County-wide Stay At Home Order remains in effect until April 29, with some restrictions lifted

Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:41 pm     Category: County CommissionersEmergency ManagementEmergency NewsNews ReleasePublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman, in collaboration with the mayors of the City of Wilmington and the towns of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach, will extend the county’s existing Stay at Home Order until April 29 at 5 p.m. to continue mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

In addition to adding two weeks to the county-wide order, some restrictions will be lifted beginning today, April 13, at 5 p.m. Those include:

  • Public and private marinas and boat ramps can be opened
  • Public and private tennis and pickleball courts can be opened

In addition, several enhancements have been made to the order:

  • “Safety, security, clothing and communication” have been added to the list of essential retail that can be open (the overall list now includes goods needed for health, sustenance, shelter, safety, security, communication, mobility, clothing and hygiene).
  • Stores providing essential goods will no longer be asked to close off sections that are deemed non-essential. So all aisles of essential retailers can be open if they so choose, but dressing rooms should remain closed.
  • Auto dealerships, boat dealerships and other motor vehicle sales points are allowed to operate but must comply with an 11-point safety test that is included as Exhibit A in the updated declaration.

“As we move through the coming days and weeks, it’s important that we continuously reevaluate the restrictions in place and revise them as needed,” said Olson-Boseman. “Our local mayors and I will continue to do that throughout this process, and we hope to be able to lift other restrictions in the coming weeks. Those decisions will be informed by our Public Health and hospital experts, who have the greatest insight into this health crisis and can help guide those decisions in a thoughtful, safe way. The community’s health is paramount, but we also know that we need to get back to life, reopen businesses, and access services as soon as possible. By allowing tennis courts, boat ramps and marinas to open, we hope that people will enjoy these spring days outside, but you have to use good judgment, physically distance yourself from others, and avoid congregating for any reason.”

An updated State of Emergency declaration that consolidates, restates, and supersedes the previous declaration can be viewed here. A press conference was also held at 1 p.m. to share additional information and that can watched on the county’s Facebook page.

The county’s updated declaration supports the Governor’s statewide orders, including the most recent new social distancing policies for retail establishments, to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help prevent our healthcare system from becoming overburdened.

The order goes into effect today – Monday, April 13 – at 5 p.m. and replaces the previous orders that have been made since the initial State of Emergency declaration on March 20.

“While there is some loosening of restrictions, it is still critical that our residents listen to our Public Health guidance,” said Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Lisa Brown. “The cases we are reporting are the people whose symptoms are more severe and are therefore having testing done, so remember that there are other people – outside of our 60 – who likely have this virus and have more mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. The more you can stay home and keep at least six feet of distance from others, the better your health and the health of those around you will be.”

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, countertops and daily work surfaces).

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As of noon on Monday, April 13, 2020, there have been 60 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