NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Public Health officials are investigating four new positive cases of COVID-19. Three of the four cases appear to be community transmission and one is travel related. This brings the county’s total positive case count to 34. The individuals are isolated, and Public Health is working on contact tracing to determine those who have been in close contact with them.
Of the 34 New Hanover County positive COVID-19 cases, 13 are males and 21 are females. The age ranges of current cases are as follows:
Stay At Home, No Curfew In Effect
Residents should only leave their homes for essential work, to take care of others, obtain food, seek medical care, or volunteer for a charitable service. Groups are limited to no more than 10 people, and people must practice physical distancing and remain six feet apart from others. While restrictions are in place, a curfew is not in effect for New Hanover County.
According to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and Wilmington Police Department, deputies and officers will not be pulling citizens over to ask where they are going and will not have roadblock set up to check those who are traveling in the county.
“These measures are not intended to be punitive, but are meant to impress upon our community the need to take proactive steps now, stay home, and help prevent this virus from having a devastating impact in our community.” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “The orders do not prevent citizens from being outside of their homes to get fresh air, it just requires you keep physical distancing from others. So take walks, while keeping six feet from others, and play in your yard to enjoy these pretty days. We also know this is difficult for businesses, so now is the time to adapt, be innovative and think about how you can stay open with online shopping and curb-side pick-up.”
View a list of frequently asked questions related to the current orders, which includes a list of essential and non-essential businesses, here.
Library Services Update
Based on the Governor’s Stay at Home Order and the desire to keep library patrons and staff safe, the library’s curbside pick-up will be suspended beginning Wednesday, April 1 at 2 p.m. for the duration of the county’s restrictions (which lasts until April 13, unless reevaluated or extended).
If a library patron has received notification that reserve items have arrived, they will remain available at the designated location until 2 p.m. on April 1. It is no longer possible to place reserves on library materials. No overdue fines will be charged while libraries are closed, and all library accounts will remain in good standing during this time.
“This is an extremely difficult decision to make, because the services the library provides are important for our community and we understand the critical role the library plays in providing enrichment and education, especially in difficult times,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “But this closure is being done in the best interest of our staff and our community.”
Ebooks, databases, downloadable music, streaming video, homework support and other resources are available 24-7 at www.nhclibrary.org. Live chat is also available through the library’s website, Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm.
The county’s landfill is operating with normal hours, but is only accepting municipal solid waste from commercials haulers and debris from local contractors. Residential traffic is not permitted, due to the Governor’s Stay at Home Order that prohibits non-essential travel. The Household Hazardous Waste operations, including the HazWagon, is closed after Tuesday, March 31.
Governor’s New Order
Governor Roy Cooper announced a new order today that prohibits utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during this pandemic. It applies to electric, gas, water and wastewater services for the next 60 days. Telecommunication companies that provide phone, cable and internet services are strongly urged to follow these same rules. Read a press release and additional information about this new order here.
Governor Cooper, in his press conference today, also requested that people refrain from grocery shopping, if possible, for the next few days so that those who receive federal food assistance can purchase what they need without issues.
What to do if you have Symptoms
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.
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.
View this North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) fact sheet to help you know what to do if you are sick.
Slow the Spread
Steps that everyone can take to slow the spread of COVID-19 include:
As of 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, there are 34 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.