New Hanover County COVID-19 weekly update: One death reported this week, number of outbreaks decrease

Posted August 14, 2020 at 4:42 pm     Category: News ReleaseOtherPublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Public Health officials were notified of one death of a New Hanover County resident from COVID-19 this week, and are monitoring eight outbreaks of COVID-19 in congregate living settings.

The individual who died this week was in their 70’s and considered to be at higher risk of serious illness because of older age and underlying health conditions. This brings the total number of New Hanover County residents who have died from COVID-19 to 21.

This week, data shows a decrease in the number of outbreaks and clusters in congregate living and child care centers in New Hanover County, down from 13 in July to eight as of 4 p.m. today. New Hanover County Public Health has been providing information and guidance to facilities since March, and works with facilities with outbreaks or clusters to examine infection control processes, helps supply personal protective equipment to facilities, and provides guidance and support ensuring protocols are in place to slow the spread.

“Our residential and child care facilities have done an incredible job since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, heeding guidance and recommendations to protect their residents, students and staff, and have stayed in close communication with Public Health, and I believe this is why we haven’t had more outbreaks like other counties in our region and state,” said New Hanover County Assistant Health Director Carla Turner, RN, MSHCA. “We all have a role to play in protecting those in congregate care settings, because the more we do individually to slow the spread of COVID-19, the more we prevent the virus from getting into a facility in the first place. It’s still important to wear a mask and maintain six feet of distance from others when in public, and wash your hands often. Together we can protect our community and loved ones from COVID-19.”

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, August 14)
Source: New Hanover County Public Health

 

 

New COVID-19 cases this week (as of 4 p.m. Friday, August 14)
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, August 14)
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 Friday, August 14)
 Source: New Hanover Regional Medical Center

COVID-19 Testing in New Hanover County (as of 4 p.m. Thursday, August 13)
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.

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, August 14, there have been a total of 2,850 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: TwitterFacebookInstagram, 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