COVID-19: 1,018 Cases As Virus Spreads Throughout New Hanover

New Hanover County reported 1,018 cases of COVID-19 on June 30th. A drastic increase from 243 cases on June 4th. New Hanvover County Beaches remain open for the upcoming July 4th holiday weekend which will certainly lead to a future increase in COVID-19 reports. New Hanover County reported 1,018 cases of COVID-19 on June 30th. A drastic increase from 243 cases on June 4th. New Hanvover County Beaches remain open for the upcoming July 4th holiday weekend which will certainly lead to a future increase in COVID-19 reports.

COVID-19: 1,018 Cases As Virus Spreads Throughout New Hanover Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 01 July 2020 01:35

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY -   On June 4th, New Hanover County officials announced a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. That increase was 28 new cases over two days bringing the total to 243. At 4:PM on June 30th, the number of cases was 1,018. An increase of 775 cases. Of those cases, 163 had recovered and five passed away. At press time on Tuesday June 30th, the State of North Carolina reported that Carolina Beach had 36 cases and Kure Beach had 2 cases of COVID-19. If you would like to track case statistics, visit the State's website at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard

For North Carolina, on June 30th, there were 1,369 deaths reported overall with 45,538 recovered. There were just over 64,670 lab confirmed cases from 910,033 completed tests with 908 people currently hospitalized.

The number of cases reported on June 30th, is a cumulative number of positive cases since March 18th when the county’s first confirmed positive case was identified.

New Hanover County Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Lisa Brown explained, "We have seen some of our highest rates of increase over the past two weeks," and "While an increase in testing availability can be attributed to finding more cases already out there, the rise in cases is also due to the increased activity in the community, people traveling from other areas of the state and country, and social gatherings taking place more often than before. Knowing this, we encourage everyone, when out in public, to take extra precautions and act as if you could be pre-symptomatic and have the virus, so your actions protect those around you. That means wearing a mask, keeping your distance, and disinfecting your hands and other surfaces regularly."

People ages 0 to 49, make up 77% of total positive cases.

New Hanover County Public Health Assistant Director Carla Turner explained on Tuesday, June 30th, "This increase of cases among younger people, under the age of 50, in our community shows that the virus can impact any of us - no matter our age or health condition,” and, "COVID-19 does have a more severe impact on those who are older and have health risks, but the bottom line is that no one is immune, and younger people can easily spread the virus to those at risk if they don’t know they have it."

Beaches in Florida and other states will be closed for the July 4th, holiday weekend to help stop the spread of COVID-19. In New Hanover County, currently beaches will remain open for the busy weekend.

Carolina Beach Mayor Leann Pierce stated Tuesday June 30th, that no beach accesses have been closed for the July 4th, weekend.

Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, explained on June 30th, that while the U.S. is experiencing an increase as high as 40,000 new cases per day, he would not be surprised to see that number increase to 100,000 cases per day in the future if government officials don't take immediate action to stop the spread of COVID-19. He explained, " It is going to be very disturbing, I will guarantee you that, because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country, even though in other parts of the country they're doing well, they are vulnerable."


NC Pauses in Safer At Home Phase 2, Adds Statewide Requirement for Face Coverings

Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen today announced that North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three more weeks. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread.

Cooper and Cohen were joined by Dennis Taylor, President of the North Carolina Nurses Association and Eugene A. Woods, President and CEO of Atrium Health.

"North Carolina is relying on the data and the science to lift restrictions responsibly, and right now our increasing numbers show we need to hit the pause button while we work to stabilize our trends," said Governor Cooper. "We need to all work together so we can protect our families and neighbors, restore our economy, and get people back to work and our children back to school."

"I know North Carolinians are strong, resilient and care deeply about our communities. We pride ourselves on helping our neighbors. The best way we can do that now is by taking the simple action of wearing a face covering that covers your nose and mouth. If we each do our part, we can get back to the people and places we love," said Dr. Mandy Cohen, NCDHHS Secretary.

Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Until now, face coverings had been strongly recommended. Under today’s executive order, people must wear face coverings when in public places where physical distancing is not possible.

In addition, certain businesses must have employees and customers wear face coverings, including retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming; employees of child care centers and camps; state government agencies under the Governor’s Cabinet; workers and riders of transportation; and workers in construction/trades, manufacturing, agriculture, meat processing and healthcare and long-term care settings.

"Wearing a face covering is an easy thing to do that can make a huge impact for all of us. A major spike in cases would be catastrophic to the system, and without your cooperation, nurses and our fellow healthcare providers will have a harder time caring for sick patients for weeks and months to come," said Dennis Taylor, a nurse, and President of the North Carolina Nurses Association.

"As the leader of the state’s largest health system, I am pro-health and also 100 percent pro-business. In fact, the two are inextricably connected and I’m very proud of the way business leaders and health experts are working together to keep our economy strong," said Eugene A. Woods, President and CEO of Atrium Health. "Medical science says to reduce the spread of COVID-19 masking works, and my sincere hope is that all the people of North Carolina can join forces to make wearing a mask not something we feel we have to do - but something that we want to do to keep each other, our neighbors, our children and our loved ones healthy and safe."

Based on the metrics laid out in April by Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen, North Carolina is evaluating a combination of the data from the following categories that shows the indicators moving in the wrong direction, causing officials to implement today’s pause in Phase 2.
Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days:

• North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is increasing.
Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days:
• North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases starting to level, but is still increasing.
Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days:
• North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive remains elevated.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days:
• North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations are increasing, though we have capacity in our healthcare system.
In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:
Laboratory Testing
• North Carolina is averaging more than 17,000 tests a day for the past week and there are more than 500 sites listed on online plus additional pop-up sites.
• North Carolina labs and labs around the country are seeing supply shortages for laboratory chemicals needed to process tests.

Tracing Capability
• There are over 1,500 full-time and part-time staff supporting contact tracing efforts at the local health department level, including the 309 Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative contact tracers. These new hires reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, and 44% are bilingual. 

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