NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Public Health officials are investigating five new positive cases of COVID-19. Four cases appear to be travel related, and one case appears to be community transmission. This brings the county’s total positive case count to 39. 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 39 New Hanover County positive COVID-19 cases, 16 are males and 23 are females. The age ranges of current cases are as follows:
“There is no medicine or vaccine right now to fight COVID-19, and this virus spreads easily and has the potential to impact anyone – regardless of age,” said Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Lisa Brown. “So everyone in our community needs to stay home unless travel is absolutely necessary, keep your physical distance from others, and wash your hands often and well. Those are some of the best things you can do to help lessen the spread of COVID-19 and stay well.”
The county has started to only report positive cases in the county (and not pending and negative results), due to changes in the NCDHHS guidance that no longer requires pending or negative test information be reported to local public health departments. Positive test results, and other important information, is available at Health.NHCgov.com.
In addition, the county received several inquiries today asking if there have been any deaths related to COVID-19 in the county. As of 6 p.m. today, Public Health has not been notified of any COVID-19 deaths in New Hanover County. In the event that Public Health is notified of a death specific to COVID-19, the county will release general information regarding the death, but not any personally identifiable information to ensure the family’s privacy is respected.
Quarantine After Travel
The CDC has urged residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days, due to extensive community transmission of COVID-19. Therefore, travelers returning to New Hanover County after domestic travel from areas with widespread community transmission, cruise ships, riverboats, or by air travel should also stay home for 14 days after returning.
Personal Protective Equipment Donations
New Hanover County and New Hanover Regional Medical Center are actively working to procure additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and emergency personnel. Anyone in the community can donate PPE for this effort as well. Donations can be dropped off at NHRMC Business Center, 3151 S. 17th Street, Wilmington. Hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Accepted items include:
“So far, we’ve had 25,000 personal protective equipment items donated from our community for this effort,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “I am so proud, but not at all surprised, at how our community has come together and supported one another during this difficult time. I know we are all feeling anxious about the weeks and months to come, but our actions today and the proactive way we are all preparing will help us slow the spread of this virus and protect our invaluable healthcare workers and those at greatest risk.”
Stay Home, Stay Safe
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.
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:
As of 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, there are 39 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.