Harnett County continues to work with state officials and local agencies to closely monitor the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). Residents are encouraged to stay up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 information by reviewing our daily press release. 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:
HARNETT COUNTY COVID-19 DATA
As our COVID-19 cases continue to increase, protect yourself and others by doing the 3 Ws: WEAR a cloth covering over your nose and mouth, WAIT 6 feet apart, and WASH your hands. These actions can protect our families and neighbors. Highlights of the data derived from the confirmed positive COVID-19 cases for Harnett County as of July 31, 2020 include:
It is important to remember that the data contained in this release is subject to change as cases are investigated and additional testing is performed.
Institutional Outbreaks of COVID-19:
Harnett County COVID-19 Dashboard. The Health Department is working to provide consistent updates about reported cases of COVID-19 to help our community better understand how this pandemic is developing in our county. The COVID-19 Harnett County Dashboard offers a snapshot of confirmed COVID-19 cases specific to Harnett County. The report includes daily case counts, cases per week, and cases by age, race, ethnicity, gender and deaths. For more information regarding the data in this report, contact the Health Department at 910-893-7550. VIEW REPORT
COMMISSIONERS TO HOLD MEETING ON AUGUST 3
The Harnett County Board of Commissioners will hold their next meeting on Monday, August 3, 2020 at 9:00am. To comply with the Governor’s Executive Orders and recommendations from the CDC and NCDHHS, the Harnett County Board of Commissioners and staff will be stationed in the meeting chambers to maintain the recommended social distancing of 6 feet.
Only County government staff necessary to conduct the meeting or to speak on scheduled agenda items will be in attendance. This meeting will not be open to members of the public to attend in person; however, accommodations are in place to allow the public to attend virtually.
The August 3 agenda includes:
The public will have to option to attend the meeting in person or virtually. Those wishing to attend the meeting in person will be required to wear a face covering. Virtual attendees can receive live updates by:
HARNETT COUNTY COURTHOUSE ANNOUNCES UPDATED HOURS OF OPERATION
Effective Monday, July 27, 2020, due to the increased workflow of the Clerk’s office and the present staffing levels being maintained for safety, the Clerk’s office will begin closing at 3 o’clock p.m., daily - with the exception of taking payments. Clerks will remain working in the office but will not be available for filings, answering of phone calls or emails.
The office WILL CONTINUE to receive payments at the cashier window in the Clerk’s office from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. If you are making a payment, please let security know upon entry and they will escort you to our office.
A drop box is located in front of the courthouse, located at 301 W. Cornelius Harnett Blvd., Suite 100, for filings throughout the day. You are encouraged to use this drop box to reduce traffic to our office as per Chief Justice Beasley’s Emergency Orders.
For copy requests or requests for other items, please use our Division specific emails and we will respond as soon as possible, typically within 24 hours.
Criminal (including Infractions)
Special Proceedings Confidential
The Clerk of Court’s Office will resume our normal hours as soon as we can manage the high volume of data entry, scanning and case filings based on present pandemic staffing levels.
All of this is an effort to keep the Clerk’s office staff, other Judicial staff, attorneys and the public, healthy, safe, and appropriately distanced as we all handle our responsibilities.
For more information on the Harnett County Courthouse current operations, visit http://www.harnett.org/clerk/.
COOPER SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER LIMITING SALE OF ALCOHOL AFTER 11PM
With actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 beginning to have impact, Governor Roy Cooper is doubling down on prevention measures with Executive Order 153 stopping the sale of alcoholic drinks in restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries at 11 pm. North Carolina bars that are currently closed will remain closed. This order will take effect Friday, July 31.
The order will not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores or other entities permitted to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption. Local governments that have implemented orders that end alcohol sales before 11 pm or that apply to other entities remain in effect.
Also this week, NC DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen gave an update on North Carolina’s data trends. Dr. Cohen explained that while North Carolina’s numbers appear to be stabilizing, officials need more time to watch the data and current levels of cases and hospitalizations remain high.
Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days
Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days
Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days
Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days
In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:
Personal Protective Equipment
Read the Executive Order.
Read the FAQs
COOPER ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL COVID-19 FUNDING FOR COUNTIES
Governor Roy Cooper announced that an additional $150 million in federal funds provided for COVID-19 relief to counties has been disbursed this week. These funds are from the state-administered Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) that was passed by Congress. The funds represent the second half of $300 million appropriated by statute to county governments. Counties are required to offer a minimum of 25% of their total allocation of the funds to municipalities.
Though the federal government did not require that the state share any of the $3.56 billion in the CRF to North Carolina local governments, Governor Cooper’s COVID-19 budget proposal recommended $300 million be allocated to counties and municipalities. HB 1023/S.L. 2020-80, Section 3.3(2), appropriated the additional $150 million to county governments. The full distribution of funds is listed here by county. Counties and municipalities have been given instructions about how the funds may be used.
The CRF funds may be used for:
Under state law, 97 counties received a base amount of $250,000, with more distributed by population. Three large counties—Guilford, Mecklenburg, and Wake—received funds directly from the federal government. This quick disbursement of funds was coordinated by the state Office of State Budget and Management and the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office (NC PRO).
NC PRO coordinates and oversees funds made available through federal and state COVID-19 recovery legislation, including the CRF. The office offers technical assistance for entities that receive funds and ensures proper reporting and accounting. The office will also work on the state’s economic recovery and strategic plan as North Carolina rebuilds from this pandemic.
For questions about how CRF funds may be used or to view Coronavirus Relief Funds County Plans, go to the NCPRO website for more information.
NC AWARDED FEDERAL GRANT TO DEVELOP INNOVATION SCHOOL INSTRUCTION
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the N.C. Department of Public Instruction a $17.6 million grant to develop innovative instructional approaches to better meet student needs during disruptions to schooling such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.
North Carolina is one of 11 states to share in $180 million under the federal Rethink K-12 Education Models Grant program to support states’ efforts to improve teaching and learning during the current crisis as well as others that may occur in the future. The other 10 states to be awarded grants, ranging from $6 million to $20 million are Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.
In North Carolina, the grant will fund an initiative to create a statewide “blended” instructional model that will combine both remote and in-person instruction. According to the state’s grant proposal, the effort is aimed at stabilizing or improving student achievement during disruptions to regular school, to better prepare teachers for digital-age instruction and to strengthen preparedness by schools and communities for events that may interrupt student learning. The effort will focus primarily on 45 of the state’s most rural and economically disadvantaged communities.
PPE AVAILABLE FOR LOCAL FARM WORKERS
To reduce the spread of COVID-19 among farm workers, the North Carolina government and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is working to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to workers on local farms. Materials will be distributed through NC Cooperative Extension Centers and will include cloth masks, procedure masks (also known as surgical masks), hand sanitizers, thermometers, and educational materials.
Thirty-one counties have been selected to receive the first delivery, including: Alamance, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Harnett, Henderson, Johnston, Lee, Lenoir, Lincoln, Martin, Mecklenburg, Nash, Pender, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Wake, Wayne, Wilson.
Priority farms are those with H2A labor. Farmers should contact their Extension center for more information.
Harnett County farmers can contact 910-893-7530 for more information on distribution, including completing a form to schedule a pickup date. If your farm does not have H2A workers, your name will be added to a waiting list once materials have been distributed to priority farms. Once the form has been completed, farmers will park in the back parking lot of the Harnett County Agricultural Center (126 Alexander Drive, Lillington) and receive PPE materials in the parking lot to limit contact. For everyone’s safety, we will not accept unscheduled visitors. In accordance with local and state government requests, we ask that visitors wear a mask at the time of pick up.
PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES FOR HARNETT COUNTY RESIDENTS
Harnett County Parks & Recreation
Greenway Plan Survey. Harnett County is working to provide more recreational opportunities for residents and to make Harnett County a more attractive place for prospective residents and businesses. We’re creating a County-wide Bicycle, Pedestrian, & Greenway Master Plan to shape the development of future amenities for walking, cycling and trails in Harnett County!
Residents are encouraged to get involved by completing the Harnett County Greenway Plan Survey. The survey can be accessed online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/harnettgreenwayplan.
Learn more about the Greenway Plan at www.harnettgreenwayplan.com.
Virtual Nature Hikes. Harnett County Parks and Recreation launched a virtual nature hike series in May. The first hike at Anderson Creek County Park explored the many different elements of a Long Leaf Pine Ecosystem. This multi-part series explored some basics of a long leaf line ecosystem, including plant life, signs of local wildlife, the benefits of conducting prescribed burns, etc. The second hike was held at the Cape Fear River Trail Park in Erwin and explored many interesting finds at the park such as the very large "grandfather trees", observed flora and fauna, and the soothing sounds of the Cape Fear River waters.
All parts of these virtual hikes can be found on the Harnett County Parks and Recreation YouTube Channel.
Virtual Art Lessons. Harnett County Parks & Recreation has partnered with Elyse Johnson with Artifactual to bring you virtual art lessons. You can view all of the previous art lessons on the Harnett County Parks & Recreation Facebook page.
Summer Camp. Boone Trail Community Center is hosting summer camp for children ages 5-12. The camp is following COVID-19 guidelines. Limited spots in select summer camp weeks are still available. Anyone interested can contact Drew Bryant at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 893-7518 if they would like to register their child.
Harnett County Public Library
The Harnett County Public Library is open with some service limitations. The number of customers allowed in the building will be limited. Patrons are required to wear masks and are encouraged to complete their library transactions and exit the building as quickly as possible so that library staff can safely accommodate others.
Summer Reading Program. The summer reading program has officially ended, and now it's time to turn in your reading logs! All early literacy, school age, and teen logs can be turned in July 27th - August 6th. Prize bags will be given out for any log turned in (while supplies last). Each reading log will be an entry for our grand prize drawing, held on August 7th.
Adult Summer Challenge logs can be exchanged for a prize any time between August 1st- 30th. Each log will be an entered into our adult grand prize drawing to be held August 31st. Thank you for making this unique summer reading program a success!
Virtual Programs. The Harnett County Public Library continues to provide access to content that enriches the lives of our community. This includes:
Visit the Harnett County Public Library’s COVID-19 Resources webpage for the latest information about library programs and services. Librarians are also still available by phone Monday through Thursday from 10:00am-6:00pm and Friday from 10:00am-5:00pm at (910) 893-3446.
Dial-A-Story Service. The Harnett County Public Library also launched a new Dial-A-Story service. With this service, parents can call 910-814-6350 anytime of the day to let their children listen to a pre-recorded message of one of our librarians reading a storybook! The stories will be updated every few weeks and will feature different readers each time.
Book Bundles. Need a great story for your little ones? We’ve got you covered! The Harnett County Public Library now offers Book Bundles! Book Bundles are a selection of 5-7 storybooks picked out by our librarians and put together by a certain theme. We’ve got fairy tales, dinosaurs, bedtime stories, and so much more! You can check out a book bundle in the library or pick one up curbside. Call 910-893-3446 to reserve your Book Bundle today!
HARNETT COUNTY BUSINESS RESOURCES
Harnett County Economic Development
Harnett County Economic Development has compiled the latest COVID-19 information and resources for businesses in Harnett County. If your company is considering transitioning to production of medical supplies or equipment, please contact Angie Stewart at email@example.com for an expanded list of resources to potentially assist beyond those listed on the website. For businesses preparing to reopen, view these COVID-19 resources.
NCDHHS Checklist for Developing a Reopening Plan
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is encouraging all businesses and employers to create and implement a plan to minimize the opportunity for COVID-19 transmission at their facility. When developing these plans, there may be certain considerations to follow for compliance with applicable Executive Orders and guidance provided for individual business types. This checklist will help retail businesses and other entities reduce the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.
Central Carolina Recovery Program
Businesses negatively impacted by C-19 may be eligible for free 1-on-1 virtual consulting with a business expert to help your business not just survive but thrive moving forward. Click here to apply.
COVID-19 Relief Bills
On May 4, 2020, Governor Cooper announced two COVID-19 relief bills. House Bill 1043 includes appropriation of $125 million to Golden LEAF Foundation for the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program. Applications are reviewed on a first come, first served basis. Visit NCRapidRecovery.org to learn more about the program and submit an application for your small business.
Count on Me NC Safety Training Program
Governor Roy Cooper and Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Mandy Cohen, announced a partnership with North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) for an innovative safety training program for North Carolina businesses and restaurants. Count on Me NC is a free online training program to help restaurants, hotels and other businesses learn the best ways to protect customers and employees from COVID-19.
Businesses across North Carolina can participate in this no-cost training that was developed with the NC Department of Health and Human Services. It includes evidence-based practices on social distancing, employee health and sanitation to protect people’s health.
The first phase of Count on Me NC training is designed for restaurants and hospitality businesses that serve food. The program plans to expand to other tourism businesses including lodging and attractions and add courses in Spanish by June.
Count on Me NC also encourages customers to take precautions before returning to restaurants, especially if they’re in a high-risk population and to be respectful towards staff as they adjust to these guidelines. Individuals can take the Count on Me Pledge to practice the Three Ws – wear a face covering, wash hands frequently, wait six feet apart from others – and to stay home if they’re feeling sick.
See which businesses have already completed training and learn more on how to participate at CountOnMeNC.org.
Regional Skills Analysis Survey
A critical question moving forward for North Carolina’s economic recovery will be how to identify industries with growth, what skills and credentials will be needed to work in those industries, and how to connect the workforce with training and job openings. This will require a concerted effort from the private sector, workforce development, and educational institutions to bridge existing skills and access gaps and connect people out of work to good-paying, quality jobs.
To support this effort, RTI, Wake County Economic Development, Capital Area Workforce Development, the City of Raleigh , Cape Fear Collective, and the Wilmington Chamber are conducting a regional skills analysis survey in the Triangle and Cape Fear regions of North Carolina to identify industry and region-specific trends and needs for talent in the next three years. This data will inform a coordinated strategy to prepare economic and workforce development partners to address the workforce needs of industry as we navigate the economic recovery.
The Regional Skills Analysis survey is led by industry leaders in the Research Triangle region and Cape Fear regions and aims to evaluate workforce needs and trends in North Carolina.
There are also several local businesses within Harnett County looking to hire. The following positions are available at this time:
Harnett County Small Business Center
Free Workshops, Seminars, and Webinars from Across the State and Just Down the Road
Support from Local Chambers
Businesses can also receive support from the County’s five Chambers of Commerce. Small businesses are encouraged to reach out to these organizations for additional support during COVID-19.
STATEWIDE REQUIREMENTS FOR FACE COVERINGS
Effective June 26, North Carolina is adopting a face covering requirement to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This new executive order makes it mandatory for people to wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth when they are indoor and in outdoor public places and where staying 6 feet from people who are not part of their households is impossible. Face coverings are a simple way to control this virus while we protect ourselves, our families, and other people around us. Employees and customers of retail businesses and restaurants, as well as workers in manufacturing, construction, meat process and agriculture settings, must wear face coverings in those places.
NC PAUSES IN SAFER AT HOME PHASE 2, ADDS STATEWIDE FACE COVERING REQUIREMENT
Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced that North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 through July 17. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread.
Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Until now, face coverings had been strongly recommended. Under today’s executive order, people must wear face coverings when in public places where physical distancing is not possible.
In addition, certain businesses must have employees and customers wear face coverings, including retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming; employees of child care centers and camps; state government agencies under the Governor’s Cabinet; workers and riders of transportation; and workers in construction/trades, manufacturing, agriculture, meat processing and healthcare and long-term care settings.
Read Executive Order No. 147 that implements today’s announcement.
Read Frequently Asked Questions about today’s executive Order and mandatory face coverings.
View the slide presentation from today’s briefing.
RESOURCES FOR INDIVIDUALS
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services continues to provide ongoing benefits as well as some emergency benefits as the impact of COVID-19 continues in our state. There are several ways you can apply or find out more information online to get benefits for you and your family. Click here for links, direct contact information, and scannable QR Codes.
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.
HOW TO HELP: INFORMATION ABOUT VOLUNTEERING AND DONATIONS
As our state leaders urge North Carolinians to stay home during this unprecedented pandemic, there are ways you can make a difference.
Donate Medical Supplies and Personal Protective Equipment
Our current purchasing efforts are focused on medical supplies, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If your company can supply any of the supplies listed below, or related commodities or services, please provide your company’s information to VendorHelp.COVID19@dhhs.nc.gov.
Critical supplies include:
State Surplus has provided guidance for local and state government agencies and schools on Executive Order 122, related to donation and/or transfer of medical/health supplies including PPEs. Learn more.
Health Care Volunteers Needed
A crucial part of supporting our health care system includes recruiting volunteers to supplement our health care workforce. We are asking for your help to meet these needs. This response is provided through the State Medical Response System (SMRS), which recruits and manages volunteers in the following areas:
If you can volunteer, please register here.
Volunteer in Your Community
From helping to stock food banks to donating blood, there are numerous ways to help your community. Check out these opportunities across North Carolina.
Under Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Executive Order, local government offices are considered essential business and are able to continue operations. You can view more about essential government operations by clicking here.
Public Access Closure Notice
Effective March 19, 2020, Harnett County officials closed public access to Harnett County Government Office Buildings due to COVID-19.
Harnett County Landfills and Convenience Sites and Harnett County parks & trails are operating on a normal schedule until further notice.
Although office buildings will be closed for public access, Harnett County Government staff will continue to offer services and provide support to residents at this time. Residents 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.
Residents 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Residents 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.