NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC - As metrics measuring the spread of COVID-19 in New Hanover County continue to remain high, officials from New Hanover County Health and Human Services encourage all community members to get fully vaccinated and receive a booster dose once eligible.
"The Omicron variant, which CDC now estimates to be 99% of cases across the Southeastern region, is spreading very rapidly in our area causing serious disruptions to healthcare, schools and businesses. All of us need to use the tools we have to control these impacts: wear a mask in indoor public places, distance from those outside your household and stay home and away from others if symptomatic or exposed. Also, please get vaccinated. We have the power to defeat this pandemic - the available vaccines against COVID-19 are effective, they work as intended keeping the vast majority of those fully vaccinated out of danger," said Health Director David Howard. "The fight against COVID-19 and its variants is about being proactive rather than reactive. The more all of us do before being exposed, like getting vaccinated and boosted, the more likely we are to minimize the virus' impact on our health, our families, our jobs, and our neighbors."
Per new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, booster doses can now be received five months after an individual has been fully vaccinated (two doses) with either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Individuals who received the Johnson and Johnson single-dose vaccine only need to wait two months before getting a booster.
Pfizer boosters have been approved for anyone 12 years or older, while boosters for Johnson and Johnson or Moderna can be received by anyone 18 or older.
The New Hanover County Health and Human Services Vaccination Clinics at 1650 Greenfield Street and Independence Mall are offering initial vaccines and boosters to anyone who is eligible. Appointments are encouraged and can be scheduled by visiting TakeMyShot.NC.gov. Walk-ups are accepted at both clinic locations and vaccines will be administered based on availability.
"Approximately 65% of our county's residents have already received at least one vaccination, with around 62% being fully vaccinated. We're so grateful for the efforts taken by many in this county to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community," Howard said. "We hope to see those numbers continue to go up, and that our booster numbers go up as well, as the importance of getting this vaccine grows each day. Together, we can slow the spread and limit COVID's impact on our community."
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, visit Health.NHCgov.com or call the Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.
Health and Human Services Board meeting set for Tuesday
The Health and Human Services Board will hold its regular monthly meeting at 8 am on Tuesday, January 18. During this meeting, the Board will discuss and revisit the face coverings health rule for indoor public places and other preventative measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in New Hanover County.
The meeting will be held in the multipurpose room of the Health and Human Services building, located at 1650 Greenfield Street. The public may view the meeting live at NHCTV.com, youtube.com/NewHanoverCo and Spectrum Cable channel 13; or listen to the meeting by dialing 415-655-0003 and when prompted for a meeting ID, press 808 594 284, then the pound sign (#).
Comments can be submitted in advance of the meeting online here through noon on Friday, January 14. The public can also attend the hearing in-person and speak about the proposed rule. Individuals looking to speak will need to sign up before the meeting and comments will be limited to 3 minutes each, with a total of 45 minutes allotted for public comments during the hearing, which is in keeping with HHS Board operating procedures.
COVID-19 Community Data, as of January 13:
- New Hanover County's % positivity over the past 14 days is 31% (this represents positive Molecular (PCR) tests as a % of total PCR tests performed countywide).
- Over the past 14 days, 5,056 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the county which is an average of 361.1 cases per day.
- According to NHRMC, as of January 10, the average daily number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized over the previous week was 69.
- Approximately 152,635 New Hanover County residents (about 65%) have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and approximately 144,216 residents (about 62%) are fully vaccinated and protected from COVID-19.
View additional COVID-19 information and data at Health.NHCgov.com.