By the Numbers: Covid-19 updates in New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender for week of Mar. 29

North Carolina is now at 4.4% positivity rate. (Port City Daily/File)

This week on Wednesday, Apr. 7, every North Carolinian who wants a vaccine will be able to schedule one. It puts the state one step closer to herd immunity (70% is the magic number health officials hope for).

RELATED: Cooper accelerates vaccinations, opening to groups 4 and 5 early

Currently, North Carolina is at 23.5% of the population being fully vaccinated, and 36.5% partially vaccinated as of Apr. 3 (the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updates dashboards through Saturday only, now). The state’s positivity rate continues tracking under health officials’ goal of 5%, landing at 4.4%.


North Carolina had 2,027 new Covid-19 cases reported on Saturday around 11,000 more cases over the last week, now totaling 916,159 since Covid-19 began threatening the nation a year ago. There have been 12,136 deaths to date, and for the first time in a few weeks hospitalizations went up over the last week from 933 to 985.

The state also updated their Covid-19 County Alert System to determine viral spread in the counties by gauging three metrics: case rate, the percentage positivity of tests, and impact Covid-19 is having on local hospitals. The department of health added two new colored zones, in addition to red (critical community spread), orange (substantial community spread) and yellow (significant community spread). New zones represent lower tiers: light yellow for moderate community spread and green, signifying the lowest of community spread.

New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties have maintained in the yellow zones for a month now.

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

CASES
As of Apr. 4, the state has infections in New Hanover at 17,930 people — up by more more than 300 since last week. Public health reported 937 cases are active in New Hanover and more than 16,800 have recovered.

“For the first time since October, New Hanover County Public Health has no reported deaths from COVID-19 this week,” the county noted in its weekly release.

The death toll remains at 161.

“This Easter feels a little better than last year, when we were all trying to learn about this new coronavirus, following the Stay at Home Order, and canceling Easter Egg hunts and family gatherings,” Health and Human Services Director Donna Fayko stated in the release. “State-wide restrictions have eased and families can now begin seeing one another again safely if they have been vaccinated, but we have to continue practicing safety measures so we don’t see a fourth surge in cases and hospitalizations — like we are seeing in other parts of the country.”

CDC is reporting New Hanover’s positivity rate is up from 5.46% last week to 6.84%.

CLUSTERS AND OUTBREAKS
Updated Mar. 30, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) still shows a cluster at Myrtle Grove Christian School, with seven total cases, one staff member and six children.

According to New Hanover County Schools’ data, active cases have gone down from 23 to 12 across multiple schools. Catch up on those numbers in Port City Daily’s weekly Covid-19 numbers in tri-county schools.

No child-care facilities have been reported.

As of Mar. 30, clusters and outbreaks in congregate-living facilities include:

  • Accordius Health at Wilmington: 28 total cases (up by one), with 20 staff and 8 residents.
  • Davis Health Care Center: 27 total cases, with 25 staff, two patients and one patient death
  • New Hanover County Detention Facility: 83 total cases (up three from last week), with 32 staff and 51 inmates
  • Other facility on Martin St.: 13 total resident cases
  • Spring Arbor of Wilmington: 17 total cases, with nine staff and eight residents

VACCINATIONS
New Hanover Public Health increased vaccinations over the last week by 2,800 to 39,939.

The NCDHHS dashboard shows the county has inoculated 46,256 people fully through NC providers, not including federal pharmacies; 62,854 have been partially vaccinated.

It still doesn’t lessen the need to take preventative measures in protecting each other against Covid-19, according to the health department.

“If you gather together this weekend, please stay outdoors, wear your mask if you are in public,” health and human services director Fayko said, “that includes when you’re walking down the sidewalks in downtown Wilmington, and stay 6 feet from others who aren’t in your immediate household. I know we are all ready to get back to a sense of normalcy, and we are heading there with increased vaccinations – but we are nowhere near herd immunity, so we are not yet safe without good public health measures.”

A new vaccine clinic will open at Independence Mall soon, according to county officials. It will operate four days a week through Sept. 30. Public health will release more information soon about getting appointments at the clinic.

For now when vaccine appointments open, New Hanover County is informing residents through emails, 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, 8 a.m. – 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.

As well, the county encourages folks to cancel appointments if and when they receive a vaccine elsewhere. To do so, call the county’s call center at 910-798-6800.

Brunswick County

CASES
Brunswick County’s case count rose by 96 to 8,659 overall. Its death count rose by four to a total of 146.

CDC is reporting Brunswick’s positivity rate is up from 6.1% to 6.28%.

Brunswick’s Covid-19 dashboard has been down since Jan. 24 due to technical issues. However, it has updated numbers listed on a table chart.

CLUSTERS AND OUTBREAKS
Updated Mar. 30, NCDHHS still reports no clusters or outbreaks in K-12 schools in Brunswick County.

According to Brunswick County Schools’ data, there are nine active cases across multiple schools. Catch up on those numbers in Port City Daily’s weekly Covid-19 numbers in tri-county schools.

There is only one congregate-living facility on the list as of Mar. 30:

  • Carolina Dunes Behavioral Health: 23 total, with 21 staff and two resident

VACCINATIONS
N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is reporting more than 3,000 new first doses at 47,545 through NC providers, not including federal pharmacies. It’s fully vaccinated more than 2,000 people over the last week at 33,984 people.

Brunswick will follow the state’s guide to open up the vaccination queue to Group 5 on Apr. 7. To schedules appointments, head to NovantHealth.org/BrunswickVaccine. Questions can also be sent to coronavirus@brunswickcountync.gov.

Folks who don’t have access to internet can call public health at 910-253-2339, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Pender County

CASES
According to Pender County Health and Human Services, updated on Mar. 29, there has been 5,011 (up 64 from last week) positive tests for Covid-19, with two hospitalizations. Of those cases, 99% have recovered and 66 have died (up three from last week).

Pender breaks down its cases by area percentages:

Burgaw: 17% cases
Hampstead: 36% cases
Rocky Point: 17% cases
Watha/Willard: 7% cases
Other: 23% cases

CDC is reporting Pender’s positivity rate down from 7.59% to 7.42%.

CLUSTERS AND OUTBREAKS
Updated Mar. 30, NCDHHS shows no change from last week in clusters in the following Pender County congregate-living facilities:

  • Ashe Gardens Care Facility: Two total staff cases
  • The Laurels of Pender: 129 (up 13) total cases, 61 staff, 68 residents, 11 deaths
  • Woodbury Wellness Center: 146 total cases, 53 staff, 93 residents and nine resident deaths
  • Pender County Jail: 22 total inmates

Its also reporting no clusters or outbreaks in K-12 schools in Pender County.

According to Pender County Schools’ data, there are seven active cases across multiple schools. Catch up on those numbers in Port City Daily’s weekly Covid-19 numbers in tri-county schools.

VACCINATIONS
According to the state, vaccinations have gone up in the county from last week by more than 900 people, with 9,096 fully vaccinated through NC providers, not including federal pharmacies. As well 14,146 have been partially vaccinated.

Vaccination appointments can be made when supply is available by calling 910-663-4200 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Folks can make 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.

Stats on NHRMC’s dashboard have not been updated since last week’s report on Mar. 26:

NHRMC has 1,850 Covid-19 patients admitted to the hospital for Covid-19, up by 35 from last week.

Of the overall patients, 1,530 were discharged and 306 have died (up by three since last week).

The daily average of hospitalized Covid-19 patients has gone down since last week from 17 to 14.

NHRMC has increased its doses administered, going from 67,529 to 73,133 over the last week.


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