NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Following a review of the latest COVID-19 data for New Hanover County, the CDC Community Level has increased to High. The majority of the state is now at a high community level, indicating COVID-19 is widely circulating.
The CDC Community Level looks at the COVID-19 case rate and impact on the healthcare system to determine which level a county should be classified as. According to the CDC, New Hanover County’s current case rate per 100,000 population is 298.97 and new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population is 12.
When the community level increases, the CDC recommends taking additional protective measures such as limiting time at indoor public locations, wearing a properly fitted face covering and staying up to date on vaccines and boosters. It is also important to practice proper hand hygiene and to stay home if you are feeling sick.
“We have seen an increase in COVID-19 this week, much like we have seen the last couple of years,” Pandemic Operations Manager Jon Campbell said. “We are in the part of the year where respiratory virus cases increase as people spend more time indoors and take part in more social gatherings. It’s important to remember we have the tools to be proactive in getting the community level back down. COVID-19 boosters were updated in September and are built to help combat the Omicron variants like we are seeing circulating now. If you have not received an updated booster, we encourage you to visit us at the Pandemic Operations Center to help stay protected against severe illness.”
Extra Precautions Recommended
Recommended precautions for a High Community Level include wearing a well-fitting face covering while indoors regardless of vaccination status, staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, and maintaining improved ventilation in indoor spaces when possible.
If you are immunocompromised or at high-risk of severe disease, it is recommended that you wear a well-fitting face mask or respirator, consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities, and have a plan for rapid testing. You should also talk to your health care provider about additional precautions you should take as well as if you are eligible for COVID-19 treatments.
If you are around someone that is at high-risk, consider testing before you have any contact and consider wearing a mask when indoors with them. Everyone should have a plan for rapid testing and follow current CDC isolation and precautions guidelines if necessary.
The CDC updates community levels weekly, so residents can check the CDC website here to know the current community impact level.
Vaccines and Boosters
Initial vaccines and boosters are available each week on a walk-in basis at the Pandemic Operations Center (1507 Greenfield Street) from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday, and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Thursday. Members of the community are also encouraged to pick up free at-home tests during operating hours at 1507 Greenfield Street in Wilmington.
For more information on the Pandemic Operations Center, vaccines, boosters, or testing, visit Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus or call the Pandemic Operations Call Center at 910-798-6601.
COVID-19 Community Data, as of January 6:
· New Hanover County’s percent positivity over the past 14 days is 22.7 percent (this represents positive Molecular (PCR) tests as a percent of total PCR tests performed countywide).
· Approximately 64.6 percent of New Hanover County residents have completed the initial COVID-19 vaccine series.
· Since March 1, 2020, there have been 62,504 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County, resulting in 450 deaths.