Category: New Bern

April 3rd, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County issued a Proclamation prohibiting short term rentals in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to be effective at noon on Sunday, April 5, 2020.  

This Proclamation will prohibit the rental of a hotel room, motel room, rental housing unit, condominium, timeshare, apartment, RV campsite, primitive campsite, or similar accommodation for a term of less than 45 consecutive days starting at 12:00 p.m. on April 5, 2020 until this Proclamation is rescinded.

Individuals fleeing areas significantly impacted by the pandemic are increasing the risk of infections to others which could accelerate the spread of the pandemic.  Craven County is currently experiencing an influx of individuals from other areas.

This Proclamation applies to all unincorporated areas of Craven County and within the jurisdictions of the Town of Trent Woods, the Town of Bridgeton, the Town of Dover and the Town of Cove City.  

This proclamation does not apply to short term rentals within the City of New Bern, the City of Havelock or the Town of River Bend.

As the COVID-19 pandemic impacts other parts of North Carolina and the United States, individuals are fleeing the most significantly impacted areas and are relocating to rural locations throughout the United States.  

Many of these individuals are lodging in facilities that may impede appropriate social distancing because of the nature of these facilities having common areas, lobbies, hallways, and shared sanitary facilities.

Exempted from this Proclamation are:

• Individuals performing essential businesses and operations as defined in the March 27, 2020 Executive Order No. 121 issued by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

• Individuals who were residing in accommodations prohibited by this Proclamation as of March 1, 2020;

• Victims of domestic violence;

• Individuals who are transitioning from one permanent place of residence within Craven County to another permanent place of residence within Craven County, or who are unable to occupy their permanent place of residence in Craven County due to casualty loss, repairs, or other similar temporary situations impacting the habitability of a permanent place of residence located in Craven County;

• Employees of the State of North Carolina; and

• Employees of the United States.

Craven County Government COVID-19 updates will appear on the Craven County website at www.cravencountync.gov, on the Craven County Facebook page @cravencounty and the Craven County Twitter account @cravencountync.  

Residents are also encouraged to register to receive notifications via the Craven County website and to register to receive emergency notifications via text, email and phone calls through the CodeRed Emergency Notification System.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health website at https://ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus

Posted in Craven County, Health, New Bern

April 2nd, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Below is a message from the Mayors of the Towns on Bogue Banks:

Mayor of Atlantic Beach Trace Cooper

Mayor of Emerald Isle Eddie Barber

Mayor of Indian Beach Stewart Pickett

Mayor of Pine Knoll Shores Ken Jones

“In support of Governor Cooper’s executive order, designed to avoid any non-essential travel, we want to do more to discourage people from traveling to the beach during these 30 days.

“Restaurants are closed except for take out, bars are closed, non-essential businesses are closed, and both Fort Macon State Park and the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores are closed.

“With the weather warming, our first responders need to be focused on the current crisis, and not on water rescues. In support of Gov Cooper’s 30-day stay-at-home executive order, all four Towns will limit recreational water access beginning April 2, 2020.

“The beachfront is a good place to practice social distancing and to exercise, therefore the sandy beach strand will not be closed (walking, fishing, and very small groups of people will be allowed).

“However, during the Governor’s 30-day stay-at-home executive order, the Towns of Bogue Banks will prohibit swimming, surfing, kiting, and non-motorized recreational water access. All four beach Towns will fly double-red beach flags, which means the waters are closed.

“Travel from outside Carteret County is not essential travel — please do not travel here unless you meet the Governors Executive order criteria for essential activity. This advice also applies to Bogue Banks, do not cross our two bridges unless it is essential.

“The Towns of Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Indian Beach and Pine Knoll Shores are joining together to combat COVID-19; we need your help.

“If you do not NEED to come to Carteret County, please do not travel here during these 30 days. Please help us preserve the resources of our First Responders by NOT entering the ocean (per the above closures). Please respect the health and safety of everyone by abiding by the Governor’s executive order.

“Wash your hands, practice social distancing and stay safe!”

Posted in Health, New Bern, State news

April 1st, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Take a look at this Google News report I received today:

NEWS

Gannett suspends dividend and implements cost cuts to offset impact of COVID-19

USA TODAY

Gannett, the owner of USA TODAY and more than 260 other daily publications, is suspending its dividend and implementing a variety of cost cuts to …

Coronavirus prompts furloughs, layoffs and pay cuts at Gannett newspapers

masslive.com

Gannett announced decreased advertising revenue amidst the COVID-19 public health crisis, The Daily Beast reported. CEO Paul Bascobert told …

Gannett Newspaper to Furlough Journalists – American Greatness

Workers at Statesman, other Gannett newspapers facing furloughs during coronavirus pandemic – Austin Business Journal

Gannett Will Cut Pay, Furlough Employees Amid Economic Loss From Coronavirus Pandemic

Democracy Now!

In media news, Gannett — which owns USA Today — has announced it is cutting pay and furloughing employees after a major loss in advertising …

Journal Sentinel’s Glauber, Bice, Spicuzza among newsroom staff furloughed by parent Gannett Co.

Milwaukee Business Journal

Gannett told employees Monday about the furlough program that runs through April, May and June, according to Gannett-owned USA TODAY.

Gannett taking steps to preserve liquidity

Virginia Business Magazine

McLean-based Gannett Co. Inc., the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, is negotiating with its vendors, creditors and pension regulators in order to …

Gannett to furlough journalists

Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project

Gannett to furlough journalists. This story, plus Facebook’s fact checkers struggle to fight surge in coronavirus misinformation, new research exploring …

Gannett: Revenues To Be Significantly Impacted By COVID-19; To Cut Expenses

Nasdaq

Gannett has identified measures that it expects to reduce expenses in 2020 by an additional $100 – $125 million, through implementation of reductions …

As with so many other companies, York Daily Record feels economic crush of coronavirus

York Daily Record/Sunday News

During this time, top executives at Gannett will take a 25 percent reduction in pay. CEO Paul Bascobert will take no salary until these measures can end.

Gannett Expects Revenues To Be Significantly Impacted By Covid-19 Pandemic

Reuters

April 1 (Reuters) – Gannett Co Inc: * GANNETT ANNOUNCES BUSINESS RESPONSE TO COVID-19. * GANNETT CO INC – NOW EXPECT OUR …

Virginia Based Gannett Announces Furloughs of Springfield News-Leader Reporters

Ozarks Independent

OI reached out to Gannett’s corporate offices for comment but did not receive a response by press time.

Gannett owns the New Bern Sun Journal, which presumably is also going through its own challenges. Its regional publisher, Mike Distelhorst, was recently laid off, and you can safely assume that its remaining staff is not immune from the furloughs and pay cuts that are being experienced at its sister newspapers (not that you’d find out about it reading the Sun Journal).

The Sun Journal may be owned by a national, publicly traded company that is more interested in its stockholders than its employees or customers, but the reporters, photographers, and editors who work for the Sun Journal are local people covering local news.

The Sun Journal’s importance has never been better demonstrated than now, when its small but feisty staff has been leading the way in covering COVID-19’s impacts on New Bern and surrounding communities.

It has even lifted its website paywall on COVID-19-related articles as a service to the community. That’s sort of like Harris Teeter giving away its best cuts of meat to help prevent hunger.

When you think about ways you can support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, don’t forget the Sun Journal. It and its direct ancestors have been covering New Bern since the 1870s, and New Bern itself was home to North Carolina’s first newspaper. Don’t let it wither away.

Subscribe to the Sun Journal. Advertise in the Sun Journal. Regularly visit its website, newbernsj.com. Send news tips to Sun Journal reporters. When you see Sun Journal journalists in the community, let them interview you and take your picture.

Information is everything, and without a robust, local newspaper, we all pay a steep price.

— Randy Foster / New Bern Post

Note: I was editor of the Sun Journal from 2009 to 2017. I resigned over differences with regional management. This is an unsolicited, uncompensated article.

Posted in Business, Community, Health, Journalism, New Bern

April 1st, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Take a look at this Google News report I received today:

NEWS

Gannett suspends dividend and implements cost cuts to offset impact of COVID-19

USA TODAY

Gannett, the owner of USA TODAY and more than 260 other daily publications, is suspending its dividend and implementing a variety of cost cuts to …

Coronavirus prompts furloughs, layoffs and pay cuts at Gannett newspapers

masslive.com

Gannett announced decreased advertising revenue amidst the COVID-19 public health crisis, The Daily Beast reported. CEO Paul Bascobert told …

Gannett Newspaper to Furlough Journalists – American Greatness

Workers at Statesman, other Gannett newspapers facing furloughs during coronavirus pandemic – Austin Business Journal

Gannett Will Cut Pay, Furlough Employees Amid Economic Loss From Coronavirus Pandemic

Democracy Now!

In media news, Gannett — which owns USA Today — has announced it is cutting pay and furloughing employees after a major loss in advertising …

Journal Sentinel’s Glauber, Bice, Spicuzza among newsroom staff furloughed by parent Gannett Co.

Milwaukee Business Journal

Gannett told employees Monday about the furlough program that runs through April, May and June, according to Gannett-owned USA TODAY.

Gannett taking steps to preserve liquidity

Virginia Business Magazine

McLean-based Gannett Co. Inc., the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, is negotiating with its vendors, creditors and pension regulators in order to …

Gannett to furlough journalists

Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project

Gannett to furlough journalists. This story, plus Facebook’s fact checkers struggle to fight surge in coronavirus misinformation, new research exploring …

Gannett: Revenues To Be Significantly Impacted By COVID-19; To Cut Expenses

Nasdaq

Gannett has identified measures that it expects to reduce expenses in 2020 by an additional $100 – $125 million, through implementation of reductions …

As with so many other companies, York Daily Record feels economic crush of coronavirus

York Daily Record/Sunday News

During this time, top executives at Gannett will take a 25 percent reduction in pay. CEO Paul Bascobert will take no salary until these measures can end.

Gannett Expects Revenues To Be Significantly Impacted By Covid-19 Pandemic

Reuters

April 1 (Reuters) – Gannett Co Inc: * GANNETT ANNOUNCES BUSINESS RESPONSE TO COVID-19. * GANNETT CO INC – NOW EXPECT OUR …

Virginia Based Gannett Announces Furloughs of Springfield News-Leader Reporters

Ozarks Independent

OI reached out to Gannett’s corporate offices for comment but did not receive a response by press time.

Gannett owns the New Bern Sun Journal, which presumably is also going through its own challenges. Its regional publisher, Mike Distelhorst, was recently laid off, and you can safely assume that its remaining staff is not immune from the furloughs and pay cuts that are being experienced at its sister newspapers (not that you’d find out about it reading the Sun Journal).

The Sun Journal may be owned by a national, publicly traded company that is more interested in its stockholders than its employees or customers, but the reporters, photographers, and editors who work for the Sun Journal are local people covering local news.

The Sun Journal’s importance has never been better demonstrated than now, when its small but feisty staff has been leading the way in covering COVID-19’s impacts on New Bern and surrounding communities.

It has even lifted its website paywall on COVID-19-related articles as a service to the community. That’s sort of like Harris Teeter giving away its best cuts of meat to help prevent hunger.

When you think about ways you can support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, don’t forget the Sun Journal. It and its direct ancestors have been covering New Bern since the 1870s, and New Bern itself was home to North Carolina’s first newspaper. Don’t let it wither away.

Subscribe to the Sun Journal. Advertise in the Sun Journal. Regularly visit its website, newbernsj.com. Send news tips to Sun Journal reporters. When you see Sun Journal journalists in the community, let them interview you and take your picture.

Information is everything, and without a robust, local newspaper, we all pay a steep price.

— Randy Foster / New Bern Post

Note: I was editor of the Sun Journal from 2009 to 2017. I resigned over differences with regional management. This is an unsolicited, uncompensated article.

Posted in Business, Community, Health, Journalism, New Bern

March 31st, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Secretary of Revenue Ronald G. Penny announced today that the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) is expanding tax relief as part of Governor Roy Cooper’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCDOR will not impose penalties for late filing or payments of many tax types, including sales and use and withholding taxes, through July 15. The NCDOR previously announced tax relief for individuals, corporations, partnerships, trusts, and estates.

“These measures will come as welcome tax relief for individuals and businesses across North Carolina,” Penny said. “We are providing the maximum flexibility under existing state law.”

In the notice issued today, the NCDOR announced that it will not impose penalties for failure to obtain a license, failure to file a return, or failure to pay a tax that is due on March 15, 2020 through July 15, 2020, if the corresponding license is obtained, return is filed, or tax is paid on or before July 15, 2020.

The NCDOR cannot waive interest from the due date under current state law–currently 5% per year, the minimum rate allowed by statute. Additionally, sales and use and withholding taxes are trust taxes and the money collected must be remitted to the state and cannot be used for other purposes.

The relief from Late Action Penalties applies to the following tax types:

• Withholding Tax
• Sales and Use Tax
• Scrap Tire Disposal Tax
• White Goods Disposal Tax;
• Motor Vehicle Lease and Subscription Tax
• Solid Waste Disposal Tax
• 911 Service Charge for Prepaid Telecommunications Service
• Dry-Cleaning Solvent Tax
• Primary Forest Products Tax
• Freight Car Line Companies
• Various Taxes Administered by the Excise Tax Division

Posted in Health, New Bern, State politics

March 31st, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Governor Roy Cooper today announced another step to help families by prohibiting utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during this pandemic. Today’s Order applies to electric, gas, water and wastewater services for the next 60 days. 

The Order directs utilities to give residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills and prohibits them from collecting fees, penalties or interest for late payment.

Telecommunication companies that provide phone, cable and internet services are strongly urged to follow these same rules. 

“This action is particularly important since tomorrow is the first of the month, and I know that’s a date many families fear when they can’t make ends meet,” said Governor Cooper. “These protections will help families stay in their homes and keep vital services like electricity, water, and communications going as we Stay at Home.”

Additionally, the Order encourages banks not to charge customers for overdraft fees, late fees and other penalties. Landlords are strongly encouraged in the Order to follow the spirit of Chief Justice Cheri Beasley’s Order and delay any evictions that are already entered in the court system. 

Governor Cooper was joined by Attorney General Josh Stein to announce the order and he thanked companies that have already voluntarily announced policies to prevent shutoffs, including Duke Energy, Dominion Energy, AT&T, and local electric co-ops, among many others. Today’s Order follows the Governor’s Stay At Home order, which is in effect until April 29.

The Council of State concurred with the Order today. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Executive Order No. 124 March 31, 2020

This Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) document provides guidance for the implementation of Executive Order No. 124 (“Order”).

In addition, check with your local government to determine whether additional restrictions exist in your area to limit the spread of COVID-19.

This information is subject to change in light of new CDC guidance and additional Executive Orders or local government declarations.

FAQs for Executive Order No. 124

When does this Order go into effect, and when does it expire?

This Executive Order is effective on March 31, 2020. It will remain in effect for sixty days or until adjusted by a superseding Executive Order. An Executive Order rescinding the State of Emergency in North Carolina will rescind this Executive Order.

Assisting NC Utility Customers

What protections does this EO provide to residential utility customers?

The Executive Order provides reasonable protections to residential utility customers in light of the COVID-19 emergency.

On Tuesday, March 31, 2020 Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order that assists North Carolinians by prohibiting utility shut-offs and late fees, urging utility reconnection; providing guidance on eviction restrictions; and urging financial institutions, including banks and mortgage lenders, to implement relief measures for individuals and businesses who are experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19. This provides relief to North Carolinians harmed financially by COVID-19 and helps to slow the spread of COVID-19 by preventing homelessness and ensuring that people have access to essential utilities. Below are frequently asked questions and their answers.

The Order addresses the following:

• Prohibits utilities from shutting off people’s electricity, natural gas, and water service for nonpayment.

• Prohibits utilities from billing or collecting any fees, penalties, or interest for late or untimely payment.

• Directs utilities to give residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills without owing interest fees.

• Reminds customers they are responsible for paying bills for utility services received.

• Requires utilities to inform residential customers of important provisions in the Executive Order.

Why are these utility-customer protections needed?

Because of the Stay at Home Order, many North Carolina residents are at home and need access to electricity, water, and natural gas service. These services will help ensure that residents will be able to wash hands regularly and follow other best practices for safety and hygiene. This Executive Order also will facilitate access to education, telemedicine, and teleworking, activities that benefit public health and a strong economy.

What utilities are covered by this Executive Order?

This Order covers utilities that provide electricity, natural gas, water, or wastewater services, as well as those that provide a combination of these services to residential customers.

So my utility service provider cannot shut off my electricity, natural gas, or water service?

Correct. Your utility cannot shut off your residential service while the Executive Order is effective. But you are still responsible for paying your bills.

Does this mean I don’t have to pay my electricity, natural gas, or water bills?

No. All customers are still responsible for paying their utility bills.

Can I have more time to pay off my bills?

Utilities will offer extended repayment plans that allow residential customers at least six months to pay unpaid bills without owing interest charges. This six-month period will apply to outstanding bill payments accumulated during the effective period of this Executive Order plus 120 days.

Can utility providers charge me late fees?

As of March 31, 2020, no utility may bill or collect any fee, charge, penalty, or interest for a late or otherwise untimely payment.

To which types of utility customers does the Executive Order apply?

This Executive Order applies to residential customers.

How does this Executive Order impact actions by the North Carolina Utilities Commission on utilities shutoffs?

If there are differences between the Governor’s Order and an order issued by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, you should follow this order. Provisions of any order by the Commission apply if they are consistent with the Governor’s Order.

How will the requirements on utilities be enforced?

The North Carolina Utilities Commission will assist utilities with implementing the Executive Order and provide a weekly implementation report to the Governor. The Commission and the Attorney General are authorized to enforce the Executive Order through their existing legal authorities.

Guidance on Cable, Telecommunications, and Related Services

Does the Executive Order address providers of telephone, cellular, cable, and Internet service?

The Executive Order urges providers of telecommunications, mobile telecommunications, cable, Internet, and wireless Internet service to follow the guidelines described above for electricity, natural gas, and water utilities. In addition, telecommunications service providers are urged to lift data caps where they have not done so already.

Guidance on Eviction Proceedings

When does this Order go into effect, and when does it expire?

The guidance related to eviction proceedings should be considered effective immediately and should continue to be a consideration until April 17, or any later date that is subsequently ordered.

How does this impact the Chief Justice’s action on eviction?

The guidance in Governor Cooper’s Executive Order supports the Chief Justice’s action on eviction. Through this Order, the Governor encourages clerks of superior court and sheriffs to follow the spirit of Chief Justice Beasley’s order. The Governor, along with the Attorney General, encourages clerks of superior court to delay issuing any evictions, and encourages sheriffs to delay execution of eviction orders (“Writs of Possession of Real Property”) that have already been issued.

For additional information on Chief Justice Beasley’s action on eviction, visit https://www.nccourts.gov/covid-19-coronavirus-updates.

Does this mean the Sheriff can’t remove me from my home even if eviction orders have been issued?

Through this Executive Order, the Governor and Attorney General are encouraging sheriffs to delay executing eviction orders (“Writs of Possession of Real Property”). Sheriffs, however, still have the discretion not to follow this guidance and continue processing eviction orders that have already been issued.

How does this impact mortgage foreclosures?

Through the guidance in this Executive Order, the Governor and Attorney General encourage lenders to work with property owners to provide loan payment flexibility to avoid mortgage foreclosures.

Does this mean that tenants don’t have to pay rent?

The Governor’s Order neither relieves a tenant from the obligation to pay rent nor restrict the landlord’s ability to recover rent that is due, including any late fees or penalties.

I am a tenant and cannot pay my rent. What do I need to do?

We strongly encourage you to notify your landlord as soon as possible and discuss a plan for repayment. Renters may also call 2-1-1 to learn about potential rental assistance resources.

Will my bank still charge overdraft or other fees?

Financial institutions will still have discretion to apply fees. The Executive Order does, however, encourage financial institutions to assist customers who can demonstrate financial hardship caused by COVID-19.

Will I still have to make mortgage payments if I’m experiencing financial hardship caused by COVID-19?

This Order does not relieve customers from making any loan payments that are due. This Executive Order encourages financial institutions to consider financial hardship that customers may be experiencing due to COVID-19, but these institutions are not required to waive fees or make other accommodations.

Posted in Health, New Bern, State news

March 31st, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

The fifth and sixth cases of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Craven County, and constitute Craven County’s first confirmed cases of community transmission.

Community transmission means there is spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. Both cases are adults who were tested at private physician offices in Craven County.  

The tests were sent to LabCorp for testing. These confirmed cases were reported to the Craven County Health Department on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, by state health officials.

The individuals from each case have been in isolation since symptom onset and are recovering at home.  Due to patient confidentiality, no additional details about these individuals or where they were tested can be provided.  

Craven County public health officials have been in contact with both individuals since notified of the positive test results this morning. These cases are not related, nor are they related to any previous positive cases or to travel.

Craven County Health Department’s Communicable Disease staff is working to conduct contact tracing to make sure everyone who came into close contact with these individuals is quarantined. Close contact is anyone who was within six feet of the individual for 10 minutes or more. While Craven County has had six confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, four of those individuals have recovered, are doing well, and are out of isolation. Only one positive case resulted from the 25 tests completed at the drive-up test site at the Craven County Health Department held March 20, 23 and 25, 2020.

“The fact that we have confirmed community transmission does not change what we should be doing. It does reinforce the need to keep up the social distancing measures, hand washing and six feet of separation when we are out doing essential functions,” stated Scott Harrelson, Craven County Health Director.

Residents who feel they are symptomatic and in need of testing need to call ahead to their primary care physician to receive instructions for how to proceed.  Anyone who is symptomatic should not just present at a medical provider’s office without calling ahead first. 

Craven County Government COVID-19 updates will appear on the Craven County website at www.cravencountync.gov, on the Craven County Facebook page @cravencounty and the Craven County Twitter account @cravencountync.  Residents are also encouraged to register to receive notifications via the Craven County website and to register to receive emergency notifications via text, email and phone calls through the CodeRed Emergency Notification System.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health website at https://ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.

Posted in Community, Craven County, Health, New Bern

March 30th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

An employee at a physical therapy provider with offices in New Bern and Jacksonville tested positive for COVID-19.

Carolina Orthopedics Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy was informed Friday, March 27, 2020, that one of its employees tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member’s last day at either of their offices was Friday, March 20, 2020.

The employee, who works in the New Bern office at 738 Newman Road, New Bern, and in the Jacksonville office at 201 Williamsburg Parkway, Jacksonville, has been in isolation since Monday, March 23, 2020, and is recovering at home in Pitt County.

“At Carolina Orthopedics, the safety and well being of our patients, team members and the communities we serve is our top priority and we are proceeding with an abundance of caution,” the company said.

In response to the employee’s confirmed positive COVID-19 test, Carolina Orthopedics will be closed the week of March 30 through April 3.

“During this closure, we will sanitize and disinfect both of our offices to ensure the health and well-being of our patients, providers and staff,” the company said.

Posted in Business, Craven County, Health, New Bern

March 29th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

The fourth case of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been confirmed in Craven County.

The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 is an adult who recently moved to Craven County from out of state.  

This individual was tested on March 25, 2020, through the drive-up COVID-19 test site at the Craven County Health Department and that test was sent to the North Carolina State Lab of Public Health.

This confirmed case was reported to the Craven County Health Department on Friday, March 27, 2020, by state health officials. The individual has been in isolation since symptom onset and is recovering at home.  

Craven County public health officials have been in contact with this individual since notified of the positive test results this afternoon.

Craven County Health Department’s Communicable Disease staff is working to conduct contact tracing to make sure everyone who came into close contact with this individual is quarantined.

Close contact is anyone who was within six feet of the individual for 10 minutes or more.  Contract tracing works by interviewing the individual to identify all places the person went while symptomatic and determining who the person came in close contact with.  

For example, identifying those individuals can include talking to employers to identify employees the person came in close contact with as well as looking at store and restaurant cash receipts to see customers the person may have come into close contact with.  The Communicable Disease staff will make every effort to notify those they can identify who came into close contact with the person who tested positive and those individuals will be instructed to quarantine at home for 14 days.

While Craven County has had four confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, two of those individuals have recovered and are out of isolation and the third is doing well and was expected to end isolation March 28, 2020.

No positive test cases resulted from the 14 tests completed at the drive-up test site on March 20 and 23.  Further test results are still pending from the drive-up clinic held on March 25, 2020.

“All of the positive COVID-19 cases thus far have been travel related and at this time, is a good indicator that Craven County does not have community transmission,” said Scott Harrelson, Craven County health director. “I would like to thank the residents of Craven County for following social distance guidelines and for staying home to reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.  While we do not see that we have community transmission at this time, this is not the time to stop being cautious.”

Residents who feel they are symptomatic and in need of testing need to call ahead to their primary care physician to receive instructions for how to proceed.  Anyone who is symptomatic should not just present at a medical provider’s office without calling ahead first. 

There are other upper respiratory illnesses present locally, the seasonal flu, and it is allergy season, which can also produce similar symptoms. There is no data to support that Craven County has community transmission. The four confirmed cases in Craven County are travel-related.

Craven County Government COVID-19 updates will appear on the Craven County website at www.cravencountync.gov, on the Craven County Facebook page @cravencounty and the Craven County Twitter account @cravencountync.  Residents are also encouraged to register to receive notifications via the Craven County website and to register to receive emergency notifications via text, email and phone calls through the CodeRed Emergency Notification System.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health website at https://ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.

Posted in Craven County, Health, New Bern

March 24th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

The third case of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been confirmed in a Craven County resident who was tested March 17, 2020.

The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 is an adult who traveled out of state. This individual was tested by a private physician for COVID-19 and that test was sent to LabCorp.

This confirmed case was reported to the Craven County Health Department on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 by state health officials. The individual has been symptom free since March 20, 2020 and is now considered a recovered case.

Craven County public health officials have been in contact with this individual since notified of the positive test results this morning.

Craven County Health Department’s Communicable Disease staff is working to conduct contact tracing to make sure everyone who came into close contact with this individual is quarantined.

Close contact is anyone who was within six feet of the individual for 10 minutes or more. Contract tracing works by interviewing the individual to identify all places the person went while symptomatic and determining who the person came in close contact with.

For example, identifying those individuals can include talking to employers to identify employees the person came in close contact with as well as looking at store and restaurant cash receipts to see customers the person may have come into close contact with.

The Communicable Disease staff will make every effort to notify those they can identify who came into close contact with the person who tested positive and those individuals will be instructed to quarantine at home for 14 days.

Residents who feel they are symptomatic and in need of testing need to call ahead to their primary care physician to receive instructions for how to proceed. Anyone who is symptomatic should not just present at a medical provider’s office without calling ahead first.

There are other upper respiratory illnesses present locally, the seasonal flu and it is allergy season which can also produce similar symptoms. There is no data to support that Craven County has community transmission, the three confirmed cases in Craven County are travel-related.

Craven County Government COVID-19 updates will appear on the Craven County website at www.cravencountync.gov, on the Craven County Facebook page @cravencounty and the Craven County Twitter account @cravencountync. Residents are also encouraged to register to receive notifications via the Craven County website and to register to receive emergency notifications via text, email and phone calls through the CodeRed Emergency Notification System.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health website at https://ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.

Posted in Craven County, Health, New Bern

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