THE LATEST: Things to know about COVID-19 in the Cape Fear

THE LATEST: Things to know about COVID-19 in the Cape Fear
(Source: WECT)

Since the state loosened testing criteria, more people are encouraged to get tested with or without symptoms. Find your nearest test site here.

  • As of Thursday, Feb. 25, the number of people that have died from COVID-19 in North Carolina has reached 11,137 according to data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. NC’s total number of positive cases now stands at 852,981. Health officials say there are currently 1,498 in the hospital with COVID-19, though that number is constantly changing.
  • NC DHHS is keeping up with the number of presumptive positive and confirmed positive cases of coronavirus in the state. These numbers are updated once a day. Click here for the totals.

Several counties have begun releasing testing information daily.

County Positive Test Results Active cases Deaths Recovered
Bladen Co. (2/25) 2,912 74 40 2,798
Brunswick Co. (2/25) 7,916 N/A 133 N/A
Columbus Co. (2/25) 5,770 N/A 141 N/A
New Hanover Co. (2/25) 16,105 1,535 142 14,425
Pender Co. (2/25) 4,607 N/A 55 N/A


North Carolina’s Modified Stay at Home Order is in effect until at least Feb. 28. 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 are required to close by 10 p.m. In addition, all onsite alcohol consumption sales must end by 9 p.m.

As of December 11, 2020, North Carolina’s Modified Stay at Home Order is in effect until at least January 8, 2021

Click here for Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 181 implementing the modified stay-at-home order.

Earlier, on November 10, Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina will remain paused in Phase 3 until Friday, Dec. 4.

Phase 3 included the following changes:

  • Bars may operate outdoors only at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less.
  • Outdoor amusement parks may open at 30% occupancy.
  • Large outdoor venues with seating greater than 10,000 may operate with 7% occupancy for spectators with other safety protocols. Smaller outdoor entertainment venues may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity or 100 guests, whichever is less.
  • Movie theaters and conference centers may open indoor spaces to 30% of capacity, or 100 seated guests, whichever is less. Those numbers pertain to each screen at a movie theater.
  • The Nov. 10 Executive Order changed the limits on mass gatherings from 25 to 10 for indoors. The cap of 50 people for outdoor gatherings remains entacted. The 11 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales for in-person consumption in locations such as restaurants and outdoor bars will be extended.

The Nov. 10 Executive Order can be seen here.

An interim order by Governor Cooper allowed for K-5 schools to open for in-person learning under Plan A. As of October 1, Brunswick County Schools is the only district to have adopted this change. New Hanover Schools will transition to Plan B, October 12.

In Phase 2.5, the following reopened:

  • Playgrounds and splash pads
  • Museums and aquariums may open at 50% capacity
  • Gyms and indoor exercise facilities, such as yoga studios, martial arts, and rock climbing, as well as skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor basketball, volleyball etc., may open at 30% capacity.

Phase 2 guidelines remained in place for the following:

  • Restaurants can be open for dine-in customers at mostly a 50% capacity, with distancing and cleaning requirements.
  • Personal care businesses like salons and barbers can also re-open at 50% capacity. These businesses will have face coverings and cleaning requirements while also reducing the number of people in the waiting areas.
  • Swimming pools will be able to open at 50% capacity.
  • Overnight & day camps can open with safety rules.
  • Childcare facilities remain open and can enroll all children.
  • State parks and trails opening encouraged.

Mass gathering limits were updated to allow 25 people indoors (up from 10) and 50 people outdoors (up from 25)

Large venues remain subject to the mass gathering limits; however, the mass gathering limit does not apply to worship, religious, and spiritual gatherings, funerals or weddings ceremonies, but individuals are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines and to follow the Three Ws to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19. The mass gathering limit will still apply to visitation and reception before or after funeral and wedding ceremonies.



  • Brunswick County has set up its own hotline — 910-253-2339 — for residents where county nurses will available to answer questions and provide information about the virus. The phone line will be available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice. Brunswick County residents can also email with any questions. Emails sent over the weekend will be answered on the next business day.
  • Residents in New Hanover County can call 910-798-6800, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice. The center is meant for all questions and concerns people might have pertaining to the virus.
  • Bladen County has activated two hotlines for people having questions about the coronavirus - 910-872-6291 and 910-872-6292. The hotlines numbers are staffed between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.

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