FAQs

At this time, the Health Department does not offer CPR classes to the general public. Please contact the Cape Fear Chapter of the American Red Cross at (910) 762-5540  or visit the Red Cross website for CPR class information.

Or visit the American Heart Associations  Class Connector Site to find courses near you.

Your child may be eligible for Health Check/Health Choice, call Department of Social Services at (910)798-4700 or Smart Start at (910) 815-3731 or visit the Department of Social Services website for more information.

According to North Carolina Communicable Disease statutes, physicians, laboratories, restaurants, and school principals or child-care facilities are required to report any suspicious or confirmed report of a communicable disease to the Health Department.

Please visit our Community Resources page for a full listing of all available community resources or call 910-798-6500 for more information.

Any retailer such as  Lowe’s, Home Depot, Wal-Mart. You can test mini-blinds, old paint, dishes, etc. for lead paint. For more information on lead exposure, please visit Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

Low cost dental care can be found at:

Med North Health Center
925 North 4th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
910-343-0270
Website

Cape Fear Clinic
1605 Doctor’s Circle, Wilmington, NC 28401
910-343-8736
Website

For a full list of available low cost primary care providers please visit our Community Resources page.

Low cost primary care can be found at:

St Mary’s Health Center
412 Ann Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
910-763-8163

Med North Health Center
925 North 4th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401
910-343-0270
Website

Cape Fear Clinic
1605 Doctor’s Circle, Wilmington, NC 28401
910-343-8736
Website

For a full list of available low cost primary care providers please visit our Community Resources page.

If you have a complaint or concern regarding an issue such as abandoned vehicles or structures, animals, home occupation, overgrown properties or trash and debris and the potential violation is within city limits, please contact Wilmington Code Enforcement at 910-341-3266 or visit their website for more information

Containers or debris that hold even small amounts of water provide good sites for mosquitoes to reproduce in very large numbers.  Rid your property of as many of these items as possible and encourage your neighbors to do the same.  Clean gutters.  Repair leaky outdoor faucets and irrigation systems.  Clean and add fresh water to bird baths, pet bowls and flower pot saucers at least twice weekly. Please visit our Vector Control  for more information on controlling mosquito populations.

Our Environmental Health division inspects, and issues permits for, restaurants, temporary food vendors (such as those as festivals), tattoo artists and body piercers, schools and child care centers, adult care facilities, public pools (and private pools on properties without county water), as well as septic and well systems. For more information on these wide ranging programs, please visit Permits and Rules.

Have an issue not listed here and live within the city limits of Wilmington? Please visit the Wilmington Code Enforcement website.

Legal guardians can request copies of a child’s immunization record until the child has turned 18 years of age. Once a child has turned 18, they are no longer considered a minor and only he or she can request the record. Records are available, free of charge, for patients who have received immunization services at the Health Department including any prior immunization history if provided to us by the patient. To request a copy, please come to the Health Department with a photo I.D. between the hours of 8am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday.

If you are not local to the area, or the immunization record is being requested by a school, physician or other healthcare facility, please call 910-798-6763 for additional options. For more information on our medical records policies, please visit Medical Records.

Due to the sensitive nature of some of our clinics, the express signed consent of a minor is required to release any record. This is to ensure that minors can feel safe getting the care they may need. Therefore, a signed medical release must be completed at our clinic by the minor prior to releasing any records to a parent or guardian. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy please visit Medical Records or call 910-798-6763 between the hours of 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday.

Records are available, free of charge, for patients who have received immunization services at the Health Department including prior immunization information if provided by the patient to us. To request a copy, please come to the Health Department with a photo I.D. from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

If you are not local to the area, or the immunization record is being requested by a school, physician or other healthcare facility, please call (910) 798-6763 for additional options. For more information on our medical records policies, please visit Medical Records.

To request a copy of your records, please come to the Health Department with a photo I.D. between the hours of 8am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday. With the exception of the tuberculin (TB) skin tests, there is a $5 fee for this service. Please note that if the records are older than 10 years they may have been purged in accordance to state purging guidelines.

If you are not local to the area please call 910-798-6763 for additional options. For more information on our medical records policies please visit Medical Records.

While the Health Department does process birth and death certificates, we do not  provide certified copies. These are available at the New Hanover County Register of Deeds at 216 North 2nd Street, Wilmington, NC 28401.

More information regarding birth and death certificates can be found on the Register of Deeds website.

Appointments are not needed for routine (non-travel) immunizations (including flu vaccinations), pregnancy tests, tuberculin (TB) skin tests or screening forms (for documentation purposes – work, school, etc.) and blood lead level readings.  All other appointments are based upon appointment. To schedule your appointment please call 910-798-6500.

Please call 910-798-6500 to make an appointment. For a list of walk-in services please see the “Do I need an appointment?” portion of this FAQ. For Travel Immunization appoints please call 910-798-6611 and for WIC services please call 910.798.6514.

The general clinic (immunizations/family planning/sexually transmitted disease) is open from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday; however, please be aware that specific programs may have individual hours.

The Health Department is open late until 7pm every Tuesday evening for scheduled appointments and walk-in immunizations as well as tuberculin (TB) skin tests. At this time, we do not offer weekend hours.

Family Planning, Well Child Physicals, Nutrition Counseling (non-WIC, non-Maternal Health), Children’s Dental Services, and Psycho-social Counseling fees are assessed on a sliding fee scale (a calculated percentage of the total cost owed ranging from 0% to 100%) based on the number living in the household and household income (regardless of relationship). Therefore, proof of income is required at time of registration.

Normal routine childhood immunizations and certain adult immunizations (TD boosters and others if criteria are met) are provided by the State Immunization Program and may be free of charge for those eligible. Patients receiving private stock vaccines (insured patients or those not meeting the criteria for state vaccines) are charged a flat rate for vaccinations.

Family Planning, Well Child Physicals, Nutrition Counseling (non-WIC, non-Maternal Health), and Psycho-social Counseling fees are assessed on a sliding fee scale based on the number living in the household and household income.  Testing for sexually transmitted diseases is provided free of charge.

Medicaid will not cover our flat fee services, but some services are free depending upon eligibility. Flat fee services are private stock vaccines (with the exception of Menactra meningitis vaccine), non-immunization injections (allergy, B12, etc.) and tuberculin (TB) skin testing or screening form (for documentation purposes – work, school, etc.).

We currently accept, and are in network with, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna Healthcare, Medicaid, Medicaid Health Choice, Medicare Part B & D, Tricare (Champus) and United Healthcare.

Please note, as each individual insurance plan varies, we cannot guarantee that because a claim is submitted a service will be covered (either fully or in part). Should a service rendered not be covered by your insurance provider, there may be a cost to you. Please check with your insurance provider with any questions about what your plan covers prior to your visit.

Regular meetings are held the first Wednesday of every month at 8am at the Health Department.

Meetings are open to the public. We encourage you to come visit us!

The Board of Health consists of 11 members, serving 3-year terms , and includes one of each of the following: a licensed physician, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, optometrist and veterinarian, a professional engineer and a county commissioner as well as three individuals who are members of the general public. Please visit our Board and Meetings page for a list of current Board of Health members.

At this time, the Health Department does not provide primary care services. This includes visits for illnesses such as the common cold and flu or for the maintenance of chronic issues such as hypertension and pain management. Please see the “Community Resources / The Health Department and the Community” portion of this FAQ or our Community Resource Manual for information on where under-insured or uninsured individuals can receive these services.

Yes, by appointment Monday through Wednesday. We suggest making any travel appointments no less than 4 weeks prior to departure and allotting at least 90 minutes for your visit as it includes a nursing consultation based on your destination. Please refer to our Immunizations page for more information or call 910-798-6611 to make an appointment.

Normal routine childhood immunizations and certain adult immunizations (TD boosters and others if criteria are met) are provided by the State Immunization Program and may be free of charge to those eligible. Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis (if contact/suspect/case) are also provided free of charge. Patients may have their blood pressure checked and blood lead levels for children up to  the age of 5 as well as repeat newborn screenings such as sickle cell screening may be drawn at no charge.

At this time, the Health Department provides dental services through our Mobile Dental Unit only to children ages 3 to 18 who are uninsured, receive Medicaid or Health Choice insurance, are in need of lost cost dental care, or have issues getting two and from dental appointments . For more information on this service please call 910-512-3113 or visit our Childhood and School Services page.

If you do not meet the above criteria and require dental care, please visit our Community Resource Manual for a list of local low cost dental providers.

The New Hanover County Health Department offers a wide variety of services such as Family Planning and Sexually Transmitted Disease clinics, childhood and adult Immunizations, Travel Vaccinations, WIC Services, Limited Physicals, as well as Male Health and Vasectomy service.

TB skin testing is offered on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Not available on Thursdays) with no appointment necessary. Services are provided through the lunch hours and on Tuesdays until 6:30 PM. Please be prepared to return for a reading in 48-72 hours (2 to 3 days).

The BIG 5 is a group of highly infectious foodborne pathogens. These BIG 5 pathogens have a low infectious dose, contaminate the gastrointestinal systems after ingestion, and are shed in feces. These pathogens shed in high numbers. A food employee infected with a BIG 5 pathogen will typically shed hundreds of thousands of pathogens in their feces that can easily be transmitted to food even when good hand washing practices are used. Consequently, the illness experienced by the consumer can be very severe. The BIG 5 include:

  1. Norovirus
  2. Salmonella Typhi (typhoid-like fever)
  3. E. Coli O157:H7, Enterohemorrhagic or Shiga toxin-producing E. Coli
  4. Shigella spp. (causes shigellosis)
  5. Hepatitis A virus

Over 40 different kinds of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and molds that may occur in food can cause foodborne illness. A foodborne illness is commonly referred to as food poisoning or “stomach flu”.

Restriction means a food employee’s activities are limited to prevent the risk of transmitting a disease that is transmissible through food. A restricted employee cannot work with exposed food, clean equipment, utensils, linens, or unwrapped single-service or single-use articles.

Exclusion means a food employee is not permitted to work in or enter a food establishment as a food employee.

The PIC (Person in Charge) of an establishment has the authority to exclude or restrict a food employee from a food establishment to prevent the transmission of disease through food.

 FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

In many cases, the manager or PIC (Person in Charge) removes, adjusts or retains the exclusion or restriction.

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

Food employees should:

  • Comply with meeting reporting requirements and inform their manager if they are experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice and/or sore throat with fever
  • Keep hands and arms clean
  • Follow proper hand washing procedures
  • Maintain trimmed fingernails
  • Do not wear jewelry on hands and arms except for a simple wedding band
  • Use single-use gloves for one task
  • Do not touch RTE (Ready to Eat) food with bare hands and minimize bare hand contact with exposed food that is not RTE
  • Wear clean clothes and hair restraints
  • Do not work with exposed food if experiencing persistent sneezing, coughing, or a running nose or discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

A population is highly susceptible to foodborne illness if it is:

  • Immunocompromised
  • Pre-school children
  • Older adults
  • Individuals who obtain food a facility that provides services such as:
    • Custodial Care
    • Health care
    • Assisted living
    • Child care center
    • Adult care center
    • Kidney dialysis center
    • Hospital
    • Nursing home
    • Nutritional center
    • Senior center

Restrict the food employee and make sure that training is provided about:

  • The foodborne illness and related symptoms
  • Hand washing procedures
  • The prevention of bare hand contact with RTE (Ready to Eat) foods
  • The length of restriction and what is required to have the restriction lifted

The manager must restrict food employees exposed to:

  • Norovirus – for at least 2 days (48 hours) from exposure
  • Shigella spp. or E. Coli O157H7 – for at least 3 days (72 hours) from exposure
  • Salmonella Typhi – for at least 14 days from exposure
  • Hepatitis A virus – for at least 30 days from exposure or after training has been giving about symptoms, use of bare hand contact with RTE food to avoid contamination, and proper hand washing

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

A food establishment manager should:

  • Carefully follow protocols for exclusion and restriction, adjusting and reinstating food employees’ work status in the establishment
  • Ensure employees are properly trained in food safety as it relates to their duties and use additional safeguards as required for working in a HSP
  • Reinforce employee compliance to guarantee good hygienic practices, acknowledge onset of symptoms, meet reporting requirements, and ensure no bare hand contact with RTE (Ready to Eat) food by educating food employees on the importance of following best practice
  • Ensure employees have access to facilities that are well-maintained and have the necessary supplies available to follow proper hygienic practices

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

Yes, food employees can work as long as they can provide medical documentation indicating that the symptoms are from a non-infectious condition. Some non-infectious conditions include Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, some liver diseases, and symptoms commonly experienced during stages of pregnancy.

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

Yes, food employees share the responsibility with management for preventing foodborne illness and are required to know:

  • The relationship between their job responsibilities and the potential risks of foodborne illness;
  • How employee health is related to foodborne illness;
  • The need to immediately report symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, sore throat with fever, diagnosis of illness caused by a BIG 5 pathogen, exposure to a BIG 5 pathogen, or an exposed infected wound or cut on the hands or arms to their manager;
  • How restriction and/or exclusion from working with food prevents foodborne illness; and
  • How proper hand hygiene and no bare hand contact with RTE (Ready to Eat) food can prevent foodborne illness

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

Yes, food employees, can continue working as long as the wound, cut, or burn is properly covered with a waterproof cover like a finger cot and disposable glove, or a dry, durable, tight-fitting bandage.

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

If a food employee is exposed to any of the following situations it must be reported:

  • Ingesting or handling food that was implicated in a foodborne outbreak
  • Consuming food that was prepared by someone with an illness that resulted from one of the BIG 5 pathogens
  • Attending or working in a location that had a confirmed foodborne illness outbreak
  • Living with someone who works or was in a location that was known to have had a foodborne illness outbreak
  • Living with someone how was diagnosed with an illness that resulted from one of the BIG 5 pathogens

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

Clean hands and exposed portions of arms for at least 20 seconds by the following method:

  1. Rinse under clean, warm running water
  2. Apply soap and rub all surfaces of the hands and fingers together vigorously for at least 10 to 15 seconds
  3. Rinse thoroughly with clean, warm running water
  4. Thoroughly dry the hands and exposed portions of arms with single-use paper towels or a heated-air hand-drying device

Food employees can prevent foodborne illness by:

  • Not touching RTE (Ready to Eat) food with bare hands
  • Washing hands frequently, especially whenever they are soiled or have touched anything that has contaminated them
  • Not working when ill
  • Knowing all aspects of food handling and the risk factors associated with foodborne illness
  • Being aware that uncontrolled risk factors can cause consumers to have foodborne illness

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

Report the symptoms to their manager and seek medical attention. The employee should not return to work until after receiving clearance from a health practitioner. If the employee is jaundice for more than 7 days, clearance from the local health department is required.

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

Report the illness to the manager and, if possible, continue working while remaining aware that the manager could consider reassignment to a position that does not include the handling of food, food-contact equipment, utensils, or single-service articles. If the employee works in a food establishment serving a Highly Susceptible Population (HSP), such as  a hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility, or a day care center, the employee must stop working and go home until he or she obtains clearance from a health practitioner and presents it to the manager.

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

Report the wound, burn or cut to the manager and the properly cover it with a clean, impermeable bandage and a single-use glove (for hand wounds) before returning to work.

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

If at work:

  • Stop work immediately
  • Report to management
  • Go home and return after at least 24 hours have passed since the vomiting or diarrhea symptoms have ended

If the symptoms occur before the employee arrives to work, he or she should:

  • Notify the manager by telephone
  • Do not report to work until at least 24 hours have passed after the vomiting or diarrhea symptoms have ended

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

They should do this immediately after engaging in activities that contaminate the hands and:

  • When entering a food preparation area
  • Before putting on clean, single-use gloves and between glove changes
  • Before engaging in food preparation
  • Before handling clean equipment and serving utensils
  • When changing tasks and switching between handling raw foods and working with RTE (Ready to Eat) foods
  • After handling soiled dishes, equipment, or utensils
  • After touching bare human body parts
  • After using the toilet
  • After coughing, sneezing, blowing the nose, using tobacco, eating, or drinking
  • After caring for or handling service animals or aquatic animals

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

The manager or Person in Charge (PIC) is to make certain that food employees are trained on the subject of the:

  • Causes of foodborne illness
  • Relationship between the food employee’s job task, personal hygiene, and foodborne illness
  • Requirement for reporting
  • Specific symptoms, diagnoses, and exposures that must be reported to the PIC

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

Management should explain to food employees the importance of reporting specific symptoms and any diagnosis or exposures to foodborne illness. Things to be reported to management include:

  • Vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, sore throat with fever, or any exposed boil or open, infected wounds, burns or cuts to the hands or arms
  • An illness diagnosed by a health practitioner that was caused by: Salonella Typhi or typhoid like fever, Shigella spp., Norovirus, Hepatitis A, E.coli O157:H7 or other Enterohemorrhagic or Shiga toxin-producing E.coli
  • Past illnesses with typhoid like fever within the past 3 months, unless treated with antibiotics
  • Exposure to typhoid-like fever, shigellosis, Norovirus, Hepatitis A virus, E.coli O157:H7 or other Enterohemorrhagic or Shiga toxin-producing E.coli, or eating or serving food that was implicated in a foodborne illness outbreak or if residing with a diagnosed individual.

See Form 1-B and refer to Guide 3-C in Annex 7 of the 2009 Food Code

(See Decision Tree 1 and Table 1a)

Restrict any employee from working with food that has an infected skin lesion with pus, like a boil or infected wound that is not properly covered. The manager can lift the restriction once the infected area is properly covered or healed.

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

(See Decision Tree 1 and Table 1a)

  • Have the food employee stop work immediately
  • Inquire about how long the employee has been experiencing jaundice or associated symptoms of jaundice
  • Have the food employee leave the food establishment if he or she has had jaundice or has been experiencing symptoms of jaundice for less than 7 days
  • Report cases of jaundice to the regulatory authority and have the food employee’s return to work approved by a regulatory authority

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

(See Decision Tree 1 and Table 1a)

  • Place the employee on restricted duty, that is, not working with or around food
  • Allow food employees to return to work with written medical documentation from a health practitioner
  • If the food employee works in a facility that services Highly Susceptible Populations (HSP), exclude the food employee from the food establishment.

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

(See Decision Tree 1 and Table 1a or {if diagnosed} Table 1b)

Ask the food employee to stop work immediately and leave the food establishment. The employee is not permitted to return until at least 24 hours after vomiting and diarrhea have ended.

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

Food establishments should be most concerned about the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)
  • Sore throat with fever
  • Infected cuts and burns with pus on hands or wrists

FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook

WIC is a program for infants and children up to 5 years of age, pregnant women, breastfeeding women who have had a baby in the last 12 months and women who have had a baby in the last 6 months (non-breastfeeding) who live in a household at or below WIC guidelines and have a health risk factor based on height and weight, a blood test for low iron, health history or diet history. For more information on the qualification criteria  for WIC please visit our Nutrition & WIC page or  call 910-798-6514.

Call the New Hanover County WIC office at (910)798-6500 to schedule an appointment or call 1-800-FOR-BABY (367-2229) to find the WIC office closest to you.  You will need to provide proof of identification, residence (where you live), and household income.

Examples of things to bring with you include, but are not limited to: a valid driver’s license, Social Security Card, Work or school ID, current utility or cable bill, current rental or mortgage statement, recent pay-stubs, or a recent tax return.  Your WIC staff will be able to answer questions that you may have.

The WIC staff determines which foods a participant receives based on individual needs.  Some examples of healthy foods include: milk, juice, eggs, cheese, infant formula and cereal, peanut butter, and dries beans and peas.  WIC also provides nutrition information on infant feeding, special diets, healthy pregnancies, and child growth and development.

At your appointment your income information will be reviewed and you will be asked questions about your health and your diet. Your height, weight, and a blood test for iron deficiency will be done; unless you bring this information from another clinic or doctor’s office. A Nutritionist or Nurse will review the above information to see if you are eligible for WIC and any nutrition problems or questions you may have will be discussed. If you are eligible for the program, you will be given “checks” to take to the store to get your food.

Please visit www.nutritionnc.com for more information.

WIC is a special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children funded by the US Department of Agriculture. Please see the USDA WIC website or our Nutrition & WIC page for additional WIC information.

Please visit our Billing and Patient Services Fees pages for more information. Should your question not be answered, please contact our billing department at 910-798-6688 between the hours of 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Please contact our Environmental Health division at 910-798-6667 between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Please call our billing department at 910-798-6688 between 8am and 5pm Monday and Friday to speak to a billing representative.

Please call our Medical Records department at 910-798-6763 from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday for information on your immunization history. Please note: the New Hanover County Health Department only has records of immunizations given by us or provided to us in an immunization history by the patient. We do not keep a general statewide registry of all immunizations given in the state of North Carolina or New Hanover County.

Please call 910-798-6500 between 7:45am and 5pm Monday to Friday to speak to someone in our general clinic.

Please call 910-798-6611 between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday to speak to someone in our Travel Department or visit our International Travel for more information about this clinic.

For additional information about travel immunizations and health alerts, please visit the CDC website, and Vaccines.gov

Please call 910-798-6514 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday to speak with someone in our WIC department. For additional information on the WIC program please visit our Nutrition & WIC page, the USDA WIC site or NutritionNC.

Please fill out our Online Complaint Form. Should you need assistance or would like to speak to a representative, please contact our Environmental Health division at 910-798-6667 between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Please note, at this time we do not accept food samples for testing.

Health: 2029 S. 17th Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-6500 • Fax 910-341-4146 • Medical Records Fax 910-772-7805
Environmental Health: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-6667 • Fax 910-798-7815