NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Over the past week, New Hanover County had an increase of 676 COVID-19 cases – for a total of 15,742 cases since the start of the pandemic; and of that total, 13,678 people have recovered from the virus.
“We have typically been seeing new cases rise to well above 1,000 each week, so this is the lowest number of new cases we have experienced in several months,” said Assistant Health Director Carla Turner, RN, MSHCA. “That is really good news, and we are hopeful that our cases will continue to trend down as the weeks go on and as more people are vaccinated. Our community has done a tremendous job of slowing the spread of the virus as much as possible, and we hope everyone will continue wearing a mask and not gathering with others, so that we can continue the important work of protecting one another.”
In total, 142 people have died from the virus, an increase of four in the past week. Of these four people, three were over the age of 80 and one was in their 50s. All were at risk of severe illness because of age or underlying health conditions.
As of February 19, New Hanover County Health and Human Services’ Public Health has administered a total of 22,013 doses in the community (12,594 first doses and 9,419 second doses). In addition, through partnerships and collaborative efforts with local healthcare entities, more than 54,017 total doses have been administered in New Hanover County (33,303 first doses and 20,714 second doses), according to the NCDHHS dashboard.
This equates to about 14.2% of the county’s total population vaccinated so far with first doses and 8.83% of the population vaccinated with second doses.
New Hanover County Health and Human Services will continue to focus vaccination efforts on healthcare workers and adults 65 and older (Groups 1 and 2 of the state’s vaccination plan) over the coming weeks, as supply allows. In addition, New Hanover County and New Hanover Regional Medical Center are partnering on a joint effort to begin vaccinating PreK-12 and childcare staff from the county’s public, private, and charter schools and child care facilities beginning next week. The county and hospital system hope to be able to vaccinate additional education staff in the coming weeks, and those vaccine plans will be determined once supply is confirmed from the state.
For any child care facility directors that have not been directly in touch with New Hanover County already, please call the Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800 to receive more information about this effort. Education staff should contact their employer to indicate their interest in receiving the vaccine and do not need to call the county.
“The county is finalizing all of the details and appointments for our first educator vaccine event, in partnership with NHRMC,” said Health and Human Services Director Donna Fayko. “We are working directly with our public, private and charter schools as well as child care facilities on this effort. Around 2,000 members of our local education workforce will be receiving information about appointments directly from their employer early next week. And then based on the supply we receive in future weeks, we hope to partner on another event to specifically serve our education staff prior to March 10.”
While these efforts take place, the county will continue vaccinating healthcare workers and older adults, however appointment availability for next week is unknown at this time due to shipping delays across the country from adverse weather. If vaccine supply is received and appointments for Groups 1 and 2 are opened through Public Health, an email and text alert will be sent by the county.
Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as additional resources and information, 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.
Note: this press release has been updated with an additional day’s worth of data to reflect a total of 676 new cases reported in the county this week.