By WECT Staff | March 22, 2021 at 10:57 AM EDT – Updated March 22 at 10:57 AM
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Brunswick County on Monday ended its year-long state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While we still need to remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent future spread of COVID-19, the improvements we are seeing in our recent case counts and vaccination rates are the most encouraging signs we’ve seen for a year now,” Chairman Randy Thompson stated in a news release. “Just as we do following every hurricane or major storm, the time has come for us to begin our recovery efforts for both public health and our local economy.”
Previous Chairman Frank Williams first issued the state of emergency on March 24, 2020, in response to the emerging pandemic.
County officials say over the past several weeks approximately 30 percent of Brunswick County residents have received their first dose of the vaccine and nearly 20 percent have been fully vaccinated.
New cases have also decreased significantly since the peak in early January when 1,038 cases were identified, dropping to 286 cases in the first two weeks of March.
“The commissioners and I cannot thank nor commend our health, public safety, and community partners at the local and state levels enough for the service and support they have offered throughout this pandemic,” Thompson said. “They truly are the reason that we have come so far already, and will be an essential part of our recovery efforts moving forward.”
Brunswick County officials remind residents that Governor Roy Cooper’s executive orders still remain in effect in the county and across North Carolina. Those include the following:
- A face covering is still required in all public indoor settings if there are non-household members present, regardless of the individual’s ability to maintain social distance. Face coverings continue to be required in public outdoor settings if individuals are unable to maintain 6 feet of social distance from non-household members.
- The capacity limitations on certain businesses, sanitation standards, other public health restrictions and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services guidance remain in effect.
- The State’s mass gathering limit allows for a maximum of 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors
- North Carolina’s moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent continues until March 31, 2021.
- The authorization of delivery or carry-out of mixed beverages as an alternative to on-site consumption until at least March 31, 2021.
Visitors to government buildings in Brunswick County are still expected to practice the three W’s – wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash hands regularly.
Brunswick County continues to encourage residents and visitors to take advantage of the county’s online services and use phone or email when possible to conduct business, especially if someone is at a higher risk of illness and is not fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
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