Harnett County, NC- 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
COVID-19 Update: July 24, 2020
As our COVID-19 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 July 24, 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.
Harnett County COVID-19 Dashboard. The Health Department is working to provide consistent updates about reported cases of COVID-19 to help our community better understand how this pandemic is developing in our county. 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, and 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
COMMISSIONERS TO HOLD WORK SESSION ON JULY 28
The Harnett County Board of Commissioners will hold their next work session on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 9 am. Only County government staff necessary to conduct the meeting or to speak on scheduled agenda items will be in attendance. This meeting will not be open to members of the public to attend in person; however, accommodations are in place to allow the public to attend virtually.
Interested individuals 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 July 28 Work Session includes:
NCDHHS ADDS NEW HOSPITAL DATA TO INTERACTIVE COVID-19 DASHBOARD
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services unveiled an updated COVID-19 Dashboard that includes more granular information about hospital capacity and hospitalization trends, both statewide and broken down by region. These new hospitalization data will provide additional insight into North Carolina’s hospital capacity in the COVID-19 pandemic.
North Carolina’s COVID-19 Dashboard provides a public-facing overview of the key metrics and capacities the state is monitoring to inform its pandemic response strategy and decision-making. The dashboard has been used for reporting high-level statewide data on hospital capacity, including the number of people currently hospitalized, inpatient and Intensive Care Unit bed utilization and ventilator availability, since it was launched in March.
New hospitalization-related indicators added to the COVID-19 Dashboard include hospitalizations by regions, trends in inpatient and ICU bed utilization over time and a breakdown of hospitalizations by suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. NCDHHS surveys hospitals across North Carolina daily through the Healthcare Preparedness Program, which is used to assess hospital capacity during disasters and emergencies such as COVID-19 and recently switched to a more automated system which has allowed for tracking of more detailed information.
Additional data reported through the interactive COVID-19 Dashboard include:
The COVID-19 Dashboard can be accessed online at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard.
NCDHHS EXPANDS FREE TESTING SITES IN UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES
Governor Roy Cooper announced that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) today has approved a third vendor, NC Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA), to expand free COVID-19 testing to historically marginalized communities that currently have limited testing sites. So far, Vidant Health and Orig3n, Inc. have coordinated more than 60 testing events through this initiative with eleven additional events scheduled for today.
Under this new contract, NCCHCA will provide testing in 23 ZIP codes as part of NCDHHS’ effort to increase access to no-cost COVID-19 testing for African American, Latinx/Hispanic and American Indian communities. As many as 300 temporary testing events will be deployed by the vendors throughout the month of July, including drive-thru and walk-up sites in more than 130 ZIP codes.
No payment from the individual is needed for testing. Insurance, if available, will be billed but no co-pays or cost-sharing will be asked of anyone seeking testing. Those who are uninsured have full access to free testing at these sites.
A disproportionately high percentage of North Carolina’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have occurred among historically marginalized populations. Mounting evidence shows the members of these populations experience higher rates of COVID-19 mortality and serious complications.
In order to effectively reach underserved populations, NCDHHS is emphasizing a community testing approach. Awarded vendors are required to connect individuals with medical homes and provide services with culturally and linguistically appropriate standards, working within existing trusted community partnerships.
The initiative builds on earlier measures North Carolina has taken to expand testing access across the state, including:
People who may not currently have symptoms but may have been exposed to COVID-19 should get tested, especially people from historically marginalized communities, including Latinx/Hispanic, African American, and American Indian populations. In addition, testing is a priority for anyone who has symptoms or those who may have been exposed to COVID-19, including:
There are upcoming testing events scheduled in Bladen, Duplin, Edgecombe, Halifax, Hertford, Johnston, Northampton and Sampson counties. For an up-to-date list of events, visit the Community Testing Events page of the NCDHHS COVID-19 website. Testing events associated with this initiative are listed under the name of their coordinating vendor, Vidant Health or Orig3n, Inc. NCCHCA testing events will also be listed as they come available.
EXTENSION ASSISTING STATE WITH NEARLY 1 MILLION FACE COVERINGS TO FARMWORKERS
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is taking further action to prevent and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks among the agricultural workforce, delivering critical personal protective equipment for use by agricultural workers across the state.
Farmworkers are deemed an essential workforce and it is imperative that people who cultivate and harvest North Carolina’s wide variety of crops are protected. To support prevention efforts that are proven to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, NCDHHS is implementing its plan this week to deliver over 900,000 masks and other infection control supplies to North Carolina Cooperative Extension county centers across the state for distribution to farms and agricultural operations. In addition to masks, the deliveries included hand sanitizer and cloth face coverings for workers to take home.
Thirty-one counties have been selected to receive the first delivery, including: Alamance, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Harnett, Henderson, Johnston, Lee, Lenoir, Lincoln, Martin, Mecklenburg, Nash, Pender, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Wake, Wayne, Wilson.
NCDHHS is partnering with N.C. Cooperative Extension, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), the N.C. Department of Labor (NCDOL) and the N.C. Agromedicine Institute to expedite a delivery plan and raise awareness about this resource among the farming community.
This initiative builds on earlier measures North Carolina has taken with state and local partners to protect the agricultural workforce. Previous and ongoing actions include:
A list of congregate living settings with outbreaks is available on the NCDHHS website.
Contact the Harnett County Cooperative Extension office for more information. Interested individuals can call (910) 893-7530 or visit the Cooperative Extension website at https://harnett.ces.ncsu.edu/.
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.
Summer Reading Program. The summer reading program has officially ended, and now it's time to turn in your reading logs! All early literacy, school age, and teen logs can be turned in July 27th - August 6th. Prize bags will be given out for any log turned in (while supplies last). Each reading log will be an entry for our grand prize drawing, held on August 7th.
Adult Summer Challenge logs can be exchanged for a prize any time between August 1st- 30th. Each log will be an entered into our adult grand prize drawing to be held August 31st
Thank you for making this unique summer reading program a success!
Virtual Programs. 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. Librarians are also still available by phone Monday through Thursday from 10:00am-6:00pm and Friday from 10:00am-5:00pm at (910) 893-3446.
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!
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.
Summer Camp. Boone Trail Community Center is hosting summer camp for children ages 5-12. The camp is following COVID-19 guidelines. Limited spots in select summer camp weeks are still available. Anyone interested can contact Drew Bryant at email@example.com or (910) 893-7518 if they would like to register their child.
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.
Central Carolina Recovery Program
Businesses negatively impacted by C-19 may be eligible for free 1-on-1 virtual consulting with a business expert to help your business not just survive but thrive moving forward. Click here to apply.
COVID-19 Relief Bills
On May 4, 2020, Governor Cooper announced two COVID-19 relief bills. House Bill 1043 includes appropriation of $125 million to Golden LEAF Foundation for the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program. Applications are reviewed on a first come, first served basis. Visit NCRapidRecovery.org to learn more about the program and submit an application for your small business.
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.
Regional Skills Analysis Survey
A critical question moving forward for North Carolina’s economic recovery will be how to identify industries with growth, what skills and credentials will be needed to work in those industries, and how to connect the workforce with training and job openings. This will require a concerted effort from the private sector, workforce development, and educational institutions to bridge existing skills and access gaps and connect people out of work to good-paying, quality jobs.
To support this effort, RTI, Wake County Economic Development, Capital Area Workforce Development, the City of Raleigh , Cape Fear Collective, and the Wilmington Chamber are conducting a regional skills analysis survey in the Triangle and Cape Fear regions of North Carolina to identify industry and region-specific trends and needs for talent in the next three years. This data will inform a coordinated strategy to prepare economic and workforce development partners to address the workforce needs of industry as we navigate the economic recovery.
The Regional Skills Analysis survey is led by industry leaders in the Research Triangle region and Cape Fear regions and aims to evaluate workforce needs and trends in North Carolina.
There are also several local businesses within Harnett County looking to hire. The following positions are available at this time:
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.
NC PAUSES IN SAFER AT HOME PHASE 2, ADDS STATEWIDE FACE COVERING REQUIREMENT
Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced that North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 through 5 p.m. August 7, 2020. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread.
Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Until now, face coverings had been strongly recommended. Under today’s executive order, people must wear face coverings when in public places where physical distancing is not possible.
In addition, certain businesses must have employees and customers wear face coverings, including retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming; employees of child care centers and camps; state government agencies under the Governor’s Cabinet; workers and riders of transportation; and workers in construction/trades, manufacturing, agriculture, meat processing and healthcare and long-term care settings.
Read Executive Order 147 that implements today’s announcement.
Read Executive Order 151 here.
Read Frequently Asked Questions about today’s executive Order and mandatory 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:
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:
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. Harnett County Landfills and Convenience Sites and Harnett County parks & trails are operating on a normal schedule until further notice.
Some County departments have reopened to the public on a limited basis and others are meeting with the public by appointment only. You should contact departments by phone for information about their specific operations.
Although most County 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.
You can view this information from NCDHHS by viewing the COVID-19: What to Do If You Feel Sick information handout.
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.