KEY POINTS

  • Health Services identified two more individuals who received a positive test result for the novel coronavirus Saturday.
  • As of May 16, there are now 55 positive cases of COVID-19 among county residents (43 considered recovered, 9 isolating at home, 1 isolating at a hospital, 2 deaths) and 10 cases among non-residents (5 considered recovered, 3 transferred monitoring to home county, 2 deaths).
  • The NCDHHS update its guidance for clinicians on who should be tested for COVID-19
  • Help protect and respect the health of our fellow neighbors. Follow the three Ws when you visit any public area: Wear a cloth face covering; Wait six feet apart to avoid close contact and maintain appropriate social distancing between yourself and others; Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
  • Phase 1 still includes a modified version of the Governor’s Stay at Home Order. Do not plan any day trips or vacations or invite guests to visit during Phase 1 (through May 22).
  • Free, anonymous mental health resources are available to residents and health care workers/first responders 24/7
  • See answers and information to several of our most frequently asked questions concerning COVID-19.
  • See more information about COVID-19 testing and screening sites in Brunswick County

MEDIA RELEASE

BOLIVIA, N.C. – Brunswick County Health Services identified two more individuals who tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Saturday, bringing the total count of residents with a positive test result to 55. Of these resident cases, 43 are considered recovered, nine are isolating at seven different households (one is not in Brunswick County), one is isolating at a hospital and two are deaths associated to COVID-19.

The two newest cases are isolating in the same household. Neither has any identified close contacts who need to quarantine. Contact tracing is completed. To protect individual privacy, no further information will be released.

NCDHHS UPDATES GUIDANCE ON WHO SHOULD BE TESTED FOR COVID-19

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) issued updated guidance Friday on who should be tested for COVID-19. The new guidance recommends that clinicians test any patient in whom COVID-19 is suspected.

The new guidance recommends clinicians ensure the following populations have access to testing, regardless of symptoms:

  • Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19
  • Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms
  • Persons who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp)
  • Persons who are at high risk of severe illness (e.g., people over 65 years of age, people of any age with underlying health conditions)
  • Persons who come from historically marginalized populations
  • Health care workers or first responders (e.g. EMS, law enforcement, fire department, military)
  • Front-line and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, etc.) in settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain

Learn more about this new guidance on the NCDHHS website. Residents can also find information on testing and screening sites in Brunswick County on the County’s website and the NCDHHS websiteRemember to always call before arriving at a medical provider to describe your symptoms so they can provide proper guidance and have time to prepare to best protect you and their staff.

Anyone with more serious symptoms should call their doctor or 911 right away. More serious symptoms can include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion or blue lips.

Staying home is still the best way to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect North Carolinians. The NCDHHS encourages everyone to follow the three Ws when visiting any public area. These efforts work best when they are all practiced together by as many people as possible:

  • Wear a cloth face covering when in public (Make sure both your nose and mouth are fully covered and you are able to breathe normally while wearing it.)
  • Wait six feet apart to avoid close contact and maintain appropriate social distancing between yourself and others
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer while also following other best hygiene practices

Because Phase 1 still includes a modified Stay at Home Order, North Carolinians should still limit nonessential travel as much as possible during Phase 1. This includes not planning any day trips or vacations through May 22 in or out of Brunswick County (including South Carolina). Limiting your travel helps both our county and our neighboring counties prevent the further spread of the virus.

You are also discouraged from inviting guests to travel to your home to visit during Phase 1 as travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Do not travel if you are sick or travel with someone who is sick. If someone traveling tests positive for COVID-19, any close contacts who were traveling with them or those who were hosting them will have to quarantine as well. Individuals who have to quarantine with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 are at a higher risk for contracting the virus themselves.

More information about the Governor’s Executive Order No. 138 concerning Phase 1 is available below.

COVID-19 FAQ OF THE DAY

WHAT DOES THE GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 138 (PHASE 1) MEAN FOR PARKS, TRAILS, AND PLAYGROUNDS?
  • The Order encourages the reopening of all state parks and trails. North Carolinians are encouraged to engage in outdoor activities, so long as they maintain Recommendations to Promote Social Distancing and Reduce Transmission. The same policies to reduce transmission in retail settings should be followed in parks. Public playgrounds remain closed under Phase 1 because public playground equipment may increase the spread of COVID-19

See more answers and information to several of our most frequently asked questions concerning COVID-19.

Answers to questions about the Governor’s Executive Order No. 138 (Phase 1) are on the NCDHHS website.

BRUNSWICK COUNTY TEST RESULTS

As of May 16, there are now 55 positive cases of COVID-19, 46 pending test results and 2,057 confirmed negative test results, totaling 2,158 tests administered so far among Brunswick County residents. Of the 55 positive cases, 28 are male and 27 are female; 43 are considered recovered cases, nine are isolating at seven different homes (one home is not in Brunswick County), one is isolating at a hospital, and two are deaths associated to COVID-19.

There are 10 cases involving non-residents who tested positive for COVID-19 while visiting Brunswick County, resulting in their contacts having to quarantine as well; these cases are not reflected in the County’s total case counts. Seven of these cases are male and three are female. Five of the non-resident cases are considered recovered, and the County has transferred monitoring for three cases to the individuals’ home counties; two are deaths associated to COVID-19.

The age ranges of the positive cases among Brunswick County residents as of today are as follows:

  • 0-17 years old: 1
  • 18-24 years old: 4
  • 25-49 years old: 11
  • 50-64 years old: 20
  • 65+ years old: 19

The age ranges of the positive cases among non-residents as of today are as follows:

  • 0-17 years old: Zero cases
  • 18-24 years old: Zero cases
  • 25-49 years old: 4
  • 50-64 years old: 1
  • 65+ years old: 5

To protect individual privacy, no further information will be released.

COVID-19 TEST REPORTS IN BRUNSWICK COUNTY AMONG COUNTY RESIDENTS
Positive Test Results Reported to the County (County Residents)58
Pending Test Sample Results at the State Laboratory or Private Laboratories (County Residents)34
Confirmed Negative Test Results Reported to the County (County Residents)2,074
Number of Test Samples Reported to the County (County Residents)2,166
Positive Cases Isolating at Home (County Residents)11
Positive Cases Isolating at a Hospital (County Residents)1
Recoveries Among Positive Cases (County Residents)44
Associated COVID-19 Deaths (County Residents)2

Statistics as of May 17, 2020 at 7 p.m.

COVID-19 TEST REPORTS IN BRUNSWICK COUNTY AMONG NON-RESIDENTS
Positive Test Results (Non-Residents)10
Positive Cases Isolating in the County (Non-Residents)0
Positive Cases Isolating at a Hospital (Non-Residents)0
Recoveries Among Positive Cases (Non-Residents)5
Transferred Monitoring to Home County (Non-Residents)3
Associated COVID-19 Deaths (Non-Residents)2

Statistics as of May 17, 2020 at 7 p.m.

Note: Brunswick County Health Services is encouraging providers in the County’s jurisdiction to continue to report persons under investigation (PUI) at this time, however NCDHHS no longer mandates that the PUI form be completed and sent to the local health departments, which could result in under reporting of test counts. These numbers reflected the information reported to the County from local health care providers.

Public Health monitors all individuals who test positive and any individuals in self-quarantine on a regular basis. The County will share statistics on the number of test samples and final reports Public Health is receiving in its update to allow for transparency and efficiency.

Brunswick County will provide updates on any positive cases considered a low risk for community spread unless a serious public health concern requires a separate release.

The NCDHHS has a case count webpage for North Carolina with information on the number of positive cases residing in zip codes. Brunswick County Health Services reminds individuals that zip codes only tell the location of where a positive case resides and does not mean that that is where the individual got the virus.

Most of the County’s resident and non-resident cases are related to travel to or from places outside of Brunswick County, however there is evidence of community spread of the virus in some of the resident cases. There are also a couple of instances where a positive case has transmitted the virus to another person outside of their household who was later tested and identified as a positive case.

Of the 55 identified cases, 43 are considered recovered cases, nine are isolating at seven different homes (one is not located in Brunswick County) and one is isolating at a hospital. These isolating positive cases pose a low risk to the public as they and any household contacts are isolated or quarantined.

Everyone in needs to continue to take actions that best protect themselves from COVID-19 wherever they are and should assume that they can be exposed to the virus anywhere—hence the need to wear a face covering, wait six feet apart from other people, and wash their hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds and/or use hand sanitizer frequently.

Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 are in isolation in their homes, which are located within the majority of zip codes throughout the county. Identified positive cases only represent a fraction of the actual positive cases as not everyone who is sick with COVID-19 are being tested in light of the CDC’s guidance that individuals with mild symptoms are typically able to recover at home without a test.

LOCAL AND STATE PUBLIC HEALTH CALL LINES

BRUNSWICK COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH CALL LINE

The County is operating a joint information center with a Public Health Call Line and email to answer residents’ coronavirus questions (available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). More information is also available on our website at https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/coronavirus

Individuals who have questions afterhours are encouraged to use the North Carolina 2-1-1 program or call the North Carolina Public Health Call Line, which has public health professionals available 24 hours a day every day to answer questions.

NC PUBLIC HEALTH CALL LINE (OPEN 24/7)
  • 866.462.3821
NORTH CAROLINA 2-1-1 PROGRAM
  • For COVID-19 questions, dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162
  • Sign up for updates by texting COVIDNC to 898211

The COVID-19 situation is a stressful situation for many of us. There are several resources available should you need to speak with someone anonymously at this time:

  • Trillium877.685.2415 (24-hour availability in English and Spanish)
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 800.985.5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 (24-hour availability in English and Spanish)
  • Hope4NC Helpline1-855-587-3463 (available 24/7)
  • Hope4Healers Helpline (for health care professionals, emergency medical specialists, first responders, other staff who work in health care settings and their families who are experiencing stress from being on the front lines of the state’s COVID-19 response): 919-226-2002 (available 24/7)
  • More resources are available through the NC Department of Health & Human Services:

Find the latest information, case counts, contact information for community partners and food resources in Brunswick County on our Latest Information on Coronavirus webpage.