Town News: From Mayor Alan Holden 4/8/20

The following was originally published in the Town of Holden Beach Newsletter. Visit http://www.hbtownhall.com to sign up.

Holden Beach continues to adapt to the changing conditions surrounding the coronavirus. 

Yesterday, the Holden Beach commissioners and I met at 4:00 p.m. in a properly called emergency meeting to discuss how we can continue to do all we can to protect the people and the island itself. The plan has been and continues to be to become more aggressive in our actions as conditions may dictate.

The outcome of the meeting was a consensus to close the beach strand. Thus, today’s amendment is being added to the existing Declaration of the State of Emergency. Click here to view Amendment No. 5.

Easter traditionally brings more people to Holden Beach and has always been recognized as the beginning of the beach season. This year we are asking people to stay away and honor the orders and requests of national, state, county and local leaders. Please stay at home and don’t travel!

It is hoped that no more restrictive action will be required. Adherence will make things better for all of us.

There will not be a sunrise Easter service at the Holden Beach Fishing Pier this year. The Holden Beach Chapel will have their Easter service online at holdenbeachchapel.org. The Chapel’s phone number is (910) 842-5700.

Below is an excerpt from Brunswick County’s Coronavirus Update (April 7th).

Let us all pray and help one another, especially during this stressful time.

Brunswick County Coronavirus Update (April 7, 2020)

Key Points

• As of April 7, there are 26 positive cases of COVID-19, 131 pending test results and 673 confirmed negative test results, totaling 830 tests administered so far. Of the 26 positive cases, 13 have recovered; one is a death associated to COVID-19.

• Do not travel or encourage others to travel to and from Brunswick County during Easter weekend or the rest of April to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in our county and state.

• If you recently traveled to Brunswick County from another country, another state, or even another county in North Carolina, you need to take responsible, proactive measures to quarantine yourself and any fellow travelers now.

• The location of COVID-19 cases in Brunswick County is a frequently asked question. Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 are in isolation in their homes located within the majority of zip codes throughout the county. Brunswick County citizens should assume that community transmission of COVID-19 is present in their neighborhoods and take the appropriate precautions.

• See a full list of food resources and programs available to those who need assistance in the full update (contact and/or applications/qualifications might be necessary).

• Stay at home unless you are visiting an essential service or operation (like visiting the grocery store, pharmacy, medical office, or work), exercising outdoors or helping a family member.

• Brunswick County requires individuals to contact county departments via phone or email first and to schedule appointments for in-person visits if necessary

BOLIVIA, N.C. – Brunswick County’s latest update on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is now available.

Brunswick County Test Results

COVID-19 Test Reports in Brunswick County

Number of Test Samples Reported to the County

830

Pending Test Sample Results at the State Laboratory or Private Laboratories

131

Positive Test Results Reported to the County

26

Confirmed Negative Test Results Reported to the County

673

Recoveries Among Positive COVID-19 Cases

13

Associated COVID-19 Deaths

Statistics as of April 7, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.

Note: Brunswick County Health is encouraging providers in the County’s jurisdiction to continue to report persons under investigation (PUI) at this time, however NCDHHS no longer mandates that the PUI form be completed and sent to the local health departments, which could result in under reporting of test counts. These numbers reflected the information reported to the County from local health care providers.

As of April 7, there are 26 positive cases of COVID-19, 131 pending test results and 673 confirmed negative test results, totaling 830 tests administered so far. Of the 26 positive cases, 13 have recovered; one is a death associated to COVID-19.

The County was notified today of another positive case involving a resident from another state who tested positive for COVID-19 while visiting. This positive case does not count toward the County’s case counts as they are not from Brunswick County. This individual is currently isolating with five household contacts who are also self-quarantining. No children are involved.

To protect individual privacy, no further information will be released.

Public Health monitors all individuals who test positive and any individuals in self-quarantine on a regular basis.

Brunswick County will provide updates on any positive cases considered a low risk for community spread in its daily update unless a serious public health concern requires a separate release. The County will share statistics on the number of test samples and final reports Public Health is receiving in its daily update to allow for transparency and efficiency.

The location of COVID-19 cases in Brunswick County is a frequently asked question. Patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 are in isolation in their homes, which are located within the majority of zip codes throughout the county. Brunswick County citizens should assume that community transmission of COVID-19 is present anywhere and take the appropriate precautions. Identified positive cases only represent a fraction of the actual positive cases as not everyone who is sick with COVID-19 are being tested in light of the CDC’s guidance that individuals with mild symptoms are typically able to recover at home without a test.

See more answers to frequently asked questions and information about COVID-19 at https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/coronavirus/. 

Stay home and discourage travel over Easter weekend and beyond

With evidence of community spread of COVID-19 within Brunswick County and our region, it is imperative that everyone stops traveling or encouraging others to travel and visit during the Easter holiday and the rest of the month while the Stay at Home Order is in place through April 29.

Not only does traveling to and from Brunswick County from other countries, states, or other counties in North Carolina violate the spirit of the Stay at Home Order, but it also places you, anyone staying in your home, and any of your close contacts at risk of potential exposure to COVID-19.

The Easter holiday and spring season is typically the start of an influx of visitors to Brunswick County. Due to the serious nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone should follow the guidance from NC DHHS, CDC, and the Governor’s Office and stay in their primary residence at this time.

“Brunswick County has now had three cases of visitors from other counties or states who later become symptomatic and had to self-isolate here while they recover-meanwhile, any travelers with them must also stay and self-quarantine,” Health and Human Services Director David Stanley said. “It is strongly advised that everyone, whether they are from Brunswick County or not, remain at home and not travel outside of their primary county of residence at this time, as you might become symptomatic and risk being isolated away from your home and preferred primary care provider.”

Even if you own a second home in Brunswick County, you are urged to remain at your primary residence at this time. Even travel from one North Carolina county to another can spread the virus.

At this time, most of the County’s positive tests have some relation to travel outside of Brunswick County so far. If you recently traveled to Brunswick County from another country, another state (including South Carolina), or even another county in North Carolina, you need to take responsible, proactive measures to quarantine yourself and any fellow travelers for 14 days now. Quarantining is essential to protect your health and to avoid potentially exposing strangers to the virus if you start to develop symptoms.

This guidance is not unique to Brunswick County or North Carolina. Everyone should take steps to limit their travel as much as possible to only trips to places like the grocery story, pharmacies, medical offices and work during the pandemic. Everyone who travels anywhere in the nation should quarantine when they return or arrive wherever they are going-regardless of if you feel well, are younger, or are not considered an individual with a high risk of severe illness.

Anyone returning or arriving in Brunswick County after travel from areas with widespread community transmission, cruise ships, riverboats, or by air travel should stay home for 14 days after returning, based on guidance from the CDC and the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

Due to extensive community transmission of COVID -19 in these areas, the CDC is urging residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days immediately.

If you are unsure if you need to self-quarantine or you and any travelers with you are alone in the County and need assistance, you are encouraged to call the County’s or state’s public health call lines or inquire with local neighbors via phone or email to see if you can get help. If you have an emergency health or safety issue, you should always call 9-1-1.

• Read: Executive Order No. 121

Frequently Asked Questions about North Carolina’s Stay at Home Order (Executive Order No. 121)

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