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Tuesday, March 24, 2020  |  Permalink

Harnett County COVID-19 Updates- March 24

Harnett County continues to work with state officials and local agencies to closely monitor the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Citizens are encouraged to stay up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 information by reviewing our daily press release. Each day, we will continue to provide new information while also communicating reminders for residents during this time.

In today’s update, the following sections include new information:

  • Updates from Governor Cooper’s Office
  • What to Do If You Feel Sick
  • County Operations
  • Child Care for COVID-19 First Responders
  • Board of Commissioners March 31 Work Session Cancelled
  • Resources for Businesses and Employers

Updates from Governor Cooper’s Office
On March 23, Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 120, which closes K-12 public school statewide through May 15, bans mass gatherings over 50 people, and closes gyms, movie theaters, sweepstakes parlors, health clubs and other similar facilities. Because of their inability to conduct social distancing, hair and nail salons, barber shops and massage therapists will also close. This will take affect 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 25. For more information on these closures, visit www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-response-north-carolina/nc-updates.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Mark Johnson, is encouraging parents and teachers to use Khan Academy, a free online educational tool that provides remote learning resources. To access these resources, visit www.khanacademy.org/.

Governor Roy Cooper previously announced that North Carolina restaurants and bars will be closed to sit-down service and limited to take-out or delivery orders starting at 5 p.m. March 17, 2020. Grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores, are exempt from this order and will remain open, though they may not serve sit-down food. 

Many of our local Harnett County restaurants and bars are still offering delivery and curbside services at this time. Citizens can contact these local businesses for more information on hours of operation and food services being provided.

What To Do if You Feel Sick
Coronaviruses like COVID-19 are most often spread through the air by coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact (including touching and shaking hands) or through touching your nose, mouth or eyes before washing your hands.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put together some guidelines for what to do if you feel sick.

1. Stay home and call your doctor, if needed.
Most people who get COVID-19 will recover without needing medical care. The CDC recommends that you stay home if you have mild symptoms – such as fever and cough without shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. You should call your doctor or 911 right away if you have: shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, blue lips, difficulty breathing, and/or confusion.

Most people will not need to be tested. When you leave your home to get tested, you could expose yourself to COVID-19 if you do not already have it. If you do have COVID-19, you can give it to someone else, including people who are high risk.

2. Isolate yourself
If you are sick with COVID-19 or believe you might have it, you should stay home and separate yourself from other people in the home as much as possible. You can stop isolating yourself when you answer YES to ALL three questions:

    • Has it been at least 7 days since you first had symptoms
    • Have you been without fever for three days (72 hours) without any medicine for fever?
    • Are your other symptoms improved?

Call your doctor if your symptoms are getting worse or you have any concerns about your health.

What should my family members do? Anyone in your household or others who have been in close contact with you should stay home for 14 days as much as possible and monitor themselves for symptoms. Close contact means within six feet for at least 10 minutes. If they start having symptoms of COVID-19, they should take the same steps to prevent spreading it.

You can view this information from NCDHHS by viewing the COVID-19: What to Do If You Feel Sick information handout.

The Harnett County Health Department will no longer issue press releases announcing new presumptive positive results for COVID-19.  Citizens can view the updated presumptive positive case count for Harnett County by visiting the NC DHHS COVID-19 website www.ncdhhs.gov/covid-19-case-count-nc.

County Operations
Public Access Closure Notice

Effective March 19, 2020, Harnett County officials closed public access to Harnett County Government Office Buildings due to COVID-19. This closure does not affect the Harnett County Courthouse and citizens are asked to call 910-814-4600 for more information on court cases or visit www.harnett.org/clerk/ for the most up-to-date information.

The Harnett County Health Department is the only department that will continue to allow public access to their building to support citizens at this time. Harnett County Landfills and Convenience Sites are also operating on a normal schedule until further notice.

Although the buildings will be closed for public access, Harnett County Government staff will continue to offer services and provide support to citizens at this time. Citizens are encouraged to visit www.harnett.org to receive services online or call County Departments for assistance with services. A list of County department phone numbers can also be found at www.harnett.org/department-index.asp.

Citizens can also visit www.harnett.org/publicinfo/covid19-cancellations-.asp to learn the latest updates from County Departments and how to access online resources and services.

Development Services Offers Limited Online Inspections
Harnett County Development Services will now offer limited inspections in occupied spaces in accordance with the following guidelines. Effective immediately, the applicant must contact Harnett County Inspections to coordinate an inspection utilizing live remote (LR) technology following the guidance approved by the NC Department of Insurance or other methods deemed acceptable by the code enforcement officer. For more information visit, www.harnett.org/inspections/.

Local Parks and Trails Closures
All playground structures and recreational restroom facilities operated by Harnett County and towns of Angier, Coats, Dunn, Erwin, and Lillington closed on March 23.  The parks, trails, and open space areas will continue to be open for public access. Citizens visiting parks at this time are asked to practice social distancing and congregate in groups of less than 10. For more information on your local parks and trails, contact your town’s parks and recreation department. For more information on park operations, visit www.harnett.org/parkrec/.

Raven Rock State Park will also be closed for public access until further notice. For more information on Raven Rock State Park, visit https://www.ncparks.gov/raven-rock-state-park/home.

Child Care for COVID-19 First Responders
If you are a parent who provides necessary services to, or cares for, members of our communities and your child care has fallen through or is unavailable because of COVID-19 closures, call 1-888-600-1685 to be connected with the right fit for you and your child. At this time, representatives are available to assist you on weekdays between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST.

  • Care options are for parents whose typical child care arrangements are unavailable due to school or child care closings and who cannot access other care.
  • Options are available for infants up to children age 12.

Board of Commissioners March 31 Work Session Cancelled
Harnett County Board of Commissioners announced the cancellation of the March 31 work session. The decision was made in response to Harnett County's Declaration of a State of Emergency and State of Emergency Ordinance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to view the cancellation notice.

Resources for Businesses and Employers
Harnett County Economic Development, with support from many partners, is compiling resources for businesses amid the COVID-19 outbreak. A webpage has been created that provides more information for resources at this time. Resources include:

  • North Carolina Business Relief Resources
  • SBA Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources
  • Golden LEAF Foundation NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery for Small Business
  • Unemployment Insurance in North Carolina
  • Essential Industry Update

For more information, visit http://www.harnettedc.org/latest-news.asp?i=5816.

Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center will also be offering the following free webinars regarding COVID-19. To register or for more information, visit www.cccc.edu/sbc/.

  • March 26th from 3pm-4pm: A Game Plan to Survive a Cash Flow Crisis Amid the COVID-19 Disruption
  • April 2nd from 1pm-2:30pm: Strategic Planning and Actions to Take Now During the Coronavirus Crisis
  • April 14th from 1pm-2:30pm: Marketing and Promoting Your Professional Service Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Resources for Citizens
NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service that families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services resources within their community. NC 2-1-1 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and resources are available in most languages. North Carolinians can text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive general information and updates about COVID-19.

Virtual Programs will be offered by the Harnett County Public Library through their Facebook page. On March 25 at 12pm, a virtual Boot Scootin’ Boogie line dancing class will be offered. Citizens can join on Facebook live to learn how to boot scoot with our librarians. On March 26 at 12pm, the Library will offer a virtual book club to discuss the novel My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing. To join the discussion, citizens will need to read this book by March 26 and join the Library’s closed Facebook group. For more information on Harnett County Public Library’s virtual programs, contact 910-893-3446.

Citizens can also take advantage of the Library’s curbside pickup, where they can request items from our catalog by either placing holds online, or calling the library at (910) 893-3446. Although the library is closed for public access, librarians are still available by phone at 910-893-3446 between 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday.

Meals for students are being offered by Harnett County Schools Child Nutrition Department. Meal service will begin March 23rd through the end of the closure. Meals for all students and siblings (1-18 years of age) can be picked up at the following locations between the hours of 11:00 am-1:00 pm: Angier Elementary, Boone Trail, Coats Elementary, Johnsonville Elementary, Harnett Primary, and South Harnett. To sign up to receive meals for students, visit www.harnett.k12.nc.us/ or call Harnett County Schools at 910-893-4279.

Know the Symptoms
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness with symptoms similar to the flu. Symptoms are typically mild to moderate, but there have been cases of severe illness and death due to the virus. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Prevention Tips
Although your risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low, the county’s public health team encourages you to protect yourself from COVID-19 and any other flu-like illness by following these simple steps:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds at a time.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Staying Informed
Citizens are asked to prepare for COVID-19 by getting the latest information directly from reliable sources. The COVID-19 outbreak has been accompanied by a flood of misinformation from unreliable sources. Be thoughtful about what you read or hear about the virus and make sure you are separating rumor from fact before you act. 

Please visit Harnett County’s COVID-19 webpage (http://www.harnett.org/publicinfo/coronavirus-covid19-updates.asp) for the latest information from the NC DHHS and the CDC. Harnett County will also be providing updates on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Nextdoor social media accounts.

 
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