SOUTHEASTERN NC — Despite the death toll rising above 10,000 people this week in N.C., the daily positivity rate of Covid-19 tests has decreased again. The state is now holding at 6.5%, inching closer to 5% — which health officials have noted as a goal in slowing the spread of the virus.
There have been 818,724 positive Covid-19 cases since March 2020 in N.C. 4,130 have been newly reported this week, and more than 2,100 people are hospitalized.
This week new variants were detected in N.C. as well, specifically the B.1.351 South African variant, which the CDC has reported as more contagious. Two cases in Pender County detected the U.K. variant, according to local reports.
RELATED: Multiple Covid-19 variants said to have entered North Carolina
Both Moderna and Pfizer have begun working on boosters to provide more protection against the new strains. Each still are effective against mild or moderate cases, and may lessen more severe cases.
The state has administered more than 1.6 million vaccines to date, with the Biden administration announcing an increase in supply by 5%. Though supplies are not in line with demand, Gov. Cooper announced Wednesday he would open vaccines to Group 3 gradually — first to educators beginning Feb. 24, then the rest of the group will be able to get an appointment beginning Mar. 10.
Let’s take a look at Covid-19 data, including cases, clusters and outbreaks, and vaccinations across the tri-county region and at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
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New Hanover County
New Hanover County announced it surpassed 15,000 cases this week, which equals an increase of more than 1,100 new cases as well. However, daily counts have fallen from Tuesday through Friday, despite a small spike from Monday (171) to Tuesday, from (179).
Of the 15.2k, 2,541 have Covid-19 and 138 have died — a rise of three people since last week.
New York Times tracker has the county around 9% positivity rate over the last 14 days, which is a 28% decrease from Feb. 1.
The majority of cases, 39%, continue to fall in the 25-49 age range.
“[N]ational data shows that cases in younger adults are followed by increases among older adults up to two weeks later, suggesting that younger adults are transmitting the virus to them,” Assistant Health Director Carla Turner said in a release. “Our older adults are some of the most vulnerable, and that’s why we have been working hard to get them vaccinated.”
CLUSTERS AND OUTBREAKS
Updated Feb. 12, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has confirmed one cluster in New Hanover County at Coastal Christian High School. The private school has 30 total cases, including four staff members and 26 students.
Myrtle Grove Christian School has seven total cases with one infection from staff and six from children.
RELATED: Checking in with tri-county schools: 10 cases at Hoggard, Lincoln Elementary cluster closes building
It has two clusters in childcare facilities, including New Hanover Classy Bears Day Care and Preschool, with five total cases, two being staff and three children. Rising Stars of Wilmington also has five total cases, with two staff and three children testing positive.
Updated Feb. 12, nursing homes and other congregate living facilities with spread include:
- Accordius Health at Wilmington: Eight total cases among staff
- Autumn Care of Myrtle Grove: 45 total cases, with 12 staff, 33 residents
- Azalea Health & Rehab Center: 98 total cases, with 43 staff, 55 patients and four patient deaths
- Bradley Creek Health Center: 44 total cases, with 26 staff and 18 patients
- Brookdale Wilmington: 16 total cases, with four staff and 12 residents
- Castle Creek Memory Lane: 12 total cases, with five staff and seven residents
- Commons at Brightmore: 22 total cases, with six staff, 16 residents, and one staff death and five resident deaths
- Cypress Pointe Rehabilitation Center: 82 total cases, with 27 staff, 55 patients and 17 patient deaths
- Davis Health Care Center: 25 total cases, with 23 staff, two patients and one patient death
- Kempton at Brightmore: 12 total cases, with seven staff and five residents
- Liberty Commons Rehabilitation Center: 14 total cases, with 11 staff and three patients
- Morningside of Wilmington: 19 total cases, with seven staff and 12 residents
- New Hanover County Detention Facility: 64 total cases, with 24 staff and 40 inmates
- Northchase Rehab & Nursing Care: 118 total cases, with 40 staff, 78 patients and eight patient deaths
- Peak Resources – Wilmington: 90 total cases, 33 staff, with 57 patients and five patient deaths
- Spring Arbor of Wilmington: 17 total cases, with nine staff and eight residents
The state is reporting 33,945 vaccinations administered in New Hanover County. Of the distributions, 25,215 were first doses and 8,730 were second doses.
As of Feb. 12, New Hanover County Public Health is reporting 19,865 total doses administered: 11,957 first doses and 7,908 second doses.
Its vaccine partners also have reached 43,364 New Hanover residents, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services dashboard. 29,526 first doses (12.6% population) and 13,838 (5.9% population) second doses have been administered.
The county said it is revising its vaccination plan to suit the governor’s request to open vaccinations to educators in Group 3 on Feb. 24.
Meanwhile, the New Hanover County manager, Chris Courdriet, has emailed county health officials about moving up 911 call center employees and jail staff in the vaccination queue. He cites their jobs as imperative to county functioning and public safety.
RELATED: ‘It’s the right thing to do’: County manager orders early vaccinations for staff at jail and 911 center
“Public Health has applied to receive even more vaccine through the state for additional vaccine events,” Health and Human Services Director Donna Fayko said in a release, “and we hope that our supply increases so we can reach even more people in the weeks to come.”
Next week, Feb. 15-20, New Hanover will receive 1,000 first doses and will open appointments to the general public; it also will receive an equity allotment.
When vaccine appointments open, New Hanover County is informing residents through email announcements, text alerts and social media posts. People can also sign up to receive notifications online or by contacting the Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Other appointments through vaccine providers can be made at:
- NHRMC: Vaccinations can be scheduled at nhrmc.org/coronavirus or by calling (910) 662-2020 when appointments are available. NHRMC now has an email list available for anyone to sign up to receive notifications when COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available. The link to sign up can be found here.
- Wilmington Health: Vaccinations can be scheduled at WilmingtonHealth.com/COVIDvaccine or by calling (910) 407-5115 when appointments are available.
Public health also has released the following information for anyone attempting to get a vaccine in the county:
- Public Health, as instructed by NCDHHS, will only vaccinate people who live or work in North Carolina.
- When appointments are available for the county’s online scheduling system, a unique email is required for each appointment. In addition, appointments cannot be transferred to someone else after they have been made.
- Spanish interpreters are available in the call center to assist with booking appointments and the online appointment system through the county is in English and Spanish when appointments are available.
- If you have received your first dose of the vaccine, you should receive your second dose of the vaccine through the same provider. Second doses should occur on the date outlined on your vaccine card and not be rescheduled.
Brunswick County reported its positivity rate at 10%. Though the New York Times tracker has the county increasing 3% over the last 14 days, now at a 11% positivity rate.
The county also has 7,434 cases, up by more than 500. Of that, 6,414 have recovered and 901 are active.
The death toll also has risen by 14 and is now at 119.
Brunswick’s Covid-19 dashboard has been down since January 24 due to technical issues. However, it has updated numbers listed on a table chart.
CLUSTERS AND OUTBREAKS
Updated Feb. 12, NCDHHS is reporting clusters and outbreaks in below congregate living and residential care facilities in Brunswick County:
- Autumn Care of Shallotte: Nine total, with six staff and three patients
- Brunswick Cove Living Center: 60 total, with 22 staff, 38 patients, and three patient deaths
- Brunswick Health and Rehab: 62 total, with 25 staff, 37 patients and six patient deaths, up five from last week
- Carolina Dunes Behavioral Health: 20 total, with 18 staff and two resident
- Coastal Pointe: Three cases among staff
- Leland House: 11 total, with three staff and eight residents
- Liberty Commons Nursing & Rehab Center of Southport: Two cases among staff
- Ocean Isle Operations: 67 total, with 24 staff, 43 residents and six resident deaths, up three from last week
- Universal Health Care/Brunswick: Eight total cases among staff
The virus has also spread within three child-care facilities:
- Childcare Network Southport has seven cases, with four staff and three children testing positive.
- Tiny Tots Child Care in Shallotte has nine cases, including one staff member and eight children.
- Kids World Academy in Southport, with five total cases, three from staff and two children.
Updated Feb. 12, K-12 clusters include:
- Jessie Mae Moore Elementary: Nine total, with one staff and eight children
- Added this week is Lincoln Elementary School: 6 total, with 2 staff and 4 children
- South Brunswick Charter School: 15 total, with three staff and 12 students
- Union Elementary School: 10 total, with two staff and eight children
According to the state, Brunswick County has vaccinated 25,859, with 20,705 first doses and 5,154 second doses.
Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center, Dosher Memorial Hospital and Brunswick County Health Services will receive at least 1,275 doses per week in coming weeks, the county reported. Though, last week the state allotted them 400 more doses as one-third of Brunswick’s population is 65 and older.
Brunswick is reporting vaccine supplies are still low, though sufficient to cover all first-dose appointments scheduled for next week, Feb. 15-19.
According to Pender County Health and Human Services, 3,968 people have tested positive for Covid-19 the week of Feb. 12 . Of those cases, 347 are at Pender Correctional.
The state dashboard varies and is reporting 4,395 cases and 51 deaths. Like Brunswick and New Hanover counties, people ages 25 to 49 are testing positive the most.
New York Times tracker has the county around 12% positivity rate over the last 14 days — clocking in at a 49% decrease since Feb. 1.
Pender breaks down its case count by areas, as well:
Maple Hill: 73
Rocky Point: 637
Surf City: 90
Topsail Beach: 21
CLUSTERS AND OUTBREAKS
Updated Feb. 12, NCDHHS has confirmed clusters in the following Pender County congregate living facilities:
- The Laurels of Pender: 132 total, 40 staff and 92 patients
- Woodbury Wellness Center: 146 total, 53 staff and 93 patients, with nine patient deaths
Pender County has no confirmed clusters in schools or daycares.
According to the state, 8,450 people have received vaccines in Pender County. Of those, 6,301 are first doses and 2,149 are second doses.
Vaccination appointments can be made when supply is available by calling 910-663-4200 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, this week the county also opened online appointments at pendercountync.gov.
New Hanover Regional Medical Center
New Hanover Regional Medical Center serves a seven-county region so numbers from its Covid-19 dashboard aren’t necessarily reflective of only residents from New Hanover County.
As of Feb. 12, NHRMC has 1,599 Covid-19 patients admitted to the hospital for Covid-19. That number of hospitalizations increased by 59 from last week.
Of the overall patients, 1,301 were discharged and 258 have died (up by 12 since last week).
The daily average of hospitalized Covid-19 patients has increased since last week from 45 to 47.
NHRMC has given 36,119 vaccine doses to date.
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