NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC - With more than 6,500 documented new cases of COVID-19 in the community over the last 14 days and 27 deaths from COVID-19 reported in New Hanover County this month, Health and Human Services is emphasizing the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted, along with utilizing safety protocols to limit viral spread.
"Our COVID transmission metrics here in New Hanover County are slightly higher than the state average, hospitalizations have continued to rise as a result of COVID, and unfortunately we have seen an increase in deaths from the virus over the past few weeks," said Health Director David Howard. "The best defense each of us has against this virus is staying up to date on our COVID vaccinations, including boosters, because they limit the impact this virus has on our health. Because of Omicron's high transmissibility, it is extremely important for those who have not been vaccinated, or are vaccinated but not boosted, to get vaccinated, and boosted when eligible, as it will reduce the severity of symptoms and limit the strain on our local hospitals, healthcare providers, businesses, schools, and families. Our clinics along with many other vaccine providers remain open to serve anyone in the community five years and older, so please make a wise decision to protect yourself and others."
The New Hanover County Health and Human Services Vaccination Clinics at 1650 Greenfield Street and Independence Mall continue to offer initial vaccines and boosters to anyone who is eligible. Appointments are encouraged and can be scheduled by visiting TakeMyShot.NC.gov. Walk-ups are accepted at both clinic locations and vaccines will be administered based on availability. N95 masks are also available to the public, while supplies last, at the county's Independence Mall clinic.
"We expected there to be a rise in cases with the holidays, children returning to class and events moving indoors because of cooler weather, and seeing the indications from places where Omicron surged earliest - and we've certainly seen this. Now we're hoping to see our cases plateau and possibly start to decline in the coming weeks, also informed by trends in places where Omicron surged sooner, but we're not there yet," said Howard. "Right now, the best things we can do as a community is to get vaccinated and boosted, wear a mask in indoor public places, physically distance from others, wash our hands, and stay home if you're sick. We won't have to do this forever, but it's what we need to do right now. These actions in combination can drive down this surge as fast as it rose."
COVID-19 Community Data, as of January 27:
- New Hanover County's % positivity over the past 14 days is 39.4 % (this represents positive Molecular (PCR) tests as a % of total PCR tests performed countywide).
- Over the past 14 days, 6,547 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the county which is an average of 468 cases per day. Note: Based on their dashboard, this NCDHHS data may not be fully complete for the most recent week and could be higher than currently reported.
- According to NHRMC, as of January 17, the average daily number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized over the previous week was 89.
- Approximately 146,002 residents (about 62 %) have been vaccinated with two doses or one dose of J&J, and 73,718 residents (about 31.4%) have been vaccinated with one booster or an additional dose.
View additional COVID-19 information and data at Health.NHCgov.com.