NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Over the past week, 396 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in New Hanover County – for a total of 16,581 cases since the start of the pandemic; and of that total, 15,103 people have recovered from the virus. In addition, 154 people have died from the virus, an increase of one in the past week. This person was in their 60s and at risk of severe illness because of age and underlying health conditions.
“We are seeing fewer reported cases of COVID-19 in our community, our percent positivity rate is down tremendously at 5.2%, and our vaccine efforts are increasing every week,” said Assistant Health Director Carla Turner. “So we are definitely feeling hopeful about the months to come as our community continues to work together and protect one another by wearing masks, physically distancing, washing their hands, and getting vaccinated. There are now three safe and effective vaccines that have received approval, all of which prevent against severe disease and death from the virus, and will enhance and increase vaccination access. But we have to remain vigilant, as tired as we all are, to ensure we continue on this positive path.”
COVID-19 Vaccine Update & Group 3
As of March 5, New Hanover County Health and Human Services’ Public Health has administered a total of 27,174 COVID-19 vaccine doses in the community (16,320 first doses and 10,854 second doses). In addition, through partnerships and collaborative efforts with local healthcare entities, more than 69,936 total doses have been administered in New Hanover County (41,308 first doses and 28,682 second doses), according to the NCDHHS dashboard.
Over the past two weeks, the county and New Hanover Regional Medical Center, now a part of Novant Health, worked together and vaccinated more than 3,200 of the county’s PreK-12 and childcare staff from public, private, and charter schools and child care facilities. In addition, the county has continued to vaccinate Groups 1 and 2, which includes healthcare workers and adults 65 and older. Beginning next week, once additional supply is received from the state, New Hanover County will move fully into Group 3 of the state’s vaccination plan and will open vaccine appointments to Groups 1, 2 and 3.
“We are working to vaccinate even more adults 65 and older, to provide a high level of protection to this group, those most at risk of serious illness and death, to move us closer to herd immunity across the wider community,” said Health and Human Services Director Donna Fayko. “But we are starting to see a noticeable decrease in the demand for appointments in that age group. So in looking at that information coupled with our ongoing outreach efforts to still serve that age group, we are planning to move fully into Group 3 beginning next week. This will include frontline essential workers who are working on-site or in the field who are critical to our community. And as we begin to vaccinate this group, we will also continue our emphasis on outreach to historically marginalized communities and older adults.”
For context, Group 3 includes frontline essential workers who are required to be on-site for work and are in one of these eight essential sectors, as defined by NCDHHS: critical manufacturing, education and childcare, essential goods, food and agriculture, government and community services, healthcare and public health, public safety, and transportation. The county estimates that around 100,000 residents fall into Group 3.
This continues to be a community vaccine effort and below are the current entities receiving direct vaccine supply and offering appointments, when they have vaccine on hand:
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.