New Hanover reports record one-day COVID-19 cases; child care facility closes due to outbreak

COVID increase in NHC

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - New Hanover County public health officials announced an additional 53 cases of COVID-19 — the highest one-day case count increase to date. The total number of cases in New Hanover County now sits at 529.

County health officials also announced that Milestones Learning Center on Oriole Drive in Wilmington has closed after a cluster of coronavirus cases among staff and children were discovered.

According to a news release, the facility informed New Hanover County Public Health that an employee tested positive on Monday. The individual did not work in a classroom and had last been at the facility on Thursday, June 11.

Parents and guardians were notified and the facility began testing all staff.

“In the following days, a subsequent five other cases among asymptomatic staff and children were confirmed. The facility made the decision to close until further notice,” the news release stated.

“Child care facilities in New Hanover County have done a great job of following guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their establishments and we appreciate Milestones’ quick work in informing our public health team and the families they serve of the cases they learned of connected to their facility,” said Public Health Assistant Director Carla Turner. “We can expect to see more outbreaks and clusters with increased activity across our community coupled with individuals not following the three W’s – Wear, Wait, Wash. If we follow protective measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, we protect those around us and prevent further spread into settings like child care, nursing homes or congregate living facilities.”

Those key protective measures are:

  • Wear a face covering when out in public
  • Wait six feet apart from others and don’t gather in groups
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched (like your phone, tablet, countertops and daily work surfaces).
  • Stay home if you are sick, and cover your coughs and sneezes.

Public Health is conducting contact tracing to identify close contacts and inform those who may have been exposed so they can quarantine and be tested, which helps contain the spread of the virus.

Public Health will continue to monitor the situation and provide support and guidance to child care facilities in the county. Starting Tuesday, June 22, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will begin reporting clusters of COVID-19 in child care settings, and those reports will be found at NCDHHS.gov.

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