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 RESPONSE UPDATES
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 April 30, 2021:
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 one outbreaks for COVID-19. In a congregate living setting, a COVID-19 outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases. One correctional institution, Harnett Correctional Institution. 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 or visit the Health Department’s web site www.harnett.org/health. VIEW REPORT
COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATES FOR HARNETT COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
After a brief pause and careful investigation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine is safe for use. The CDC and FDA recommend resuming the use of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is recommending that providers in NC resume administration of the vaccine. The Harnett County Health Department will resume use of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine is recommended for people ages 18 years and older.
The Health Department also provides first and second dose vaccination for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for anyone age 16 and over. All COVID-19 vaccines are free of charge to all individuals, regardless of immigration or health insurance status. Vaccinations will be administered by appointment only. The Health Department is located within the Governmental Complex at 307 W. Cornelius Harnett Blvd in Lillington. If you would like to schedule an appointment online, visit the Health Department’s web site www.harnett.org/health and click on COVID-19 Vaccine Inquiry or call 910-814-6582.
NO-COST COVID-19 TESTING CLINICS
Getting a test is the best way to protect your family, friends and loved ones.
Lillington Location. OPTUM Serve will offer free drive-thru COVID-19 testing for the upcoming week at the CCCC Harnett Health Sciences Center, located at 51 Red Mulberry Way Lillington, NC 27546. Testing appointments can be scheduled on the following days and times:
Anyone who meets the testing criteria can be tested at an OptumServe community testing site, including uninsured, underinsured, undocumented and homeless individuals. OptumServe will generate a unique identification number for individuals who do not have a driver’s license.
To schedule an appointment, visit lhi.care/covidtesting. Call (877) 562-4850 if you do not have internet or are registering for a minor. Location subject to change, please check: https://lhi.care/covidtesting for the latest location information.
For more information regarding additional COVID-19 testing dates, visit the Health Department’s website located at www.harnett.org/health.
COOPER RELAXES OUTDOOR MASK MANDATE & EASES MASS GATHERING LIMITS
Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. gave an update on the state’s current data, trends and vaccination progress. As the state’s metrics and key indicators remain stable, Governor Cooper also signed an Executive Order outlining safety measures for the month of May. Executive Order No. 209 will take effect April 30 and is set to expire June 1. As more North Carolinians get vaccinated and adhere to safety protocols over the course of the next month, the state anticipates lifting more restrictions on June 1.
Under the new Executive Order, masks will still be required indoors but are no longer mandated outdoors. Masks are still strongly recommended outdoors by NC DHHS in crowded areas and higher risk settings where social distancing is difficult.
Executive Order No. 209 will also increase mass gathering capacity limits. The number of people who may gather indoors will increase from 50 to 100 and the number of people who may gather outdoors will increase from 100 to 200. Occupancy limits currently in place will remain the same.
North Carolina continues to focus on distributing vaccines quickly and equitably. To date, the state has administered over 7 million doses. 48.7% percent of those 18 and up are at least partially vaccinated, and 39.2% percent of those 18 and up have been fully vaccinated.
State health officials are continuing to monitor COVID-19 and its more contagious variants in North Carolina, which is why it is important to continue to follow the state’s mask mandate and continue to practice safety precautions, including the Three Ws—wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart, and wash hands often.
Dr. Cohen also provided an update on North Carolina’s data and trends.
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 monitoring these metrics, the state continues to respond to virus spread in testing, tracing and prevention.
View the slides from this week’s briefing.
COMMISSIONERS TO HOLD MEETING ON MAY 3
The Harnett County Board of Commissioners will hold their next meeting on Monday, May 3 at 9:00 AM at the Harnett County Resource Center and Library, located at 455 McKinney Parkway, Lillington.
The meeting will be open to a limited number of the public to attend in person, and individuals can tune into the meeting live with the following options:
If you wish to call in and listen to the meeting, you may dial (910)814-6959. Please remember to mute your phone while listening so as not to disrupt others listening.
The May 3 regular meeting agenda includes:
During the Board of Commissioners regularly scheduled meeting on May 3, Board members will recess to convene in a Joint Session with the Harnett County Board of Education.
The Joint Session meeting will NOT be open to the public to attend in person, but virtual options will be available. The live stream of the meeting will be available on the following online sites:
If you wish to call in and listen to the meeting, you may dial (910)814-6959. Please remember to mute your phone while listening so as not to disrupt others listening.
The May 3 Joint Session meeting agenda includes:
Learn more about the Board of Commissioners regular meeting and Joint Session meeting at www.harnett.org/boc.
PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES FOR HARNETT COUNTY RESIDENTS
Harnett County Public Library
The Harnett County Public Library opened for public access on Monday, April 26. The library will remain open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM and Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Curbside services will continue to be available Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. An outdoor book return drop box will also be available for residents to return books after hours.
“The new library offers a welcoming, inspiring, and open atmosphere for patrons to learn, discover, create, and succeed. Amenities and features of the new library are a children’s programming room, makerspaces, study space, Teen Zone, and a public meeting room,” stated Angela McCauley, Harnett County Public Library Director. “We are thrilled that the citizens of Harnett County will have access to a modern facility that provides a wide selection of popular books and services, opportunities for personal growth and development, STEM activities, and educational entertainment.”
For more information on Harnett County Public Library’s Curbside services or upcoming programs, visit https://harnett.libguides.com/hcpl or call 910-893-3446.
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
Patriots Park Ribbon Cutting. Join us on Wednesday, May 5 at 11:00 AM for an in-person ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of Patriots Park, located at 721 Ponderosa Road in Cameron.
Movie in the Park. Harnett County Parks and Recreation and the Town of Lillington have partnered to present a Movie in the Park. The first movie, The Croods- A New Age will play on Friday, May 7 at 8:00 PM at the Town of Lillington River Park, located at 151 East Duncan Street, Lillington. This event is free to the public and attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket and/or lawn chair.
2021 Summer Day Camp. Looking for a fun, summer day camp? Sign up for our Parks & Recreation 2021 Summer Day Camp. Sessions start on June 7 and run through August 20. Camp will be held on weekdays from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM at the Boone Trail Community Center, located at 8500 Old US 421, Lillington. Cost per child is $110 per session for In-County residents and $120 per child per session for out of county residents. Spots are extremely limited, so register today!
TOOLS TO HELP NORTH CAROLINIANS GET VACCINE INFORMATION
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released new tools to help North Carolinians get their COVID-19 vaccine questions answered and to find vaccine locations in the state.
The newly expanded COVID-19 vaccine help center can be reached at 888-675-4567 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Callers can get help with general COVID-19 vaccine questions, information on eligibility groups, clinical questions about the vaccine, how to find vaccine locations and transportation services.
The COVID-19 vaccine help center supports English and Spanish calls, and TTY. Callers will be able to select call back assistance where they receive a call when agents are available instead of waiting in line for an agent. The language line will be available for all other languages needed.
The Find a Vaccine Location search tool lets North Carolinians enter their ZIP code or current location to find nearby vaccine providers. The Find a Vaccine Location tool will be updated regularly with the latest available data. Users should contact vaccine providers directly to confirm availability and schedule appointments. Vaccine supplies remain very low, and people eligible to be vaccinated may have to wait for an appointment. Not all vaccine providers may be ready to vaccinate all eligible groups yet.
NCDHHS launched an online tool to help North Carolinians know when they will be eligible to get their vaccine. Find My Vaccine Group walks users through a series of questions to determine which vaccine group they are in. People can then sign up to be notified when their group can get vaccinated.
Until the country begins to get ahead of the pandemic, the CDC says everyone should keep wearing a mask, waiting at least six feet apart and washing hands often.
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.
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.
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.