Harnett County,
North Carolina

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Friday, January 15, 2021  |  Permalink

January 15 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:

  • COVID-19 Data Report
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Updates for Harnett County
  • Health Care Workers and Adults 65 and Older Are Next to Receive Vaccine
  • Commissioners to Hold Meeting on January 19

HARNETT COUNTY COVID-19 DATA REPORT
As our cases continue to increase, protect yourself and others by following 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 January 15, 2021:

  • Confirmed cases 7076
  • Active Cases 1722
  • Recovered cases 5027
  • Deaths reported 105
  • Age range 1 week-101 years
  • Average Age 44
  • Positive Cases by Race 1243 Hispanic,  3898 White, 1700 Black, and 235 Other
  • Positive Cases by Ethnicity  1243 Hispanic, 5598 Non-Hispanic and 235 Other
  • Gender 53% female and 47% 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 eleven outbreaks 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 COVID-19 outbreaks:  Harnett Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Emerald Health and Rehabilitation Center, Universal Healthcare, Carrolton of Dunn, Oakhill Assisted Living, Senior Citizens Village,  Senter’s Memory Care, North Willow Group Home, and Pinecrest Gardens.  Two correctional institutions, Harnett Correctional Institution and Harnett County Detention Center.  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 Harnett County Health Department at 910-893-7550. VIEW REPORT

COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATES FOR HARNETT COUNTY
The Harnett County Health Department is continually working to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals in Group 2, which includes Adults 65 years or older, along with any remaining individuals who qualify for the vaccine under Group 1, which includes Health care workers & Long-Term Care staff and residents. Harnett County Health Department is currently working to complete the scheduling of vaccine appointments for individuals 75 and older and will expand to scheduling appointments for individuals 65 to 74 as vaccines become available.

Vaccinations will be provided by appointment only. To schedule a vaccine appointment, please call the Harnett County COVID-19 vaccine hotline at 910-814-6582. Due to the massive response for the COVID-19 vaccine, the Harnett County Health Departments’ phone lines, call center, and website are at capacity.  The Health Department staff are working to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible, but it will take time. We are requesting everyone to be patient, including those still waiting for callbacks for vaccine appointments.  The COVID-19 vaccine is available free of charge.  Those who are scheduling appointments at the Health Department will receive the Moderna vaccine.  

 Information about each phase for the vaccine can be found on the Health Department’s web site www.harnett.org/health.

HEALTH CARE WORKERS AND ADULTS 65 AND OLDER ARE NEXT TO RECEIVE VACCINE
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced on Thursday that vaccine providers that are ready to expand may vaccinate all health care workers and anyone 65 years and older.

Because vaccine supplies are currently limited, states must make vaccine available in phases.Open PDF To save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19, independent state and federal public health advisory committees recommend first protecting health care workers, people who are at the highest risk of being hospitalized or dying, and those at high risk of exposure to COVID-19. 

North Carolina moves through vaccination phases by aligning to federal priorities while giving local health departments and hospitals the flexibility to move to the next priority group as they complete the previous one and have vaccines available. With today’s announcement, vaccine providers who are ready may vaccinate adults 65 years and older and health care workers, which will be followed by frontline essential workers, then adults with high risk of exposure and increased risk of serious illness, then everyone. It is the responsibility of all vaccine providers to ensure equitable access to vaccines. This will mean taking intentional actions to reach and engage historically marginalized communities.

As part of the ongoing effort to educate North Carolinians about the safety, benefits and importance of receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, NCDHHS launched You have a spot. Take your shot. to provide all North Carolinians with information about COVID-19 vaccine development, testing, safety, side-effects and reactions.  

To support communities, NCDHHS is partnering with health systems, local health departments and community health centers across the state to host large community vaccine events for people currently eligible to be vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free of charge, regardless of whether or not people have insurance. However, most doctors cannot provide COVID-19 vaccines in their office at this time. Individuals who are currently eligible and would like to receive the vaccine must make an appointment with their local health department or hospital. 

In collaboration with local and statewide media outlets, pooled video footage and photos from recent vaccination clinics, PSAs produced by NCDHHS and other resources are available for publication and broadcast use, and can be downloaded from bit.ly/3rTOcS2. 

For more information, visit yourspotyourshot.nc.gov.

COMMISSIONERS TO HOLD MEETING ON JANUARY 19
The Harnett County Board of Commissioners will hold their next work meeting on Tuesday, January 19 at 6:00 PM. A quorum of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners, staff and a limited number of the public (8 individuals), all required to wear face coverings to enter the building, will be stationed in the meeting chambers to maintain the recommended social distancing of 6 feet.   

Virtual options to attend the meeting will also 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 January 19 meeting agenda includes:

  • Consent Agenda
  • Public Comment Period
  • Appointments of Citizens to Boards & Committees
  • Public Hearing for Proposed Zoning Change: Case #PLAN 2012-0001
  • Public hearing concerning second amendment to Economic Development Incentive Agreement
  • Presentation of the 2021 Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Greenway Plan
  • County Manager’s Report

Learn more about the January 19 meeting.

NCDHHS ISSUES SECRETARIAL DIRECTIVE
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today issued a Secretarial DirectiveOpen PDF telling North Carolinians to stay home except for essential activities and avoid gathering, especially indoors, with people who do not live with you.

The directive comes as the state reports 84 counties as red in the COVID-19 County Alert System released today, meaning most of the state has critical levels of viral spread. North Carolina also has experienced record high numbers on key metrics in recent weeks, including its highest number since the start of the pandemic of cases reported each day, the percent of tests that are positive and people hospitalized with COVID-19.

The directive outlines immediate actions North Carolinians must take to save lives, slow the spread of the virus and protect hospital capacity across North Carolina to ensure medical care is available to anyone who may need it, whether for COVID-19 or for any other reason.  

The directive aligns with recent recommendations from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the Governor’s Executive Orders on COVID-19 and the COVID-19 County Alert System for North Carolina. North Carolinians are directed to:

  • Only leave home for essential activities such as going to work or school, for health care purposes, to care for family members or to buy food. 
  • Avoid leaving home if you are over 65 or at high risk for developing serious illness. Use delivery services or alternative pick-up methods for food and retail.
  • Avoid gathering with people who do not live with you. 
  • Wear a mask and keep distance from people when you leave home.
  • Avoid any indoor public spaces where people are not wearing masks.
  • Stay away from crowds. Avoid places where people may gather in large numbers.

As recommended by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to North Carolina, the directive also says that if you have gathered with people who do not live with you, assume that you became infected with the virus and get tested for COVID-19. People should also get tested if they have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

COVID-19 is highly contagious, and more than half of North Carolinians are at high risk for serious illness. Studies are also finding that some people, including those who had mild illness, experience symptoms for weeks or months following infection.

North Carolina's statewide mask requirement and Modified Stay at Home Order are in effect. This order requires people to stay at home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Businesses including restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses, most retail stores and more, have capacity limits and are required to close by 10 p.m. In addition, all onsite alcohol consumption sales must end by 9 p.m.

For more information on the Secretarial Directive,Open PDF read the Frequently Asked Questions.Open PDF

SLOWCOVIDNC EXPOSURE NOTIFICATION APP
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has launched a COVID-19 Exposure Notification app called ‘SlowCOVIDNC’. 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.

PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES FOR HARNETT COUNTY RESIDENTS
Harnett County Public Library
The Harnett County Public Library will soon be moving to the Harnett County Resource Center and Library, located at 455 McKinney Parkway, Lillington, To prepare for this transition, the library will be closed to the public beginning Monday, January 11th.  The dropbox will be available for returns while the library is closed, but all checkouts and hold requests will be suspended.  The Harnett County Resource Center and Library is tentatively scheduled to open March 1st.  Avoid running out of books to read and listen to by checking out your items by Friday, January 8th. 

For more information, please contact the Harnett County Public Library at 910-893-3446.

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. 

Harnett County Parks & Recreation
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 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.Open PDF 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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