NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – It has been one year since New Hanover County had its first reported case of COVID-19 in our community on March 18, 2020, and since that time there have been a total of 17,157 positive cases in the county. Of those, 16,179 people have recovered from the virus, 817 cases are considered active, and 162 people have died from the virus (an increase of three reported deaths over the past week, all over the age of 70 and at risk of severe illness due to underlying health conditions).
“The work of our community over the past year has been incredible and has saved lives,” said Interim Health Director David Howard. “Thank you for all you have done to protect one another, encourage your neighbors, and support those among us who need it most. We are continuing to see a decrease in reported cases from the virus and lower numbers of patients admitted to the hospital, with more and more people getting vaccinated. These are all signs of hope, but we have to continue our safety measures to make sure this positive path continues.”
View a video message below from our Health and Human Services leaders, marking this one-year milestone in our fight against COVID-19.
As of March 19, New Hanover County Health and Human Services’ Public Health has administered a total of 34,561 COVID-19 vaccinations in the community (20,659 first doses and 13,902 second doses). In addition, through partnerships and collaborative efforts with local healthcare entities, more than 53,712 people in New Hanover County are partially vaccinated, and more than 37,903 are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 according to the NCDHHS dashboard.
This week, in line with the state’s plan, the county opened vaccine eligibility to people in Group 4, which is anyone ages 16-64 who has a medical condition that puts them at higher risk for COVID-19 as well as people who live in congregate settings. The county is also continuing to serve those in Groups 1, 2 and 3 as well.
“We are working hard to increase the number of people in our community who are vaccinated and will have immunity from the virus,” said Health and Human Services Director Donna Fayko. “That work will continue in the weeks and months to come. But it’s important for people to remember that it takes two weeks after your final dose of the vaccine to be fully immunized. And even then, it’s important for everyone to continue to be vigilant – washing your hands often, not gathering in large numbers and staying six feet from others, and if you are in public, you still need to wear a mask.”
Residents who make an appointment through Public Health and then receive the vaccine at another location should call the county’s call center at 910-798-6800 to cancel their appointment. Each dose is valuable and the county wants to make sure all appointment slots are filled.
In addition, individuals who have a second dose appointment through Public Health should do all they can to make their provided appointment day and time. It is difficult to accommodate rescheduling second dose appointments for leisure travel, or other non-extenuating circumstances.
To stay up-to-date on local vaccination efforts, phases, and frequently asked questions, visit Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus.
To view the most recent COVID-19 case count data, vaccine information, and resources in New Hanover County, visit Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus, call our Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800, and follow the county’s trusted social media pages: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor.