth, directly at 919-698-4138 for farm-related questions and consultation.
  • Our Briggs Avenue Community Garden is open on Friday and Saturday mornings for plot owners to access their food plots. Social distancing is operational and a hand washing station is available.
  • N.C. Cooperative Extension is offering one-hour of pesticide CE credit through a virtual course for those whose certification date is June 30, 2020. More information is online here or by contacting Darnell Parker at 919-560-0532 or via email at darnell_parker@ncsu.edu.
  • Although longer than normal sample turnaround times may be expected, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Agronomic Lab is again accepting all routine client samples (soil, nematode, plant, waste, solution and soilless media) except waste samples covered by the NCDEQ waiver on liquid animal waste . Waste codes covered by the NCDEQ waiver are for lagoon liquid (ALS, ALF, ALP and ALO) and slurry (LSD, LSB, LSS and LSO). Diagnostic samples for all labs will continue to be prioritized for fast turnaround time.Clients can continue to pick up supplies and drop off samples identified as essential on their loading dock during normal business hours. They will invoice clients for sample fees, but payment must be received prior to the release of a report.

Support for Long-Term Caregivers

If you are caring for children or adults with a chronic condition, a long term responsibility can be overwhelming! As a caregiver, you must take steps to manage your stress and anxiety, particularly when your social supports are limited, as in this time of the Corona virus. If you are interested in a Zoom session to address Stress Management with other caregivers, please contact Peggy Kernodle at pkernodle@dconc.gov or call 919-560-0523.


Main number (919) 560-0525
Welcome Baby (919) 560-7150
Master Gardener Advice Line (919) 560-0528
Twitter:  @DurhamExtension