New Hanover County COVID-19 Update: Case Count at 42, Residents must Stay at Home, and Other Community Information

Posted April 2, 2020 at 5:47 pm     Category: Emergency ManagementEmergency NewsNews ReleasePublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Public Health officials are investigating three new positive cases of COVID-19 that appear to be travel related. This brings the county’s total positive case count to 42. 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 42 New Hanover County positive COVID-19 cases, 17 are males and 25 are females. The age ranges of current cases are as follows:    

  • 0-17 years old: zero cases    
  • 18-24 years old: 4 cases   
  • 25-49 years old: 13 cases  
  • 50-64 years old: 13 cases    
  • 65+ years old: 12 cases   

“As the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to increase in our community, so are concerns that numbers of those who are seriously ill could overwhelm our local healthcare system in the weeks to come,” said Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Lisa Brown. “The threat of this virus is very real, and we have been working for weeks with all of our community partners, our healthcare system, and our emergency personnel to help prepare and try to slow the spread of this virus. Now we need our community to listen and follow our guidance to stay home.”

Residents Must Stay at Home 

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.  

As an additional measure, public and private tennis and pickleball courts in all of New Hanover County, including the City of Wilmington and all beach towns, are closed to ensure consistency across the county. 

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.  

“I’m not sure how else to say this so that people understand…PLEASE STAY HOME,” emphasized New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “The impact of COVID-19 in our community is going to get worse before it gets better. And until people start listening, until you all start staying at home and away from others, and until the doors of our non-essential businesses close – people are going to spread this virus even more and this is going to take even longer for our county to recover. These measures aren’t going to last forever, so please do your part now. Listen. And just stay home.” 

Beach Closures, Including Masonboro Island 

As a reminder, all beaches in New Hanover County – including Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville beaches – are closed to the public, under the county’s State of Emergency declaration as of March 20 

The N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve also announced today that it will close Masonboro Island effective Friday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. to protect public safety and reduce the spread of COVID- 19, and to support current state and local restrictions and guidance. Closures specifically apply to wet/dry beaches and uplands at the sites, while waters remain accessible for visitors to navigate through and utilize for recreational activities as long as they follow social distancing and gathering restrictions and guidelines. 

Social Security Recipients  

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service have announced that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts. View the US Treasury press release here. 

Landfill Closed to Public 

The county’s landfill is not open to residential traffic, due to the Governor’s Stay at Home Order that prohibits non-essential travel. At this time, the landfill is only accepting municipal solid waste from commercials haulers and debris from local contractors. The Household Hazardous Waste operations, including the HazWagon, are also closed. 

Spanish Information 

To ensure all residents have the latest news and guidance from New Hanover County Public Health, the coronavirus information website and all press releases are available for translation into Spanish and multiple languages through Google translate. To utilize this tool, visit Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus and use the drop-down menu on the right side menu to select your preferred language. 

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. 
  • Follow proper social 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, countertops and daily work surfaces).    

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As of 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 2, 2020, there are 42positive 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