COVID-19 Update: Overall Case Count at 52, Predictive Modeling, Childcare Financial Support, County Offices Closed Friday, ShareCapeFear.org, Parks Reminder to Social Distance

Posted April 7, 2020 at 5:24 pm     Category: Emergency ManagementEmergency NewsNews ReleasePublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County health officials are investigating an additional positive case of COVID-19, bringing the county’s total overall case count to 52. The new case today appears to be travel related. The individual is isolated and Public Health is working on contact tracing to determine those who have been in close contact with them.

Of the 52 overall cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County, 28 are females and 24 are males, and 20 of the individuals are considered recovered (meaning they have been fever free for at least three days without the use of fever reducing medication, they have improved respiratory symptoms, and it has been at least seven days since their symptom onset).

The age ranges of all cases in New Hanover County are as follows:

  • 0-17 years old: zero cases
  • 18-24 years old: 5
  • 25-49 years old: 18
  • 50-64 years old: 17
  • 65+ years old: 12

Predictive Modeling 

A COVID-19 modeling forecast was released Monday, showing how the virus could affect North Carolina in the coming months.

“The COVID-19 modeling released this week for North Carolina show that the proactive measures that have been put in place, along with other mitigation measures like physical spacing and the reduction of people interacting in public, is helping to lessen the possible impacts of COVID-19,” said Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Lisa Brown. “It’s important to know that these models assume we continue mitigation measures for a significant period of time, and – at this time – there is no way to accurately predict when our peak in New Hanover County will be. But this does reinforce that physical distancing is necessary and can help save lives, now and over the long run.”

View a video of Lisa Brown sharing this information here.

Financial Support to Essential Workers and Child Care Providers 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced today that it will provide financial assistance to help essential workers afford child care and also offer bonuses to child care teachers and staff who provide care during the COVID-19 crisis.

To receive an emergency care subsidy, parents must complete the COVID-19 Parent Application for Financial Assistance for Emergency Child Care and submit it to their child care provider. Parents and caregivers can call (888) 600-1685 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with questions. Additional information, including bonuses for essential workers and subsidy payments for child care programs, can be found here.

County Offices Closed April 10 for Holiday 

New Hanover County Government’s offices will be closed on Friday, April 10 in observance of Good Friday. The county’s Emergency Operations Center and Coronavirus Call Center will remain open Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

As a reminder, the call center will now be open Monday through Friday, but residents can leave a message on Saturdays and Sundays. That number is 910-798-6800, and messages will be checked and calls returned by an on-call nurse within 24 hours. For emergencies, call 9-1-1.

In addition, the county’s Joint Information Center that provides daily COVID-19 updates to the community will begin working Monday through Friday, but any emergency or breaking news will continue to be shared over the weekends.

ShareCapeFear.Org Offers Ways to “Do Good” 

SHARE Cape Fear is a community engagement resource that offers simple ways for neighbors, nonprofits and businesses to come together and strengthen our local community. The website is a collaboration of The New Hanover County Disaster Coalition, Cape Fear Collective, and The United Way of the Cape Fear, and is designed to make it easy for people to find local nonprofits and engage with them how they choose, whether it’s donating money, volunteering time, or buying needed items from nonprofit wish lists. Learn more at ShareCapeFear.org.

County Parks 

New Hanover County’s Parks, including walking trails, open spaces, and the Ogden Skatepark, remain open to the public – but social distancing must be followed. That means residents must remain six feet away from others and are not permitted to congregate with more than 10 people. If physical and social distancing is not followed in the county’s parks, these additional amenities will have to be close. Playgrounds, team sports facilities, and exercise stations are already closed at all parks.

Face Coverings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging individuals to wear a cloth face cover when in public where social distancing can be difficult, like the grocery store or pharmacy. Face coverings for personal use can be made from household items, which can be laundered for repeated use and allows for surgical and N95 respirator masks to be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.

County and State Restrictions

As a continued reminder, New Hanover County residents are under the Governor Cooper’s state-wide Stay at Home Executive Order as well as New Hanover County’s additional county-wide restrictions. 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. View a list of frequently asked questions related to the current orders, which includes a list of essential and non-essential businesses, 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.
  • Wear Cloth Face Coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Stay home unless you must travel for essential purposes. If you must leave your home, follow proper physical 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, counter tops and daily work surfaces).

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As of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, there have been 52 confirmed cases 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.    

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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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