New Hanover County COVID-19 weekly update: Three more deaths, slight decrease in percent of positive tests

Posted July 24, 2020 at 4:53 pm     Category: Emergency NewsNews ReleaseOtherPublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Public Health officials were notified of three deaths of county residents from COVID-19 this week and are monitoring 13 outbreaks and clusters of COVID-19 in congregate living and child care settings in New Hanover County.

Two of the individuals who died this week were considered to be at risk of severe illness because they were over the age of 65 and had underlying health conditions. The third person was in their 60’s with no known underlying health conditions.  This brings the total number of New Hanover County residents who have died from COVID-19 to 15.

“Any loss of life is a tragedy for our community, and my heartfelt sympathy goes to the friends and families of these three people,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “We know what we need to do to slow the spread and protect others from this virus – wear a mask and stay six feet away from others when you’re out in public, and wash your hands as often as possible. If we keep working together on this, we should start to see cases leveling and lives saved.”

This week, data shows additional lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, as well as more COVID-19 hospitalizations. However, the percent of positive test results has started to trend down this past week.

“The number of cases and hospitalizations we see now are cases that have been present in the community over the last few weeks, but our data is showing a decrease in the percent of positive lab-confirmed cases this past week, which is encouraging and could speak to the impact of people following the three W’s,” said New Hanover County Assistant Health Director Carla Turner, RN, MSHA. “We urge community members to continue these actions to protect themselves and their loved ones. It slows the spread of COVID-19 while allowing for increased economic and leisure activity, all of which are so important to the public’s health.”

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.

*Outbreak is reflected on state report but considered over by New  Hanover County Public Health.

Hospital data (last updated July 24)
 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.

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.

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As of  4:00 p.m. on Friday, July 24, there are 2,102 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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