Harnett County,
North Carolina

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Friday, September 25, 2020  |  Permalink

September 25 COVID-19 Update

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
  • Commissioners to Hold Work Session on September 29
  • Harnett County Schools Releases Video for In-Person Learning Safety
  • County to Host Mobile Census Events
  • SlowCOVIDNC Exposure Notification App Available for Download
  • Cooper Announces $40M COVID Relief for Small Businesses
  • NCDHHS Launches New Advertisements to Urge NC to Get Behind the Mask
  • Medicaid Waiver Recipients Receive Additional COVID-19 Support
  • Programs & Activities: Harnett County Health Department

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 25, 2020 include:

  • Confirmed cases 2173
  • Active Cases 328
  • Recovered cases 1724
  • Deaths reported 52
  • Age range 1 week-101 years
  • Average Age 38
  • Positive Cases by Race 660 Hispanic, 948 White, 517 Black, and 48 Other
  • Positive Cases by Ethnicity 660 Hispanic, 1465 Non-Hispanic and 48 Other
  • Gender 52% female and 48% male

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 seven outbreaks and three clusters for COVID-19.   In a congregate living setting, a COVID-19 outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases.  The following facilities are experiencing a second COVID-19 outbreak:  Harnett Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Cornerstone Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Universal Healthcare and Pinecrest Gardens.  Confirmation regarding positive cases of COVID-19 outbreaks are reported at Greenleaf Assisted Living and Emerald Health and Rehabilitation Center.  One correctional institution, Harnett Correctional Institution. Facilities with less than 10 residents are not included to protect patient confidentiality.   Clusters:  A COVID-19 cluster is defined as a minimum of five laboratory-confirmed cases in close proximity. Three COVID-19 clusters have been reported, two clusters are reported at Campbell University located in Buies Creek and one cluster is reported at the Summerville Fire Department located in Bunnlevel.  Data are preliminary, and these numbers and facilities are subject to change as more information is obtained during outbreak investigations.

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 log onto www.harnett.org/health. VIEW REPORT

COMMISSIONERS TO HOLD WORK SESSION ON SEPTEMBER 29
The Harnett County Board of Commissioners will hold their next work session on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM. A quorum of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners and County staff will be stationed in the meeting chambers to maintain the recommended social distancing of 6 feet.

The public will also 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 29 Work Session agenda includes:

  • Update on the 2020 General Election
  • Discussion to grant leave to County employees to work the election and early voting
  • Harnett County IT request for funding to hire new position
  • Discussion on Broadband Initiative Proposals, rankings, conclusions, and next steps
  • Discussion on Sandhills Center funding for Veteran's Treatment Court
  • Discussion of Harnett County's Legislative Priorities to submit for NCACC 2012-2022 Legislative Goals
  • Discussion on the Boards & Committees Commissioners Serve on
  • FSA Reopening Plan
  • COVID-19 Update
  • County Manager’s Report

Learn more about the September 29 work session.  

HARNETT COUNTY SCHOOLS RELEASES VIDEO FOR IN-PERSON LEARNING SAFETY
On September 28th, 2020, Harnett County Schools will open all schools for in-person learning under Plan B of the State of North Carolina’s School Reopening Plan. This week, the district released a video across social media platforms highlighting key protocols in the areas of health/safety, transportation, facilities management, and child nutrition. Each school may have opening procedures specific to their location and will communicate any details to stakeholders over the coming days.  View Video

Harnett County Schools has published a web page where families can learn more about the school reopening process. To access the page, please visit ​www.harnett.k12.nc.us.com and click on Covid-19 Updates and Resources for Families.

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 through September 30.

During the week of September 28, the County will host the following events:

Dunn Public Library
Date: September 28, 2020
Time: 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Address: 110 E. Divine Street, Dunn

Summerville Bunnlevel Fire Department Station 2
Date: September 29, 2020
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Address: 6825 U.S. 401 S., Bunnlevel

Town of Erwin Public Library
Date: September 30, 2020
Time: 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Address: 110 W F St., Erwin

As of September 25, Harnett County’s self-response rate is 60.1%, slightly below the state’s at self-response rate at 62.5%.

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.

SLOWCOVIDNC EXPOSURE NOTIFICATION APP NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has launched a COVID-19 Exposure Notification app called ‘SlowCOVIDNC’ today, Sept. 22. The app will help North Carolinians slow the spread of the virus by alerting them when they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. It is completely anonymous and does not collect, store or share personal information or location data.

SlowCOVIDNC, which leverages Google and Apple’s Exposure Notification System (ENS), alerts users who have the app if they have been in close contact with an individual who later tests positive for COVID-19. It is voluntary to download and use and designed to enhance the state’s existing contact tracing efforts. The app completed Beta testing earlier this month and can now be downloaded for free through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Here’s how SlowCOVIDNC will work:

  1. Download the free SlowCOVIDNC Exposure Notification app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and enable Bluetooth and Exposure Notifications. Bluetooth must be on for the app to work.
  2. After opting-in to receive notifications, the app will generate an anonymous token for the device. A token is a string of random letters which changes every 10-20 minutes and is never linked to identity or location. This protects app user privacy and security.
  3. Through Bluetooth, phones with the SlowCOVIDNC app work in the background (minimizing battery) to exchange these anonymous tokens every few minutes. Phones record how long they are near each other and the Bluetooth signal strength of their exchanges in order to estimate distance.
  4. If an app user tests positive for COVID-19, the individual may obtain a unique PIN to submit in the app. This voluntary and anonymous reporting notifies others who have downloaded the app that they may have been in close contact with someone in the last 14 days who has tested positive.
  5. PINs will be provided to app users who receive a positive COVID-19 test result through a web-based PIN Portal, by contacting the Community Care of North Carolina call center, or by contacting their Local Health Department.
  6. SlowCOVIDNC periodically downloads tokens from the server from the devices of users who have anonymously reported a positive test. Phones then use records of the signal strength and duration of exposures with those tokens to calculate risk and determine if an app user has met a threshold to receive an exposure notification.

NCDHHS is partnering with institutions of higher education, local businesses and influential North Carolinians to promote SlowCOVIDNC and educate the public about how widespread use of the app can slow the spread of COVID-19.

To learn more about SlowCOVIDNC and to download the app, visit https://www.covid19.ncdhhs.gov/slowcovidnc, which also includes an FAQ.

COOPER ANNOUNCES $40M COVID RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Some North Carolina small businesses that have experienced extraordinary disruption to their operations due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic may benefit from a $40 million relief program to help offset fixed costs like rent, mortgage interests and utility bills, Governor Roy Cooper announced today.

The N.C. Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief (MURR), administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, can provide up to $20,000 in relief funds per qualifying business location.  Business applicants from certain industry sectors that have not been able to operate during the COVID period may apply for up to two of their business locations.

Applicants can apply for up to four months of mortgage interest or rent expenses, and utility expenses.  The help offers relief for some of the fixed costs a business cannot easily control on its own.  Applications to the program should open next week and will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.  Applicants must certify that they were closed during the period April 1 through July 31, 2020; they expect to be able to operate after the COVID crisis has passed; and they have not been reimbursed by any other federal source for the expenses for which they seek reimbursement through this program.  

Eligible applicants include:

  • Amusement parks
  • Banquet Halls (with catering staff)
  • Bars, taverns, night clubs, cocktail lounges
  • Bingo parlors
  • Bowling alleys/centers
  • Dance halls
  • Indoor fitness and recreation centers
  • Motion picture/movie theaters (except drive-ins)
  • Museums

The Department of Commerce will begin accepting applications soon.  Business leaders can learn about the MURR program by registering for one of the free educational webinars offered by the Department of Commerce over the next two weeks.    

For the webinar schedule and additional information on the program, visit www.nccommerce.com/murr.

Large, Outdoor Venues
Governor Cooper and NC DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen also announced that effective October 2, large outdoor venues would be permitted to open at 7% capacity with key safety precautions in place. The announcement was made today so these locations could begin putting safety measures in place in order to operate.

Large entertainment venues are those that can seat over 10,000.

State and public health officials will continue watching the key COVID-19 trends over the next week to determine if any further restrictions can be eased when the current Executive Order expires October 2 at 5 pm.

NCDHHS LAUNCHES NEW ADVERTISEMENTS TO URGE NC TO GET BEHIND THE MASK
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is launching advertisements in community-based print and online publications to amplify the “Whatever Your Reason” statewide public campaign and urge North Carolinians to “Get Behind the Mask.” NCDHHS has secured print advertisements in 21 of the state’s leading community-based print and online publications across the state, with an intentional focus on reaching historically marginalized communities most impacted by the pandemic.
The “Whatever Your Reason, Get Behind the Mask” print advertisements feature real North Carolina people, places and lives and reflect the strength and diversity of North Carolina. The advertisements will run from September through December in community papers that specifically work to reach North Carolina’s Latinx/Hispanic, Black/African American, American Indian, and LGBTQ+ communities.

The public campaign also includes a series of television and radio public service announcements; social media and online display advertisements; and displays at gas stations, convenience stores, bus stations and on buses.
NCDHHS encourages community and business organizations to help get the word out about the 3Ws (Wear. Wait. Wash.) and ask community members, customers and employees to “Get Behind the Mask.” Together, we will stop this virus.

To access campaign resources in English, visit: ncdhhs.gov/WhateverYourReason. To access campaign resources in Spanish, visit: ncdhhs.gov/CualEsTuRazon.
 

MEDICAID WAIVER RECIPIENTS RECEIVE ADDITIONAL COVID-19 SUPPORT
NC Medicaid beneficiaries on the NC Innovations Waiver who are attending school virtually due to the COVID-19 public health emergency can now receive waiver support during remote learning.

The NC Department of Health and Human Services requested a waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to allow individuals to access Innovations Waiver respite during remote learning hours. Other services are still accessible outside of school or remote learning hours.

The CMS waiver approval is through an Appendix K, which allows states to submit requests to ease certain waiver requirements during federally declared emergencies. The modification was approved effective Aug. 17, 2020, to March 13, 2021.

Previous Appendix K flexibilities added home delivered meals as a service, allowed for retainer payments for direct care providers, allowed for family members of children and adults to provide services with some provider requirements waived. and allowed for service maximums and the waiver limit to be exceeded in addition to other flexibilities.

PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES FOR HARNETT COUNTY RESIDENTS
Harnett County Health Department

Drive Thru Flu Shot Clinic. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a yearly flu vaccine. The Health Department will be providing drive thru flu shot clinics Monday-Friday from 8:00a.m.-11:00a.m. and 1:00p.m.-4:00pm. An afterhours drive thru flu shot clinic is also scheduled for Monday, October 5, 2020 from 3:00pm until 7:00pm. The drive thru clinics will allow you to receive your flu vaccine without leaving your car. Download our consent form, complete and bring along with insurance information including Medicare and Medicaid. Vaccination Consent Form. The Vaccine Information Statement

Pink Ribbon Breakfast 2020.  The Harnett County Health Department announced the annual “Pink Ribbon Breakfast,” in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been cancelled due to increased concerns about COVID-19.  Public Health Officials felt this was the best way to proceed. We are disappointed that we are unable to hold this event for our breast cancer survivors and families, however the safety of attendees must always come first.  Throughout the month of October, the Health Department will be providing access to mobile mammography screenings, and providing health information and resources for women.  For more information, contact the Harnett County Health Department at 910-893-7550 or log onto the Health Department’s web site located at www.harnett.org/health.

Prevent T2 (Type 2 Diabetes) Program. Harnett County Health Department will offer the Prevent T2 program beginning Thursday, October 15th from 5:30pm-6:30pm. There is a one-time fee of $5.00 for the program. You will work in a group with a trained coach to learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to your life, manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. The Prevent T2 program offers a chance to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by adopting a healthier lifestyle. Prevent T2 is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and is proven to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Your Prevent T2 group will meet for a year—once a week for 4 months, every other week for 2 months, and then once a month for 6 months to maintain your healthy lifestyle change. For more information, call 910-814-6196. Learn more

Be Smart, Eat Smart Wellness Challenge. The Be Smart, Eat Smart Wellness Challenge will take place October 19th-November 15th.  It is a virtual program that helps participants eat healthy by focuses on the following healthy eating strategies:  Enjoying More Fruits & Vegetables, Rethinking Your Drink, Enjoying More Whole Grains, and Right-Sizing Your Portions.  During the challenge, participants will receive newsletters with the benefits of adopting healthy behaviors, receive healthy recipes, earn points for practicing the healthy eating strategies each day during the challenge, and track points in the challenge log.  All participants will be entered into a drawing for prizes at the completion of the program.  For more information or to register call 910-814-6196. The registration deadline is Friday, October 16thLearn more

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:

  • Online library card registration
  • Curbside item pickup on Monday through Friday from 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Electronic resources, including eBooks, audiobooks, interactive picture books, video, magazines, study resources, and more!

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.

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 MOVES 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:

  • Mass gathering limits will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors from the current limit of 10 indoors and 25 outdoors. 
  • Playgrounds may open. 
  • Museums and aquariums may open at 50% capacity. 
  • Gyms and indoor exercise facilities, such as yoga studios, martial arts, and rock climbing, as well as skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor basketball, volleyball etc., may open at 30% capacity. 
  • Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, indoor entertainment facilities, amusement parks, dance halls will remain closed.
  • Large venues remain subject to the mass gathering limits. 

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

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 astewart@harnett.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.

VIEW CHECKLIST FOR DEVELOPING A REOPENING PLAN

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.

View the NCDHHS Guidance on Face Coverings

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:

  • Respirators (N95, FFP2/3, N99, N100)
  • Surgical and Procedural Masks (aka: ear-loop masks or 3-ply masks)
  • Gowns (liquid barrier, meets ASTM PB70 standard for levels 1-4)
  • Nitrile Gloves 
  • Face Shields 
  • Eye Protection
  • Shoe Covers         
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Surgical Masks
  • Hand Soap 
  • Disinfecting Spray and Disinfecting Wipes 
  • Ventilators & Anesthesia Machines
  • Positive Air Pressure Respirator
  • Controlled Air Purifying Respirator

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:

  • Clinical (physicians, advanced care providers, nurses, EMS)
  • Clinical Support (pharmacy, imaging and respiratory care) 
  • Non-clinical support (facility maintenance, safety, and administrative)

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.

COUNTY OPERATIONS
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.

Some Harnett County Facilities have reopened for public access. These include: Harnett County Courthouse, Health Department, Board of Elections, Tax Department, Public Library, and Development Services. Residents are encouraged to contact these departments prior to traveling to confirm hours of operation.

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.

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.

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.

  1. 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.

NCDHHS has released an updated “What to Do If You Feel Sick Fact sheet”. View in English.  View in Spanish

STAYING INFORMED
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.

 
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