Brunswick County stresses the importance of social distancing regardless of age, health status (March 18, 2020 Coronavirus Update)
- As of March 18, there is one presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus in Brunswick County; this individual has been under self-isolation since March 11 and is receiving regular check-ins from the County’s Public Health team
- Social distancing is a strategic way that all of us can protect ourselves and potentially lessen the impact of novel coronavirus; every person—even children, teenagers, and young adults—needs to take these precautionary measures seriously
- The County has information and resources for individuals and businesses that need assistance now online
- Community Assistance: https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/emergency/covid-19-community-assistance/
- Business Resources: https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/health/coronavirus/businessresources/
- Testing is available in Brunswick County; if you suspect you have coronavirus symptoms, contact your primary medical provider first to determine if your symptoms warrant a test and if they provide tests; contact Public Health if you need assistance locating a provider to test
- Remember to seek the most verified information from sources like the CDC, NC DHHS and the County regarding novel coronavirus and the associated level of risk involved
BOLIVIA, N.C. – As the nation, state and county continue to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Brunswick County Health and Human Services wants to emphasize the need for all residents to practice social distancing and minimize their activities and interaction in the public as much as possible now—regardless of how old you are or how healthy you feel.
As of March 18, there is one presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Brunswick County. Brunswick County considers and responds to presumptive positive cases as if they were positive, even while awaiting official confirmation of results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Testing is ongoing across several primary medical providers in the county.
For the past week, the term social distancing has become a household word. Social distancing means the avoidance of crowded places and maintaining distances of at least six feet from other people to try to deter the spread of the virus.
However, there are several misconceptions about who needs to social distance and the actual severity of the novel coronavirus situation in the United States.
“The bottom line is, every person needs to make serious efforts to reduce their in-person interactions and activities in the public as much as possible if we want to make a serious impact in reducing the threat of coronavirus,” Health and Human Services Director David Stanley said.
A lot of messaging has stressed that individuals who are sick or who have a high risk of severe illness such as those aged 65 and over should stay home. However, this does not limit social distancing to only to these individuals.
All younger people—including children, teenagers and young adults—still need to follow social distancing guidelines at this time: stay home as much as possible, seek online, phone, email, social media or teleworking options when available, and keep a distance of six feet between you and other individuals to reduce the risk of exposure to novel coronavirus.
“We know that this means making changes to your lifestyle, but if we all do what we are supposed to do we can potentially lessen the impact of this emerging disease and better protect our most vulnerable populations,” Stanley said. “With the recent closure of K-12 public schools and with several colleges and universities transitioning to online formats, it is more important than ever that our younger generations understand that they need to take the coronavirus issue seriously. We encourage our communities’ parents, grandparents, schools, and community partners to remind our youth that we all play a part in combating the coronavirus crisis together.”
As of March 18 at 4 p.m., there are 63 positive cases in North Carolina and no deaths. Nationally there are 4,275 cases and 75 deaths. While the risk of coronavirus is considered low in Brunswick County at this time, the situation continues to evolve.
State government has already taken a number of proactive steps to try to prevent the further spread of coronavirus through social distancing mandates, including the closure of public schools for two weeks, the ban of mass gatherings of more than 100 people, and requiring all restaurants and bars to close to dine-in customers (takeout and delivery options are still available).
“Brunswick County is encouraging all our residents and businesses to follow the mandates and guidelines the state has issued,” Stanley said. “These decisions were made to protect North Carolinians as best as possible in this difficult situation, and we want to make sure Brunswick County residents are informed and aware of what they can do to protect themselves as well. Social distancing is a key part of that.”
Brunswick County continues to hold daily conference calls with our community partners, including representatives from county leadership, Health and Human Services, Emergency Services, municipal representatives, local hospitals, Brunswick County Schools, and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.
Questions about Tests and Test Results
Novel Coronavirus Test Reports in Brunswick County
In an effort to better address questions from residents and the media about the number of novel coronavirus occurring countywide, the County will post an update on the number of tests that have been reported to the County’s Public Health department as of 4 p.m. every day to allow for transparency and efficiency. It is important to recognize that tests are occurring in varying numbers each day and results can take several days to process and report back to the County Public Health department from either the state lab or private labs. Our team is actively responding to the novel coronavirus pandemic and having a dedicated time to share test statistics will ensure we are providing everyone with the most accurate information.
Brunswick County also provides these numbers to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) for its case count webpage at https://www.ncdhhs.gov/covid-19-case-count-nc
Coronavirus tests are available in Brunswick County. If you suspect you have symptoms of coronavirus, you should contact your primary care provider first to alert them of their symptoms and have a physician determine if a test is required and if they provide tests. If your need additional assistance to locate a provider to test, you should contact Brunswick County Public Health for assistance.
It is ultimately up to the primary medical provider to determine who should get tested. They will consider these symptoms:
- Those who have fever or lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) and close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case within the past 14 days; OR
- Those who have fever and lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) and a negative rapid flu test
The County is operating a joint information center with a Public Health Call Line and email to answer residents’ coronavirus questions.
Brunswick County Public Health Call Line and Email Information
- Phone: 1.910.253.2339
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Individuals who have questions afterhours are encouraged to call the North Carolina Public Health Call Line, which has public health professionals available 24 hours a day every day to answer questions: 1.866.462.3821.
Understanding Your Risk
We recognize that the novel coronavirus is a stressful and concerning situation for our residents. During situations, like these, it is important to seek out the most up-to-date and accurate information about the virus from the CDC, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) and Brunswick County to prevent the spread of rumors or misconceptions about the virus.
The County takes the novel coronavirus seriously and has prepared for its potential impacts for the past two months. We encourage our residents to remain calm and to remember that people who have confirmed COVID-19 and are in isolation, and people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and are self-monitoring, are doing the right thing and helping to protect their communities.
If you believe you might have come into contact with someone who was diagnosed with coronavirus, here is how you can determine your risk for contracting the virus:
- No Risk: Briefly walking by a person who tested positive for COVID-19 and was not experiencing symptoms
- Low Risk: Being in the same room as a person who tested positive for COVID-19, had symptoms and you were within six feet
- Medium Risk: Sustained close contact (10 minutes or longer) within six feet of a person with COVID-19 while they had symptoms
- High Risk: Close household contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19
According to the CDC, individuals at high risk of becoming ill from coronavirus include older adults and individuals with serious chronic or long-term medical conditions.
At this time, novel coronavirus is currently not widespread in Brunswick County and is still considered a low risk.
This is an evolving situation and the County’s leadership and Health and Human Services team are monitoring it day by day and maintaining regular communications with our local and state partners to provide residents with the most current information.
Brunswick County Phone and Online Resources
Brunswick County has a dedicated webpage for countywide offers of assistance, updates from utility providers, food bank notices, and more for anyone who needs help in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. If your organization is offering resources, you are encouraged to reach out to Volunteer and Nonprofit Coordinator Leslie Stanley via email or at 910.253.2589.
- COVID-19 Community Assistance webpage: https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/emergency/covid-19-community-assistance/
A list of resources for businesses in response to coronavirus is also available at https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/health/coronavirus/businessresources/
Brunswick County offers some in-person services in online formats or over the phone. You are encouraged to reach out to us to see if there are opportunities to assist you with your county-related needs over the next few weeks. A few links and contact information to some of our departments that often have in-person visitors are below. Please reach out us to see how we might be able to assist you in virtual means.
Main County Phone: 910.253.2000 / 800.442.7033 / https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/
- Pay your water and sewer bill online at https://brunswick.authoritypay.com/
- How to pay your capital recover fees, tap and meter fees online: https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/utilities/utility-billing/pay-fees/
- Contact Information: 910.253.2657, option 2 / email@example.com
- Code Administration is operating on normal schedules for field inspections and processing of permit applications. We encourage you to use the webpage for submitting applications and corresponding with CP tech by phone: https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/code-administration/permits/
- Any changes to our processes will be posted by 4 p.m. for future business day operations at https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/code-administration/
- Contact Information: 910.253.2021 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact Information: 910.253.2150 / email@example.com
- Contact Information: 910.253.2250 / 888.428.4429 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Register of Deeds
- Record searches and vital records certified copy requests are available online at http://brunswick-live.inttek.net/
- Electronic recording is available through Internet Technologies, Inc. at https://erecording.inttek.net
- Contact Information: 253.2690 / Toll-free: 877.625.9310 / email@example.com
- Contact Information: 910.253.2077 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please do not email reports of abuse or neglect.
- If you need to make a CPS or APS report, please call 910.253.2077 during business hours. After Hours call 9-1-1 and ask to speak to the on call social worker.
- Property record cards and collections information: https://tax.brunsco.net/itsnet/
- Contact Information: 910.253.2829 / 800.527.9001 / email@example.com
- Contact Information: 910.253.2233
Updates from Our Partners in Response to Coronavirus
- Brunswick County Schools
- North Carolina Courts
- Brunswick Community College
- Novant Health
- Dosher Memorial Hospital
For media inquiries, contact the Public Information Officer at 910.253.2995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org