New Hanover Co. Health experts offer COVID safety tips for Thanksgiving holiday

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 3:37 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - It’s been over a week since the New Hanover County Health and Human Services board lifted the indoor mask mandate.

Here are the latest numbers from the New Hanover County Health Department.

COVID-19 Community Data, as of November 18:

  • New Hanover County’s percent positivity rate is 2.5 percent (this represents positive COVID-19 tests as a percent of total tests performed countywide).
  • Over the past 14 days, 212 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the county which is an average of 15.1 cases per day.

While many people are excited about the holidays and being able to get together with family and friends, New Hanover County Health and Human Services is encouraging informed choices and continued safety measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses.

“We know how important it is to see loved ones and celebrate holiday traditions but being vigilant and practicing good safety measures is equally as important to keep everyone safe,” said Health Director David Howard. “Our COVID metrics have come down because of the commitment throughout our community to get vaccinated and be mindful of other safety precautions. Getting vaccinated and continuing those practices will be crucial in navigating these gatherings and keeping everyone involved from getting sick. If you are in a crowded location, and especially if you are not vaccinated, we encourage you to wear a mask and distance from others as much as possible. And if you are feeling under the weather at all, please stay home and do not expose others to a possible illness.”

New Hanover County Health and Human Services recommends:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask that covers your nose and mouth, particularly if you are indoors or have not been fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated individuals should also consider wearing a mask to reduce the likelihood of transmission.
  • If possible, move indoor celebrations outdoors for better ventilation and more spacing.
  • Do not attend or host a gathering if you have any symptoms related to COVID or other transmissible illnesses, like the flu.
  • If you have symptoms or come in close contact with someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19, get tested.
  • Avoid crowded and poorly ventilated spaces when possible.

Vaccinations are available for anyone 5 years old and up at both the Health and Human Services Clinic (1650 Greenfield Street) and Independence Mall (3500 Oleander Drive). Appointments to get vaccinated can be scheduled by visiting and are strongly encouraged for all types of COVID vaccines (pediatric, adult, and boosters). Walk-ups will be accepted at both locations and vaccines will be administered based on availability.

  • Approximately 147,569 New Hanover County residents (about 63 percent) have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and approximately 138,605 residents (about 59 percent) are fully vaccinated and protected from COVID-19.

View additional COVID-19 information and data at

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