New Hanover commissioners hear COVID-19 update, plan to distribute vaccine
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The public health department in New Hanover County now says there are at least 830 active cases of COVID-19 in the county as of Monday night. Experts predicted a surge of coronavirus cases in the fall and the numbers are proving them right.
Despite the rise in cases, closing down parts of the local economy is something commissioners hope they won’t have to do. But for businesses to stay open and for residents to stay safe, they echoed what others have said. It’s important not to let down your guard against COVID-19.
County staff said while the increased numbers in New Hanover county are a concern, the county is following the same trend as the rest of the country. New Hanover County has had more than 6,200 cases in the past two months, about 85% of those cases are presumed recovered.
Recent talk has centered on news about a possible vaccine and county health officials say they’ve worked on a distribution plan for when one becomes available.
Commissioner Jonathan Barfield says he just lost a friend to COVID-19...so he knows first-hand how this can affect people. Entering the holiday season, he’s hoping tighter restrictions don’t become necessary.
“I hope we don’t get there," said Barfield. "It’s so important that people wait six feet apart, wash your hands and wear a mask. If we can just get folks to recognize the mask alone will keep this virus from spreading through our community. But people, I think, have let their hair down so to speak and kind of relaxed their sense of concern.”
Health officials say since September, young adults have seen the most significant increase in COVID cases. They’ve already talked about partnering with the county school system and UNCW to help speed up the distribution process once a vaccine is available.
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