New Hanover County COVID-19 Update: Case Count at 27, Stay at Home Orders & County Restrictions Begin Monday

Posted March 29, 2020 at 5:03 pm     Category: Emergency ManagementEmergency NewsNews ReleasePublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Public Health officials are investigating two new positive cases of COVID-19. Both cases appear to be community transmission and are not travel related. This brings the county’s total positive case count to 27.  

The individuals are isolated, and Public Health is working on contact tracing to determine those who have been in close contact with them.   

Stay at Home Order & County Restrictions 

Beginning at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 30, all New Hanover County residents are required to adhere to Governor Cooper’s state-wide Stay at Home Executive Order as well as New Hanover County’s additional county-wide restrictions 

View a list of frequently asked questions related to the county and Governor’s order here. For specific questions, call 910-798-6800. 

These measures are being implemented to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and help prevent our healthcare system from becoming overburdened in the weeks to come.   

“We have 27 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County right now, and at least three of those are attributed to community transmission. So we know this virus is in our community, and that makes the measures we are putting in place even more important,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “I know the past few weeks have been difficult and the weeks to come won’t be easy, but we are depending on each of our residents and urging you to abide by the rules in placefor your health, the health of your family, and the health of our entire community.” 

The Stay at Home Order says residents can leave their homes for essential work, to take care of others, obtain food, and seek medical care. It prohibits unnecessary errands or travel and restricts groups to no more than 10, and requires that people remain six feet apart from others. 

The county’s order supports and supplements the Governor’s Order. It specifically closes the following: carry-out food service (but delivery, drive-thru, and curb-side food service is still permitted), playgrounds, team sport facilities, public gardens, social clubs, country clubs, non-essential retail (but curbside retail service is still permitted), auto and boat dealerships (not including repair or maintenance services), hotels, motels, and short-term lodging (less than 28 days). For a full list of non-essential business and other information, visit 

If a business is deemed “non-essential” (for example, automotive sales center, hotels or motels) but are providing direct assistance to a governmental, community partner, or non-profit request for support in COVID-19 emergency response, they may remain open and operational. 

The restrictions do not apply to grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, hardware and building supply stores, or gas stations.    

NCDHHS Testing Criteria 

According to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and symptoms are mild, the best thing you can do is stay home, isolate yourself from other people in your household as much as possible, and recover. Staying home will save lives. 

NCDHHS has shared additional guidance with public health and clinicians that COVID-19 tests submitted to the NC Public Health Lab should be performed on those with symptoms compatible with COVID 19 and who fall into the following categories: hospitalized patients, healthcare workers or first responders, patients who live in or have regular contact with a high-risk setting, and anyone at higher risk of severe illness and whose results would inform clinical management.   

If you have more serious symptoms or are at risk of serious illness and begin experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call your healthcare provider or the Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800 immediately.More serious symptoms can include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion or blue lips. In the case of a medical emergency, call 9-1-1. 

County Operations 

Beginning Monday, March 30, New Hanover County Government buildings will only be open to the public for limited walk-in hours: Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. View additional details and department-specific information here.

Slow the Spread 

Steps that everyone can take to slow the spread of COVID-19 include:  

  • Comply with the Governor’s Stay at Home Order and New Hanover County restrictions 
  • Follow proper social distancing protocols. Don’t gather in groups of more than 10 and stay at least 6 feet away from others. 
  • Stay home if you are sick, even if you are an essential worker. And cover your coughs and sneezes. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. 
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched (like your phone, tablet, countertops and daily work surfaces). 

Testing Data

As a reminder, NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) will no longer require the notification of pending COVID-19 testing information to local public health departments. Local public health departments will continue to receive notification of positive test results, but this will change the way New Hanover County Public Health reports on testing data, and only positive results will be shared. 

As of 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 29, 2020, there are 27 positive case of COVID-19 in New Hanover County. 


For updates and resources related to the COVID-19 virus in New Hanover County, visit, 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.

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Communications and Outreach: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 195 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7461 • Fax 910-798-7277
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