NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – County officials continue to prepare and implement enhanced guidance to reduce risks of COVID-19 in New Hanover County. Below is an update on county services and facilities, as well as the latest county information and reminders to help keep the community safe.
REGISTER OF DEEDS SUSPENDS IN-PERSON SERVICES
New Hanover County Register of Deeds will suspend all in-person vital records services beginning Monday, March 23. Vital records requests can continue to be made by mail or online at RegisterofDeeds.NHCgov.com. In addition, Register of Deeds recording services will only be available by appointment by calling 910-798-4530.
PUBLIC PLAYGROUNDS GUIDANCE
According to the CDC, transmission of COVID-19 could occur from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, then touching mouth, nose or possibly eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but additional caution should be taken.
If residents choose to use playgrounds, they should be prepared to wipe down surfaces with recommended cleaning products before and after use. Limited county supply of cleaning products does not allow for them to be provided in public playground areas. Cleaning products to wipe down equipment should be brought from home.
Parks, including walking trails are open and social distancing is important to prevent facility closures.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DONATIONS REQUESTED
To prepare for future impacts of COVID-19, New Hanover County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) 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 outreach is ongoing to healthcare providers, industrial partners, the business community and the public.
Accepted items include:
There are two ways to donate:
At this time, homemade or hand-sewn items are not accepted.
PUBLIC HEALTH NURSES CONDUCT TEST SAMPLING IN THE COMMUNITY
New Hanover County Public Health is deploying nurses to homes to conduct flu tests and COVID-19 sampling. Individuals are vetted by the Coronavirus Call Center public health nurses and determined to meet criteria by the Community Health team. Since Friday, March 20, public health nurses have conducted three visits to conduct flu tests. All flu tests were negative and resulted in COVID-19 sampling, with tests results pending.
The New Hanover County Coronavirus Call Center can be reached at 910-798-6800 seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
TESTS & TEST RESULTS
New Hanover County will update Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus every afternoon with the most recent testing information in the county. Below is the most recent information, as of 2 p.m. on March 22:
RESOURCES & SUPPLIES
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.
New Hanover County Schools is providing meals for children under 18, available for pick-up at 14 locations. Additionally, a Social Distance Learning website is available for students to continue school work while schools are closed. Information about meal program and online learning is available at NHCS.net.
Additional community resources are available to the public through partners at the New Hanover Disaster Coalition.
New Hanover County, in line with federal recommendations and actions taken by the state, encourages residents to practice social distancing, and under the New Hanover County State of Emergency prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people. To practice social distancing, individuals should maintain a distance of six feet from others, even in outdoor settings like parks, trails, picnic shelters and basketball and tennis courts. Signs have been placed throughout county parks reminding residents to practice social distancing.
According to the CDC, transmission of COVID-19 is thought to be between person-to-person:
Transmission of COVID-19 could also occur from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, then touching mouth, nose or possibly eyes.
Social distancing, and other community guidance measures, reduce the risk of COVID-19 and are additional ways the community as a whole can protect those believed to be most at risk of serious illness: people over the age of 65, and those with underlying health conditions.
WHO SHOULD BE TESTED FOR COVID-19
Currently, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has established COVID-19 testing standards. Only those who meet the following criteria should ask their doctor or local health department about being tested for COVID-19:
If you think you might have novel coronavirus, call ahead to your primary care provider or health clinic before traveling to their site to alert them of your symptoms so they can make appropriate steps to protect you and others.
WHAT YOU CAN BE DOING NOW
View community guidance to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for households, businesses, community organizations and others here. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, residents are encouraged to continue increased prevention measures and practice limited contact with others:
Residents are also encouraged to prepare for the potential impacts of COVID-19 as you would for other emergencies, using the ReadyNHC steps:
As of 6:15 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 2020, there are four cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County and preparedness plans are in place for the health and safety of our community. For updates and resources related to the COVID-19 virus in New Hanover County, visit Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus or call 910-798-6800.