Brunswick County COVID-19 Snapshot (Nov. 20, 2020)

11.20.2020

Brunswick County COVID-19 Snapshot: Health officials advise residents to avoid traveling for Thanksgiving holiday; stress universal use of face coverings if gatherings do take place (Nov. 20, 2020)

Key Points

  • Residents are advised to avoid traveling during Thanksgiving to avoid potential exposure or transmission of COVID-19 among loved ones
  • Traveling to other counties or states could spread the virus further in those regions or bring additional cases back to Brunswick County when you return from the holidays
  • If you do chose to attend or host a Thanksgiving gathering, there are steps you should take including requiring face coverings for all guests (including your extended family members), keep gatherings small (no more than 10 people), and keep people who live together at their own table and space tables at least 6 feet apart
  • As of Nov. 20, there are 2,735 positive cases of COVID-19 among county residents (2,135 considered recovered, 528 isolating at 379 different households, 17 hospitalized, 55 deaths)

MEDIA RELEASE

BOLIVIA, N.C. – With less than one week left until Thanksgiving Day, Brunswick County Health Services is advising residents to avoid traveling for the holiday and consider virtual methods to celebrate with their loved ones who live in different households to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 further in our county, in other regions of North Carolina, and across the country.

While North Carolina’s new COVID-19 County Alert System reports Brunswick County in the Significant/Yellow tier, there is still cause for concern as more than 500 residents are isolating at this time—the highest number to date in the pandemic. Cases have also increased by 16.6% in the past two weeks (Nov. 6-20) in Brunswick County, which is trending higher than the 9.9% increase in cases the previous two-week period (Oct. 23-Nov. 6).

Currently, 10 North Carolina counties are in the Critical/Red tier and 43 counties are in the Substantial/Orange tier. Traveling to other counties or states at this time could spread the virus further in those regions or bring additional cases back to Brunswick County when you return from the holidays.

Between Nov. 1-14, Brunswick County reported 219.2 cases per 100,000 residents with 6.3% of tests in that time frame resulting in positives; the percent of tests that are positive as of Nov. 20 has risen to 6.7%. The state’s goal is to remain at or below 5% positive tests.

One of the key reasons Brunswick County is urging residents to reconsider travel or gathering with people they do not live with (even extended family) is that several of the County’s cases over the past few months are already connected to family or social gatherings where individuals did not wear masks or social distance.

Here are some of the recurring exposures our contact tracing team has noticed the past two weeks:

  • Exposures due to local family gatherings and out-of-state travel
  • Exposures in the workplace
  • Exposures at religious or faith-related gatherings
  • Exposures at gyms
  • Exposures healthcare facilities

If you do chose to attend or host a Thanksgiving gathering, Health Services and the NCDHHS are urging you to consider these steps:

  • Wear face coverings or masks over your nose AND mouth whenever you are around family or friends you do not live with
  • Do not attend or host a gathering if you feel sick or have been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19
  • Gathering limits are still in place; small, outdoor gatherings are best
  • If you have tables, keep people who live together at their own table and keep tables at least 6 feet apart (this is important since people will need to remove masks while eating or drinking)
  • Think about getting a test before traveling or gathering for holiday celebrations; if you test positive, stay home and isolate. If you test negative, you still need to practice the Three Ws
  • Wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart, especially when eating or drinking

Brunswick County Case Data

As of Nov. 20, there are 2,735 positive cases of COVID-19 among county residents (2,135 considered recovered, 528 isolating at 379 different households, 17 hospitalized, 55 deaths) and there are 17 cases among non-residents (12 considered recovered, 3 transferred monitoring to home county, 2 deaths).

Isolated positive cases pose a low risk to the public as they and any household contacts are isolated or quarantined. To protect individual privacy, no further information will be released.

To date, 55 residents and two non-residents have passed away with deaths related to the virus. The age range of these individuals (residents and non-residents) were: 65 years or older (50 cases); 50-64 years (3 case); 25-49 years (4 cases). Of the resident cases, 26 are connected to outbreaks at congregate living settings.

According to the NCDHHS COVID-19 Dashboard statistics on testing, about 6.7% of tests conducted in Brunswick County are yielding positive results as of Nov. 20.

The NCDHHS reports on updates concerning ongoing outbreaks and clusters statewide every Tuesday and Friday by 4 p.m. on its COVID-19 dashboard at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard/congregate-living-settings

Brunswick County has more information about testing, screening sites, and symptoms on its website, including testing sites for both insured and uninsured individuals. These online tools are also available to help increase access to testing and slow the spread of COVID-19:

Find links to more information concerning testing in Brunswick County, answers to frequently asked questions, mental health resources, and resources for residents and businesses on our Health Services COVID-19 webpage.

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For media inquiries, contact the Public Information Officer at 910.253.2995 or email meagan.kascsak@brunswickcountync.gov

Local and State Public Health Call Lines

County Contact Information & Virtual Services During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Brunswick County is urging individuals to visit our website and to call or email county departments for assistance first before visiting county offices. The County now requires appointments for in-person visits. Not sure who to contact? Call our main line and we can help direct your calls.

  • Main County Contact Information: 910.253.2000 / 800.442.7033