New Hanover County Public Health announces fifth death from COVID-19, urges residents to take precautions as case count rises

Posted May 29, 2020 at 4:20 pm     Category: Emergency ManagementEmergency NewsNews ReleaseOtherPublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County saw its highest daily increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 this week, from 171 on Wednesday to 188 on Thursday. The fifth death in New Hanover County from COVID-19 was also reported Friday, and health officials encourage residents to continue measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect those at risk of serious illness.

The New Hanover County resident died on Thursday, May 28. They were in their 50’s and considered at high risk of severe illness because of underlying health conditions. To protect the privacy of this individual and their family, no other information will be shared.

“I am saddened to hear of this loss to our community and I extend my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of this individual,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “We can protect one another, and those at risk of serious illness by each doing our part of following protective measures. I urge our residents to think of your neighbors, friends, family and fellow community members and take unified action against this virus by wearing a face covering and staying six feet from others in public, and washing your hands well and often.”

New Hanover County Public Health is monitoring the sharp increase in lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 closely, and continues to work with New Hanover Regional Medical Center and other community partners in responding to the virus.

“An increase in cases has been expected in our area as we’ve expanded testing and extended testing to close contacts of individuals with COVID-19, but it’s important to realize that testing does not create cases of the virus, it finds what is already out there,” said Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Lisa Brown. “As long as the virus is present in our community, and as activity in the region picks up for the summer months, we must remain diligent in slowing the spread and preventing an overrun of our local healthcare system.”

New Hanover County began extending testing to asymptomatic close contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19, determined through contact tracing, on May 6, to further identify and contain the virus. Data and demographic information about cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County can be found at Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus.

Slow the Spread

Residents are urged to follow physical distancing and protective measure guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect community members, especially those at high risk of serious illness.

  • Wear cloth face coverings in public settings.
  • If you must leave your home, follow proper physical distancing protocols: don’t gather in groups 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).
  • Comply with state and municipal restrictions and/or recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Senior Resource Center Meal Pickup Service

The Senior Resource Center continues to serve those at risk of serious illness by providing drive-through meal pick-up options for residents. Starting Monday, June 1, the Senior Resource Center will decrease its operations from four meal sites to three. The drive-through sites at the Senior Resource Center, Veterans Park and Castle Hayne Baptist Church will continue, and the site at the Nir Family YMCA will close. Current registered and new senior participants are encouraged to call 910-798-6420 one day in advance to reserve a meal. Learn more at SRC.NHCgov.com.

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As of 4 p.m. on Friday, May 29, 2020, there have been 193 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County. For more information about COVID-19 in New Hanover County, visit Health.NHCgov.com, 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