NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Public Health officials are investigating four new positive cases of COVID-19 that appear to be travel related. This brings the county’s total positive case count to 25. The individuals are isolated, and Public Health is working on contact tracing to determine those who have been in close contact with them.
Beginning Monday, March 30, New Hanover County Government buildings will be open to the public for limited walk-in hours: Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors to county facilities during those new hours will also be greeted by a public health nurse and have their temperature taken prior to entering the building.
This limited public schedule is being put in place in response to the Governor’s Stay at Home Order as well as the county’s additional restrictions that were announced today.
County employees will continue to operate on a normal schedule, and will be able to assist the public via phone and through online resources from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, but customers will be limited in the time they can enter a county building.
This includes the Government Center (230 Government Center Drive), which houses services like our development services and the Tax Office, the county’s facility at 320 Chestnut Street that houses Community Justice Services, and the Health and Human Services building (1650 Greenfield Street).
“New Hanover County Government services are essential for our community, so it’s important for the county to continue operations with a more limited schedule,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “County employees support public health, law enforcement, economic services, food and shelter assistance, social services, and many other necessities of life for our community’s residents. The work they do is critical, and I am more grateful today than I have ever been for what they do and how they serve all of us every day.”
Nearly 600 county employees are working from home starting on Monday, and the county’s essential and emergency services personnel are continuing to operate in a normal capacity.
Below is a more detailed outline of specific public-facing county operations:
Health and Human Services
New Hanover County Health and Human Services continues to operate and provide essential services, like economic and social work assistance, but residents should call 910-798-3500 before arriving to the building to conduct as much business by phone and eliminate in-person interactions. Public hours for the Health and Human Services building will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Department of Social Services has established an email address, DSSinfo@NHCgov.com, for customers to send documents, requests for applications and case inquiries for Economic Services programs including:
To report abuse or neglect, or for Social Work services, like Foster Care, Child Protective Services or Adult Protective Services, call 910-798-3420.
Public Health is leading the response to COVID-19 and operating the Coronavirus Call Center, community based flu and COVID-19 testing and broad response plans. Residents with questions about COVID-19 can call 910-798–6800 to speak with a public health nurse in the Coronavirus Call Center seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For regular public health services like Women, Infant and Children nutrition services, immunizations and others, call 910-798-3500 to make an appointment or conduct business over the phone before visiting the Health and Human Services building.
Register of Deeds
New Hanover County Register of Deeds is offering all services by phone and online (no in-person services, except by appointment), and the full information can be viewed here. In addition, real estate services are suspended at the Government Center location until further notice. A recording party/agent can come to the Register of Deeds office at the 320 Chestnut Street location between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., however that person will be required to update recordings in the lobby and then put documents in a drop box. Staff will then retrieve the documents to record immediately. Instant services are suspended, so the documents will be mailed back to the agent (an addressed envelope should be included with the documents). The Register of Deeds will only accept checks, money orders or cash. Credit cards will not be accepted.
Beginning Monday, March 30, the Veteran Services office at the Government Center will be closed to visitors until further notice. Staff will continue to serve customers by phone and email. Contact Veteran Services at 910-798-7611 or by email. Learn more about Veteran Services at VeteranServices.NHCgov.com.
Customers will be able to access the county’s development services – like Building Safety, Planning and Land Use, Engineering, Environmental Health Services, and more – at the Government Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition, customers can access the development portal COAST to submit plans, view permits, and more, as well as call 910-798-7308 for assistance.
The Tax Office will also be open for walk-in customers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and customers can also receive assistance online and by phone at 910-798-7300. Citizens can drop tax payments off at the Government Center, in an outdoor drop-box located at both entrances to the building.
Board of Elections
The Board of Elections Office will also be open for walk-in customers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and voters can use the drop box outside of the Election’s office if needed.
Senior Resource Center
The Senior Resource Center, including the Castle Hayne satellite site, is closed to the public, but will continue providing one-on-one social work and SHIIP services from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Customers can call 910-798-6400 for services and information. The SRC is offering a drive-thru lunch service to seniors at four locations, and continuing home delivered meals operations.
The county’s four Public Libraries are closed but offering curbside pick-up service so patrons can reserve books online or by phone. The hours of operation have now been reduced to Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The county’s landfill operations will continue normal hours, but will only be accepting municipal solid waste from commercials haulers and debris from local contractors. Residential traffic will not be permitted for the time being. The Household Hazardous Waste operations, including the HazWagon, will not be open after Tuesday, March 31.
Parks and Gardens
Beginning Monday, March 30, the county will close Airlie Gardens and the Arboretum, as well as playgrounds, team sport facilities (like basketball courts), and exercise equipment at all county parks, in keeping with the Governor’s Order and the county’s additional restrictions issued March 28.
The New Hanover County Court System hours of operation will be dictated by the state and do not fall under this county hours of operation update. Information specific to local courts is available here.
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 Saturday, March 28 2020, there are 25 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.