Public Health urges vaccination as COVID-19 metrics improve, expands booster shot clinic
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Public Health officials continue to urge residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as countywide metrics show signs of improvement following spikes in August and September.
“Our community’s collective action in wearing masks is starting to pay off, but we still have more work to do to keep our community safe this fall and holiday season,” said Public Health Director David Howard. “The county’s percent positivity is down to 6.1 percent, whereas just a month ago we were at nearly 14 percent. While this is great news, the reality is that new cases of COVID-19 in our community remain high. We have had more than 400 new cases and 10 deaths reported over the past week from COVID-19. The virus is still here and is a very real threat to the health of our residents. We know that wearing a mask and getting vaccinated is a powerful combination in building protection from COVID-19, so we encourage everyone to keep up these measures to stay healthy as we go into the holiday season.”
The public health requirement regarding face coverings indoors has been in place since August 20, in response to high levels of community transmission, percent positivity rate, hospitalizations, and deaths related to COVID-19. Since then, the county’s percent positivity rate has dropped by more than half of August’s peak rate of 14 percent, but other key COVID-19 metrics remain high.
Unvaccinated residents should get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect from serious illness related to COVID-19. Public Health vaccine clinics’ hours, locations, and more information can be found at Health.NHCgov.com.
Booster shot clinic expanded
Beginning Monday, October 11, New Hanover County Public Health will offer Pfizer (Comirnaty) COVID-19 booster shots exclusively at the Independence Mall vaccine clinic with expanded hours.
The booster shots will be offered on the following schedules:
- Independence Mall (3500 Oleander Drive)
- Monday and Friday, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Tuesday and Thursday, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Appointments are required for booster doses through Public Health and can be made at takemyshot.nc.gov. Individuals who need assistance with scheduling booster doses can contact the New Hanover County Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800.
Individuals do not need to return to the same location where they received their initial vaccines for a booster shot. Find additional vaccine locations using the NCDHHS location finder.
Booster eligibility information can be found at Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus.
Updates to NCDHHS county vaccination rates
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced updates to North Carolina county-level vaccination data, resulting in changes to overall vaccination rates in several counties statewide. NCDHHS discovered a CDC report that shared vaccination rates based on county of administration, instead of the county of residence for the person vaccinated.
Changes in county-level vaccination rates have been corrected to the county of residence and now reflect a 1 percent decrease in New Hanover County’s vaccination rates for partially and fully vaccinated residents.
COVID-19 Community Data, as of October 7:
- Over the last week, 406 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths have been reported (for a total of 25,203 total cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County and 277 resident deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic). Currently, 1,296 people have presumed active cases. View the county’s data dashboard at Health.NHCgov.cov/Coronavirus.
- The 14-day Percent Positivity Rate is 6.1 percent, continuing a downward trend from the 8 percent reported last week and 9.6 percent for the week prior. This metric represents positive COVID-19 tests as a percent of total tests performed countywide and is updated at COVID19.NCDHHS.gov/Dashboard.
- An average of 47 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized daily, according to NHRMC. Local hospitalization data is updated weekly by NHRMC and by NCDHHS statewide and regionally.
- Approximately 142,533 New Hanover County residents (about 61 percent) have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and approximately 134,448 residents (about 57 percent) are fully vaccinated and protected from COVID-19.
View information about Public Health’s vaccine clinics, booster doses, and more at Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus.