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— information from and written entirely by Brian Short, H-V Director of Emergency Operations
Yesterday, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 121, advising North Carolina residents to stay at home in an attempt to reduce the number of individuals being infected with the COVID-19 virus in our state. With the issuance of this order, we have seen an increase in calls with general questions into the Vance County 911 center regarding the order and to what extent individuals are permitted to move around now that it is in place. 911 personnel are not equipped to answer questions of this nature nor is it their responsibility to do so. We are asking residents NOT to call 911 for any general questions pertaining to the Coronavirus. As always 911 is for emergencies only. Calling 911 for general questions and other non emergency reasons could actually delay help for someone with a true emergency.
211 has established a hotline for this purpose and we ask that our citizens contact their local physician or take advantage of the hotline if they have medical related questions. There is a also a toll free Coronavirus hotline manned by trained individuals that can answer questions that you may have. The number is 888-892-1162. You may also visit the NC Department of Health an Human Services website at the following link: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-response-north-carolina
As we move further into the Coronavirus worldwide pandemic please keep in mind this continues to be a very fluid situation and the information provided and included could change at any time. The confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to increase throughout the state, nation and in fact the world. We continue to coordinate with Public Health agencies, Maria Parham Health, Department of Social Services, State Emergency Management and our local emergency services response partners. We are communicating several times daily in attempt to gauge their needs and be as proactive in meeting those needs as we can be.
As of the creation of this situation report, Vance County have three (3) positive cases of the Coronavirus in Vance County. All individuals continue to be isolated at home and our local health department is actively conducting contact tracing to determine the level of exposure to others. At this time, we are not implementing any changes to our current response posture nor are we altering our recommendations to the general public.
Testing is ongoing through both Maria Parham Health, our local Health Department and private institutions. There are currently over 1,000 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in North Carolina and thus far four (4) deaths. Please visit the NC Department of Health and Human Services Coronavirus statistics page at the following link to stay current on the number of cases in our state: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/covid-19-case-count-nc
Personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to be very scarce as global competition for the same supplies is occurring. Responders and health care providers are being encouraged to reuse PPE, in particular masks as often as possible to ensure that we hold on to our supplies for as long as possible. Once they run out, they could be out for an extended period of time.
We continue to wait for previously submitted requests for PPE and related resources to State EM to be filled and we are hopeful that they will be very soon.
Vance County and the City of Henderson continue to operate under a local State of Emergency. Being under a local state of emergency allows to implement certain emergency protective measures if an when they should become necessary.
The Emergency Operations Center is currently not activated, however our Emergency Management staff is closely monitoring the situation across the country and at home on a continuous basis.
The 911 Telecommunicators are asking additional Coronavirus screening questions on all medical related calls and will continue to do so until it is no longer needed. Our Backup 911 center remains prepped and ready to be occupied if needed. This is purely as a precaution.