Category: State news

May 19th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services | Knowing when to dial up or down social distancing and other protections depends on two factors: our Trends in key metrics and our capacity to conduct Testing and Tracing.

Learn more about the Governor’s plan on Staying Ahead of the Curve.

Trend Metrics

Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen announced a combination of key metrics that North Carolina is watching to inform decisions to ease restrictions.  Because each has limitations, no one metric should be viewed in isolation. These are:

COVID-Like Illness Surveillance

Is North Carolina seeing a continued downward trajectory or sustained leveling of COVID-Like Illnesses in its surveillance systems? 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is using all available tools to monitor the spread of COVID-19 across the state. In addition to tracking and reporting of laboratory-confirmed cases, NCDHHS is using many of the same systems that are used to track influenza and other respiratory illnesses each season.

Mild COVID-19 illness presents with symptoms similar to influenza-like illness, so surveillance systems that have historically been used during influenza seasons are being used to track trends of mild COVID-19 illness and allow for comparison with prior influenza seasons. These data are updated weekly in the COVID-19 Surveillance Summary.
Limitation: These numbers represent only people seeking care in the Emergency Department (ED). Other data show that fewer people than normal are seeking ED care during COVID-19.
ED Visits for COVID-like illnesses compared to previous seasons

 

Laboratory-Confirmed Cases

Is North Carolina seeing a downward trajectory over 14 days, or sustained leveling in new cases?

These are laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases, by date reported. You can also see COVID-19 cases reported by date of specimen collection.
Limitation: These numbers only reflect laboratory-confirmed cases and not all people who have or had COVID-19.

COVID-19 Cases by Date Reported

 

Positive Tests

Is North Carolina seeing a 14-day downward trajectory or sustained leveling of positive tests as a percentage of total tests?

As we ramp up testing, there will be more laboratory-confirmed cases. Looking at what percent of total tests are positive helps us understand whether laboratory-confirmed cases are increasing in comparison to the number of tests conducted.

To calculate this, North Carolina uses positive tests and total test numbers from labs that reported both positive and negative tests electronically into the NC Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NC EDSS). This ensures that the positive and total tests were conducted on the same day to calculate a more accurate daily percent positive.
Limitation: While most labs report negative results, we do not get this data from all labs. The labs used in the percent positive calculation represent the majority of total tests reported to the state.

Positive Tests as a Percent of Total Cases

 

Hospitalizations

Is North Carolina seeing a 14-day downward trajectory or sustained leveling in the number of people currently hospitalized?

This shows the number of people who are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 by reporting hospitals. Expanded data from reporting hospitals.
Limitation: People stay in the hospital multiple days with COVID-19, and so this reflects the number of people reported by hospitals.
Current COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Testing and Tracing Capacity

We need to continue to build the state’s capacity to identify who has COVID-19, who that individual may have been in contact with so those people can take precautions to avoid infecting others, and have enough critical supplies on hand to keep frontline workers safe.

Testing

Does North Carolina have the capacity to test an average of 5,000 to 7,000 people daily? 

This shows the number of total tests reported each day to NCDHHS. The average is taken as a seven-day rolling average.
Limitation: While most labs report negative tests, we do not get this data from all labs. While positive cases must be reported immediately, negative tests can be reported in batches; for example, when a new lab begins reporting it will often report for more than the previous 24 hours. This often explains high days of reported testing.

 

Total Tests Reported

 

Tracing

Does North Carolina have sufficient capacity to conduct contact tracing?

Contact tracing identifies contacts of a person who have tested positive for COVID-19 to determine if those people may also be positive. This helps North Carolina understand the spread of the disease, and more rapidly identify people who may have COVID-19.

North Carolina currently has more than 250 contact tracers with local health departments. We aim to double this, to at least 500 contact tracers, as well as deploying digital tracing technology to support contact tracers.

Tracing Measure Status
Number of Contact Tracers 250 Tracers
Digital Technology Deployment On April 27, NCDHHS announced the formation of the Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative. The Collaborative is now hiring tracers.

Personal Protective Equipment

Does North Carolina have adequate supplies to fill requests for at least 30 days?

We need to ensure we have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for critical healthcare and frontline workers and to conduct the needed testing. We also need to be prepared if there is another increase in cases once measures are dialed back.

This shows us an estimate for how many days of supplies the state currently has on hand. Days of supply is estimated based on the average daily requests from healthcare system surveys. Expanded data on personal protective equipment.

Critical Supplies Average Requests per Day Estimated Days of Supplies on Hand
Face Shields 1,449 391
Gloves 29,568 432
Gowns 9,772 0
N95 Respirators 3,840 32
Procedure Masks 20,579 269

Posted in Health, State news

May 17th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County saw an increase of 39 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, bringing its running total to 125 cases as of 11:30 a.m. on May 17, 2020. It is the largest one-day increase for Craven County since the start of the pandemic.

Of the 125 cases, 16 were confirmed on Saturday, May 16, 2020, and 23 have been confirmed today.

The new cases of COVID-19 are due to direct contact with a previously confirmed positive cases. The health department did not say whether the new cases were related to a cluster that has been growing since early last week.

There are now more than twice as many active cases (81) as there are recovered cases (40).

The recovered cases completed the necessary isolation requirement and have been free of COVID-19 symptoms for at least 72 hours.

Of the 125 cases, seven have been related to out of state travel, 24 are from community transmission, and 94 are a direct contact with a previously confirmed positive.

There have been four deaths related to COVID-19. Of the active COVID-19 cases, one is currently hospitalized.

 

Total Confirmed Cases Craven County

Active Cases

Craven County

Recovered 

Craven County

Deaths

Craven County

Currently Hospitalized 

Craven County

125

81

40

4

1

 

The Craven County Health Department works with state, commercial, and private labs to track the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Craven County. Health care providers determine which lab they send their COVID-19 tests to. There are multiple hospital and commercial labs that conduct COVID-19 tests. These labs manage their own supplies and operate independently from the Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health.

Craven County will continue to track and post the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases; however, it is important to recognize there are many people with COVID-19 who will not be included in daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases, including:

  • People who had minimal or no symptoms and were not tested.
  • People who had symptoms but did not seek medical care.
  • People who sought medical care but were not tested.
  • People with COVID-19 in whom the virus was not detected by testing.

The number of laboratory-confirmed cases will increasingly provide a limited picture of the spread of infections in Craven County as COVID-19 becomes more widespread and the number of infected people who are not included in the daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases increases.

 

Region

The region in and around Craven County saw an increase of 51 cases over the past 24 hours, with 39 of those cases being reported in Craven County. There were no significant jumps other than Craven County.

State

North Carolina saw 1,383 new lab-confirmed cases and 18 deaths over the past 24 hours.

Updated daily by 11 a.m. Last updated 11:00 a.m., May 17, 2020. 

Laboratory-Confirmed Cases Deaths Completed Tests Currently Hospitalized Number of Counties
18,512 659 248,944 493 99

Knowing when to dial up or down social distancing and other protections depends on two factors: our Trends in key metrics, and our capacity to conduct Testing and Tracing. Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen announced a combination of key metrics that North Carolina is watching to inform decisions to ease restrictions. These key metrics are included below. 

New: Weekly report on COVID-19 Patients Presumed to be Recovered updated every Monday by 4 p.m.

Laboratory-Confirmed Cases reflect cases that were tested and returned positive, including the NC State Laboratory of Public Health, reporting hospitals and commercial labs. All data are preliminary. Not all cases of COVID-19 are tested, so this does not represent the total number of people in North Carolina who have or had COVID-19.

Deaths reflect deaths in persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 reported by local health departments to the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

Completed tests reflect testing completed by the NC State Laboratory of Public Health, reporting hospitals and commercial labs.

Currently hospitalized reflect the number of patients with COVID-19 that are currently hospitalized in reporting hospitals.

For COVID-19 U.S. case information go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Statistics, by county

County County seat Pop.

(2017 est.)[6]

Region Lab-confirmed cases Deaths
Alamance County Graham 157,844 Central 207 11
Alexander County Taylorsville 37,159 Western 21 0
Alleghany County Sparta 10,935 Western 11 0
Anson County Wadesboro 25,531 Central 47 0
Ashe County Jefferson 26,833 Western 27 0
Avery County Newland 17,535 Western 0 0
Beaufort County Washington 47,316 Eastern 27 0
Bertie County Windsor 19,913 Eastern 87 3
Bladen County Elizabethtown 34,130 Eastern 71 2
Brunswick County Bolivia 122,586 Eastern 55 2
Buncombe County Asheville 252,268 Western 168 4
Burke County Morganton 88,898 Western 195 14
Cabarrus County Concord 196,716 Central 379 19
Caldwell County Lenoir 81,805 Western 83 2
Camden County Camden 10,336 Eastern 2 0
Carteret County Beaufort 68,699 Eastern 35 3
Caswell County Yanceyville 22,833 Central 43 1
Catawba County Newton 156,182 Western 100 2
Chatham County Pittsboro 68,364 Central 507 24
Cherokee County Murphy 27,463 Western 17 1
Chowan County Edenton 14,370 Eastern 14 0
Clay County Hayesville 10,753 Western 5 0
Cleveland County Shelby 97,038 Western 54 2
Columbus County Whiteville 56,589 Eastern 235 18
Craven County New Bern 103,374 Eastern 94 4
Cumberland County Fayetteville 332,766 Eastern 468 12
Currituck County Currituck 25,247 Eastern 11 0
Dare County Manteo 35,412 Eastern 18 1
Davidson County Lexington 164,118 Central 288 10
Davie County Mocksville 41,766 Western 45 2
Duplin County Kenansville 59,350 Eastern 388 8
Durham County Durham 300,865 Central 986 36
Edgecombe County Tarboro 54,032 Eastern 170 8
Forsyth County Winston-Salem 368,362 Central 651 7
Franklin County Louisburg 63,866 Eastern 122 20
Gaston County Gastonia 214,049 Western 203 6
Gates County Gatesville 11,601 Eastern 14 0
Graham County Robbinsville 8,607 Western 2 0
Granville County Oxford 58,503 Eastern 196 6
Greene County Snow Hill 21,059 Eastern 45 1
Guilford County Greensboro 517,197 Central 846 47
Halifax County Halifax 52,300 Eastern 106 1
Harnett County Lillington 128,753 Eastern 246 17
Haywood County Waynesville 59,854 Western 25 0
Henderson County Hendersonville 112,156 Western 282 38
Hertford County Winton 24,262 Eastern 52 1
Hoke County Raeford 52,571 Eastern 149 0
Hyde County Swan Quarter 5,507 Eastern 1 0
Iredell County Statesville 169,798 Western 188 5
Jackson County Sylva 41,725 Western 24 1
Johnston County Smithfield 186,308 Eastern 247 17
Jones County Trenton 9,776 Eastern 21 2
Lee County Sanford 59,805 Central 317 3
Lenoir County Kinston 57,934 Eastern 153 5
Lincoln County Lincolnton 80,504 Western 48 0
Macon County Franklin 21,347 Western 4 1
Madison County Marshall 23,227 Western 2 0
Martin County Williamston 45,069 Eastern 35 4
McDowell County Marion 34,160 Western 30 1
Mecklenburg County Charlotte 1,034,290 Central 2,591 63
Mitchell County Bakersville 15,155 Western 8 0
Montgomery County Troy 27,445 Central 56 3
Moore County Carthage 94,191 Central 116 10
Nash County Nashville 94,125 Eastern 149 3
New Hanover County Wilmington 219,866 Eastern 120 3
Northampton County Jackson 20,426 Eastern 129 10
Onslow County Jacksonville 192,685 Eastern 71 2
Orange County Hillsborough 141,812 Central 275 36
Pamlico County Bayboro 12,803 Eastern 8 0
Pasquotank County Elizabeth City 39,546 Eastern 88 7
Pender County Burgaw 57,630 Eastern 45 1
Perquimans County Hertford 13,506 Eastern 23 2
Person County Roxboro 39,240 Central 31 1
Pitt County Greenville 176,484 Eastern 207 2
Polk County Columbus 20,434 Western 31 3
Randolph County Asheboro 142,827 Central 455 6
Richmond County Rockingham 45,447 Central 112 2
Robeson County Lumberton 134,187 Eastern 518 6
Rockingham County Wentworth 91,566 Central 46 2
Rowan County Salisbury 138,940 Central 526 25
Rutherford County Rutherfordton 66,523 Western 153 5
Sampson County Clinton 63,664 Eastern 244 1
Scotland County Laurinburg 35,445 Central 52 0
Stanly County Albemarle 60,875 Central 32 4
Stokes County Danbury 46,124 Central 30 0
Surry County Dobson 72,315 Western 89 1
Swain County Bryson City 14,208 Western 6 0
Transylvania County Brevard 33,291 Western 7 0
Tyrrell County Columbia 4,090 Eastern 4 0
Union County Monroe 222,095 Central 352 16
Vance County Henderson 44,420 Eastern 191 16
Wake County Raleigh 1,023,811 Eastern 1,212 28
Warren County Warrenton 20,190 Eastern 29 0
Washington County Plymouth 12,331 Eastern 26 3
Watauga County Boone 53,421 Western 9 0
Wayne County Goldsboro 124,496 Eastern 832 15
Wilkes County Wilkesboro 68,525 Western 423 1
Wilson County Wilson 81,379 Eastern 238 9
Yadkin County Yadkinville 37,825 Western 103 1
Yancey County Burnsville 17,605 Western 8 0

Posted in Craven County, Health, State news

May 15th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Bookmark this web page. It will be updated at least once daily and includes a combination of data points. More sources will be added as they become reliably available.

Sources:
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Craven County Health Department
Lenoir County Health Department
Wikipedia

 

By county

County County seat Pop.

(2017 est.)[6]

Region Lab-confirmed cases Deaths
Alamance County Graham 157,844 Central 190 9
Alexander County Taylorsville 37,159 Western 15 0
Alleghany County Sparta 10,935 Western 10 0
Anson County Wadesboro 25,531 Central 0 0
Ashe County Jefferson 26,833 Western 41 0
Avery County Newland 17,535 Western 17 0
Beaufort County Washington 47,316 Eastern 26 0
Bertie County Windsor 19,913 Eastern 74 3
Bladen County Elizabethtown 34,130 Eastern 66 2
Brunswick County Bolivia 122,586 Eastern 51 2
Buncombe County Asheville 252,268 Western 116 4
Burke County Morganton 88,898 Western 159 14
Cabarrus County Concord 196,716 Central 362 18
Caldwell County Lenoir 81,805 Western 71 1
Camden County Camden 10,336 Eastern 2 0
Carteret County Beaufort 68,699 Eastern 34 3
Caswell County Yanceyville 22,833 Central 41 1
Catawba County Newton 156,182 Western 90 2
Chatham County Pittsboro 68,364 Central 490 11
Cherokee County Murphy 27,463 Western 18 1
Chowan County Edenton 14,370 Eastern 12 0
Clay County Hayesville 10,753 Western 5 0
Cleveland County Shelby 97,038 Western 53 2
Columbus County Whiteville 56,589 Eastern 226 17
Craven County New Bern 103,374 Eastern 72 4
Cumberland County Fayetteville 332,766 Eastern 413 11
Currituck County Currituck 25,247 Eastern 11 0
Dare County Manteo 35,412 Eastern 17 1
Davidson County Lexington 164,118 Central 243 10
Davie County Mocksville 41,766 Western 40 2
Duplin County Kenansville 59,350 Eastern 305 4
Durham County Durham 300,865 Central 924 36
Edgecombe County Tarboro 54,032 Eastern 161 7
Forsyth County Winston-Salem 368,362 Central 508 5
Franklin County Louisburg 63,866 Eastern 121 20
Gaston County Gastonia 214,049 Western 189 5
Gates County Gatesville 11,601 Eastern 12 0
Graham County Robbinsville 8,607 Western 2 0
Granville County Oxford 58,503 Eastern 178 6
Greene County Snow Hill 21,059 Eastern 40 1
Guilford County Greensboro 517,197 Central 705 45
Halifax County Halifax 52,300 Eastern 100 1
Harnett County Lillington 128,753 Eastern 235 15
Haywood County Waynesville 59,854 Western 19 0
Henderson County Hendersonville 112,156 Western 257 35
Hertford County Winton 24,262 Eastern 49 1
Hoke County Raeford 52,571 Eastern 134 0
Hyde County Swan Quarter 5,507 Eastern 1 0
Iredell County Statesville 169,798 Western 166 5
Jackson County Sylva 41,725 Western 22 1
Johnston County Smithfield 186,308 Eastern 228 17
Jones County Trenton 9,776 Eastern 21 2
Lee County Sanford 59,805 Central 293 3
Lenoir County Kinston 57,934 Eastern 134 5
Lincoln County Lincolnton 80,504 Western 44 0
Macon County Franklin 21,347 Western 3 1
Madison County Marshall 23,227 Western 1 0
Martin County Williamston 45,069 Eastern 34 4
McDowell County Marion 34,160 Western 29 1
Mecklenburg County Charlotte 1,034,290 Central 2,320 62
Mitchell County Bakersville 15,155 Western 5 0
Montgomery County Troy 27,445 Central 47 3
Moore County Carthage 94,191 Central 113 10
Nash County Nashville 94,125 Eastern 140 3
New Hanover County Wilmington 219,866 Eastern 116 3
Northampton County Jackson 20,426 Eastern 126 9
Onslow County Jacksonville 192,685 Eastern 63 2
Orange County Hillsborough 141,812 Central 263 34
Pamlico County Bayboro 12,803 Eastern 8 0
Pasquotank County Elizabeth City 39,546 Eastern 80 5
Pender County Burgaw 57,630 Eastern 43 1
Perquimans County Hertford 13,506 Eastern 20 2
Person County Roxboro 39,240 Central 31 1
Pitt County Greenville 176,484 Eastern 185 2
Polk County Columbus 20,434 Western 32 3
Randolph County Asheboro 142,827 Central 392 6
Richmond County Rockingham 45,447 Central 100 2
Robeson County Lumberton 134,187 Eastern 448 4
Rockingham County Wentworth 91,566 Central 44 2
Rowan County Salisbury 138,940 Central 507 25
Rutherford County Rutherfordton 66,523 Western 153 5
Sampson County Clinton 63,664 Eastern 203 1
Scotland County Laurinburg 35,445 Central 46 0
Stanly County Albemarle 60,875 Central 31 4
Stokes County Danbury 46,124 Central 20 0
Surry County Dobson 72,315 Western 62 1
Swain County Bryson City 14,208 Western 5 0
Transylvania County Brevard 33,291 Western 7 0
Tyrrell County Columbia 4,090 Eastern 4 0
Union County Monroe 222,095 Central 313 16
Vance County Henderson 44,420 Eastern 175 16
Wake County Raleigh 1,023,811 Eastern 1,107 27
Warren County Warrenton 20,190 Eastern 25 0
Washington County Plymouth 12,331 Eastern 26 3
Watauga County Boone 53,421 Western 9 0
Wayne County Goldsboro 124,496 Eastern 775 14
Wilkes County Wilkesboro 68,525 Western 277 1
Wilson County Wilson 81,379 Eastern 218 9
Yadkin County Yadkinville 37,825 Western 80 1
Yancey County Burnsville 17,605 Western 8 0

Eastern North Carolina

Beaufort County Washington 47,316 26 0 Eastern
Bertie County Windsor 19,913 74 3 Eastern
Bladen County Elizabethtown 34,130 66 2 Eastern
Brunswick County Bolivia 122,586 51 2 Eastern
Camden County Camden 10,336 2 0 Eastern
Carteret County Beaufort 68,699 34 3 Eastern
Chowan County Edenton 14,370 12 0 Eastern
Columbus County Whiteville 56,589 226 17 Eastern
Craven County New Bern 103,374 72 4 Eastern
Cumberland County Fayetteville 332,766 413 11 Eastern
Currituck County Currituck 25,247 11 0 Eastern
Dare County Manteo 35,412 17 1 Eastern
Duplin County Kenansville 59,350 305 4 Eastern
Edgecombe County Tarboro 54,032 161 7 Eastern
Franklin County Louisburg 63,866 121 20 Eastern
Gates County Gatesville 11,601 12 0 Eastern
Granville County Oxford 58,503 178 6 Eastern
Greene County Snow Hill 21,059 40 1 Eastern
Halifax County Halifax 52,300 100 1 Eastern
Harnett County Lillington 128,753 235 15 Eastern
Hertford County Winton 24,262 49 1 Eastern
Hoke County Raeford 52,571 134 0 Eastern
Hyde County Swan Quarter 5,507 1 0 Eastern
Johnston County Smithfield 186,308 228 17 Eastern
Jones County Trenton 9,776 21 2 Eastern
Lenoir County Kinston 57,934 134 5 Eastern
Martin County Williamston 45,069 34 4 Eastern
Nash County Nashville 94,125 140 3 Eastern
New Hanover County Wilmington 219,866 116 3 Eastern
Northampton County Jackson 20,426 126 9 Eastern
Onslow County Jacksonville 192,685 63 2 Eastern
Pamlico County Bayboro 12,803 8 0 Eastern
Pasquotank County Elizabeth City 39,546 80 5 Eastern
Pender County Burgaw 57,630 43 1 Eastern
Perquimans County Hertford 13,506 20 2 Eastern
Pitt County Greenville 176,484 185 2 Eastern
Robeson County Lumberton 134,187 448 4 Eastern
Sampson County Clinton 63,664 203 1 Eastern
Tyrrell County Columbia 4,090 4 0 Eastern
Vance County Henderson 44,420 175 16 Eastern
Wake County Raleigh 1,023,811 1,107 27 Eastern
Warren County Warrenton 20,190 25 0 Eastern
Washington County Plymouth 12,331 26 3 Eastern
Wayne County Goldsboro 124,496 775 14 Eastern
Wilson County Wilson 81,379 218 9 Eastern

 

Counties of similar size to Craven County

Rockingham County Wentworth 91,566 44 2 Central
Nash County Nashville 94,125 140 3 Eastern
Moore County Carthage 94,191 113 10 Central
Cleveland County Shelby 97,038 53 2 Western
Craven County New Bern 103,374 72 4 Eastern
Henderson County Hendersonville 112,156 257 35 Western

 

Counties in and around Craven County

Posted in Craven County, Health, State news

May 13th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, attributed to a cluster isolated to a segment of friends and family members.

No further details were provided by the Health Department about the cluster.

It can be concluded, however, that a majority of the new cases reside in the 28562 ZIP code area of New Bern, which also saw a spike in cases,

The new cases bring Craven County’s case count to 69 based on Health Department accounting methods, and 71 based on North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services accounts.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is still reporting 55 cases in Craven County as of noon Wednesday, and does not include this new cluster of 14 people.

The two reporting agencies often differ from day to day.

Of the 14 new cases, seven were confirmed in the afternoon on May 12, 2020 and seven were confirmed on May 13, 2020.

Out of the 69 confirmed positive cases reported by the Craven County Health Department, 37 of those individuals have recovered, 28 are still sick, and four have died.

A person is considered recovered if they are doing well and are out of isolation. The recovered cases completed the necessary isolation requirement and have been free of COVID-19 symptoms for at least 72 hours.

Of the 69 cases, seven have been related to out of state travel, 23 are from community transmission, and 39 are a direct contact with a previously confirmed positive within the community.

Of the active COVID-19 cases, one is currently hospitalized.

 

Total Confirmed Cases Craven County

Active Cases

Craven County

Recovered 

Craven County

Deaths

Craven County

Currently Hospitalized 

Craven County

69

28

37

4

1

 

The Craven County Health Department works with state, commercial, and private labs to track the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Craven County. Health care providers determine which lab they send their COVID-19 tests to.

There are multiple hospital and commercial labs that conduct COVID-19 tests. These labs manage their own supplies and operate independently from the Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health.

Craven County will continue to track and post the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases; however, it is important to recognize there are many people with COVID-19 who will not be included in daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases, including:

  • People who had minimal or no symptoms and were not tested.
  • People who had symptoms but did not seek medical care.
  • People who sought medical care but were not tested.
  • People with COVID-19 in whom the virus was not detected by testing.

The number of laboratory-confirmed cases will increasingly provide a limited picture of the spread of infections in Craven County as COVID-19 becomes more widespread and the number of infected people who are not included in the daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases increases.

Region

In the region in and around Craven County, 20 confirmed cases and one death were reported over the past 24 hours. The largest growth was attributed to Craven County’s cluster of 14.

State

Updated daily by 11 a.m. Last updated 10:40 a.m., May 13, 2020. 

Laboratory-Confirmed Cases Deaths Completed Tests Currently Hospitalized Number of Counties
15,816 597  210,457 521 99

 

N.C. confirmed cases: 15,816 (+470 or +3.1 percent since Tuesday). N.C. deaths: 597 (+20 or +3.5 percent since Tuesday)

Knowing when to dial up or down social distancing and other protections depends on two factors: our Trends in key metrics, and our capacity to conduct Testing and Tracing. Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen announced a combination of key metrics that North Carolina is watching to inform decisions to ease restrictions. These key metrics are included below. 

New: Weekly report on COVID-19 Patients Presumed to be Recovered updated every Monday by 4 p.m.

Laboratory-Confirmed Cases reflect cases that were tested and returned positive, including the NC State Laboratory of Public Health, reporting hospitals and commercial labs. All data are preliminary. Not all cases of COVID-19 are tested, so this does not represent the total number of people in North Carolina who have or had COVID-19.

Deaths reflect deaths in persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 reported by local health departments to the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

Completed tests reflect testing completed by the NC State Laboratory of Public Health, reporting hospitals and commercial labs.

Currently hospitalized reflect the number of patients with COVID-19 that are currently hospitalized in reporting hospitals.

For COVID-19 U.S. case information go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Posted in Craven County, Health, State news

May 12th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County has 57 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (55 cases by the Craven County Health Department’s count), in increase of two cases over the previous 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the number of recovered cases has remained unchanged at 37. Recoveries are not keeping pace with newly discovered cases.

Also, CarolinaEast Medical Center has admitted one new COVID-19 case over the past 24 hours.

Out of the confirmed positive cases, 37 have recovered and four have died.

A person is considered recovered if they are doing well and have been free of COVID-19 symptoms for at least 72 hours. At that point, they can come out of isolation.

Of the 57 cases, seven have been related to out of state travel, 23 are from community transmission of unknown origin, and 25 are a direct contact with a previously confirmed positive case. The status of two additional patients has not been made available

Of the active COVID-19 cases, one is currently hospitalized.

When using the NCDHHS COVID-19 site to stay up to date, please keep in mind that county case numbers may change once residency is verified. Therefore, the total number on the county map may differ from the number of Craven County Cases.

Total Confirmed Cases Craven County Health Department/NCDHHS

Active Cases

Craven County

Recovered 

Craven County

Deaths

Craven County

Currently Hospitalized 

Craven County

55/57

14

37

4

1

 

The Craven County Health Department works with state, commercial, and private labs to track the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Craven County. Health care providers determine which lab they send their COVID-19 tests to. There are multiple hospital and commercial labs that conduct COVID-19 tests. These labs manage their own supplies and operate independently from the Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health.

Craven County will continue to track and post the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases; however, it is important to recognize there are many people with COVID-19 who will not be included in daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases, including:

  • People who had minimal or no symptoms and were not tested.
  • People who had symptoms but did not seek medical care.
  • People who sought medical care but were not tested.
  • People with COVID-19 in whom the virus was not detected by testing.

The number of laboratory-confirmed cases will increasingly provide a limited picture of the spread of infections in Craven County as COVID-19 becomes more widespread and the number of infected people who are not included in the daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases increases.       

Region

Thirteen new cases have been reported in and around Craven County during the past 24 hours. No specific county accounted for unusually high growth during that time. However, Lenoir County, which has had an unusually high number of cases relative to its size, reported a fifth COVID-19-related death on Tuesday.

The patient was older than 60 and had several underlying medical conditions.

State

Updated daily by 11 a.m. Last updated 11:00 a.m., May 12, 2020. 

Laboratory-Confirmed Cases Deaths Completed Tests Currently Hospitalized Number of Counties
15,346 577 202,244 475 99

 

N.C. confirmed cases: 15,346 (+301 or +2 percent since Monday).

* N.C. deaths: 577 (+27 or +4.9 percent since Monday)

Knowing when to dial up or down social distancing and other protections depends on two factors: our Trends in key metrics, and our capacity to conduct Testing and Tracing. Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen announced a combination of key metrics that North Carolina is watching to inform decisions to ease restrictions. These key metrics are included below. 

New: Weekly report on COVID-19 Patients Presumed to be Recovered updated every Monday by 4 p.m.

Laboratory-Confirmed Cases reflect cases that were tested and returned positive, including the NC State Laboratory of Public Health, reporting hospitals and commercial labs. All data are preliminary. Not all cases of COVID-19 are tested, so this does not represent the total number of people in North Carolina who have or had COVID-19.

Deaths reflect deaths in persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 reported by local health departments to the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

Completed tests reflect testing completed by the NC State Laboratory of Public Health, reporting hospitals and commercial labs.

Currently hospitalized reflect the number of patients with COVID-19 that are currently hospitalized in reporting hospitals.

For COVID-19 U.S. case information go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Posted in Craven County, Health, State news

May 9th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Posted in Health, State news

May 7th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

This week, the Lenoir County Board of Commissioners unanimously agreed to join seven other Governing Boards in Central Eastern North Carolina to request that Gov. Roy Cooper repeal Executive Order 135, known as the “Stay at Home Order.”

The Governing Boards for Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico and Wayne counties cited the extreme economic hardship on their local economies as a major reason for the request.

In the letter, the boards of commissioners thank Gov. Cooper for his leadership during this tenuous time in our history and for the governor’s efforts that have helped to save lives and flatten the curve throughout North Carolina with his Executive Orders 121 and 135.

However, the letter goes on to state that Eastern North Carolina can “no longer sit idle as those orders cause vast economic despair and irreparable harm to our small businesses and citizens.”

The letter also references the common struggle this region has faced from recent hurricane events and the impact those natural disasters have already had on these communities.

Additionally, the letter requests that Gov. Cooper consider the plight of Eastern North Carolina counties and to not group the communities in a broad-based, statewide response that may be better suited for the Triangle, Triad and greater Charlotte area of the state.

The request would allow for the ENC counties to have their own decision-making authority during the pandemic.

“We realize COVID-19 is indeed still a very serious threat, but at the same time we realize our business owners and the folks employed by those businesses must have some relief from the shutdown of our local economy,” Lenoir County Board of Commissioners Chair Linda Rouse Sutton said.

Lenore County has been hard-hit not just by the economic impacts of COVID-19. With 97 confirmed cases and four deaths, it has almost twice as many cases as Onslow County, a county with three times the population.

Wayne County, meanwhile, leads the Eastern North Carolina region in total cases, at 685 as of earlier this week, and deaths, with 11 as of earlier this week.

Here’s the text of the full letter:

May 6, 2020

The Honorable Roy Cooper
North Carolina Office of the Governor 20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
Dear Governor Cooper,
This letter serves to represent the desire of a group of Counties in Central Eastern North Carolina to reopen our local County economies to avoid any further damaging effects caused by Executive Orders 121, 135 and 138. We appreciate your leadership thus far related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the decisions you have made, saved lives and helped flatten the curve in North Carolina. Like you, we have had to make difficult decisions that have been challenging and have changed the lives drastically for many of our citizens. These orders have placed an extreme economic hardship on our local County economies. We no longer can sit idle as these orders cause vast economic despair and irreparable harm to our small businesses and citizens.

As a region we ask that you authorize local control of decision making in regards to a phased reopening approach to local County governments. We know this is the best methodology to ensure that local data, metrics and expertise are used in local decision making. We request that you repeal Executive Order 135, better known as the “Stay at Home Order” and the subsequent phased reopening approach and allow local County Governments to individually determine the process and timing of any needed local restrictions.

Eastern North Carolina has faced significant challenges over the last four years as a result of devastating hurricanes that have caused personal property loss and strain on our local economies. Hurricanes Matthew, Florence and Dorian changed fundamentally how our local economies function. Each of our counties has seen small businesses fail, citizens lose their jobs and families struggle to make ends meet. We continue to work in partnership with the State of North Carolina to rebuild our communities after these disasters. To this day each of our counties is still challenged with finding normalcy in our local economies and the massive task of achieving long term recovery. We have worked collaboratively with the State of North Carolina, in a manner where local government input and citizen input was valued and helped develop the direction for which we create a recovery plan. County governments have always been a partner in these discussions and served as the front line for local recovery initiatives. We are asking that the State of North Carolina and County governments follow that very same process as we begin the reopening of local County economies. County Governments have worked in unison with the State of North Carolina just like in times of natural disaster to help flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19. Counties have served on the front line, as our public health departments take on the responsibility of testing, contact tracing and caring for the sick during this pandemic. Our local data collection and ability to interpret such is the key to understanding the timing of when our local economies can begin to reopen in a safe manner. We all recognize that certain restrictions must remain in place to ensure that our local counties remain focused on slowing the transmission of COVID-19, we however feel those restriction decisions should be made at the local county level. Local County Governments would continue to seek consultation with our local hospitals, local health authorities and state health experts to make educated decisions in regards to reopening. As local elected leaders we take these decisions seriously and would use all the tools and information available to protect our citizens and vulnerable populations and at the same time restore the economic health of our Counties.

We come with one voice, to defend our local businesses, industries and the overall economic well-being of our citizens. Our goal is simply to request local authority of decision making and avoid being grouped in a broad based, statewide decision making model. Our rural geography and low population density should not be lumped together with much larger urban counties that face very different challenges. We all agree that the most recent data clearly reflects that the curve in Central Eastern North Carolina has flattened and that our timing for reopening should be much sooner than other parts of North Carolina. Our region of North Carolina is unique and our Counties very diverse, but we all agree that the challenges facing the Triangle, Triad, or Charlotte regions of North Carolina are greatly different than that of Central Eastern North Carolina. By allowing for local authority, you are allowing parts of North Carolina to move forward towards regaining losses in our economies and not hindering our long term recovery efforts not only from COVID-19 but the devastating hurricanes which have affected our region.

We want Eastern North Carolina to prosper again and to do so we need your help. By empowering county governments with decision making authority to make determinations locally to reopen our economies we can bring some normalcy back to our citizens. Additionally we request that you communicate with the local County leaders in our region to further address our concerns.

Jerry Evans
Chairman, Beaufort County Board of Commissioners
Bill Smith
Chairman, Carteret County Board of Commissioners
Thomas Mark
Chairman, Craven County Board of Commissioners
Frank Emory
Chairman, Jones County Board of Commissioners
Linda Rouse Sutton
Chairman, Lenoir County Board of Commissioners
Jack Bright
Chairman, Onslow County Board of Commissioners
Pat Prescott
Chairman, Pamlico County Board of Commissioners
Ray Mayo
Chairman, Wayne County Board of Commissioners

Posted in Business, Community, Craven County, Health, New Bern, State news

May 6th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County has 45 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 11:30 a.m. on May 6, 2020.

Out of the 45 confirmed positive cases, 35 have recovered.

Recovered is defined as those individuals who have recovered, are doing well, and are out of isolation. The recovered cases completed the necessary isolation requirement and have been free of COVID-19 symptoms for at least 72 hours.

Of the 45 cases, seven have been related to out-of-state travel, 23 are from community transmission, and 15 are a direct contact with a previously confirmed positive case.

There have been four deaths related to COVID-19. None of the active COVID-19 cases are currently hospitalized.

 

Total Confirmed Cases Craven County

Active Cases

Craven County

Recovered 

Craven County

Deaths

Craven County

Currently Hospitalized 

Craven County

45

6

35

4

0

 

The Craven County Health Department works with state, commercial, and private labs to track the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Craven County. Health care providers determine which lab they send their COVID-19 tests to. There are multiple hospital and commercial labs that conduct COVID-19 tests. These labs manage their own supplies and operate independently from the Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health.

Craven County will continue to track and post the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases; however, it is important to recognize there are many people with COVID-19 who will not be included in daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases, including:

  • People who had minimal or no symptoms and were not tested.
  • People who had symptoms but did not seek medical care.
  • People who sought medical care but were not tested.
  • People with COVID-19 in whom the virus was not detected by testing.

The number of laboratory-confirmed cases will increasingly provide a limited picture of the spread of infections in Craven County as COVID-19 becomes more widespread and the number of infected people who are not included in the daily counts of laboratory-confirmed cases increases.

Region

Twenty-two new cases of COVID-19 have emerged in Craven and neighboring counties.

State

Laboratory-Confirmed Cases Deaths Completed Tests Currently Hospitalized Number of Counties
12,758 477 164,482 516 99

Knowing when to dial up or down social distancing and other protections depends on two factors: our Trends in key metrics, and our capacity to conduct Testing and Tracing. Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen announced a combination of key metrics that North Carolina is watching to inform decisions to ease restrictions. These key metrics are included below. 

Laboratory-Confirmed Cases reflect cases that were tested and returned positive, including the NC State Laboratory of Public Health and reporting hospital and commercial labs. All data are preliminary. Not all cases of COVID-19 are tested, so this does not represent the total number of people in North Carolina who have or had COVID-19.

Deaths reflect deaths in persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 reported by local health departments to the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

Completed tests reflect testing completed by the NC State Laboratory of Public Health and reporting hospital and commercial labs.

Currently hospitalized reflect the number of patients with COVID-19 that are currently hospitalized in reporting hospitals.

For COVID-19 U.S. case information go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

 

Posted in Craven County, Health, State news

May 5th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

This Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) document provides guidance for the implementation of Executive Order No. 138 (“Order”). The Order moves North Carolina into “Phase 1” of easing certain COVID-19 restrictions to help revive the economy while protecting public health.

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

When does Phase 1 go into place?

This Order begins Phase 1 at 5 PM on Friday, May 8, 2020 and remains in place through 5 PM on May 22, 2020.

Does this Order lift the Governor’s Stay at Home Order?

No, people should still stay at home, but it increases the number of reasons people are allowed to leave. All North Carolina residents should continue to stay at home except for the purposes outlined in this Order. Anyone who is feeling sick should stay home and should leave the house only to seek health care or for some other necessary reason.

What is different about Phase 1?

This Phase 1 Executive Order does the following:

  • Eliminates the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses; Allows most retail businesses (with exceptions) that can comply with specific requirements to open at 50 percent capacity;
  • Allows people to leave home for non-essential goods or services;
  • Encourages state parks and trails that are closed to open;
  • Specifically allows people to gather outdoors while following the Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission, and with up to ten people;
  • Opens child care to working families; and
  • Encourages North Carolinians to wear cloth face coverings when outside the home in order to protect others.

What stays the same in Phase 1?

This Phase 1 Executive Order does not change the following:

  • A Stay at Home Order remains in place;
  • Mass gatherings are generally limited to no more than ten people; Teleworking is encouraged;
  • Social distancing, hand hygiene, and other methods to slow the spread of COVID-19 should be practiced, including staying at least six feet apart; Restaurants and bars remain closed for dine-in service and on-premises beverage consumption;
  • Personal care and grooming businesses, including barber shops, beauty, hair, nail, and tanning salons, and tattoo parlors, remain closed;
  • Entertainment facilities, including movie theaters, bowling alleys, and performance venues, remain closed;
  • Fitness facilities such as health clubs and gyms remain closed;

People may leave their homes to obtain medical services, obtain goods and services, engage in outdoor exercise, take care of others or volunteer; Playgrounds remain closed;

Open retail businesses must meet certain requirements to ensure the safety of their employees and customers; and

Visitation continues to be banned at long-term care facilities, except for certain compassionate care situations.

What are the allowable activities for which North Carolinians may leave their homes?

North Carolinians may leave their homes in Phase 1 to:

  • Work at any business, nonprofit, government, or other organization that is not closed by an Executive Order, or seek employment;
  • Take care of health and safety needs, including to seek emergency medical services, obtain medical supplies and medication, or visit a health care professional or veterinarian;
  • Receive goods, services, or supplies from any business or operation that is not closed by an Executive Order;
  • Engage in outdoor activities, including to walk, hike, run, golf, hunt, fish, or bike outdoors;
  • Take care of others, including assisting a family member, friend or pet, or attend weddings or funerals;
  • Worship or exercise First Amendment rights, outdoors and following Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission; Travel between places of residence, including child custody or visitation arrangements;
  • Volunteer with organizations that provide charitable and social services; Gather at other people’s homes with no more than ten people outdoors while following Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission Requirements; and
  • Provide or receive government services.

Does this mean that residents of North Carolina are safe from COVID-19?

The State of North Carolina is guided by data and facts. Enough of the key indicators are moving in the right direction to make this transition to Phase 1. Public health experts’ analysis indicate that if restrictions are eased gradually with safety practices still in place, North Carolina can benefit from increased economic activity without a surge in new cases.

Despite this progress, COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus, and state officials will continue to monitor key metrics. COVID-19 spreads from person to person easily, especially indoors or if people come in close contact for more than ten minutes. While this Order will ease certain restrictions, there remains a need for a Stay at Home Order and other COVID-19 rules remain in place.

What does this Executive Order mean for North Carolina businesses?

Phase 1 removes the designation of essential and non-essential businesses, allowing a business to open if it can practice social distancing and other transmission reduction strategies. Retail businesses can operate at 50 percent capacity. A business cannot re- open if it has been specifically closed, such as bars, personal care or grooming establishments, and entertainment venues. North Carolinians are allowed to leave their homes to engage in commercial activity at businesses that are open.

What businesses must remain closed during Phase 1?

The following businesses remain closed:

  • Restaurants remain closed for dine-in services, but may continue to stay open to provide drive-through, take-out, and delivery;
  • Personal care and grooming businesses, including barber shops, hair salons, and nail salons, remain closed;
  • Health clubs, fitness centers, gyms, and other indoor exercise facilities remain closed, including yoga studios, martial arts facilities, indoor trampoline and rock climbing facilities; and
  • Entertainment facilities remain closed, including performance venues, movie theaters, bowling alleys, and indoor and outdoor pools.

Are North Carolina’s restaurants allowed to open for dine-in meals?

No. Based on public health advice, restaurants will remain closed for dine-in meals. Take-out, drive-through, and delivery services continue to be allowed.

What requirements do retail businesses need to follow?

All retail businesses open to the public must:

  • Direct customers and staff to stay at least six feet apart except at point of sale if applicable;
  • Limit occupancy to not more than 50 percent of stated fire capacity and ensure that social distancing of six feet apart is possible;
  • Mark six feet of spacing in lines at point of sale and in other high-traffic customer areas;
  • Perform frequent and routine environmental cleaning and disinfection of high- touch areas with an EPA-approved disinfectant for COVID-19;
  • Provide, whenever available, hand sanitizer stations, and ensure soap and hand drying materials are available at sinks;
  • Conduct daily symptom screening of employees before entering the workplace and immediately send symptomatic workers home;
  • Have a plan in place to immediately isolate an employee from work if symptoms develop; and
  • Post signage at the main entrances to remind people about Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission, to request people who are or have recently been symptomatic not to enter, and to notify customers of the reduced store capacity.

Retail businesses are also strongly encouraged to:

  • Direct workers to stay at least six feet apart from one another and from customers, to the greatest extent possible;
  • Provide designated times for seniors and other high-risk populations to access services; and
  • Develop and use systems that allow for online, email, or telephone ordering, no-contact curbside or drive-through pickup or home delivery, and contact-free checkout.
  • High-volume retail businesses, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, are strongly encouraged to:
  • Install acrylic or plastic shields at cash registers;
  • Clearly mark designated entry and exit points; and Provide assistance with routing through aisles in the store.

What are recommended policies all businesses should follow to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

In addition to the required activities above, all businesses, retail and otherwise, are strongly encouraged to:

  • Continue to promote telework and limit non-essential travel whenever possible;
  • Promote social distancing by reducing the number of people coming to the office, providing six feet of distance between desks, and/or staggering shifts; Limit face-to-face meetings to no more than ten people;
  • Promote hygiene, including frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer; Recommend employees wear cloth face coverings and provide employees with information on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings, which protect other people more than the wearer;
  • Make accommodations for workers who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as having high risk workers work in a position that is not public facing;
  • Encourage sick employees to stay home and provide support to do so by providing sick leave policies;
  • Follow CDC guidance if an employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19; Provide education on COVID-19 strategies for staff such as videos, webinars, FAQs; and
  • Promote information on helplines for employees such as 211 and Hope4NC Helpline.

Does Phase 1 change the gathering limit of ten people?

Most gatherings of more than ten people are still prohibited.

Should North Carolinians continue to work from home if possible?

Yes. All businesses in North Carolina are strongly encouraged to direct employees to telework, if possible. Additionally, non-essential travel and in-person meetings should be avoided.

Does this Executive Order mean that I can gather freely with individuals outside of my household?

When Phase 1 starts, North Carolinians can once again hold small outdoor get- togethers that follow Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission and do not have more than ten people. Because studies show that the risk of spreading COVID-19 is much greater indoors than outdoors, these social gatherings should be outdoors.

What does this Executive Order mean for schools and graduations?

School facilities remain closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. NCDHHS, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), and the North Carolina State Board of Education will continue to work together to provide for the educational needs, health, nutrition, safety, and well- being during the school closure period.

Local school boards and superintendents will determine whether to conduct graduation and/or other year-end ceremonies. If these events are held, they must operate in compliance with all Executive Orders and NCDHHS and NCDPI guidelines in effect at the time of the event. Local school leaders are encouraged to engage with students and families to identify best solutions for their communities. Local plans should include consultation with local public health officials and, where appropriate, local law enforcement.

What does this Executive Order mean for childcare?

Childcare facilities will be open for the children of North Carolinians who are working at a business that is not closed by an Executive Order, who are seeking employment, or who are homeless or receiving child welfare services. Childcare facilities must follow the health and safety requirements in Executive Order No. 130 and all guidelines issued by NCDHHS.

What does this Executive Order mean for camps?

Day camps and programs for children and teens may operate only if they are in full compliance with the CDC’s guidance for these programs. Day camps may not allow sports except for those sports where close contact is not required, and any activities where campers cannot maintain at least a six foot distance from one another are not allowed. If a day camp is operating within a business, facility, or school that is closed per this Executive Order, the camp may operate but the location must otherwise remain closed to the general public. Overnight camps may not operate under Phase 1.

What does this Executive Order mean for parks, trails, and playgrounds?

The Order encourages the reopening of all state parks and trails. North Carolinians are encouraged to engage in outdoor activities, so long as they maintain Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission. The same policies to reduce transmission in retail settings should be followed in parks. Public playgrounds remain closed under Phase 1 because public playground equipment may increase the spread of COVID-19.

What does this Executive Order mean for places of worship?

Places of worship may hold services that exceed the Mass Gathering Limit of ten people if those services are held outdoors in an unenclosed space and if attendees follow Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission.

Does this Executive Order allow for people to stay at hotels or other short-term vacation rentals?

Yes, hotels and short-term vacation rentals are allowed. However, individuals should practice Stay at Home, Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission, and other COVID-19 mitigation measures at any short-term rental. Rental landlords should follow CDC guidelines on cleaning hotels and rental units including using an EPA-approved disinfectant for COVID-19 between customers.

What actions are recommended to protect North Carolinians from contracting COVID-19 when they are not at home?

North Carolinians are encouraged to limit non-essential travel and stay at home if they are sick. People can protect themselves against the spread of COVID-19 by following the Phase 1 rules and remembering the three Ws:

  • Wear a face covering;
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer;
    and Wait six feet apart from other people to keep your distance.

Does this Executive Order require North Carolinians to wear masks when outside the home?

It is strongly recommended but not required that a cloth face covering of the nose and mouth should be worn when you leave your house and may be within six feet of other people who are not household and family members. This would include indoor community, public and business settings. These coverings function to protect other people more than the wearer. Face coverings should also be worn outdoors when you cannot stay at least six feet away from other people.

Some populations experience increased anxiety and fear of bias and being profiled if wearing face coverings in public spaces, but everyone should adhere to this guidance without fear of profiling or bias. If someone is the target of ethnic or racial intimidation as the result of adhering to the protective nose and mouth covering guidance or as a result of the pandemic, they are encouraged to report the matter to local law enforcement agencies or other government entities.

What if I am stopped by a law enforcement officer and directed to remove my face covering?

A person wearing a cloth face covering for the purposes of ensuring the physical health or safety of the wearer or others needs to remove the cloth face covering, upon request by a law enforcement officer, in any of the following circumstances:

  • During a traffic stop, including a checkpoint or roadblock, as required by law; and/or
  • When a law enforcement officer has reasonable suspicion or probable cause during a criminal investigation, as required by law.

Are funerals allowed under Phase 1?

Yes, funerals continue to be permitted to have up to fifty people in attendance. People attending a funeral should observe Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission as much as possible.

Are individuals allowed to gather but stay in their vehicles in Phase 1?

Yes, events such as drive-in worship services or drive-in movies are allowed if all participants stay inside their vehicles.

Why does the Executive Order allow for some gatherings outdoors but not indoors?

When people gather together, there is always a risk of transmitting COVID-19. Therefore, gatherings of large groups of people must be restricted in accordance with this Executive Order. Where people gather together indoors, the air they breathe is recirculated, and they are likely to touch the same surfaces. As a result, the risk of spreading COVID-19 is high. A recent study found that people spread diseases like COVID-19 in a closed, indoor environment at a rate 18.7 times higher than when they are outdoors in an open-air environment.

How does this Executive Order impact policies set by local government?

Most of the restrictions in this order are minimum requirements, and local governments, like cities and counties, can impose greater restrictions. However, local governments cannot restrict state government operations, and local restrictions cannot set different requirements for the maximum occupancy standard of retail establishments.

This Executive Order is Phase 1 of lifting restrictions. What will be the next restrictions the Governor will lift in Phase 2, and when will that happen?

The end of this Order does not necessarily mean the state will move to Phase 2. Phase 1 will be extended unless data shows the state is prepared to move to Phase 2. Phase 2 will likely open more businesses to the public. Social distancing, hand hygiene, and use of cloth face coverings will still be recommended. Depending on state COVID-19 trends, restrictions may be lifted more slowly or some restrictions might have to be re-instated to ensure the health and safety of North Carolinians.

Why is it an appropriate time to lift some restrictions related to COVID-19?

North Carolina is guided by data and science. State officials are monitoring key metrics to know when it is acceptable to move to the next phase of easing restrictions. This is a careful, deliberate process because removing all restrictions at once would cause a dangerous spike in infections that North Carolina has so far avoided. Public health experts and analyses indicate that if we gradually ease restrictions but keep safety practices in place, North Carolina can benefit from economic recovery without a renewed outbreak.

The key metrics show that North Carolina can move to Phase 1, which keeps critical safety measures in place. People can protect themselves against the spread of COVID-19 by following the Phase 1 rules and remembering the three Ws:

  • Wear a face covering;
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer;
  • and Wait six feet apart from other people to keep your distance.

Posted in Health, State news

May 5th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

New order takes effect Friday, May 8 at 5 p.m. Personal care businesses, entertainment venues, gyms to remain closed

Governor Roy Cooper today signed Executive Order No. 138 to modify North Carolina’s Stay At Home order and transition to Phase 1 of slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions effective Friday, May 8 at 5 p.m.

Certain businesses remain closed as the state continues battling COVID-19. 

“COVID-19 is still a serious threat to our state, and Phase 1 is designed to be a limited easing of restrictions that can boost parts of our economy while keeping important safety rules in place,” said Governor Cooper. “This is a careful and deliberate first step, guided by the data, and North Carolinians still must use caution while this virus is circulating.”

“We must continue to protect our families and neighbors as we take this cautious step forward. When you leave your home, follow the three W’s: Wear a face covering, wash your hands, and wait six feet apart,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services.  

The order removes the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses. Retail businesses are allowed to open at 50 percent capacity and will be required to direct customers to stand 6 feet apart, perform frequent cleanings, provide hand sanitizer when available, screen workers for symptoms and more. The Order allows people to leave their homes for commercial activity at any business that is open. 

Certain businesses remain closed, including bars, personal care businesses, entertainment venues, and gyms. Restaurants may only continue to serve customers for drive-through, take out and delivery. 

All workers at retail and other businesses are recommended to wear cloth face coverings. Teleworking is still encouraged for businesses that can practice it.

Though small outdoor gatherings will be allowed in Phase 1, gatherings of more than 10 people generally are still prohibited. The Order encourages cloth face coverings to be worn when outside the home and in contact with others. Everyone who uses a face covering should adhere to this guidance without fear of profiling or bias.

During Phase 1, childcare facilities will be open to serve families of parents who are working or looking for work. These centers will be required to follow strict cleaning protocols. Summer day camps can operate in compliance with NC DHHS guidelines.

 

In explaining the Order, Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen reported North Carolina remains stable on the following key metrics:

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days

• North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is decreasing. 

Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days

• North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases over the last 14 days cases is slightly increasing.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days

• North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive over the last 14 days is decreasing. 

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days

• North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations over the last 14 days is level. 

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 has doubled the daily testing rate. 

Tracing Capability

• The Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative has received over 4,000 applications and is in the process of hiring 250 new contact tracers. 

Personal Protective Equipment 

• Supply chains continue to improve with the exception of gowns. 

The order is in effect until 5 pm on Friday, May 22. However, the end of this Order does not necessarily mean the state will move to Phase 2. Phase 2 will only start if data and indicators are in the right place. 

Read Frequently Asked Questions about the Order.

Posted in Health, State news

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