NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County reached an unfortunate milestone this week, surpassing 100 deaths from COVID-19 in our community.
“One death is too many, but we now have 102 people who have died from this virus and that is truly devastating,” said Public Health Assistant Director Carla Turner, RN, MSHCA. “We don’t want this number to go up any more, but we are seeing a significant increase in cases in our community and it is cause for concern. So I can’t stress enough how important it is for people to continue wearing a mask, distancing from others, and avoiding gatherings. Please stay home if you can, get takeout instead of sitting in a restaurant, and only be in public when it is absolutely necessary. The vaccines being administered are providing us hope, but we are months away from enough people in our community having the vaccine to let our guard down.”
Over the past week, there have been 867 new cases of COVID-19 reported to Public Health, bringing the total number of cases to 11,393 in New Hanover County, with about 1,955 of those currently infected with the virus. A total of 102 people have died from the virus in New Hanover County, with four of those being reported over the past week. The four individuals who died were in their 80’s and 90’s and at risk of severe illness because of age and underlying health conditions.
Since December 22, when the county received its first COVID-19 vaccine shipment, New Hanover County Public Health has vaccinated around 7,770 people in the community with their first dose, and has administered nearly all of the vaccine supply on hand.
In the coming week, New Hanover County Public Health anticipates receiving 3,900 vaccines from the state for first-doses. A date of delivery is not confirmed, but once the vaccine shipment arrives, the county will transfer some of the vaccine to local healthcare partners and also open vaccine appointments for healthcare workers and adults over 65 to receive their first dose of the vaccine, which is in line with the state’s updated “Group 2” guidance. An announcement will be made at that time (please note: no appointments are being scheduled currently and there is no wait list available).
“We can’t open appointments for specific days until we know exactly when the vaccine will be here in our county, and – at this time – we don’t know what day that will be,” said Health & Human Services Director Donna Fayko. “We will also be transferring some of the vaccine we receive to our local healthcare partners that are approved vaccinators through the state. By sharing the vaccine and utilizing partner resources, we will be able to get the vaccine into our community as soon as possible.”
In addition to administering first doses, the county will begin administering second doses of the vaccine next week.
More information on the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, and a current status of what phase New Hanover County is in, can be found 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.