Brunswick County Coronavirus Update (April 14, 2020)
- Brunswick County continues to encourage residents to take proactive measures to stay home as much as possible and social distance the next two weeks.
- As of April 14, there are 35 positive cases of COVID-19, 28 pending test results and 897 confirmed negative test results, totaling 960 tests administered so far among Brunswick County residents. Of the 35 positive cases, 17 are male and 18 are female; 27 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. Three are considered recovered cases, one has transferred monitoring to their home county, and one is a death associated to COVID-19.
- Executive Order No. 131 is now in effect; 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.
- 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.
BOLIVIA, N.C. – Brunswick County’s latest update on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is now available.
To best protect yourself and others, you are strongly urged to remain at home as much as possible the next two weeks through April 29, 2020, and to limit your travel to only the essential needs—even if it is permitted in Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 121.
The Order directs people to stay at home except to visit essential businesses, to exercise outdoors or to help a family member. Specifically, the order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to physically stay at least six feet apart from others.
Following these rules and moderating your activity to only what is necessary is vital to making the stay at home order effective and to protect the health and safety of yourself and others. You should also contact your municipality or check their website or social media routinely to see if they have or will put additional restrictions in place.
As per section two of the Order and Executive Order No. 120, essential government operations like counties are considered a COVID-19 essential business or operation. Brunswick County is open but requires individuals to visit the County’s website and call or email departments for assistance virtually first and to schedule an appointment if an in-person visit is required.
- Read: Executive Order No. 121
- Frequently Asked Questions about North Carolina’s Stay at Home Order (Executive Order No. 121)
Executive Order No. 131 is also now in effect. 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 14, there are 35 positive cases of COVID-19, 28 pending test results and 897 confirmed negative test results, totaling 960 tests administered so far among Brunswick County residents. Of the 35 positive cases, 17 are male and 18 are female; 27 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. Three 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 14 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 14 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
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.
- Emergency Services: 910.253.5383 / email@example.com
- Public Health Call Line: 910.2339 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
- Library System main webpage: https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/library/
- Harper Library (Southport): 910.457.6237 / email@example.com
- Rourk Library (Shallotte): 910.754.6578 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leland Library: 910.371.9442 / email@example.com
- Barbee Library (Oak Island): 910.278.4283 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Southwest Brunswick Branch Library (Carolina Shores): 910.575.0173 / email@example.com
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 and 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:
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.
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
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
- Phone: 910.253.2339
- Email: email@example.com
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)
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
- Updates on Coronavirus Impacts on Brunswick County Schools
- Online Educational Resources/Video Tutorials
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.
- Contact Information: (910) 253-3900 / Brunswick County Courthouse Website
- Filings can be mailed to: Clerk of Court / 310 Government Center Dr, Unit 1 / Bolivia NC 28422
- NC Courts Coronavirus Updates
Brunswick Community College
- 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
For media inquiries, contact the Public Information Officer at 910.253.2995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Residents can find the latest information from the County concerning COVID-19 at http://brunswickcountync.gov/news
- Individuals can also follow the County’s social media and sign up for emails on emergency updates at http://brunswickcountync.gov/info/email/
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