New Hanover County continues community COVID-19 testing, additional resources available

Posted May 5, 2020 at 4:47 pm     Category: Emergency ManagementEmergency NewsNews ReleasePublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County’s expanded community-wide testing for COVID-19 began last week, and the county was able to perform 191 diagnostic tests free-of-charge to help residents know if they currently have COVID-19. Of the 191 tests, five people tested positive for the virus and 186 tested negative.

This community diagnostic testing is being provided by New Hanover County to anyone in the community who is experiencing symptoms, regardless of insurance. Residents can call 910-798-6800 to speak with a Public Health nurse and then be scheduled for a COVID-19 test (interpreters are available).

At this time, diagnostic testing takes place Wednesday through Friday, beginning at 1 p.m. each day, and will be available through May 22. Residents who are tested will get a positive or negative result in just a few days after being tested.

The screening and testing process is simple and quick:

  1. Call our Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800 (lines are open Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
  2. Speak with a Public Health nurse, share your symptoms, and then be scheduled for a COVID-19 test.
  3. Arrive at the site (located in the lot next to the Schwartz Center in downtown Wilmington) and drive through or walk up for a nurse to perform the nasal-swab COVID-19 diagnostic test. You will not have to pay for testing, or show proof of insurance or residency.

“Most people are in and out of the testing site in just a couple minutes – so the process is quick and simple,” said Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Lisa Brown. “After being tested, a public health nurse will call each person within 48 to 72 hours to share their test results. Our team then conducts contact tracing for positive cases, to provide education and guidance to others who may have been exposed and to help prevent the spread of the virus in our community as much as possible. These combined efforts are important steps to give us greater visibility and information into where this virus is and isn’t in our community as businesses reopen and residents begin to move around more.”

View a video of the entire process in English and Spanish, and learn more about screening and testing at

As of May 5, there have been a total of 97 cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County, with 59 people recovered and three deaths.

Food Assistance for Families

North Carolina has been approved for the new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program to help families who receive free and reduced lunch at schools to purchase groceries, since school has been canceled for the remainder of the year. Families will receive approximately $371 in total P-EBT benefits per child, provided in two installments in the coming weeks. Unused benefits will rollover each month, but must be used with 365 days.

Families do not need to apply for the P-EBT program. Families eligible for P-EBT who are already receiving Food and Nutrition Services will receive the additional benefit on their existing EBT card. P-EBT eligible families who are not currently enrolled in Food and Nutrition Services will be mailed an EBT card in the coming weeks and will receive a letter from the NC Department of Health and Human Services explaining how to activate and use their card. Any child that receives free and reduced lunch qualifies for the P-EBT program; legal status of children or family is not sought out or considered for the P-EBT program.

The P-EBT Program will assist more than 15,000 children in New Hanover County who receive free or reduced school lunch. For more information and to view frequently asked questions, visit, or call 1-800-662-7030.

Symptoms & Testing

Below is a graphic that can be shared with your neighbors, friends, community organizations, and anyone that could benefit from the county’s community COVID-19 testing:



As of May 5, there have been 97 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County. For more information about COVID-19 in New Hanover County, visit, call our Public Health Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800, and follow the county’s trusted social media pages: TwitterFacebook, 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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