Brunswick County Coronavirus Update (May 13, 2020)
- As more businesses prepare to reopen, follow the information and guidance for businesses about Phase 1 on the NCDHHS website, including the reopening checklist, cleaning and disinfection tips, and links to materials like the Know Your Ws and occupancy signage.
- Phase 1 still includes a modified version of the Governor’s Stay at Home Order. Limiting your travel helps both our county and our neighboring counties prevent the further spread of the virus. Do not plan any day trips or vacations during Phase 1 (through May 22) in or out of Brunswick County (including South Carolina).
- Help protect and respect the health of our fellow neighbors. Follow the three Ws when you visit any public area: Wear a cloth face covering; Wait six feet apart to avoid close contact and maintain appropriate social distancing between yourself and others; Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
- As of May 13, there are 51 positive cases of COVID-19, 24 pending test results and 1,907 confirmed negative test results, totaling 1,982 tests administered so far among county residents. Of the positive cases, 42 are considered recovered cases, seven are currently isolating at seven different homes (one is not located in Brunswick County), and two are deaths associated to COVID-19.
- There are 10 cases involving non-residents testing positive for COVID-19; five are considered recovered cases, three have transferred monitoring to their home county, and two are deaths associated to COVID-19.
- See answers and information to several of our most frequently asked questions concerning COVID-19.
- See more information about COVID-19 testing and screening sites in Brunswick County
BOLIVIA, N.C. – Businesses that are reopening during Phase 1 or preparing to reopen are reminded to follow the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ (NCDHHS) Checklist for Business Owners and other guidance as part of their reopening plan.
All businesses and agencies that congregate people in an enclosed space should create and implement a plan to minimize the opportunity for COVID-19 transmission at their facility. NCDHHS’ checklist requires steps involving signage, cleaning and disinfection procedures, symptom screening for employees and COVID-19 education for employees.
Here is a select list of action items the NCDHHS also recommends for businesses. View the checklist for full requirements and recommendations:
- Check that the building water and water systems are safe to use and minimize the risk of diseases (Read our flushing guidance)
- Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible
- Designate times for seniors and other high-risk populations to access services
- Place markings on the floor and designate entrance and exit points to promote social distancing
- Have employees wear cloth face coverings and provide information on proper use, removal and washing of cloth face coverings
- Share information about available help lines (2-1-1 and Hope4NC Helpline,
More information and guidance for businesses about Phase 1 is on the NCDHHS website, including links to additional resources and materials like answers to questions, the Know Your Ws and occupancy signage.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has a reopening guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public places, workplaces, businesses, schools and homes. More information is also on the CDC website.
Brunswick County and NC State Extension also have more information relevant to the reopening process:
- Guidance from Public Utilities on flushing buildings and all appliances that use water before reopening.
- NC State Extension’s food safety resources webpage for individuals and food environments like restaurants, grocery stores, food banks, gardens and farms
- Brunswick County’s webpage with links to business resources in response to COVID-19
North Carolina’s Phase 1 still includes a modified version of the Governor’s Stay at Home Order. Continue to limit nonessential travel as much as possible during this phase. This includes not planning any day trips or vacations during Phase 1 (through May 22) in or out of Brunswick County.
As of May 13, Brunswick County has had 51 residents and 10 non-residents test positive for COVID-19. Brunswick County’s neighboring counties also have had several positive cases identified.
Limiting your travel to only the essentials helps both our county and these counties prevent the further spread of the virus:
- Horry County, South Carolina: 269 cases (as of May 11, 2020)
- Columbus County, North Carolina: 216 cases (as of May 13, 2020)
- New Hanover County, North Carolina: 117 cases (as of May 12, 2020)
Follow the links above for the most up-to-date information on a county’s case counts and COVID-19 response.
You are discouraged from inviting guests to travel to your home to visit during Phase 1 as travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Do not travel if you are sick or travel with someone who is sick. If someone traveling tests positive for COVID-19, any close contacts who were traveling with them or those who were hosting them will have to quarantine as well. Individuals who have to quarantine with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 are at a higher risk for contracting the virus themselves.
Everyone should follow the three Ws when visiting any public area. These efforts work best when they are all practiced together by as many people as possible:
- Wear a cloth face covering when in public (Make sure both your nose and mouth are fully covered and you are able to breathe normally while wearing it.)
- Wait six feet apart to avoid close contact and maintain appropriate social distancing between yourself and others
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer while also following other best hygiene practices
While cloth face coverings are being sold by a range of retailers and available to purchase online, you can also make them at home from regular household items. Learn how to wear and/or make one on the CDC website and see answers to frequently asked questions about cloth face coverings on the NCDHHS website. You can also watch a video showing the steps to make a homemade face covering from materials like T-shirts or bandanas.
Face coverings are not a replacement for other evidence-based measures such as physical distancing, frequent hand washing practices, and remaining at home whenever possible.
More information about the Governor’s Executive Order No. 138 concerning Phase 1 is available below.
- Read: Governor’s Executive Order No. 138 (Phase 1)
- FAQs on the Governor’s Executive Order No. 138
- See more on what’s new in Phase 1 (PDF)
- Information and guidance for businesses about Phase 1(from NCDHHS)
COVID-19 FAQ of the Day
What does the Governor’s Executive Order No. 138 mean for places of worship?
- Places of worship may hold services that exceed the mass gathering limit of ten people if those services are held outdoors in an unenclosed space and if attendees follow recommendations to promote social distancing and reduce transmission.
Are individuals allowed to gather but stay in their vehicles in Phase 1?
- Yes, events such as drive-in worship services or drive-in movies are allowed if all participants stay inside their vehicles.
See more answers and information to several of our most frequently asked questions concerning COVID-19.
Answers to questions about the Governor’s Executive Order no. 138 (Phase 1) are on the NCDHHS website.
Brunswick County Test Results
As of May 13, there are 51 positive cases of COVID-19, 24 pending test results and 1,907 confirmed negative test results, totaling 1,982 tests administered so far among Brunswick County residents. Of the 51 positive cases, 26 are male and 25 are female; 42 are considered recovered cases, seven are isolating at seven different homes (one home is not in Brunswick County), and two are deaths associated to COVID-19.
There are 10 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. Seven of these cases are male and three are female. Five of the non-resident cases are considered recovered, and the County has transferred monitoring for three cases to the individuals’ home counties; two are deaths associated to COVID-19.
The age ranges of the positive cases among Brunswick County residents as of today are as follows:
- 0-17 years old: 1
- 18-24 years old: 4
- 25-49 years old: 9
- 50-64 years old: 20
- 65+ years old: 17
The age ranges of the positive cases among non-residents as of today are as follows:
- 0-17 years old: Zero cases
- 18-24 years old: Zero cases
- 25-49 years old: 4
- 50-64 years old: 1
- 65+ years old: 5
To protect individual privacy, no further information will be released.
COVID-19 Test Reports in Brunswick County Among County Residents
|Total Positives (confirmed and probable)||8,917|
|Active (includes isolating at home and hospitalizations)||245|
COVID-19 Test Reports in Brunswick County Among Non-Residents
|Positive Cases (Non-Residents)||22|
|Positive Cases Isolating in the County (Non-Residents)||0|
|Positive Cases Isolating at a Hospital (Non-Residents)||0|
|Recoveries Among Positive Cases (Non-Residents)||17|
|Transferred Monitoring to Home County (Non-Residents)||3|
|Associated COVID-19 Deaths (Non-Residents)||2|
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 NCDHHS announced that it would share more information concerning the number of positive cases residing in zip codes and are looking at ways to protect populations located in smaller zip code areas. Brunswick County Public Health reminds individuals that zip codes only tell the location of where a positive case resides and does not mean that that is where the individual got the virus.
Most of the County’s resident and non-resident cases are related to travel to or from places outside of Brunswick County, however there is evidence of community spread of the virus in some of the resident cases. There are also a couple of instances where a positive case has transmitted the virus to another person outside of their household who was later tested and identified as a positive case.
Of the 51 identified cases, 42 are considered recovered cases, and seven are isolating at seven different homes, one of which is not located in Brunswick County. These isolating positive cases pose a low risk to the public as they and any household contacts are isolated or quarantined.
Everyone in Brunswick County, the state and nation needs to continue to take actions that best protect themselves from COVID-19 wherever they are and should assume that they can be exposed to the virus anywhere—hence the need to wear a face covering, wait six feet apart from other people, and wash their hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds and/or use hand sanitizer frequently.
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. 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.
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
On April 20, it was announced that North Carolina has been approved for the new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program to help families purchase food for children impacted by school closings due to COVID-19. The program provides a benefit on an EBT card to North Carolina families whose children are eligible for free and reduced lunch at school. Families will not need to apply for the P-EBT program. Parents with school aged children attending a school in the Brunswick County Schools district who currently receive Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits will receive the additional benefit on their existing EBT card. Parents with school-aged children attending a school in the Brunswick County Schools district who are not receiving FNS benefits will receive an EBT card in the mail with a letter from DHHS explaining how to activate and use their card. Families will receive $250 in P-EBT benefits per child, provided in two installments, with the possibility of an additional benefit if North Carolina schools are closed beyond May 15. Families will be able to use the P-EBT benefit to purchase food items at EBT authorized retailers, including most major grocery stores. More information about the P-EBT benefits including information in Spanish is on the NCDHHS website.
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