Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information


May 21, 2020 Update:

Orange County Moves to “Safer at Home” Phase Two

Governor Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that North Carolina will take a cautious step toward Phase Two of its reopening plan, effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22nd. Phase Two lifts the Stay At Home order and moves the state into a “Safer At Home” recommendation, especially for people at high risk for serious illness Read more here.  




For the latest information and guidance relating to Orange County’s COVID-19 response, visit https://www.orangecountync.gov/Coronavirus

The phone line for questions about COVID-19 is 919-245-6111 and is available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Spanish language and other languages are available

MAY 8, 2020 UPDATE:

Orange County, North Carolina’s Stay at Home Order will end on May 8, 2020. Thereafter, the County will fall under the state order. According to Governor Cooper, restrictions will be lifted in three phases, with the first phase beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 8. The state of emergency for Orange County, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough will be extended. Residents have been following stay-at-home orders in place since March 27 to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Through 5 p.m. May 8, the orders permit leaving home only for essential needs, such as food, medicine, outdoor exercise and to provide help to a loved one.



Carrboro Town Council Approves Small Business & Non-Profit Emergency Loan/Grant Fund

Purpose of the fund is to assist Carrboro based businesses and non-profits that serve Carrboro with short term payroll during the State/Town declared COVID 19 Emergency in order to maintain employees. The fund is intended to assist small local businesses and non-profits that are in current good standing with creditors, but are low on capital to retain employees. Loan approval is at the discretion of the Town of Carrboro. To learn more or apply at here.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

COVID-19 (also known as Coronavirus) was deemed a pandemic on March 11 by the World Health Organization.

Click here for an updated count of confirmed cases in North Carolina

Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020 a new executive order closes restaurants and bars for dine-in customers but allows them to continue takeout and delivery orders. Governor Roy Cooper and the members of the Coronavirus Task Force announced the executive order and also included an expansion of unemployment insurance to help North Carolina workers affected by COVID-19.

Click here for a list of restaurants in Orange County offering take-out service as well as a list of Farmers’ Markets.

Restaurants will be permitted to offer take-out and delivery services, according to Cooper. The order took effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17. Cooper’s office did not indicate for how long the order would be in effect. Cooper’s executive order also includes an expansion of unemployment benefits, easing the criteria to obtain benefits.

Notably, people seeking unemployment benefits because of COVID-19 related layoffs will no longer have to wait a week to file for benefits or complete an in-person interview. Employers won’t pay additional unemployment insurance taxes for employment cuts related to COVID-19.

More info on applying for unemployment applications here.

Cooper addressed the “reality that people will lose jobs” and announced five changes to the state’s current unemployment system made by his latest executive order:

- Removes 1-week waiting period before applying for unemployment benefits

- Removes requirement that person apply for jobs to be eligible

- Allows applicants who lose jobs and, in some cases, have hours cut to apply for benefits

- Permits online or phone applications

- Directs the state not to hold employers financially responsible for benefits paid out due to Covid-19

Saturday, Cooper issued an executive order closing all public schools in the state and banning gatherings of 100 or more people until at least March 30. People or businesses found in violation of the order could be charged with a misdemeanor.

"This will be a long and difficult road for us to travel but we are North Carolinians, and we are resilient," Cooper said.

For more information, please visit the Orange County Health Department’s website at https://www.orangecountync.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.


What are coronaviruses? 

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can cause illness in animals and humans. Some coronaviruses commonly circulate in the United States and usually cause upper respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose, although some can cause more serious illness. The 2019 novel (new) coronavirus causes the illness coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease that was identified in Wuhan, China, and is now being spread throughout the world. People are encouraged to take common sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases, including COVID-19.  

Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with people who are ill.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Coronaviruses like COVID-19 are most often spread through the air by coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact (including touching and shaking hands) or through touching your nose, mouth or eyes before washing your hands. Learn more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about how COVID-19 spreads and how to protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses. 

Exposure and symptoms:

Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms, you may need to seek medical attention. Call the Orange County Health Department at 300 W. Tryon St, Hillsborough, NC 27278; (919)245-2400 for further guidance. Before going to a health care provider, clinic, hospital or emergency room, call ahead to describe your symptoms and how you may have been exposed to the virus. In the event of an emergency call 9-1-1. 

Businesses and Employers:

Businesses and employers should reinforce good hand hygiene tips and other common-sense precautions with employees and patrons.

Businesses should also:

Review policies and procedures for remote or teleworking where possible.

Cross-train employees for key functions so that daily schedules can continue relatively uninterrupted by potential employee absences.

Review absenteeism policies to make sure employees are not being encouraged to come to work if they are sick.

Establish a relationship with your local health department and communicate with them if you have any questions or concerns about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Review recommendations for cleaning practices.

Work to make sure fear and anxiety don’t lead to social stigma toward any employees.

Make sure you are getting reliable information from sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NCDHHS.

More information is available from the CDC on how businesses can plan and respond.

Since late January, NCDHHS and NC Emergency Management have been operating a team to coordinate efforts around the state’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. In early February, Governor Roy Cooper formalized this effort with the creation of the COVID-19 Task Force to further prepare for COVID-19 infections in North Carolina.

DHHS is working with federal and local health officials, health care providers and emergency management officials to protect the health and wellbeing of North Carolinians. Activities include:

Containment:

- Proactively launched cross-agency preparation work in January, putting together an aggressive containment strategy of rapid identification of suspected cases, testing and contact tracing.

-Began testing cases at the NC State Laboratory of Public Health, which allows for faster results and a faster response.

-Monitoring travelers returning from China through local health departments.

North Carolina Preparation and Ongoing Response

-Formalized preparation and response work with Governor Cooper creating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force.

-Developing detailed response plans for a range of scenarios.

-Engaged in regular communication with federal, state and local partners.

-Preparing health care providers and facilities to streamline and standardize response activities including regular calls and mobilizing resources.

-Sharing and updating guidelines on how to proactively prepare and respond, including guidelines for health care providers, child care, employers, schools, colleges and universities and others.

Public Information:

-Activated a Joint Information Center to provide timely information.

-Maintaining an up-to-date website with information about COVID-19 disease, risk and guidance.

-Staffing a COVID-19 phone line to answer urgent questions from the public. 

-Maintaining a reliable up-to-date website with information about COVID-19 disease, risk and guidance.

-Staffing the COVID-19 phone line, 866-462-3821, to answer urgent questions from the public.

-Providing resources to providers and healthcare facilities to streamline and standardize response activities.

Follow the guidance of public health and emergency management officials as the situation continues to evolve.

Listen to a message from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on the coronavirus here.

If you are an individual or a medical practice with questions about COVID-19, please call 919-245-2400. It is available during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) the message will direct you to press 5 to either be connected to the Communicable Disease team or to leave a message for staff. We are actively monitoring this message box and will get back to you quickly. We have 10 staff members who have been trained and are actively checking the voicemail. People can expect a response within an hour or so. We hope to make this a live line next week. We wanted to get a week of training under our belts so we would be ready for that.

Afterhours, call 911 and ask for the Communicable Disease Staff member on-call. For general questions (not urgent) about Coronavirus, contact NCDHHS at: ncresponse@dhhs.nc.gov

Call 1-866-462-3821 to address general questions about coronavirus.


RESOURCES:

North Carolina Department of Health and Humans Services (NCDHHS):

https://epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/cd/diseases/2019ncov.html


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html


• For more information about Coronaviruses: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html


• For travel health information: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/pneumonia-china


World Health Organization (WHO):

https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/getting-workplace-ready-for-covid-19.pdf


Map of Current Outbreak Created and Maintained by Johns Hopkins: 

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ec


National Institute of Health:

National Institute of Health (NIH) Coronavirus Infection Information in Multiple Languages

https://medlineplus.gov/languages/coronavirusinfections.html

Facebook:Orange County Health Department

 Twitter: Orange Health NC

 Email: covid19@orangecountync.gov

North Carolina Department of Health and Humans Services (NCDHHS):

https://epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/cd/diseases/2019ncov.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html

• For more information about Coronaviruses: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

• For travel health information: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/pneumonia-china

World Health Organization (WHO):

https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/getting-workplace-ready-for-covid-19.pdf

Map of Current Outbreak Created and Maintained by Johns Hopkins: 

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ec

National Institute of Health:

National Institute of Health (NIH) Coronavirus Infection Information in Multiple Languages

https://medlineplus.gov/languages/coronavirusinfections.html

Why did the disease caused by nCoV2019 (2019 novel coronavirus), get a new name?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriaforster/2020/02/11/coronavirus-gets-a-new-name-covid-19-heres-why-renaming-it-is-important/#76bfc05c548e

Why some COVID-19 Cases Are Worse Than Others:

https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/why-some-covid-19-cases-are-worse-than-others-67160?fbclid=IwAR1lMwoHVcV4VlaKs1J2nl4tzxi5bOjchiMCYDUviIYPfLonNoxSBjbO2os

Facebook: Orange County Health Department

Twitter: Orange Health NC 

Email: covid19@orangecountync.gov