WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - On Monday, health leaders confirmed five new COVID-19 cases in New Hanover County, bringing the total to nine positive cases.
All five new positive test results were received Monday, a press release from the county explains.
Four of the cases appear to be travel related. The fifth new case was reported late in the day on Monday and information is still being gathered to determine the person’s travel history and symptom onset.
As of 5 p.m. on March 23, there are 244 test samples reported to the county. Of those, nine have been confirmed positive, 92 have been confirmed negative and 144 are still pending.
“COVID-19 is unlike anything we have ever seen before, and that is why unprecedented measures are being taken across the country and in our own community,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “It’s so important that people listen to the guidance being given. Stay home if you can, don’t gather in groups of more than 10 people, and stay six feet away from others. Our actions now will help lessen the burden on our healthcare system and protect those most vulnerable in our community.”
This weekend, public health officials in New Hanover County announced they’ve been made aware of three additional positive test results for COVID-19, bringing the count to four.
According to the release, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now allowing positive results obtained through testing at a private lab to be considered “positives” rather than “presumptive-positives.”
The release says the second confirmed case traveled to the area by way of the Myrtle Beach International Airport on March 17. That person was not symptomatic while traveling, but went to the doctor on March 19 when they developed symptoms.
The third confirmed case was an individual who went to Florida and developed symptoms on March 13 while there. They traveled by care back to New Hanover County and were tested on March 16 at a doctor’s office.
The fourth case had traveled to Colorado and came back March 9, not becoming symptomatic until March 11 and not getting tested until march 17. According to the release the fourth patient did not self-isolate when symptoms began, so the health department is working to determine who the individual may have had close contact with.
In addition to the county’s update, UNCW announced two students have tested positive for the virus this weekend after returning from trips.
The university’s post on Facebook reads, in part:
"In the first case, the student left campus for spring break on March 10 and returned to Wilmington on March 17. They have not returned to campus since before their March 10 travel.
The second individual left for a study-abroad program in January. They returned from abroad on March 14, via a flight to Charlotte, and returned directly from the airport to their home of origin, which is not in New Hanover County. This student was enrolled in a third-party provider’s program abroad. The individual has not been on campus since before their travel abroad. We are in the process of contacting the small group of UNCW students affiliated with the same city abroad."
The university said it would not elaborate on information regarding the students, but that both were being treated and are being isolated according to CDC guidelines.