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 several county services and meetings, as well as the latest county information and reminders to help keep the community safe.
REGISTER OF DEEDS
The Register of Deeds is open and serving customers Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The following practices are in place to reduce the amount of foot traffic in offices and lessen the risk for customers and staff:
Certified Records Requests
Residents requesting certified copies of vital records are encouraged to use the online request portal on the Register of Deeds website at RegisterofDeeds.NHCgov.com. For customers seeking real estate records, records can be viewed and certified copies can be ordered at Search.NewHanoverDeeds.com. If requesting records in-person is necessary, only the requesting party should enter the office.
Customers who need to record documents should call the Register of Deeds office at 910-798-7713 for information on electronic recording. If recording documents in-person is necessary, only the recording party or agent should enter the office.
Couples obtaining marriage licenses can begin the application process at RegisterofDeeds.NHCgov.com. Before visiting the office for signatures and to deliver documents, applicants should make an appointment by calling the Register of Deeds office at 910-798-4544. Only marriage license applicants should enter the office for their appointment.
Residents in need of notary services, or who need to take a notary oath, can make an appointment to do so by calling 910-798-7731.
PLANNING AND LAND USE
To ensure public engagement and participation is available in the conduct of Planning and Land Use business, the following meetings have been canceled, and agenda items will be rescheduled for meetings to be held in the future:
CORONAVIRUS CALL CENTER EXTENDS OPERATIONS
New Hanover County has established a Public Health Coronavirus Call Center and the hours of operation are being extended to seven days a week. Residents with questions about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can call and speak to a public health nurse and, if needed, be connected with a provider who will then determine if a flu test and/or COVID-19 test is needed.
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 9:45 a.m. on March 19:
*A “presumptive positive” case means the person has a positive test for COVID-19 that was performed at the state’s public health lab or a private lab, before being confirmed by the CDC. Guidance from the state and CDC is to treat presumptive positive cases as confirmed in terms of isolation, contact tracing and community notification.
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, including limiting gatherings to 10 people or less, and keeping a distance of six feet from others, even in outdoor settings like parks, trails and the beach. This includes basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds and picnic shelters. 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:
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. Residents are encouraged to increase 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 noon Thursday, March 19, 2020, there is one presumptive positive case 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.