By WECT Staff | May 29, 2020 at 4:38 PM EDT – Updated May 29 at 4:38 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – New Hanover County health officials on Friday announced the county’s fifth COVID-19 related death.
The New Hanover County resident died on Thursday and they were in their 50’s and considered at high risk of severe illness because of underlying health conditions. To protect the privacy of this individual and their family, no other information will be shared.
“I am saddened to hear of this loss to our community and I extend my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of this individual,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “We can protect one another, and those at risk of serious illness by each doing our part of following protective measures. I urge our residents to think of your neighbors, friends, family and fellow community members and take unified action against this virus by wearing a face covering and staying six feet from others in public, and washing your hands well and often.”
New Hanover County saw its highest daily increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 this week, from 171 on Wednesday to 188 on Thursday.
Public Health officials are monitoring the sharp increase in lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 closely and continue to work with New Hanover Regional Medical Center and other community partners in responding to the virus.
“An increase in cases has been expected in our area as we’ve expanded testing and extended testing to close contacts of individuals with COVID-19, but it’s important to realize that testing does not create cases of the virus, it finds what is already out there,” said Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Lisa Brown. “As long as the virus is present in our community, and as activity in the region picks up for the summer months, we must remain diligent in slowing the spread and preventing an overrun of our local healthcare system.”
New Hanover County began extending testing to asymptomatic close contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19, determined through contact tracing, on May 6, to further identify and contain the virus. Data and demographic information about cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County can be found at Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus.
Residents are urged to follow physical distancing and protective measures guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect community members, especially those at high risk of serious illness.
- Wear cloth face coverings in public settings.
- If you must leave your home, follow proper physical distancing protocols: don’t gather in groups and stay at least 6 feet away from others.
- Stay home if you are sick, even if you are an essential worker. And cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched (like your phone, tablet, countertops and daily work surfaces).
- Comply with state and municipal restrictions and/or recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.