New Hanover County tests more than 180 people for COVID-19 in first week

Posted May 1, 2020 at 5:05 pm     Category: Emergency ManagementEmergency NewsNews ReleasePublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County expanded diagnostic testing to all residents this week, and as of 4 p.m. on Friday, 186 people have been tested. Of those tested, 47 are negative, 139 are still pending, and there are no positive lab results at this time. View additional details at Health.NHCgov.com.

“Our first week of expanded testing has been a success, and we want to continue this important service in the coming weeks to even more people – especially those who have limited access to healthcare or to a COVID-19 test,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “If you are currently experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, reach out to our call center to be screened so you can be tested. This valuable resource is being provided at no cost to residents, so please share it with your friends, colleagues, and neighbors. The information we collect from this diagnostic testing effort, as well as other testing being done by local providers and the hospital, will be really important in the weeks to come. It will give us visibility about where the virus is or isn’t in our community as business begin to open and as employees get back to work.”

Residents who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can call the New Hanover County Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to be screened by a public health nurse before being referred for a diagnostic test at no charge. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms typically appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus, and may include any of the following:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

More information about the process and criteria for New Hanover County’s expanded testing can be found at Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus.

To date, there have been 85 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County, and of those 59 people have recovered, 23 are still ill and experiencing symptoms, and there have been three deaths. View demographic data on lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases at Health.NHCgov.com.

Stay At Home Order Remains in Place

New Hanover County’s additional county-wide restrictions expired this week, but residents and businesses are still under the Governor’s Stay At Home Order that is in place until at least May 8. In addition, the City of Wilmington and Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville beaches have implemented additional restrictions for their municipalities. View frequently asked questions and additional information here.

“It is vital that everyone in our community continue to practice physical and social distancing, stay home and limit the time you are out in public to essential purposes only, and make sure you are washing your hands and disinfecting surfaces regularly,” said Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Lisa Brown.
“These personal actions will help us continue protecting everyone – including those we believe are likely most vulnerable, and the many healthcare workers, food service workers, and others who are serving our community on the front lines each day. We have done a good job in our mitigation efforts locally, and we want to continue that progress over the weeks to come.”

Next Week’s County Meetings

The Board of Commissioners will hold its next meeting via teleconference on Monday, May 4 at 4 p.m. Tune in to the meeting live on Spectrum channel 13, Charter channel 5, or NHCTV.com. Public comments can be submitted by leaving a message at (910) 798-7411 or by emailing comments@nhcgov.com by 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 3. Comments will be played and/or read during the meeting.

The New Hanover County/City of Wilmington Joint Workforce Housing Advisory Committee’s meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 6 has been canceled. In addition, the Planning Board meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 7 has been canceled.

The next NHRMC Partnership Advisory Group meeting will take place virtually on Thursday, May 7 at 5:30 p.m. More details and the six NHRMC proposals are available online at NHRMCfuture.org. The public can listen to the open session portions of this meeting (which are expected to occur at the beginning and end of the meeting) using the following:

  • Join by Phone: call 415-655-0003 and use the meeting number 805 810 361
  • Join by Webex at nhcgov.webex.com: use meeting number/access code: 805 810 361 and password PAGMeeting

Slow the Spread

The public is encouraged to continue personal protective actions to help keep the rate of COVID-19 low and to slow the spread of the virus:

  • Comply with the Governor’s Stay at Home Order and any other municipal 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 May 1, there have been 85 lab-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: 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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