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Posted on: July 29, 2022

[ARCHIVED] New Hanover County COVID metrics remain elevated, interventions encouraged

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County is continuing to see the impacts of the latest COVID-19 variant, with rising case rates and impacts on the local medical system.    

According to CDC data, the county’s case rate is 296.41 cases per 100,000 people, up 21.5 cases from last week. Additionally, 5.4 percent of all inpatient hospital beds are now occupied by an individual with COVID, up 1.5 percent from last week. New admissions to the hospital with COVID-19 now stands at 9.3 per 100,000, up 2.5 from the previous week.   

All three of these data points are used to determine the CDC’s Community Level, which narrowly held at Medium for New Hanover County for the third straight week.   

“In the past couple of weeks, we have seen COVID infections making their way through the community and now that transmission rate is being reflected in our metrics and our local healthcare system,” said Pandemic Operations Manager Jon Campbell. “While we remain at a Medium Community level, it’s critical that we work to protect people from severe illness and prevent further impacts on our healthcare system. It’s important to stay up to date and get boosters when you are eligible as the protection from vaccines does decrease overtime.” 

New Hanover County has a dedicated team at the Pandemic Operations Center to ensure the community has the tools to stay safe and healthy. Along with offering COVID-19 vaccines, boosters and testing, individuals are also encouraged to pick up free at-home tests and masks during hours of operation. 

Initial vaccines and boosters are available at the Pandemic Operations Center (1507 Greenfield Street) throughout the week. Appointments are recommended but not required and can be made by visiting Vaccines and boosters will be available during the following days and times:  

  • Mondays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  
  • Tuesdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  
  • Thursdays from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.  
  • Fridays from 1-5 p.m.  

The Pandemic Operations Center is also offering no cost rapid testing. An appointment is recommended and can be made by visiting this link, but again it is not required. Rapid tests will be available during the following days and times:  

  • Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  
  • Fridays from 9 a.m.-noon  

For more information on the Pandemic Operations Center, vaccines, boosters or testing, visit call the Pandemic Operations Call Center at 910-798-6800.  

Medium COVID-19 Community Level 

Following its weekly review of county-specific data, the CDC has kept New Hanover County at a medium COVID-19 community level. Recommended precautions for this level include speaking to a healthcare provider if you are at high risk about suggested mask wearing and treatment eligibility, being fully vaccinated and boosted, and testing for COVID if you develop symptoms or before being in contact with at high-risk individual.  The CDC also recommends having a plan for rapid testing and to follow current quarantine and isolation guidelines if necessary.  Mask usage at this community level is optional. The CDC plans to update community levels weekly, so residents can check the CDC website here to know the current community impact level. 

COVID-19 Community Data, as of July 29:        

  • New Hanover County’s percent positivity over the past 7 days is 23.8 percent (this represents positive Molecular (PCR) tests as a percent of total PCR tests performed countywide).  
  • Approximately 63.9 percent of New Hanover County residents are considered fully vaccinated with either two doses Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of J&J. 
  • Since March 1, 2020, there have been 56,809 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County, resulting in 408 deaths. 

Monkeypox Information  

The Pandemic Operations Center is also monitoring the current global Monkeypox outbreak. This disease is caused by an orthopox virus and is spread through close physical contact with a contagious individual or infectious material.  

The Jynneos vaccine can prevent Monkeypox or reduce severity of illness if given within two weeks of an exposure. This vaccine, which free to high risk individuals 18 and older, can be administered at the Pandemic Operations Center and is available for individuals who self-identify as meeting the following criteria: 

  • People who have been in close physical contact with someone diagnosed with Monkeypox in the last 14 days 
  • Men who have sex with other men or transgender individuals, who report any of the following in the last 90 days:
    • Having multiple or anonymous sex partners 
    • Being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease 
    • Receiving HIC PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) 
    • Certain healthcare workers and public health response team members designated by public health authorities 

For more information or to schedule an appointment for vaccination, call the Pandemic Operations Call Center at 910-798-6800.  

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