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 October 30, 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 ten 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, and Universal Healthcare. Confirmation regarding positive cases of COVID-19 outbreaks are also reported at Emerald Health and Rehabilitation Center, Greenleaf Assisted Living Facility, Oak Hill Assisted Living, Senior Citizens Village, Universal Assisted Living Facility and Harmony Home-Group Home. One correctional institution, Harnett Correctional Institution. A COVID-19 cluster is defined as a minimum of five laboratory-confirmed cases in close proximity. Three COVID-19 clusters have been reported at Campbell University. 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. VIEW REPORT
FREEE COVID-19 TESTING STARTING NOVEMBER 2
The Harnett County Health Department, along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is announcing free COVID-19 testing throughout Harnett County. Testing is available to individuals five years and older, including those experiencing symptoms; those who believe they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 coronavirus; and anyone who is worried about possibly having the virus.
Individuals seeking COVID-19 testing should make every effort to pre-register for testing in advance at: www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com. Testing will begin Monday, November 2-5, 2020 from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM at Overhills High School, located at 2495 Ray Rd., Spring Lake, NC 28390.
Listed below are dates and sites for COVID-19 testing.
For more information log onto the Health Department’s web site www.harnett.org/health or call the Harnett County Health Department at 910-893-7550.
View Testing information in English.
View Testing information in Spanish.
COMMISSIONERS TO HOLD WORK SESSION ON OCTOBER 27
The Harnett County Board of Commissioners will hold their next meeting on Monday, November 2, 2020 at 9:00 AM. A quorum of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners and staff will be stationed in the meeting chambers to maintain the recommended social distancing of 6 feet.
The meeting will not be open for the public to attend in person; however, virtual options will be available. 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 November 2 meeting agenda includes:
COOPER SIGNS EXECUITIVE ORDER TO STRENGTHEN EVICTION PREVENTION
Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 171 to strengthen eviction protections to help North Carolina renters stay in their homes. With COVID-19 case counts increasing and many people continuing to work and learn remotely, preventing evictions is critical to the state’s fight against this virus. This order supplements the existing NC HOPE initiative started two weeks ago that pays landlords and utilities directly to keep people in their homes with the lights on.
The economic toll of COVID-19 has left thousands of families struggling to make ends meet. According to a report from the National Council of State Housing Agencies, approximately 300,000 – 410,000 households across North Carolina are currently unable to pay rent, and an estimated 240,000 eviction filings will be submitted by January 2021.
Last month, the Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) put a temporary residential eviction moratorium into effect nationwide from September 4 through December 31, 2020. The CDC order protects residential tenants from eviction for nonpayment of rent. However, confusion over who this order protects has caused inconsistent enforcement and unwarranted evictions in some parts of the state.
Executive Order No. 171 requires landlords to make residential tenants aware of their rights under the CDC Order. For eviction actions commencing after Executive Order No. 171, landlords must give residents the option to fill out a declaration form before starting any eviction action.
The Order also sets forth procedures to ensure protection for residential tenants once they provide the required declaration form to the court or to the landlord.
Executive Order No. 171 also clarifies the CDC moratorium so that it clearly applies to all North Carolinians who meet the CDC’s eligibility criteria, regardless of whether they live in federally-subsidized properties. The Order ensures that recipients of the N.C. Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) program are still able to qualify and that these renter protections will apply to North Carolinians regardless of the CDC Order’s status in other courts.
Two weeks ago, Governor Cooper launched the $117 million NC HOPE program that provides assistance to eligible low-and-moderate income renters experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic by making direct payments to landlords and utility companies. This program has received 22,800 eligible applications as of today. Given the demand for assistance shown over the last two weeks, the state will continue working to boost the HOPE program so it can help more North Carolinians make ends meet.
People can apply for help by calling 2-1-1 or going to nc211.org/hope.
In addition, to help ease housing concerns, North Carolina is funding the Back@Home program, which helps families experiencing homelessness and provides financial relief to some landlords whose tenants are at risk of homelessness.
Read the Executive Order.
Read a FAQ about Executive Order.
NCDHHS LAUNCHES NEW ADVERTISEMENT TO URGE RESIDENTS TO WEAR A MASK
As North Carolinians look towards the holidays and begin to plan celebratory gatherings, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services launches a new advertisement as part of the statewide "Whatever Your Reason" campaign. This newest television commercial reminds everyone the decision to wear a mask is not about “who you know, or how well you know them.”
The commercial urges everyone to ask themselves one simple question when deciding when to wear a mask: "Will I be with anyone I don’t live with?" affirming, "If the answer is yes, get behind the mask."
This new advertisement will air statewide and compliment current radio announcements, online and social media advertisements and out-of-home advertisements at bus stops, convenience stores and gas stations. The "Whatever Your Reason" campaign was informed by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers and statewide online focus groups, which showed that North Carolinians have personal reasons for wearing a mask, including avoiding the spread of COVID-19 (77%), wanting to protect their community (72%) and families (71%) and feeling a sense of responsibility (72%).
In addition, NCDHHS has issued guidance for get-togethers to help organizers and attendees minimize the risk for COVID-19 transmission. Even in small groups of close friends or extended family, it is critical all North Carolinians wear a mask whenever they are in close contact with anyone outside their immediate household.
As options for outdoor gatherings are limited as the weather changes, it is more important than ever North Carolinians use the tools we have to slow the spread of the virus: wearing a face covering over your nose and mouth, waiting at least 6 feet from others and washing your hands often.
The “Whatever Your Reason” campaign works with North Carolina photographers to photograph real North Carolina people, places and lives, reflecting the strength and diversity of North Carolina. The campaign will run in Spanish and English language media.
To access campaign resources in English, visit: ncdhhs.gov/WhateverYourReason.
To access campaign resources in Spanish, visit: ncdhhs.gov/CualEsTuRazon.
NC REMAINS PAUSED IN PHASE 3
Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina will remain paused in Phase 3 for three more weeks as health officials continue to monitor North Carolina’s viral trends. North Carolina has seen increased hospitalizations and trajectory of cases in recent weeks. Governor Cooper underscored the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, and using good judgment despite fatigue or frustration with the pandemic.
Also today, Governor Cooper updated on progress with the NC Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) program. Since Governor Cooper announced the (HOPE) Program last week, 12,000 eligible applicants have filed for assistance. The HOPE Program provides assistance to eligible low-and-moderate income renters experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic by making direct payments to landlords and utility companies. People can apply for help by calling 2-1-1 or going to nc211.org/hope.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen and Secretary of Department of Public Safety Erik Hooks sent a letter to local officials in communities with increased viral spread urging their continued action in fighting COVID-19 and suggesting additional measures to mitigate its spread. Read more about that letter here.
Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days
Trajectory of 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 adequately respond to an increase in virus spread in testing, tracing and prevention.
Personal Protective Equipment
Read Executive Order 170.
Read the slides from this briefing.
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.
StudentAccess Updated. StudentAccess, an online student library card initiative that began last year between the Harnett County Public Library and the Harnett County Public School System, was recently updated for the 2020-2021 school year. New and incoming students now have access to all of the educational electronic resources the Harnett County Public Library has to offer. Animated picture books, e-books, homework help, language learning apps, and so much more are now just a click away. To take advantage of this resource, students should first go to the library’s website at www.harnett.org/library and visit the Kids e-library page. To login to any of the e-resources, students will use their PowerSchool Student ID number as their library card number and the last 4 digits of that number will serve as their pin.
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!
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
Boone Trail Afterschool Program. Beginning October 26, Harnett County Parks & Recreation will offer an afterschool program from 3pm-6pm at Boone Trail Community Center, 8500 Old US 421, Lillington. The cost is $120 per month per child, with a 10% discount for siblings within the same households. Children will have a blast making new friends, taking part in activities, and completing their homework in a safe environment with the guidance of trained and friendly staff. To register for the afterschool program, contact Drew Bryant at 910-893-7518 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.