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H-V Emergency Operations

Vance Co. Reports 23 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, One Virus-Related Death

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-Information courtesy Brian K. Short, Director of Henderson-Vance County Emergency Operations

As of now, the total number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Vance County has increased to 23. Presently, all are self-isolating with no one currently undergoing treatment at the hospital.

There has been one death reported in Vance County as a result of complications associated with coronavirus infection.

It is still very likely that given the progression of this virus elsewhere in the world and in our own country, our cases will continue to increase over the days and weeks ahead. At this time, the Henderson-Vance Emergency Operations coordinated response posture remains the same, and we are not altering our recommendations to the general public.

We strongly encourage our citizens to continue to observe the social distancing parameters and closing orders issued by the governor and suggested by our local and state public health agencies.

Vance County and the City of Henderson continue to operate under a local state of emergency. Being under a local state of emergency allows the implementation of certain emergency protective measures if, or when, they should become necessary.

NC WIC Program to Offer Food Flexibility Through May

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-Information courtesy Granville Vance Public Health

Due to COVID-19, there are significant impacts on providing WIC program services and the vendors’ abilities to maintain an inventory of certain WIC-eligible products.

In response to these strains, the North Carolina WIC Program has been approved by FNS to offer specific flexibilities for some of the food package requirements through May 31, 2020.

These flexibilities include:

Milk: Participants who have skim/nonfat or 1% milk on their food benefits will also be able to redeem 2% milk.

Yogurt: Participants who have nonfat/low-fat yogurt on their food benefits will also be able to redeem whole fat yogurt.

Whole Wheat/Whole Grain Bread: Participants will be allowed to substitute authorized whole wheat or whole grain bread in loaf sizes up to 24 oz. when 16 oz. packages are unavailable.

For more information on NC’s WIC program, including a list of departments by county, please visit www.nutritionnc.com/wic/.

Maria Parham Health

Town Talk 04/14/20: MPH CEO Discusses COVID-19 Testing, Lower Hospital Volume

THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

Bert Beard, CEO of Maria Parham Health (MPH), appeared on WIZS Town Talk Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Beard reported that MPH has tested 150 people for possible COVID-19 infection at this point, with 14 positive cases. Of those positive cases, Beard said a “handful” have been admitted for treatment.

“Anyone who is a rule out is treated like someone who is positive for it until we get a negative test,” said Beard. “Our ability to test and get quick results has improved vastly since the start of this six weeks ago.”

According to Beard, a new partnership with Mako Medical Laboratories, along with recently approved testing, has reduced turnaround time for results from several days to approximately 24-hours.

While Beard said MPH and its staff are well-prepared to handle a possible increase in patients, the hospital is currently experiencing a lull in numbers. “We are seeing a lot less volume currently at the hospital. I think people are rightfully concerned and aren’t coming in if they don’t have to.”

With Granville Vance Public Health announcing the first COVID-19 death in Vance County – a 72-year-old male with pre-existing health conditions who died Sunday – Beard said he couldn’t stress enough the importance of continuing to take safety precautions.

“Continue to observe stay at home orders from the governor and the president. Continue to observe good infection prevention practices – handwashing hygiene, no touching your face and social distancing. Be mindful of your interactions when you have to go out.”

To do its part in mitigating the spread of the virus, Beard said the hospital enacted a zero visitor policy with a few exceptions: pediatrics, end-of-life care and mother/baby.

Visitors and MPH employees are also currently required to enter the hospital through either the main or emergency entrance, where their temperature is checked with an infrared thermometer. Visitors are also given a cloth mask – many donated by members of the community – to help stop the spread of infection.

“I am hopeful that on the back-end of this, people will have, not a new-found, but re-found respect for our first responders and frontline healthcare workers,” Beard said. “It is wonderful to see the outpouring of support and love for these people; I hope that element is held in the wake of this event.”

To hear the interview with Beard in its entirety, go to WIZS.com and click on Town Talk.

Granville Vance Public Health Logo

Majority of Granville’s 95 COVID-19 Cases in Prison Complex; 21 Cases in Vance

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-Press Release, Granville Vance Public Health

UPDATE: As of April 13, 2020, there are 95 known confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Granville County. Sixty-six of the 95 cases in Granville County are inmates at the Federal Bureau of Prisons Complex in Butner, NC, while the other 29 are community-based cases.

Vance County has 21 confirmed active cases of COVID-19.

Sadly, we have had our first reported deaths due to complications from COVID-19 in both counties. A 72-year old male from Vance County died April 12, 2020. He was hospitalized and had multiple pre-existing health conditions that worsened as a result of COVID-19.

In Granville County, the Bureau of Prisons reported four deaths to Granville Vance Public Health today. On April 11, 2020, an 81-year-old male died; on April 12, 2020, a 57-year-old male and a 78-year-old male died; on April 13, 2020, a 46-year-old male died, all from complications related to COVID-19. All individuals were also hospitalized and experienced underlying health conditions.

Granville Vance Public Health maintains frequent communication with individuals who test positive. A number of people report feeling better and a few have been released from isolation. The communicable disease team at your local health department continues to perform contact tracing for individual cases with known positive test results.

Other than the outbreak at the federal prison, there is no concentration of COVID-19 cases in any one specific area.

Granville Vance Public Health continues to strongly encourage everyone to continue to stay at home unless absolutely necessary to leave, in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Orders. When you do travel to stores for essential services, you will notice they are implementing additional social distancing policies for your safety. CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. However, a cloth mask is not a substitute for social distancing and proper hand hygiene.

It is important to continue to practice regular and thorough hand washing, avoid touching your face and stay more than 6 feet apart from others at all times. The efforts everyone has participated in to stay home and stay healthy have helped flatten the epidemic curve and will continue to make a difference in stopping the spread of this virus.

Call your doctor if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to see if you should be tested or need medical care. If you have mild symptoms, such as fever and cough, without shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, you may not need to be tested. Instead, you should isolate yourself at home and monitor how you are feeling. This will reduce the risk of making the people around you sick.

Testing is most important for people who are seriously ill, in the hospital, in high-risk settings like nursing homes or long-term care facilities, and for healthcare workers and other first responders who are caring for those with COVID-19.

Granville Vance Public Health will provide the most up-to-date and accurate information for COVID-19 in our district online at https://gvph.org/covid-19.

Vance County NC

No Curfew Currently Planned for Vance County, City of Henderson

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According to Vance County and City of Henderson officials, there is no immediate plan to enact a curfew for the duration of Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Order, which is currently in effect through April 29, 2020.

Neighboring counties, including Warren and Franklin, have enacted curfews from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. through the remainder of the order’s effective dates. Travel is allowed for tasks deemed as essential, including seeking medical assistance, grocery shopping and traveling to and from essential jobs.

“The answer today is no [curfew], but this virus has left us all guessing as to what tomorrow may have in store for us,” Henderson Police Chief Marcus Barrow told WIZS News.

“With the early establishment of a local State of Emergency, Mayor Ellington positioned us, as a unified governmental entity, to be able to make those decisions as the needs of our community change. We are in continuous conversation about the overall well-being of our citizens, and I believe the majority of our community has responded tremendously to the National and State Orders. If nothing else, you can always tag or describe our city as resilient.”

Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame and Henderson Vance Emergency Management Director Brian Short confirmed with WIZS that they have not heard plans for a curfew at this time.

“Right now, there is not a curfew as long as the people are complying with the guidelines and are mindful of the State of Emergency,” Henderson Mayor Eddie Ellington stated. “I would consult with our police chief, city manager, sheriff, as well as the district attorney before we would move on a curfew. We all want to be unified and make the right decision on behalf of our citizens and business community.”

NC Governor Logo

Governor’s Order Provides Flexibility to Expand Hospital Beds, Equipment & Personnel

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-Press Release, Governor Roy Cooper

Governor Roy Cooper took action to provide more access to health care beds and get more medical workers to respond to the rising demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He signed Executive Order No. 130, which expands the pool of health care workers and orders essential childcare services for workers responding to the crisis.

“In a time of emergency we need to make it easier for hospitals to free up bed space and hire more medical staff and this order does that,” Governor Cooper said.

The Order temporarily puts measures in place for licensing, Certificates of Need, and other regulations. The public health crisis needs to scale up services and staff and the Order gives the NC DHHS Secretary the authority to do that during the emergency. Once the crisis has passed, the rules will be put back into place.

“We have never faced emergency demand for health care like we do today, and we must act now,” added Governor Cooper. “If we do this work well, along with social distancing, our hospitals can handle the hardships of this pandemic.”

EXPANDING SERVICES, BEDS STATEWIDE

The Order offers flexibility using and moving resources, such as beds, dialysis stations, CT and MRI scanners. It means hospitals can more quickly increase the number of beds to take critically ill patients and allow an ambulatory surgical facility to operate as a temporary hospital.

Though the Order loosens regulations, expanding beds and services will still require the NCDHHS, Division of Health Service Regulation to approve written requests that explain how an increase in capacity, relocation or addition of resources, equipment acquisition, or change in facility operation addresses public health needs and related safety measures.

EMERGENCY CHILD CARE SERVICES

The Order allows childcare facilities to remain open or to reopen to care for children of essential business workers, children who are receiving child welfare services, or children who are homeless or living in unstable or unsafe living arrangements.

The Order requires the facilities to apply for approval and to follow the NCDHHS Emergency Facility Guidelines but also provides flexibility in activities and continuing education requirements for caregivers.

EXPANDING POOL OF HEALTH CARE WORKERS AND ACCESS TO TELEHEALTH

The Order will allow out-of-state licensed workers to practice in North Carolina during the emergency and may allow retired health care professionals, students training for health care jobs and unlicensed, skilled volunteers to provide care.

Expanded telehealth services and flexibility for in-home care are also included in the Order.

The Council of State concurred with the Order today. Read the full Order.

Read a summary of the Order. 

McGregor Hall Partners With Lowe’s, First Baptist on Hospital Gown Project

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-Information courtesy McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center

McGregor Hall is honored to announce its partnership as the first and primary assembly location for the COVID-19 Hospital Gown Project.

The project – with the support of McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center, First Baptist Church of Henderson & Lowe’s Home Improvement (Henderson) – aims to assemble 5,000 homemade isolation hospital gowns to restore declining supplies of personal protective equipment at Maria Parham Health.

The assembly process began Monday at McGregor Hall and will continue until the goal is met. According to project organizer and surgeon at Maria Parham Health, Bob Noel, there are 50 people currently signed up to volunteer for the project. Honoring safety guidelines, volunteers rotate in groups of ten at McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center and undergo strict screening procedures prior to beginning their shift. Noel hopes the project will produce 200-500 gowns per week.

Lowe’s has generously donated plastic materials that will help in the creation of nearly 500 isolation gowns. First Baptist Church of Henderson’s generous contribution will produce 2,500.

All gowns created through this project will stay local to aid Maria Parham Health and local nursing care facilities. 

If you would like to know more about the COVID-19 Hospital Gown Project, please contact Amy Russell at amyrussell@fbchenderson.net.

 

Town of Warrenton Follows County – Curfew Begins Thurs., April 9

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-Information courtesy the Warrenton Police Department

The Town of Warrenton has declared a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., beginning Thursday, April 9, 2020, effective through the dates of Governor Cooper’s Stay At Home Executive Order. The Warrenton Police Department will be enforcing this curfew.

During the hours of the curfew, travel is allowed for the following reasons:

1. Medical
2. Grocery Store
3. Traveling to/from an essential job

We understand that this is a small list of reasons for traveling but, we implore you to abide by this order for the protection of everyone. Our agency will be stopping vehicles and pedestrians during this time of curfew.

The Warrenton Police Department wants everyone to be safe, and we will get through this as a community if everyone does their part by adhering to the laws. Also, be advised that during this time, the WPD is and will continue to enforce all traffic laws.

Granville County Tourism

Granville Tourism Authority to Hold Budget Meeting in Response to Pandemic

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-Press Release, Granville County Government

The Granville Tourism Development Authority will have a special meeting on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, at 4 p.m. to discuss the remaining budget for fiscal year 2019-2020. This discussion will be held in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the meeting will be conducted remotely and will take place in a Zoom phone/video conference. The public is welcome to listen in, but participants should register with Tourism Director, Angela Allen by April 13 to be given access.

Allen can be contacted at 919-693-6125 or by email at angela.allen@granvillecounty.org.

Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham CEO Asks Community to ‘Thank a Healthcare Hero’

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-By Bert Beard, Chief Executive Officer of Maria Parham Health  

As we continue to fight COVID-19, it has been so encouraging to see the outpouring of support from our community for Maria Parham Health. We have always striven to be a place where you choose to come for healthcare, and we take our responsibility as a community leader very seriously.

As our neighbors have come together to do everything possible to slow the spread of this vicious virus amid unprecedented challenges, we have never been more proud to be a part of this community. It is more important than ever that we all continue to take the important steps necessary to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible, including staying home as much as we can, practicing social distancing and following sound medical guidance.

Today, I would ask one more thing of our community, including myself: thank a healthcare hero.

Some moments ask more of us as a society, as a community and as individuals. Moments like those need heroes. From grocery store employees and delivery workers to educators teaching remotely and those keeping our infrastructure and essential services running, this current moment has no shortage of heroes. And that includes our heroes on the frontlines of this crisis – our healthcare workers.

Our healthcare workers are not only a cornerstone of our hospital’s mission of Making Communities Healthier, they are integral members of our community. They are moms and dads. Brothers and sisters. Friends and neighbors. And – today especially – they are heroes, fighting on the frontlines to provide compassionate, quality care when it’s needed most.

At Maria Parham Health, we honor all our providers and employees working hard to ensure a safe place of care and a healthier community for all of us. I hope you will join me and add your voice to the chorus of appreciation for our community’s healthcare heroes by posting your own message of thanks on your favorite social media, with the hashtag #ThankAHealthCareHero.

Let’s show our hometown heroes how much we appreciate their incredible and inspiring efforts to keep us safe.

And thank you again for supporting Maria Parham Health and trusting us with your care as we help guide our community through the COVID-19 situation as safely as possible. We will get through this together.