NEW HANOVER COUNTY — By Valentine’s Day, the New Hanover County Health and Human Services will have a new center to centralize all outreach and operations for the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Pandemic Operations Center (PanOps) is located at 1507 Greenfield St. and will provide vaccination clinics and rapid testing for the community. The county spent $3.7 million to open the center, led by manager Jonathan Campbell who was hired in December.
A team of 17 — including two public health nurses, an epidemiologist, among other positions — will help run the site daily. The addition of the Covid-19 team will alleviate public health staff who have overseen extra job duties since the pandemic began in 2020, according to HHS director Donna Fayko.
“The team has been stretched at times,” Fayko told Port City Daily in December.
The vaccination clinics at Independence Mall will wrap up Tuesday, Feb. 8. Covid-19 vaccine clinics hosted at the HHS building will cease operations at the close of business Friday, Feb. 11. PanOps will open Monday, Feb. 14.
Testing and vaccinations will take place on different days, according to Campbell. This will ensure there are not “potential exposures of positive cases with people who are there to get their vaccine to be protected,” Campbell added.
Vaccinations and boosters will be offered Mondays, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Fridays, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. While walk-ups are accepted, appointments are encouraged through TakeMyShot.NC.gov.
Rapid testing will run Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and Fridays, 9 a.m. – noon. Appointments are also encouraged, as limited walk-up testing opportunities will be offered.
“The effectiveness of the PanOps team will be evaluated on an ongoing basis and the county will decide the need for the team in 2024 and at what scale the team will need to continue to be funded,” Fayko said in December.
More information on Covid-19 vaccines and testing can be directed toward the PanOps team by calling 910-798-6800.
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