Brunswick County Coronavirus Update (May 9, 2020)
- Phase 1 of North Carolina’s three-phase plan to lift restrictions due to COVID-19 is now in effect; Phase 1 still includes a modified version of the Governor’s Stay at Home Order. Read the full press release from the Governor’s Office here. More information and guidance for businesses about Phase 1 is available on the NCDHHS website.
- Brunswick County will continue to require individuals to schedule appointments for any necessary in-person visits during Phase 1. Individuals are encouraged to call ahead or email departments to see if team members can assist them virtually or through our online services.
- County libraries will partially reopen for no-contact curbside delivery beginning Monday, May 11. Library team members will begin calling library patrons who have reserved a book(s) and will agree together on a set pick up time during approved collection hours.
- Public Utilities encourages any business/building owners preparing to reopen to flush the entire building before doing so, including all water-using appliances such as ice machines and dishwashers. Flushing clears out the low-quality water that accumulates during low use and replaces it with higher quality water from the main water supply.
- As of May 9, there are 49 positive cases of COVID-19, 21 pending test results and 1,715 confirmed negative test results, totaling 1,785 tests administered so far among county residents. Of the positive cases, 39 are considered recovered cases, eight 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. – Phase 1 of North Carolina’s three-phase plan to lift restrictions due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is now in effect. Phase 1 still includes a modified version of the Governor’s Stay at Home Order and individuals should continue to limit travel as much as possible during this phase and discourage vacations or invitations to guests to visit during Phase 1. Read the full press release from the Governor’s Office here.
Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential, and practice social distancing especially if you are at higher risk of severe illness. Do not travel if you are sick or travel with someone who is sick.
Brunswick County has not issued additional restrictions beyond what is required in the Governor’s executive orders. Individuals should reach out to your municipality or check their website to see if their town or city has initiated or could initiate additional restrictions that overlap with Phase 1 of North Carolina’s statewide plan. Individuals should continue to comply with any rules established within their jurisdiction.
Individuals are strongly encouraged to follow the three Ws when visiting any public area:
- Wear a cloth face covering when in public
- 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
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)
Brunswick County government offices and library operations during Phase 1
As Phase 1 begins, Brunswick County government offices will continue to operate as they have since March 23 for the two-week period leading up to May 22—barring any extension of Phase 1 from Governor Roy Cooper. This means:
- Individuals must still schedule appointments for necessary in-person visits through Friday, May 22
- Individuals should use Brunswick County’s online services whenever possible to conduct business
- Individuals should call or email the department they need to conduct business with to see if our team members can assist them virtually
- County team members approved to telework or work under a modified/adjusted schedule can still work using these accommodations through Friday, May 22
- All county facilities will continue to be cleaned according to our advanced sanitation/disinfection protocol in response to COVID-19
- All county parks remain open as normally scheduled and social distancing is required; modified hours for park restrooms will remain in place to allow our team time to clean them according to our advanced sanitation/disinfection protocol
Beginning Monday, May 11, Brunswick County libraries will partially reopen for no-contact curbside delivery. Library team members will begin calling library patrons who have reserved a book(s) and will agree together on a set pick up time during these approved collection hours:
- 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- 2 to 5 p.m.
When patrons arrive at the appropriate library branch parking lot, they will call or knock on the library door to alert library staff of their arrival. Library staff will leave the reserved book on a cart by the front door for the patron to pick up. If necessary, staff can assist individuals with transporting books to their vehicle.
You are asked only to arrive at the library if you have scheduled a pick up time in advance and to follow any instructions library staff provide. Library buildings will still be closed to visitors at this time, however foyers will be used for book delivery only in the case of rain.
People without reserves can also call their library branch to request materials for no-contact curbside delivery beginning May 11.
Books must be returned in the book drops in front of the library. All returned books will be cleaned and quarantined for 72 hours.
Carts with donated books and magazines will also be outside libraries for people who want something to read.
Businesses/buildings preparing to reopen should flush all appliances that use water before restarting operations
With the Governor’s Stay at Home Order and Executive Order No. 120 requiring several businesses to close for several weeks, business and building owners are encouraged to take steps to prepare their pipes for increased water use as they reopen according to the Governor’s three-phase approach to lifting restrictions due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
If water is not being used for a longer period of time, the water held in a building’s pipes can become stagnant. Disinfectants in the water, such as chlorine, will likely dissipate or become undetectable.
The best immediate action is to flush the entire building, including all water-using appliances such as ice machines and dishwashers. Flushing clears out the low-quality water that accumulates during low use and replaces it with higher quality water from the main water supply. The fresh water will also help mitigate other problems (e.g., loss of protective scale and biofilm growth) that might have emerged while the water was stagnant.
If staff are available to flush your buildings’ water lines, you are encouraged to start now. Run enough water through all outlets (e.g., hoses, faucets, shower heads, toilets, etc.) and remove aerators when possible. Typical protocols require running water for 10 to 30 minutes for each outlet (duration varies based on outlet velocity). In most cases, flushing with water that has normal amounts of chlorine (the chlorine already in the water supply) is sufficient for cleaning the water system.
The scientists and engineers at the Environmental Science, Policy and Research Institute (ESPRI) and AH Environmental Consultants, Inc. (AH) developed a brief guidance material to help those who are responsible for maintaining building water systems.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has detailed information on reactivating plumbing systems after dormant conditions at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/building-water-system.html
COVID-19 FAQ of the Day
Why does Executive Order No. 138 (Phase 1) allow for some gatherings outdoors but not indoors?
- When people gather together, there is always a risk of transmitting COVID-19. Therefore, gatherings of large groups of people must be restricted in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order. Where people gather together indoors, the air they breathe is recirculated, and they are likely to touch the same surfaces. As a result, the risk of spreading COVID-19 is high. A recent study found that people spread diseases like COVID-19 in a closed, indoor environment at a rate 18.7 times higher than when they are outdoors in an open-air environment.
See more answers and information to several of our most frequently asked questions concerning COVID-19.
Brunswick County Test Results
As of May 9, there are 49 positive cases of COVID-19, 21 pending test results and 1,715 confirmed negative test results, totaling 1,785 tests administered so far among Brunswick County residents. Of the 49 positive cases, 25 are male and 24 are female; 39 are considered recovered cases, eight are isolating at seven different homes (one home is out-of-state), 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.
Brunswick County Health Services determined Friday, May 8 upon further investigation that the resident and nonresident cases that were reported on May 5 are residents of another county. Their isolation and monitoring period will be transferred to that county. Their cases will be retracted from Brunswick County’s case counts.
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: 3
- 25-49 years old: 9
- 50-64 years old: 19
- 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
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 49 identified cases, 39 are considered recovered cases, and eight 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