Sunday, July 21, 2024

County moves Covid-19 vaccines to HHS clinic, away from PanOps Center

Covid-19 vaccines, tests and boosters are now offered at the NHC Health and Human Services Building. (Port City Daily/File)

WILMINGTON — On Monday, the Pandemic Operations Center will no longer be offering Covid-19 vaccine services. The county announced in a release it will have vaccines and boosters and offer free at-home test through its general clinic located in the New Hanover County Health and Human Services (1650 Greenfield St.).

The vaccines and boosters will continue to be available free of charge and for walk-in services.

“This move will allow us to continue to provide COVID vaccines to the public while also consolidating our vaccine operations and making it more convenient to access additional services in the Health and Human Services building,” Public Health Director Jon Campbell said in the release.

The PanOps call center is also consolidating efforts and moving its general customer service line to NHCHHS. More information on vaccines, boosters and testing can be accessed by calling 910-798-3500. 

“Streamlining our services will ensure New Hanover County is securely positioned to face this and any future public health crises,” Campbell added.

The county moved its Covid-19 services to the Pandemic Operations Center, away from health and human services’ mall vaccination sites in February 2022. It invested $3.7 million, out of $45 million allocated from its receipt of ARPA funds, in putting together a Pandemic Operations team.

The Pandemic Operations Center, at 1507 Greenfield St. near the HHS department, had an overall building budget of $191,000 to demolish and construct new elements to make the building in compliance with the ADA, as well as update its landscaping, painting, IT and security, furniture and signage.

Per previous PCD reporting, the building had a three-year lease at $99,996 per year with an annual 5% escalator.

According a spokesperson from the county, the center will still be used.

“The current Pandemic Operations Center will continue to house some administrative personnel as well as provide support functions related to COVID-19,” Alex Riley wrote in an email to PCD.   

The county’s first case of Covid-19 was confirmed three years ago in 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic became a worldwide health emergency. To date, there have been more than 64,000 confirmed cases and 467 deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists New Hanover County currently at a low level of transmission. Precautions include being up to date on boosters and vaccination and testing upon developing symptoms.

“We will continue to analyze epidemiological data while having individuals readily identified to deploy in response to public health needs,” Campbell said in the release.

Over the last seven days, the percent positivity rate for molecular PCR tests performed in the county is 5.7%. Close to 65% of New Hanover County residents are considered fully vaccinated with two doses of vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna, or Novavax, or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

At the health and human services department, vaccines and boosters are offered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours until 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

Free at-home tests are offered at the clinic. More information can be accessed here.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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