NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Public Health officials were informed of 20 additional deaths of residents from COVID-19 this week, bringing the total number of county residents who have died from COVID-19 to 132. The 20 individuals who died were over the age of 65 and at risk of severe illness because of age and underlying health conditions.
To date, there have been a total 13,171 cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County, an increase of 1,151 cases in the past week. Of those, there are around 3,471 people currently infected with the virus.
“We are still seeing a sharp rise in people getting COVID-19 in our community, with a record high of 254 new daily cases reported in one day – on Tuesday of this week,” said Health and Human Services Director Donna Fayko. “And to have 20 deaths of our neighbors and friends just this week is devastating. It’s more important than ever to keep up the 3 Ws and protect others – so please continue wearing your mask, waiting six feet apart, and washing your hands. For anyone who has received a vaccine, it’s important to continue these measures as well because it takes about 14 days for your body to build immunity and you are still susceptible to infection.”
Why do appointments fill up so quickly?
Public Health is limited in the appointments it can offer based on the amount of vaccine the county receives each week from the state and in turn, the state is limited by their allocations of vaccine from the federal government. So Public Health cannot make appointments for vaccine it doesn’t have. We ask for the community’s patience as we continue to work hard to ensure everyone who is eligible can receive a vaccine as soon as possible.
How will I know when vaccine appointments are available?
When New Hanover County Public Health receives additional first doses from the state, COVID-19 vaccine appointments will be opened and an announcement will be sent to the community through the county’s email and text news alert system, posted on the county’s social media, and shared with local media and community partners. You can sign up to receive alerts by clicking here, or by calling the Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Next week, when additional doses are received by the county and appointments are open through Public Health, an announcement will be sent and those eligible will be able to make appointments by calling the Coronavirus Call Center or utilizing the county’s new online scheduler (those specific details will be shared next week once vaccine is received).
In addition to Public Health, New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) and Wilmington Health are also administering vaccines to the community when supplies are available. Appointments are announced by each entity when available, and information about how to access appointments through these health care partners is below:
How many vaccines have been administered in New Hanover County?
From December 22 through January 29, New Hanover County Public Health has administered more than 14,500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, including both first and second doses. Public Health is also working with healthcare partners like NHRMC, Wilmington Health, MedNorth and Cape Fear Clinic to increase vaccination efforts and reach even more people. With these partnerships and collaborative efforts, around 25,968 total doses of the vaccine, both first and second doses, have been given in New Hanover County, according to the state’s dashboard – which can be viewed here.
When will the county move to the next vaccine group?
New Hanover County is currently focused on Groups 1 and 2 of the state’s vaccination plan. There are around 37,000 residents who are 65 and older, and we want to reach as many of them as possible before moving to the next group. So it will likely be several more weeks before moving into Group 3, which includes frontline essential workers. You can find your vaccine group and other details on the NCDHHS website here.
I’m due for my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but I have been exposed, or have tested positive to COVID-19. Should I still get my second dose as scheduled?
If you have been exposed to COVID-19, or currently have COVID-19 or any other illness, you should wait to get your second dose of the vaccine until you are recovered. To be considered recovered from COVID-19, the following criteria should be met:
You should get your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as close to the recommended date as possible, but as long as you get it within 42 days of the first dose, NCDHHS has indicated that it is still safe and effective, and you don’t have to start the vaccine series over again.
NOTE: Individuals get their second dose appointment when they leave their first dose appointment. New Hanover County cannot accommodate rescheduling second dose appointments for leisure travel, or other non-extenuating circumstances.
View additional frequently asked questions, as well as more information on COVID-19 vaccination efforts in New Hanover County, at Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus.
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.