Brunswick County taking proactive steps to prepare for novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
BOLIVIA, N.C. – The Brunswick County Health and Human Services team is working on proactive measures to prepare our communities from potential impacts from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Brunswick County recently met with several of our local government, public safety, and health care professionals to discuss the current state of the novel coronavirus in our nation and what steps we are taking in the event of a confirmed case in our area,” Health and Human Services Director David Stanley said. “While there has not been a confirmed case in Brunswick County at this time, we have been proactively monitoring and preparing for this virus the past two months to best protect our residents and be ready to inform them in the event of a positive case.”
As of March 3, 2020, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Brunswick County. Governor Roy Cooper and state officials announced during a 3:30 p.m. media briefing Tuesday that one individual had tested positive for COVID-19 in Wake County after they traveled to the State of Washington and were exposed at a long-term care facility where there is currently a COVID-19 outbreak. This individual is reported to be doing well and is in isolation at home. The NC State Laboratory for Public Health tested this individual for the virus and the case was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmation.
This was an isolated case and COVID-19 is still considered a low threat at this time. Individuals with specific questions about COVID-19 are encouraged to call the Public Health Call Line at 1-866-462-3821.
The County has also compiled the latest information from federal and state partners on COVID-19 at https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/health/coronavirus/
To prepare for the virus, Brunswick County Health and Human Services has reviewed and modified emergency plans for COVID-19 the past two months with its state and local partners, including local hospitals, Brunswick County Emergency Services, Brunswick County Schools, and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. The department is also sharing memos it receives from the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) with local health providers and hospitals that address criteria to evaluate patients who potentially are positive for COVID-19, reporting obligations, infection control guidance, and testing information.
The County is also answering local providers’ questions concerning patients with symptoms or travel histories to areas with higher levels of COVID-19 cases. Weekly call-in updates are made with the North Carolina CD Branch, and preparedness meetings with local partners and agencies are also taking place.
In the event of a confirmed case in Brunswick County, the County will have a partial activation of its Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center to monitor, share updates, and answer questions from the community.
Residents can find information and receive updates from the County as they are issued a number of ways:
- Brunswick County website: https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/news/
- Sign up for email updates on emergency situation news releases: https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/info/email/
- Social media: https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/info/social/
- Emergency alert notifications (phone calls, text, and/or emails): https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/7BC24EDE14D3
Novel coronavirus signs and symptoms
Individuals who suspect they might be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact a medical facility before traveling to the site to inform them about your symptoms so appropriate steps can be taken to protect yourself and others.
According to the CDC, patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness, typically following international travel to regions with higher confirmed cases of COVID-19. Symptoms can include fever (100.5 degrees Fahrenheit), cough, and shortness of breath. You are again strongly encouraged to reach out to your medical professional, health clinic, or hospital before traveling to their site to alert them of your symptoms so they can make appropriate steps to protect you and others.
The virus spreads mainly due to person-to-person contact via respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing. Contact with infected surface areas or objects before touching nose, eyes, or mouth can also spread the virus.
There is no vaccination for COVID-19 at this time.
Here are some other health tips to follow to prevent the spread of illnesses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Stay home when you are sick.
The influenza virus is also a serious ongoing health concern for the public. Influenza vaccines are still available at Brunswick County Health and Human Services.
You can also contact or learn more about Brunswick County Health Services via the following ways:
- Phone: 910.253.2250 or 888.428.4429
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/health/
For media inquiries, contact the Public Information Officer at 910.253.2995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org