NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (News Release) – New Hanover County Public Health officials have identified four additional positive cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in New Hanover County – bringing the county’s total confirmed case count to 14.
All four of the cases appear to be travel related. The four individuals are isolated, and Public Health is working on contact tracing to determine those who were in close contact with these individuals while they were symptomatic.
As of 5 p.m. on March 25, 2020, there are 403 test samples reported to the county. Of those, 14 have been confirmed positive, 154 have been confirmed negative and 235 are still pending.
SYMPTOMS & TESTING
Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) recommends that individuals who are experiencing mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should immediately self-isolate at home and away from other household members, and call their healthcare providers to receive guidance over the phone or via teleconference. Testing will no longer be required, and healthcare providers have been instructed to now assume patients with symptoms have COVID-19.
Those currently identified to be at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 include those 65 and older, and those with underlying health conditions including chronic lung disease, asthma, compromised immune systems and obesity. Pregnant women should also be monitored since they are known to be at risk of complications for viral illness generally.
If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as cough or fever, call your healthcare provider or walk-in clinic. If you do not have access to a healthcare provider, call the New Hanover County Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800 seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., to speak with a public health nurse to help assess your symptoms and, if needed, connect you with a provider.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DONATION HOURS EXPANDED
New Hanover County’s Emergency Operations Center, New Hanover Disaster Coalition, and New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) are working together to procure additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. Donations are also welcome and drop off hours have expanded through Saturday, March 28. Outreach is ongoing to healthcare providers, industrial partners, the business community and the public. Those who have masks, gowns, gloves, and more are encouraged to donate this protective gear.
Accepted items include:
- Unused masks rated N95 or higher: 3M Healthcare or NIOSH approved preferred
- Full face shields
- Impervious gowns: AAMI Level 2
- Gloves: Nitrile or non-latex preferred
- Unused earloop masks
- Unused surgical masks
- Unused surgical masks with face shield
- Unused goggles
- Medical/dental gowns
There are two ways to donate:
- Drop-off at the NHRMC Business Center
- 3151 S. 17th Street, Wilmington
- Thursday – Friday, March 26 – 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Coordinate with the New Hanover Disaster Coalition
- Audrey Hart, Executive Director
RESOURCES & SUPPLIES
- Grocery Stores: Grocery and other retail stores are not included in mandatory closures and continue to operate while maintaining guidance of social distancing and increased cleanliness. Food and supplies are available and many establishments are dedicating time to older adults and those with underlying health concerns to shop during quiet times to reduce risk. Residents are encouraged to support local business while adhering to guidance to reduce risk, such as using online services, purchasing gift cards and ordering take out or delivery.
- Unemployment Services: North Carolina is waiving some requirements to apply for unemployment benefits for individuals out of work because of measures taken to prevent the impact of COVID-19. Learn more at DES.NC.gov.
- Food Assistance: The Cape Fear Food Council is sharing information about coordinated food assistance efforts. View the Food Assistance Resource Guide for resources for children, seniors and families.
- Community Resources: New Hanover Disaster Coalition is collaborating with community partners to share information and resources, and coordinate volunteers and donations as needed.
CORONAVIRUS CALL CENTER
Residents can call the New Hanover County Public Health Coronavirus Call Center to speak with a nurse who can answer questions and assess their individual risk and, if needed, connect them with a provider. The Coronavirus Call Center can be reached at 910-798-6800 and is open Monday through Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
New Hanover County Public Health is deploying nurses to homes to conduct flu tests and, if needed, COVID-19 sampling. Individuals must be vetted by the Coronavirus Call Center and determined to meet criteria by the Community Health team.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, residents must continue increased prevention measures and practice limited contact with others:
- Follow social distancing: gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited under the State of Emergency, and individuals are encouraged to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched (like your phone, tablet, countertops and daily work surfaces).
- Stay home and away from others when you are sick.
As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, there are 14 positive case of COVID-19 in New Hanover County. For updates and resources related to the COVID-19 virus in New Hanover County, visit Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus, call our Public Health Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800, and follow the county’s trusted social media pages: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor.