New Hanover health officials monitoring 8 COVID-19 outbreaks, clusters

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Public Health officials say three more New Hanover County residents died from COVID-19 this week, and are monitoring eight outbreaks and clusters in congregate living, including nursing homes, residential facilities and UNCW residence halls.

One of the people who died this week was in their 60’s and one was in their 70’s. Both were considered to be at higher risk of serious illness because of underlying health conditions. The third person who died this week was in their 80’s, and had no known risk factors, but considered to be at higher risk because of their age.

This brings the total number of New Hanover County residents who have died from COVID-19 to 29. The New Hanover County Public Health COVID-19 dashboard will be updated in the coming days to reflect this number, once the third death is officially processed and reported by NC Department of Health and Human Services.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of three more of our community members from COVID-19, and extend my sympathy to those who knew and loved these people,” New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman said. “It is my sincere hope that our community takes to heart the continuing impact this virus has, and to follow protective measures to protect those who are at risk of serious illness. COVID-19 is preventable if we all work together and follow the three Ws.”

Lab confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to increase among the 18 to 24 age range, and now accounts for 35.6 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 in New Hanover County, a slight increase from last week. There have now been more COVID-19 cases among this age group than the 25 to 49 age group, which had seen the most COVID-19 cases until late last week. Contact tracing conducted by New Hanover County Public Health indicates that social gatherings with low or no use of protective measures is a cause of the spread of the virus.

“The increase of cases in our young adult age range is concerning because this group is more likely to experience very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, increasing the potential to unknowingly carry the virus to someone more vulnerable,” said New Hanover County Assistant Health Director Carla Turner, RN, MSHCA. “Following the guidelines and mandates to wear a face covering when you’re outside of your household, maintaining social distancing and washing your hands often are still the best tools we have to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect ourselves and others.”

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