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 REPORT
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 January 8, 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 eleven outbreaks 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 COVID-19 outbreaks: Harnett Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Emerald Health and Rehabilitation Center, Universal Healthcare, Carrolton of Dunn, Oakhill Assisted Living, Senior Citizens Village Senter’s Memory Care, North Willow Group Home, and Pinecrest Gardens. Two correctional institutions, Harnett Correctional Institution and Harnett County Detention Center. 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. VIEW REPORT
COVID-19 VACCINE-PHASE 1B
The Harnett County Health Department is transitioning into Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination plan. Adults 75 years or older and eligible health care workers are able to receive the vaccine during this phase. The Health Department is working to finalize our processes to offer the COVID-19 vaccine safely and effectively in accordance with state guidelines.
For persons age 75 years or older only, vaccinations will be provided by appointment. If you are 75 or older, vaccine scheduling will soon be available. The timing of the clinics for Phase 1B will be dependent upon vaccine availability and the weekly dosage allocation received from North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). The Health Department will release the clinic dates as they are scheduled. People age 75 years or older who schedule a vaccine appointment with Harnett County Health Department will receive the Moderna vaccine. Adults 75 years or older can make an appointment by calling 910-814-6582.
HARNETT COUNTY SCHOOLS CONTINUE VIRTUAL LEARNING THROUGH JANUARY 18
During the January 4, 2021 Harnett County Board of Education meeting, the Board of Education approved for students to remain with remote learning until Monday, January 18th, for all students and staff.
Students will return to in-person instruction Tuesday, January 19th. Elementary students will continue to receive in-person instruction 4 days a week. Middle and high school students will continue on an A/B Schedule.
Wednesdays will continue to be a remote learning day for all students. Pre-Kindergarten will continue with five-day in-person instruction. Students who chose the all remote learning option will continue on the remote learning schedule.
Pending the Governor’s executive order, middle and high school schedules will be reviewed.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6 - THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2021
Students and Staff continue with remote instruction.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2021
Teacher Workday - No school for students
MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2021
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday - School Closed
TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2021
Students return to In-person learning.
GOVERNOR COOPER EXTENDS MODIFIED STAY AT HOME ORDER
Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen shared an update today on North Carolina’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and support the vaccination effort currently underway.
Governor Cooper extended North Carolina’s Modified Stay At Home Order that requires people to be at home from 10 pm – 5 am to last through at least Friday, January 29. Secretary Cohen also issued a Secretarial Directive with stark warnings for North Carolinians to avoid indoor spaces without masks and gatherings between households. Read here for more details on the Secretarial Directive.
Dr. Cohen 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 these metrics, the state continues building capacity to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread in testing, tracing and prevention.
Personal Protective Equipment
Dr. Cohen also provided an update on North Carolina’s COVID-19 County Alert System map. There are now 84 counties designated as red (critical community spread) and 12 counties that are yellow (substantial community spread). Read the update to see where each county stands and how the system was designed.
Vaccine Efforts Underway
Governor Cooper and Dr. Cohen also highlighted North Carolina’s efforts to support the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Governor Cooper has mobilized approximately 50 North Carolina National Guard personnel to support NCDHHS and North Carolina Emergency Management. The Guard will assist with administering the vaccine and logistics support for local entities.
NCDHHS is onboarding more health care providers to administer the vaccine and sharing detailed guidance with providers to help them get the vaccine out more quickly. NCDHHS has also notified vaccine providers that future allocations will be based on how quickly they are able to get their supply out to eligible recipients. If an entity is not using their vaccine supply quickly enough or keeping the state database updated on their progress that will impact how much they are allocated going forward.
As the state moves into Phase 1b, local hospitals and other vaccine providers can now begin administering vaccines to those over age 75. Individuals should call their local health department or hospital to see if they have started to schedule vaccine appointments. A comprehensive list of local health department contact numbers can be found here.
Finally, NCDHHS and the state of North Carolina continue to work with communities around the state who may be hesitant to accept the vaccine when it is their turn. Governor Cooper and Dr. Cohen underscored that this vaccine was authorized after independent health experts reviewed the data from tens of thousands of trial participants.
Read Executive Order No. 188.
View the slides from this week’s briefing.
NCDHHS ISSUES SECRETARIAL DIRECTIVE
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today issued a Secretarial DirectiveOpen PDF telling North Carolinians to stay home except for essential activities and avoid gathering, especially indoors, with people who do not live with you.
The directive comes as the state reports 84 counties as red in the COVID-19 County Alert System released today, meaning most of the state has critical levels of viral spread. North Carolina also has experienced record high numbers on key metrics in recent weeks, including its highest number since the start of the pandemic of cases reported each day, the percent of tests that are positive and people hospitalized with COVID-19.
The directive outlines immediate actions North Carolinians must take to save lives, slow the spread of the virus and protect hospital capacity across North Carolina to ensure medical care is available to anyone who may need it, whether for COVID-19 or for any other reason.
The directive aligns with recent recommendations from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the Governor’s Executive Orders on COVID-19 and the COVID-19 County Alert System for North Carolina. North Carolinians are directed to:
As recommended by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to North Carolina, the directive also says that if you have gathered with people who do not live with you, assume that you became infected with the virus and get tested for COVID-19. People should also get tested if they have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
COVID-19 is highly contagious, and more than half of North Carolinians are at high risk for serious illness. Studies are also finding that some people, including those who had mild illness, experience symptoms for weeks or months following infection.
North Carolina's statewide mask requirement and Modified Stay at Home Order are in effect. This order requires people to stay at home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Businesses including restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses, most retail stores and more, have capacity limits and are required to close by 10 p.m. In addition, all onsite alcohol consumption sales must end by 9 p.m.
COVID-19 STIMULUS CHECKS FOR INDIVIDUALS
The IRS is distributing $600 Economic Impact payment stimulus checks for qualifying individuals, as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. The IRS began issuing direct deposits and mailing paper checks on December 30, 2020 and will continue through the beginning of January 2021. You do not need to do anything to receive your payment.
Check the status of your Economic Impact Payment: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment
Read frequently asked questions about who qualifies, how and where you’ll receive your payment, and more.
TEMPORARY MORTGAGE RELIEF DUE TO COVID PANDEMIC
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, under the CARES Act, the owners of single-family homes with federally-backed mortgages can get mortgage help or forbearance. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) reverse mortgages are eligible too.
If you're having trouble making payments because of the coronavirus pandemic, your loan servicer must:
Make sure you know your rights before you contact your loan servicer. Read this consumer relief guide to mortgage payment forbearance and foreclosure protection under the Federal CARES Act (PDF, Download Adobe Reader).
If you don't know whether your mortgage is federally-backed, see a list of federal agencies that provide or insure mortgages. You can also check the Fannie Mae loan lookup and the Freddie Mac loan lookup to see if either one owns or backs your mortgage. Together, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own nearly half of all mortgages in the U.S.
FOOD & NUTITION SERVICES RECEIPIENTS TO RECEIVE TEMPORARY INCREASE IN BENEFITS
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced that Food and Nutrition Services recipients will see a temporary increase in the amount of benefits they receive. This increase is part of the federal Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020.
The maximum benefit amount for households receiving FNS will increase by 15% until June 30, 2021. This increase will end on June 30, 2021, when benefit amounts will return to their current levels.
Recipients can find out the amount of their benefits by using one of the methods below.
Food and Nutrition Services is a food assistance program that provides help buying food for low-income families. Benefits are issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer cards (EBT cards). For more information about FNS, visit https://www.ncdhhs.gov/assistance/low-income-services/food-nutrition-services-food-stamps.
People can apply for FNS in English or Spanish online with ePASS, by filling out a paper application and mailing it to or dropping it Harnett County Department of Social Services, 311 W. Cornelius Harnett Blvd., Lillington, NC 27546.
COMMISSIONERS TO HOLD MEETING ON JANUARY 12
The Harnett County Board of Commissioners will hold their next work session on Tuesday, January 12 at 9:00 AM. A quorum of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners and staff will be stationed in the meeting room to maintain the recommended social distancing of 6 feet.
The meeting will not be open for the public to attend in person; however, virtual options will 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.
The January 8 meeting agenda includes:
SLOWCOVIDNC EXPOSURE NOTIFICATION APP
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has launched a COVID-19 Exposure Notification app called ‘SlowCOVIDNC’. The app will help North Carolinians slow the spread of the virus by alerting them when they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. It is completely anonymous and does not collect, store or share personal information or location data.
SlowCOVIDNC, which leverages Google and Apple’s Exposure Notification System (ENS), alerts users who have the app if they have been in close contact with an individual who later tests positive for COVID-19. It is voluntary to download and use and designed to enhance the state’s existing contact tracing efforts. The app completed Beta testing earlier this month and can now be downloaded for free through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES FOR HARNETT COUNTY RESIDENTS
Harnett County Public Library
The Harnett County Public Library will soon be moving to the Harnett County Resource Center and Library, located at 455 McKinney Parkway, Lillington, To prepare for this transition, the library will be closed to the public beginning Monday, January 11th. The dropbox will be available for returns while the library is closed, but all checkouts and hold requests will be suspended. The Harnett County Resource Center and Library is tentatively scheduled to open March 1st. Avoid running out of books to read and listen to by checking out your items by Friday, January 8th.
For more information, please contact the Harnett County Public Library at 910-893-3446.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.