Harnett County,
North Carolina

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Friday, November 13, 2020  |  Permalink

November 13 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
  • Free COVID-19 Testing Information
  • Commissioners to Hold Meeting on November 16
  • NCDHHS Releases Guidance for Thanksgiving, Black Friday Shopping
  • Cooper Lowers Indoor Gathering Limit to 10
  • Programs & Activities: Harnett County Parks & Recreation

HARNETT COUNTY COVID-19 DATA
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 November 13, 2020 include:

  • Confirmed cases 3322
  • Active Cases 224
  • Recovered cases 2919
  • Deaths reported 77
  • Age range 1 week-101 years
  • Average Age 40
  • Positive Cases by Race 853 Hispanic, 1614 White, 783 Black, and 72 Other
  • Positive Cases by Ethnicity 853 Hispanic, 2397 Non-Hispanic and 72 Other
  • Gender 52% female and 48% 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 seven outbreaks and three clusters 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 a second COVID-19 outbreak:  Harnett Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and Universal Healthcare.  Confirmation regarding positive cases of COVID-19 outbreaks are also reported at Emerald Health and Rehabilitation Center, Greenleaf Assisted Living Facility, Universal Assisted Living Facility and Harmony Home-Group Home, and one correctional institution, Harnett Correctional Institution.   A COVID-19 cluster is defined as a minimum of five laboratory-confirmed cases in close proximity. Three COVID-19 clusters have been reported at Campbell University.  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 Health Department at 910-893-7550. VIEW REPORT

FREEE COVID-19 TESTING: WEEK OF NOVEMBER 16
Harnett County is one of several counties participating in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ surge COVID-19 testing initiative. Harnett County Health Department in partnership with NC Department of Health and Human Services is providing free COVID-19 testing throughout Harnett County. Public Health Officials are conducting outreach testing events throughout the county to bring COVID-19 testing directly to the community.  Testing is available to individuals five years and older, including those experiencing symptoms; those who believe they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 coronavirus; and anyone who is worried about possibly having the virus.

Individuals seeking COVID-19 testing should make every effort to pre-register for testing in advance at www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com and bring the printed registration form to the testing event.

Listed below are dates and sites for upcoming COVID-19 testing. Test sites are subject to change and weather-dependent. 

  • November 16-20
    Lillington Shawtown Elementary School
    9:00 AM until 2:00 PM
    855 Old US Hwy 421, Lillington, NC  27546
  • November 23- 25
    Highland Middle School   
    9:00 AM until 2:00 PM
    345 Highland School Rd, Sanford, NC 27332
  • November 30 -December 4
    Western Harnett Middle School
    9:00 AM until 2:00 PM
    11135 NC-27, Lillington, NC 27546

For more information log onto the Health Department’s web site www.harnett.org/health  or call the Harnett County Health Department at 910-893-7550.

View Testing information in English.

View Testing information in Spanish.

COMMISSIONERS TO HOLD MEETING ON NOVEMBER 16
The Harnett County Board of Commissioners will hold their next meeting on Monday, November 16, 2020 at 6:00 PM at the Harnett County Commons Meeting Area, located at 309 W. Cornelius Harnett Boulevard, Lillington.

A quorum of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners, staff and a limited number of the public, all required to wear face coverings to enter the building, will be stationed in the meeting room to maintain the recommended social distancing of 6 feet.

The meeting will be open for the public to attend in person, and virtual options 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. 

Public comment periods and public hearings will be held during the November 16th meeting. Citizens may attend in person or submit their comments in writing to llucas@harnett.org no later than 4:00 pm on Monday, November 16th and comments will be read aloud during the meeting.  If you prefer to call in and provide your comments verbally, you may do so by dialing (910)814-6959 at 6:00 pm on November 16th.

The November 16 meeting agenda includes:

  • Consent Agenda
  • Special Presentations
  • Public Comment Period
  • Public Hearing for Proposed amended for Harnett Regional Water’s Water and Sewer Ordinance
  • Public Hearing for the State’s Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program
  • Public Hearing for proposed 5311 and 5399 Community Transportation Program application
  • Public Hearing for Proposed Rezoning: Case # PLAN 2010-0001
  • Public Hearing for Text Amendment: Case # PLAN 2010-0002
  • Public Hearing for Text Amendment: Case # PLAN 2010-0003
  • Public Hearing for Text Amendment: Case # PLAN 2010-0004
  • Public Hearing for Text Amendment: Case # PLAN 2010-0005
  • Public Comment for Proposed 2021-2022 Capital Improvement Plan
  • County Manager’s Report

Learn more about the November 16 meeting.

NCDHHS RELEASES GUIDANCE FOR THANKSGIVING, BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released new guidance for Thanksgiving celebrations and Black Friday shopping to help North Carolinians gauge the risks, protect their friends and loved ones, and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Because North Carolina is experiencing high numbers of COVID-19 cases across the state, NCDHHS urges caution when gathering for Thanksgiving and other holiday celebrations, especially  for gatherings that include people who are at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19, such as anyone over the age of 65.

If people do plan on traveling or gathering, they should consider having a screening COVID-19 test three to four days ahead of time. A screening test can help someone know if they have COVID-19 even if they do not have yet have symptoms. However, a screening test can miss some infections. Furthermore, a negative test only gives you information for that point in time. Screening tests are available at state-funded community testing events. Call ahead to other testing sites to see if they offer screening tests at their locations. Community testing events and other testing sites are listed online at ncdhhs.gov/testingplace.

People who have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been around a person with COVID-19, should not host or participate in any in-person gatherings until they complete their isolation or quarantine period.

For a full list of guidance about traveling and gathering during the holidays, along with a chart outlining low, medium and high-risk activities, see the NCDHHS Interim Guidance for Thanksgiving Holiday.

During Black Friday shopping, it is strongly recommended individuals do not participate in any traditional Black Friday shopping where customers gather in large groups waiting for the store to open or are in crowded stores for extended times.

Any large gathering of people poses an increased risk for spreading COVID-19. People at high risk for COVID-19 complications should limit in-person shopping. And people who have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19, have COVID-19 like symptoms or who have been exposed to COVID-19, should not shop in person until their isolation or quarantine period is over.

Individuals who do shop in person should follow the 3Ws and remember stores are limited to 50 percent capacity. For further Black Friday guidance, including step-by-step tips for how to reduce risk while shopping, see the NCDHHS Interim Guidance for Black Friday Shopping.

COOPER LOWERS INDOOR GATHERING LIMIT TO 10
Governor Roy Cooper announced this week that North Carolina’s indoor mass gathering limit will be lowered to 10 people in an effort to drive down North Carolina’s key COVID-19 metrics. Executive Order 176 will go into effect on Friday, November 13 and will be in place through Friday, December 4.

As the weather gets colder, more people will be gathering indoors. Science has shown that indoor gatherings increase risk of transmission of COVID-19, and this Executive Order seeks to limit indoor gatherings that could rapidly and dangerously spread the virus. 

The Order does not change the reduced capacity limits for certain businesses that have already been laid out. For more on this, read the Frequently Asked Questions document

Governor Cooper and NC DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen also underscored the need for people to wear a mask anytime they gather with people outside of their immediate household. As the holiday season approaches, NCDHHS released health guidance to help people celebrate as safely as possible without spreading the virus. 

Dr. Cohen also provided an update on North Carolina’s data and trends. 

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days 

  • North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is decreasing but still elevated.

Trajectory of Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days 

  • ·North Carolina’s trajectory of cases is increasing. 

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days 

  • North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is level but above 5 percent. 

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days 

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is level but high. 

In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread in testing, tracing and prevention.

Testing 

  • Testing capacity is high

Tracing Capability 

  • The state is continuing to hire contact tracers to bolster the efforts of local health departments. 
  • There have been almost 350,000 downloads of the exposure notification app, SlowCOVIDNC. 

Personal Protective Equipment 

  • North Carolina’s personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable. 

Read Executive Order 176

Read a Frequently Asked Questions document about the Order. 

Read the slides from this week’s briefing.

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.

The Harnett County Public Library continues to provide access to content that enriches the lives of our community. This includes:

  • Online library card registration
  • Curbside item pickup on Monday through Friday from 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Electronic resources, including eBooks, audiobooks, interactive picture books, video, magazines, study resources, and more!

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. 

New Kits Available.  Looking for some family fun?  The Harnett County Public Library is now offering activity kits for the whole family!  Each kit includes a book, coloring pages, activity sheets, crafts, and baking supplies. Come by the library to check yours out now!

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!

Virtual Youth Programming Resumes. Youth programming including virtual storytimes, digital library rooms, and Take & Make STEAM activities for school-aged children and teens will resume in September. Please visit the HCPL Facebook page or library website for more information.

Harnett County Parks & Recreation
Virtual Christmas Holiday Events. Looking for some holiday fun this December? Join Harnett County Parks & Recreation during the month of December to celebrate Christmas! On December 15, a virtual Santa’s Workshop will be available for children and families to meet with Mr. & Mrs. Claus and find out if they made the nice list this year. There will also be a couple of locations throughout Harnett County with “Letters to Santa” mailboxes for children to send in their Christmas wish list to Santa. More information to come on these programs in the coming weeks.

Boone Trail Afterschool Program. Beginning October 26, Harnett County Parks & Recreation will offer an afterschool program from 3pm-6pm at Boone Trail Community Center, 8500 Old US 421, Lillington. The cost is $120 per month per child, with a 10% discount for siblings within the same households. Children will have a blast making new friends, taking part in activities, and completing their homework in a safe environment with the guidance of trained and friendly staff. To register for the afterschool program, contact Drew Bryant at 910-893-7518 or wbryant@harnett.org.

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. 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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