New Hanover County continues COVID-19 protective measures, opens Museum, playgrounds, and splashpad, and adds more free Wi-Fi sites

Posted September 4, 2020 at 12:31 pm     Category: Cape Fear MuseumCounty ManagerInformation TechnologyNews ReleaseParks and Gardens

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – On Tuesday, Governor Roy Cooper announced the shift into Phase 2.5 of reopening. Mask mandates remain in place and starting at 5 p.m. Friday, September 4, some businesses and attractions are able to reopen including the county’s Cape Fear Museum and Parks and Gardens amenities.

The Senior Resource Center will remain closed, with services available by appointment only and a continued focus on meal service and meal delivery for older adults.

In all county facilities, regular cleaning and disinfecting continues to take place, employees and customers are required to wear face coverings, and physical distancing is encouraged. In addition, under the governor’s order, museum employees and any staff cleaning playgrounds are required to undergo a daily symptom screening. The county will also extend this daily symptom screening to all employees.

“With this new guidance from the state, we felt that it was important to have all employees across our organization adhere to a daily symptom screening assessment – in addition to our museum and parks staff,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “So we have provided employees in all county departments with a self-assessment tool with several questions they must ask themselves each day before coming to work, and they will continue to be reminded of this required self-screening through regular internal communications and by their supervisors. It’s an additional step we are taking to help ensure the health and safety of those we work with and the people we serve.”

Read the Governor’s Executive Order here, and see below for additional, specific New Hanover County operations updates:

Cape Fear Museum

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science will reopen on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 9 a.m., and will resume regular hours, welcoming visitors Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Visitors will be required to wear a mask when inside the building and the museum will be limited to 50 percent capacity.

Reservations are not required but visitors are encouraged to purchase advance tickets online here when possible. Learn more about reopening and new exhibits at

Parks & Gardens

New Hanover County Parks and Gardens will open playgrounds and outdoor gyms at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 4. The equipment will be cleaned and disinfected twice per week based on guidelines outlined in the Governor’s order. The splashpad at Long Leaf Park will also reopen Saturday, September 5, at 9 a.m. and will operate daily from 9 a.m. to sunset.

Additionally, starting at 5 p.m. Friday, September 4, outdoor gatherings may increase to a maximum of 50 people under the governor’s order, which will apply to all county shelter locations. Learn more at

Community WiFi Access

New Hanover County is continuing to work with community partners to increase free wireless internet access throughout the county for children and families who lack access to high-speed internet. This is another important step in the county’s effort to build more equity in access for all.

Additional outdoor access Wi-Fi sites have recently been added at several county facilities including Pine Valley and Pleasure Island library branches, New Hanover County Fire Rescue parking lots in Castle Hayne and Porters Neck, and Environmental Management’s parking lot on US 421 North. View a list and map of locations to access free outdoor WiFi at


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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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