New Hanover County COVID-19 update: two deaths reported, additional clusters, financial assistance available

Posted September 11, 2020 at 4:21 pm     Category: News ReleasePublic HealthSocial Services

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Public Health officials were notified of two deaths of New Hanover County residents from COVID-19 this week, and are monitoring 11 outbreaks and clusters in nursing homes, residential facilities, UNCW residence halls and child care settings.

One of the individuals who died this week was in their 90’s and the other was in their 80’s. Both were considered to be at higher risk of serious illness because of their age and underlying health conditions. This brings the total number of New Hanover County residents who have died from COVID-19 to 25.

“My heart goes out to the family and friends of these community members who passed away from COVID-19, and I offer my sympathies and wishes for comfort,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “As we see cases increase in our younger adults, we must remain vigilant in protecting those in our community at higher risk from COVID-19. Even if you are young and seemingly healthy, practice the three Ws and wear your face covering, wait six feet from others and wash your hands. By protecting yourself, you protect others and together we can prevent future cases and deaths from this terrible virus.”

Lab confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to increase among the 18 to 24 age range, and now accounts for 35.39 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 in New Hanover County. Contact tracing conducted by New Hanover County Public Health indicates that social gatherings with low or no use of protective measure is a cause of the spread of the virus. View additional data and up-to-date information at Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus.

“With the increase in activity across the community, it’s imperative that everyone follow the three Ws to limit the spread of COVID-19 and allow progress of reopening to continue,” said Assistant Director of New Hanover County Public Health Carla Turner, RN, MSHCA. “We are finding more normalcy, but not everything can go back to normal just yet. So when seeing friends, family and others outside of your household, wearing a face covering, maintaining social distancing and washing hands often is still important, even if you feel fine. Small actions you take slows the spread of COVID-19 and literally saves lives.”

New Hanover County continues to facilitate services and resources for community members who have been impacted and are in need because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents are encouraged to seek assistance now if needed, so they prevent facing financial crisis when eviction and utility late fee and cancellation moratoriums expire.

Child Care Assistance

COVID-19 Child Care Assistance is available through participating child care facilities in New Hanover County for families in need of child care because of alternate school schedules. Families may fill out an application and bring it to the participating child care provider, who will complete a household assessment. To be eligible, families must have a proven need for child care for children three to 12 years old, and a household income at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Families who use a child care provider that is not currently participating in this county program are encouraged to ask the facility to participate by contacting the Department of Social Services at 910-798-3500. Visit SocialServices.NHCgov.com/COVID for more.

Housing Assistance

COVID-19 Housing Assistance is for individuals and households that have proven economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents interested in the Housing Assistance Program should call the Department of Social Services to complete a household assessment by phone at 910-798-3500 or visit the Health and Human Services Building located at 1650 Greenfield Street. Eligibility criteria includes proven need because of COVID-19 and household income at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Additional eligibility criteria can be found here. If approved, a one-time payment will be made directly to the landlord or mortgage company for housing deposits, first month’s rent, past due rent, past due mortgage payment or late fees. Visit SocialServices.NHCgov.com/COVID for more.

Food Assistance Healthy Helping Program

Individuals receiving Food and Nutrition Services (previously known as Food Stamps) who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can receive a monthly $40 credit on their Food Lion MVP card to purchase fresh produce and other approved items (fruits and vegetables with no added sugar) with their EBT card.

To enroll in the program, Food and Nutrition Services recipients should call New Hanover County Health and Human Services at 910-798-3500, Monday-Friday, and choose option four. Enrollment is open until October 31 or until North Carolina cap of 20,000 participants is met. To learn more about the program, visit Healthy-Helping.org.

Community WiFi Access

Outdoor wifi sources continue to be added across the community to increase free wireless internet access for children and families who lack access to high-speed internet. View a list and map of locations to access free outdoor WiFi at NHCgov.com/free-wifi.

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To view the most recent case count data, information, updates and resources 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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Communications and Outreach: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 195 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7461 • Fax 910-798-7277