New Hanover County COVID-19 weekly update: Additional deaths, hospitalizations & outbreaks reported

Posted July 17, 2020 at 4:56 pm     Category: Emergency NewsNews ReleasePublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County health officials were notified of an additional three deaths of county residents from COVID-19 over the past two days and are monitoring 11 outbreaks and clusters of COVID-19 in congregate living and child care settings.

The people who died were considered to be at risk of severe illness because of underlying health conditions or age. One person was in their 60’s and the two others were in their 90’s. This brings the total number of deaths in New Hanover County to 12.

“I’m so sorry to learn of three more of our residents who have lost their fight with COVID-19, and I offer deepest sympathy to their families and loved ones,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “These are not just numbers on a chart, they are people – human lives. And we each need to do all we can to slow the spread and protect our community. The way we can do that is to wear a face covering and keep six feet of distance from others if you have to go out in public, and wash your hands often.”

This week, data shows a continued increase of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, new outbreaks in congregate living settings and increased hospitalizations.

Residents are urged to practice the three W’s – Wear, Wait, Wash, to slow the spread of COVID-19.

*COVID-19 data for New Hanover County is gathered from several sources, including local Public Health, New Hanover Regional Medical Center and the NC Department of Health and Human Services. Time of data cutoff for the individual metric is indicated in each section below.

Cumulative cases and demographics in NHC (as of 4 p.m. today)
Source: New Hanover County Public Health

New COVID-19 cases this week (as of 4 p.m. today)
Source: New Hanover County Public Health

Data reflects Saturday – Friday, to align with release of report Friday afternoons.

Outbreaks and Clusters (as of today at 4 p.m.)
Source: NC Department of Health and Human Services

The below list of outbreaks and clusters in New Hanover County is public information and reported to the NC Department of Health and Human Services in an effort to contain virus spread in areas of congregate living and child care settings. It is based on NCDHHS reportable information and does not include cases that could be linked to retail, eating or other business establishments. Due to data reporting cutoff times, this may not include all cases associated with outbreaks or clusters. Additionally, some outbreaks or clusters may have already met the definition of the outbreak/cluster concluding but *may still be visible on the state report.  It is important to remember that community spread of COVID-19 is present in New Hanover County.

Hospital data (last updated July 17)
Source: New Hanover Regional Medical Center

COVID-19 Testing in New Hanover County (as of today at 4 p.m.)
Source: NC Department of Health and Human Services

As testing increases, there are more lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. Looking at what percent of total tests are positive helps us understand whether lab-confirmed cases are increasing in comparison to the number of tests conducted. The lower the percent positive of COVID-19 cases, the more the virus is contained in the community.

“We want to see a sustained positive rate well below 10 percent and trending down, ideally in the 5 percent or less range,” said Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Lisa Brown. “Since last week, we’ve seen a decrease in the percent positive of COVID-19 tests which is a good thing, but looking over time we still aren’t where we want to be. Test results are also taking longer to get back, so more time passes before contact tracing starts and someone exposed knows they were. We still need to work hard on the three W’s and slowing the spread of COVID-19.”

The data below is calculated using results from labs that report to NC DHHS electronically (Electronic Lab Reports or “ELRs”), and may not be fully representative of all tests conducted in New Hanover County because some labs may not be reporting electronically to the state. Learn more about testing for COVID-19 in North Carolina at NCDHHS.gov.

Testing helps slow the spread of COVID-19 because Public Health is able to perform contact tracing with the help of the person who has tested positive. Through this process, the person’s close contacts are informed of potential exposure to the virus and advised to take more actions to protect those around them, containing and stopping the virus from continued spread.

You should be tested for COVID-19 if you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, or meet other criteria like working in a high-risk setting, have participated in gatherings or are a member of a historically marginalized community. Find a testing location by visiting NCDHHS.gov, or calling the New Hanover County Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800.

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As of  4:00 p.m. on Friday, July 17, there are 1,818 positive 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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