New Hanover County COVID-19 weekly update: 5 more deaths this week, hurricane preparations underway

Posted August 1, 2020 at 11:20 am     Category: Emergency NewsNews ReleasePublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County health officials were notified of five deaths of county residents from COVID-19 this week, and continue to monitor 10 outbreaks and clusters of COVID-19 in congregate living and child care settings in New Hanover County, down from 13 last week.

Three of the individuals who died this week were in their 80’s, and the other two were in their 70’s. All were considered to be at risk of severe illness because they were over the age of 65 and had underlying health conditions. This brings the total number of New Hanover County residents who have died from COVID-19 to 20.

“This is the highest increase in deaths we’ve seen in a week, but even just one is too many,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “My sincere condolences to these families and friends of our residents who have passed away from COVID-19. I urge our community to take the steps we know will slow the spread and protect others from getting sick – wear a face covering when in public, maintain six feet of distance from others and wash your hands often. Together we will push this virus back down week by week.”

County officials are also preparing for potential impacts of Hurricane Isaias amid COVID-19 and residents are urged to be ReadyNHC – Make a Plan, Build a Kit and Stay Informed.

  • Make a Plan: Social distancing guidelines and shelter guidance require additional space per person to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which will greatly reduce the capacity of county emergency shelters for this hurricane season. Residents should plan now where they will go if evacuation is necessary. County emergency shelters will be very limited and at this time New Hanover County does not plan to open a storm shelter for Hurricane Isaias considering the low-risk forecast track.
  • Build a Kit: In addition to emergency supplies like food, water, batteries, medications, pet supplies, important documents and other needs, add items like face coverings and hand sanitizer to kits this year. Your emergency kit should include enough supplies for five to seven days.
  • Stay Informed: Visit ReadyNHC.com for preparedness information and to stay informed by signing up for emergency news alerts.

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

COVID-19 Data Update:

*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. Friday, July 31)
Source: New Hanover County Public Health

Positive Test Results
Total
% Male
% Female
Deaths
Recovered

2,449

46%

54%

20

295

Age Range
0-17
18-24
25-49
50-64
65+

9%

26%

40%

15%

10%

White
Black/ African Am.
Asian
Am. Indian Alaskan Native
Other
Hispanic
Non-Hispanic

72%

22%

1%

1%

4%

22%

78%

New COVID-19 cases this week (as of 4 p.m. Friday, July 31)
Source: New Hanover County Public Health

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

 

Outbreaks and Clusters (as of 4 p.m. Friday, July 31)
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 31)
 Source: New Hanover Regional Medical Center

 

COVID-19 Testing in New Hanover County (as of Friday, July 31 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.

New Hanover County Testing Data: 

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 p.m. on Friday, July 31, there are 2,449 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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