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 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 September 11, 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.
Outbreaks and Clusters: The Health Department is currently monitoring five COVID-19 outbreaks. In a congregate living setting, a COVID-19 outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases. Confirmation regarding positive cases of COVID-19 at four nursing homes, which includes Harnett Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Cornerstone Nursing and Rehabilitation Center both facilities are located in Dunn, Emerald Health and Rehabilitation Center along with Universal Healthcare which is experience a second outbreak, both facilities are located in Lillington. One correctional institution, Harnett Correctional Institution, located in Lillington. Data is preliminary, and these numbers and facilities are subject to change as more information is obtained during outbreak investigations. Facilities with less than 10 residents are not included to protect patient confidentiality. Currently there are no clusters to report.
COVID-19 Harnett County Dashboard: 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, 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 or visit www.harnett.org/health.
COMMISSIONERS TO HOLD WORK SESSION ON SEPTEMBER 15
The Harnett County Board of Commissioners will hold their next work session on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 9:00 AM. A quorum of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners and County staff will be stationed in the Commissioner’s meeting chambers to maintain the recommended social distancing of 6 feet.
The public will have to option to attend the meeting virtually. Virtual attendees can receive live updates from the meeting by tuning into Harnett County Government’s YouTube Channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU7mTF6HTD65x_98EhAMeMg/featured. The live stream will be audio only. You may also follow along on Twitter (@HarnettCounty) to get live updates during the meeting or call in and listen to the meeting by dialing (910)-814-6959.
The September 15 Work Session Agenda includes:
COUNTY TO HOST MOBILE CENSUS EVENTS
Harnett County has announced a series of Census mobile events to support residents with completing the 2020 Census. The mobile census events will provide residents an opportunity to have a US Census Bureau representative assist with completing the questions on the questionnaire. The deadline to complete the 2020 Census is September 30.
The events have been coordinated within communities with lower response rates and will be available September 10 through September 30. For a full list of events, visit https://harnett.org/publicinfo/downloads/census-mobile-unit-events-september-2020-updated.pdf.
As of September 11, Harnett County’s self-response rate is 59.1%, slightly below the state’s at self-response rate at 61.6%.
The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into our County every year for the next decade; show where we need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children; and determine the number of seats North Carolina has in the House of Representatives and draw congressional and state legislative districts.
In July, the U.S. Census Bureau began following up with households nationwide that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. Census Field Workers have completed training on social distancing and safety protocols, will follow local public health guidelines, and will be required to wear a face mask when conducting follow-up visits.
The Nonresponse Followup (NRFU) operation is the final stage of conducting the once-a-decade population count of everyone living in the United States.
Households can still respond online at www.2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020, or by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received. Households can respond online or by phone in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many more. Those that respond will not need to be visited to obtain their census response.
In addition, other Census Bureau representatives continue visiting homes for ongoing surveys that are occurring at the same time as the 2020 Census, such as the American Community Survey. These ongoing surveys affect only a small number of households nationwide and provide valuable information to help community leaders plan for hospitals and schools, improve emergency services, and make informed decisions about creating jobs.
For more information on the 2020 Census, visit www.2020census.gov.
DEVELOPMENT SERVICES TO OFFER IN-PERSON SERVICES
Starting September 8, Harnett County Development Services, located at 108 E. Front Street, Lillington, will open their office for public access from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Monday through Friday for in-person services. Residents visiting the Development Services office will be required to wear face coverings, maintain social distancing rules, and follow safety restrictions.
During in-person office hours, all Planning, Central Permitting, and Inspections services will be available to residents, with the exception of one on one meetings with staff.
All Planning, Central Permitting, and Inspections services provided by Harnett County Development Services will continue to be available to residents by telephone or online at www.harnett.org/devsvc.
Most Harnett County Government office buildings and facilities remain closed for public access to help slow the spread of COVID-19. For the latest information on COVID-19 in Harnett County, visit www.harnett.org.
COOPER ANNOUNCES $40M IN FUNDING FOR NC STUDENT CONNECT
Governor Roy Cooper announced nearly $40 million in funding for NC Student Connect, a new partnership created to address internet connectivity gaps that are a barrier to remote learning for many North Carolina students. When school resumed in August, superintendents estimated that at least 100,000 students still lacked a reliable internet connection at home.
Many North Carolina students are currently attending school remotely and need reliable internet access to be able to connect with their teachers and access their lessons. Students who are attending school onsite may also need internet access at home to be able to complete assignments.
Today’s NC Student Connect investment includes:
NC Student Connect is a partnership across state government including the Department of Information Technology (DIT), the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR), Governor Cooper’s Hometown Strong initiative and the NC Business Committee for Education (NCBCE), an educational nonprofit in the Governor’s Office. These and other agencies have already worked to build partnerships to help leverage public investments to increase internet access in underserved communities. Purchasing began before Labor Day and thousands of hot spots will be shipped to school systems this week and will continue throughout the month.
Initial private sector investments in remote learning and NC Student Connect include, AT&T, Duke Energy Foundation, Fidelity Investments, Google, Smithfield Foundation, Verizon Foundation, and Wells Fargo Foundation.
GOVERNOR COOPER EXTENDS 11PM ALCOHOL CURFEW
In an effort to continue slowing the spread of COVID-19, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 162 to extend the limited hours on the sale of alcoholic drinks in North Carolina. As the state continues to fight the spread of COVID-19, the Order requires restaurants to end the sale of alcoholic beverages at 11 pm. This Order will remain in effect through October 2, 2020.
“North Carolina has made good progress stabilizing our COVID-19 numbers, and this order will help us continue it,” said Governor Cooper. “Now is the time to continue staying cautious and vigilant as we work to beat this pandemic.”
Local governments that have implemented orders that end alcohol sales before 11 pm or that apply to other entities remain in effect.
Read Executive Order 162
NORTH CAROLINA TO MOVE TO SAFER AT HOME PHASE 2.5
On September 1, Governor Roy Cooper announced that after a summer of hard work to slow the spread of COVID-19, North Carolina will take a modest step forward move into Phase 2.5 starting this Friday, September 4th at 5pm and remains in effect through October 2nd at 5pm. Mask mandates and other prevention methods remain in effect and are even more important to contain the virus.
Phase 2.5 means the following for North Carolina:
In addition, NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen issued a Secretarial Order allowing for outdoor visitation at nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities. To participate, nursing homes must meet several requirements, including, but not limited, not having a current outbreak, having a testing plan and updated written Infection Control or Preparedness plan for COVID-19, and having adequate personal protective equipment. The Secretarial Order is effective as of September 4 at 5 PM and remains in effect through September 22, 2020.
View the slides and graphs from today’s presentation.
Read the Executive Order.
Read the Secretarial Order.
Read the Frequently Asked Questions
PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES FOR HARNETT COUNTY RESIDENTS
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.
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.
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!
National Library Card Sign-Up Month. If you don’t have a library card, it is a great month to get one! September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, a time where the Harnett County Public Library joins the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide to remind communities that signing up for a library card is the first step towards a lifetime of learning and adventure. Throughout the month, the library will be celebrating this special occasion by offering a gift to all new library cardholders. Adults and children alike will receive a bag filled with goodies to remind them that their library card is a ticket to new worlds. Can’t make it into the library? You can now apply online for a library card by visiting www.harnett.org/library.
Today’s libraries have programs and resources that go far beyond books. The Harnett County Public Library continues to adapt and expand services to meet the evolving needs of our community. From virtual storytimes, Take & Make craft kits, to a plethora of digital resources, there’s something for everyone at the library.
Virtual Youth Programming Resumes. Youth programming including virtual storytimes, digital library rooms, and Take & Make STEAM activities for school-aged children and teens will resume in September. Please visit the HCPL Facebook page or library website for more information.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
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.