Public Notice

Public Notice

Brunswick County Coronavirus Information

05.30.2020

See Latest Coronavirus Information & Case Counts >> brunswickcountync.gov/alert-ticker/information-on-coronavirus/

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

 

Brunswick County Public Health Call Line and Email Information (Available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

 

NC Public Health Call Line (Open 24/7)

  • Phone: 1.866.462.3821

 

North Carolina 2-1-1 Program

  • For COVID-19 questions, dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162
  • Sign up for updates by texting COVIDNC to 898211

 

The County has information and resources for individuals, businesses and municipalities that need assistance via the follow webpages:

Brunswick County Coronavirus Update (April 13, 2020)

04.13.2020

Brunswick County Coronavirus Update (April 13, 2020)

Key Points

  • Brunswick County continues to encourage residents to take proactive measures to stay home as much as possible and social distance the next two weeks.
  • Executive Order No. 131 goes into effect at 5 p.m. today; the Order provides new required and recommended policies for retail establishments, addresses COVID-19 mitigation measures for long-term care facilities, and expedites the processing of unemployment insurance claims by expanding availability of the attached claims process.
  • As of April 13, there are 35 positive cases of COVID-19, 30 pending test results and 873 confirmed negative test results, totaling 938 tests administered so far among Brunswick County residents. Of the 35 positive cases, 17 are male and 18 are female; 24 are considered recovered cases and one is a death associated to COVID-19.
  • There are seven cases involving non-residents testing positive for COVID-19 while visiting Brunswick County, resulting in their contacts having to quarantine as well; these cases are not reflected in the County’s total case counts. Two individuals are considered recovered cases, one has transferred monitoring to their home county, and one is a death associated to COVID-19.
  • If you recently traveled to Brunswick County from another country, another state, or even another county in North Carolina, you need to take responsible, proactive measures to quarantine yourself and any fellow travelers now.

MEDIA RELEASE

BOLIVIA, N.C. – Brunswick County continues to encourage residents to take proactive measures for the next two weeks of the statewide Stay at Home Order (Executive Order No. 121) to help slow the spread of the virus and flatten the curve of positive cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in our communities and state.

Governor Roy Cooper and leaders from the NC Department of Health and Human Services, NC Emergency Services and more held a press conference today to discuss the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic in North Carolina. The State is currently assessing factors such as the number of tests conducted, the number of positive cases confirmed, availability of hospital beds and more to determine next steps concerning the current Stay at Home order and any additional executive orders needed as we head into May.

“We want to reiterate the guidance from our state officials and encourage everyone to continue to stay home and avoid nonessential travel now through April 29,” Health and Human Services Director David Stanley said. “While we have seen some positive trends statewide due to the social distancing and stay at home initiatives, we all need to continue to do our part to build on what we’ve started.”

Executive Order No. 131 will also go into effect today at 5 p.m. The Order requires retail stores that are still operating to implement new social distancing policies to make shopping safer for customers and employees, makes earlier COVID-19 guidelines mandatory for nursing facilities and recommends other long-term care facilities do the same, and issues changes to unemployment benefits that will speed up certain benefit payments to those who are out of work.

At this time, most of the County’s resident and non-resident positive tests have some relation to travel outside of Brunswick County. However, there have been a few positive cases now that were potentially caused by community transmission due to the individuals’ lack of travel history or known exposure.

If you or someone visiting you recently traveled to Brunswick County from another country, another state (including South Carolina), or even another county in North Carolina, take responsible, proactive measures to quarantine yourself and any fellow travelers for 14 days now. Quarantining is essential to protect your health and to avoid potentially exposing strangers to the virus if you start to develop symptoms.

Even if you own a second home in Brunswick County, you are urged to remain at your primary residence at this time. Even travel from one North Carolina county to another can spread the virus.

Brunswick County Test Results

As of April 13, there are 35 positive cases of COVID-19, 30 pending test results and 873 confirmed negative test results, totaling 938 tests administered so far among Brunswick County residents. Of the 35 positive cases, 17 are male and 18 are female; 24 are considered recovered cases and one is a death associated to COVID-19.

There are also seven cases involving non-residents who tested positive for COVID-19 while visiting Brunswick County, resulting in their contacts having to quarantine as well; these cases are not reflected in the County’s total case counts. Four of these cases are male and three are female. Two of the non-resident cases are considered recovered and the County has transferred monitoring for one additional case to the individual’s home county where they are now isolating; one case is a death associated to COVID-19.

To protect individual privacy, no further information will be released.

The age ranges of the positive cases among Brunswick County residents as of April 13 are as follows:

  • 0-17 years old: Zero cases
  • 18-24 years old: 2
  • 25-49 years old: 5
  • 50-64 years old: 15
  • 65+ years old: 13

The age ranges of the positive cases among non-residents as of April 13 are as follows:

  • 0-17 years old: Zero cases
  • 18-24 years old: Zero cases
  • 25-49 years old: 2
  • 50-64 years old: Zero cases
  • 65+ years old: 5
COVID-19 Test Reports in Brunswick County
Positive Test Results Reported to the County (County Residents)92
Pending Test Sample Results at the State Laboratory or Private Laboratories (County Residents)30
Confirmed Negative Test Results Reported to the County (County Residents)2,736
Number of Test Samples Reported to the County (County Residents)2,858
Positive Cases Isolating at Home (County Residents)23 at 16 households
Positive Cases Isolating at a Hospital (County Residents)3
Recoveries Among Positive Cases (County Residents)64
Associated COVID-19 Deaths (County Residents)2
Statistics as of May 30, 2020 at 4 p.m.

Note: Brunswick County Public Health is encouraging providers in the County’s jurisdiction to continue to report persons under investigation (PUI) at this time, however NCDHHS no longer mandates that the PUI form be completed and sent to the local health departments, which could result in under reporting of test counts. These numbers reflected the information reported to the County from local health care providers.

Public Health monitors all individuals who test positive and any individuals in self-quarantine on a regular basis.

Brunswick County will provide updates on any positive cases considered a low risk for community spread in its daily update unless a serious public health concern requires a separate release. The County will share statistics on the number of test samples and final reports Public Health is receiving in its daily update to allow for transparency and efficiency.

The location of COVID-19 cases in Brunswick County is a frequently asked question. Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 are in isolation in their homes, which are located within the majority of zip codes throughout the county. Brunswick County citizens should assume that community transmission of COVID-19 is present anywhere and take the appropriate precautions. Identified positive cases only represent a fraction of the actual positive cases as not everyone who is sick with COVID-19 are being tested in light of the CDC’s guidance that individuals with mild symptoms are typically able to recover at home without a test.

Emergency Services collecting personal protective equipment (PPE) donations

Brunswick County Emergency Services is encouraging individuals who have certain types of personal protective equipment (PPE) to donate them to the County for potential distribution to local medical providers or long-term care facilities in the future should the need arise.

Individuals can drop off donations at the Brunswick County Emergency Services building at 3325 Old Ocean Highway (Building C) in Bolivia at the Brunswick County Government Complex Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Individuals are encouraged to call first before they arrive to let our team know you are coming and follow the directions to enter the building when you arrive. Our team members in the front office will assist in collecting your items. You can also contact the County the following ways to ask questions you might have.

Brunswick County is accepting the following items. Items must be new and unused:

  • Unused masks rated N95 or higher: 3M Healthcare or NIOSH approved preferred
  • Full face shields
  • Impervious gowns: AAMI Level 2
  • Gloves: Nitrile or non-latex preferred
  • Unused ear loop masks
  • Unused surgical masks: meet the surgical masks regulations under 21 CFR 878.4040 preferred
  • Unused surgical masks with face shield: meet the surgical masks regulations under 21 CFR 878.4040 preferred
  • Medical/dental gowns

We are not able to accept homemade or hand-sewn items currently. Full details are at https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/coronavirus-ppe-donations/

Virtual services available via your Brunswick County library card

While several of us are staying home to better social distance, your Brunswick County Library team members want to remind all county library card members that even though the libraries are closed to the public, there are still a number of virtual services and resources they can use at this time with their card. See a full list of services at https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/virtual-library-services/

Even though Brunswick County’s Library System is currently closed to the public, our team members are still available to you via phone or email and can assist you in applying for a library card virtually. If you have any questions or need assistance using these resources, please contact your local library branch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to the County’s Public Health call line’s most frequently asked questions the past few days.

I have events planned in May and the rental organization I am working through says they cannot give me a refund unless additional restrictions are in place for the time I’m renting. What can I do?

Answer: At this time, the state’s Executive Order will last through Wednesday, April 29. You are encouraged to reach out to the local municipal government in the jurisdiction of the rental to see if additional restrictions are or could be in place during the time of your planned rental. Ultimately, it will depend on if the state’s or any local restrictions are extended in the future. You are encouraged to take proactive preventative measures and avoid traveling for reasons such as vacations especially while travel restrictions are in place to prevent the spread and transmission of the virus to yourself or others.

Should I wear a mask? Where do I find one?

Answer: Social distancing – staying six feet apart from others – cannot be replaced by face coverings. The very best evidence on reducing the spread is to social distance and stay at home. The CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain such as grocery stores and pharmacies.

The CDC is not recommending medical masks, which need to first go to those on the front lines, including our health care workers. Cloth coverings can play a part in controlling the spread if they are used properly and in combination with other tried and true everyday preventive actions like washing hands, wiping down surfaces. If used incorrectly, face coverings can expose someone to more germs rather than less. Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.

Why are people not practicing social distancing?

Answer: Social distancing measures are the best way to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus from person to person. Executive Order No. 121 is mandatory. All persons and other entities are required to comply if they do not fall within the exemptions that are specified in the Order. Governor Cooper is seeking voluntary cooperation from all state residents and businesses to ensure the health and safety of our communities. If voluntary cooperation is not achieved, state and local law enforcement officers have the authority to enforce the Order. If you have concerns about actions that might violate the Order, you are encouraged to reach out the local law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction to report activity using their nonemergency phone number. Do not report concerns through 9-1-1 unless it is a legitimate health or safety emergency.

Why are controlled burns allowed when people have respiratory issues?

Answer: There are no burn bans in place in Brunswick County and there are no plans at present to implement any bans. There are some management controlled burns occurring to help manage potential fire hazards due to the spring season. Some individuals might notice the smoke from these regular management burns due to spending more time at home during the daytime, which they might not typically experience while at work. There are other areas in western North Carolina that are under a burn ban because they are experiencing dryer conditions and less rainfall than our region.

What mental health resources are available?

Answer: Trillium offers free telehealth resources for individuals in our county including a call center available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and every day of the year. Call Trillium’s call center at 1.877.685.2415 (available in English and Spanish). Disaster Distress Helpline is also available at 800.985.5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (24-hour availability in English and Spanish). The NC Department of Health & Human Services also has a list of resources on their website to help you manage your overall heath.

The Hope4NC Helpline (1-855-587-3463) connects North Carolinians to additional mental health and resilience supports that help them cope and build resilience during times of crisis. As part of the state’s recent hurricane recovery efforts it served over 4,400 people in the most impacted counties, and now it is being made available to everyone in North Carolina’s 100 counties during the COVID-19 crisis. This initiative is in partnership with all seven of the state’s LME/MCOs and REAL Crisis Intervention Inc. in Greenville. Hope4NC is now available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to speak to a live person.

The Hope4Healers Helpline (919-226-2002) is a new initiative in partnership with the North Carolina Psychological Foundation. It provides mental health and resilience supports for health care professionals, emergency medical specialists, first responders, other staff who work in health care settings and their families throughout the state who are experiencing stress from being on the front lines of the state’s COVID-19 response. Hope4Healers is also available 24 hours per day, seven days a week for people to reach out for support; they will be contacted quickly by a licensed mental health professional for follow-up.

See more answers to frequently asked questions and information about COVID-19 at https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/coronavirus/

Food resources in Brunswick County

Some individuals and families might need help to ensure they have enough food at this time. We understand that this is a stressful situation for many of our fellow residents—but there are a number of resources and programs available that want to assist anyone who needs help at this time. Here are a few of the major resources available:

Brunswick Family Assistance (BFA)

The Brunswick Family Assistance Executive Committee voted March 31 to increase the number of allowed pantry visits from once to twice per month. This effort is in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic and serves to ensure that no family goes hungry in the county. Additionally, the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners approved a request at the April 6 regular meeting for $30,000 in additional funding to BFA to support their COVID-19 response. Those in need of assistance are encouraged to call BFA at 910-754-4766 for the Shallotte office or 910-408-1700 for the Leland Office to set up appointments for pantry visits and other assistance services.

Brunswick Senior Resources, Inc (BSRI)

Eligible seniors aged 60 or older can request home meal deliveries on Tuesdays and Thursdays (two hot and three frozen) through the Meals on Wheels program or RSVP for drive-through meal service on select days at a BSRI center/site if they have not already. Contact BSRI to learn more and sign up for either of these services. Find the latest updates and contact information at www.bsrinc.org

Apply for Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits through the NCDHHS

To help families access food during the COVID-19 pandemic, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is temporarily increasing benefits for March 2020 and April 2020 to current Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) recipients in North Carolina. All families that receive FNS will receive the maximum amount allowed for March 2020 and April 2020 for their household size. Families and individuals who do not currently receive benefits can apply online with ePass.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

The WIC Program is a supplemental nutrition program that provides food, nutrition education, and breastfeeding support to income-eligible women who are pregnant, have recently given birth, are breastfeeding, as well as infants and children up to five years of age. Brunswick County’s WIC team members are providing all services over the phone and can be reached via the following phone numbers:

  • Bolivia Office: 910.253.2288
  • Shallotte Office: 910.253.2878
  • Leland Office: 910.253.2877
COVID-19 Community Assistance webpage

Brunswick County is updating offers of community assistance including other food resources on its website. If you are aware of any other offers or notices, please email Volunteer and Nonprofit Coordinator Leslie Stanley at leslie.stanley@brunswickcountync.gov

Local and State Public Health Call Lines

Brunswick County Public Health Call Line

The County is operating a joint information center with a Public Health Call Line and email to answer residents’ coronavirus questions (available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). More information is also available on our website at https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/coronavirus

Individuals who have questions afterhours are encouraged to use the North Carolina 2-1-1 program or call the North Carolina Public Health Call Line, which has public health professionals available 24 hours a day every day to answer questions.

NC Public Health Call Line (Open 24/7)
  • 866.462.3821
North Carolina 2-1-1 Program
  • For COVID-19 questions, dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162
  • Sign up for updates by texting COVIDNC to 898211

The COVID-19 situation is a stressful situation for many of us. There are several resources available should you need to speak with someone anonymously at this time:

  • Trillium: 877.685.2415 (24-hour availability in English and Spanish)
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 800.985.5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (24-hour availability in English and Spanish)
  • Hope4NC Helpline: 1-855-587-3463 (available 24/7)
  • Hope4Healers Helpline (for health care professionals, emergency medical specialists, first responders, other staff who work in health care settings and their families who are experiencing stress from being on the front lines of the state’s COVID-19 response): 919-226-2002 (available 24/7)
  • More resources are available through the NC Department of Health & Human Services: COVID-19: Managing Your Overall Health

Updates from Our Partners in Response to Coronavirus

Brunswick County Schools
Brunswick County Courthouse

While most courts are closed, the Brunswick County Courthouse Clerk’s Office is open for limited services. The public is strongly encouraged to call in advance, as many trips to the Courthouse can be avoided.

Brunswick Community College
Novant Health
  • Online coronavirus assessment tool found at https://coronavirus.novanthealth.org/
  • 24/7 helpline for patients are experiencing symptoms and have questions on how to best seek care: 877-499-1697 or 877-9NOVANT
Dosher Memorial Hospital

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

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