Sunday, March 26, 2023

By the Numbers: Covid-19 updates in New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender for week of March 22

New Hanover County is now at 4.3% positivity rate. (Port City Daily/File)

Earlier in the week, Gov. Roy Cooper announced vaccinations would open to the rest of Group 4 on Wednesday, Mar. 31. Thereafter, beginning Apr. 7, every North Carolinian who wants a vaccine will be able to schedule one.

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

Across North Carolina, more than 4 million total doses (33.8% of the population) have been administered of the free Covid-19 vaccines to date. Of those, 1.5 million people (15.7% of the population) have been fully vaccinated (70% or so is the goal for herd immunity). More than 232,000 were administered the week of Mar. 22.

The state’s positivity rate continues tracking under health officials’ goal of 5%, currently landing at 4.3%.

North Carolina had around 10,000 more cases over the last week, now totaling 905,528 since Covid-19 began threatening the nation a year ago. There have been 200 more deaths since last Sunday, with hospitalizations going down from 964 to 933.

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.

If you value Port City Daily’s free Covid-19 coverage, please, consider a monthly subscription for access to all of PCD’s in-depth reporting, and sign up for the free morning newsletter.

New Hanover County

As of Mar. 28, 17,592 people — up by 500 or so over the last week — have been infected. Public health reported 671 cases are active in New Hanover and more than 16,000 have recovered. Nearly 88% of cases have affected people under age 65.

The death toll went from 162 to 163 over the last week. Of those, 144 have been over the age of 65.

“So, while younger individuals may not have severe complications from the virus, they must remain vigilant because the increased threat comes when the virus is spread to older adults,” the county noted in a release. “That’s why it is important that each person takes action to protect themselves and those around them.”

CDC is reporting New Hanover’s positivity rate as 5.46%.

Updated Mar. 26, 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.

Holly Shelter is no longer on the school list.

According to New Hanover County Schools’ data, there are 23 active cases 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. 26, clusters and outbreaks in congregate-living facilities include:

  • Accordius Health at Wilmington: 28 total cases (up by one), with 20 staff and 8 residents.
  • Azalea Health & Rehab Center: 105 total cases, with 45 staff, 60 patients and 10 patient deaths
  • Davis Health Care Center: 27 total cases, with 25 staff, two patients and one patient death
  • New Hanover County Detention Facility: 80 total cases (up four from last week), with 30 staff and 50 inmates
  • Spring Arbor of Wilmington: 17 total cases, with nine staff and eight residents
  • “Other facility” on Martin St.: 3 total resident cases

New Hanover Public Health increased vaccinations over the last week by 2,534 to 37,095; 22,838 were first doses and 14,257, second.

In partnership with local healthcare groups and other outreach efforts, the NCDHHS dashboard shows the county has inoculated more than 58,000 individuals with their first shot and 41,781 with both shots.

Those numbers equal 24.7% of the county’s population being partially vaccinated and 17.3% fully receiving the vaccine.

“[T]he vast majority of our population is still not vaccinated – around 75 percent have not received the vaccine yet,” Interim Health Director David Howard said in a release, “so we can’t let our guard down. When it’s your turn to be vaccinated, we encourage you to take the opportunity and protect yourself and the people you love. All three approved vaccines are 100 percent effective at preventing serious illness and death from the virus and are proven safe. If you’re questioning whether or not to get the vaccine, do your research and talk to your doctor to find out more about why it’s right for you.”

A new vaccine clinic will open at Independence Mall by the end of next week, according to county officials. It will be open 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 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 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

As of Mar. 26, Brunswick County’s case count rose by 130 to 8,563 overall. Its death count rose by one to a total of 142. There are 273 hospitalizations.

CDC is reporting Brunswick’s positivity rate is down from 6.4% to 6.1%.

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.

Updated Mar. 26, NCDHHS is reporting, for the first time in months, no clusters or outbreaks in K-12 schools in Brunswick County.

According to Brunswick County Schools’ data, there are 17 active cases and 80 precautionary quarantines 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. 26:

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

N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is reporting more than 4,000 new first doses at 44,477. It’s fully vaccinated 31,111 people — or 21.8% of the population.

Brunswick will follow the state’s guide to open up the vaccination queue to Group 4 on Mar. 31 and Group 5 on Apr. 7. To schedules appointments, head to Questions can also be sent to

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

According to Pender County Health and Human Services, updated on Mar. 22, there has been 4,947 (up 151 from last week) positive tests for Covid-19, with two hospitalizations. Of those cases, 99% have recovered and 63 have died.

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

The state dashboard varies and is reporting 4,985 cases and 69 deaths.

CDC is reporting Pender’s positivity rate down from 8.59% to 7.59%.

Updated Mar. 26, 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: 116 (down 16) total cases, 48 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 three active cases across multiple schools. Catch up on those numbers in Port City Daily’s weekly Covid-19 numbers in tri-county schools.

According to the state, vaccinations have gone up in the county from last week by a little over 1,500, with 8,119 people fully vaccinated. As well 13,202 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

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 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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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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