Reduce Risk

Reduce Risk

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COVID-19 Guidance

It is important that we all continue to do our part to protect our friends, family, and loved ones and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. While the safest thing you can is to avoid getting together in person, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk if you attend or host a gathering.

  • Gathering limits of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors are in place per the Governor’s  current order. Smaller gatherings pose less risk than larger gatherings and meeting outdoors is safer than meeting indoors. If you have tables, have each group of people who live together sit at their own table and keep tables at least 6 feet apart from one another. This is especially important as people will need to remove masks when eating or drinking.
  • Do not attend or host a gathering if you feel sick or have been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19. It’s important to stay home and avoid all activities if you are sick.
  • Remember your 3 Ws (Wear, Wait and Wash). Wear a mask over your nose and mouth the whole time you are together – other than when actively eating or drinking. Wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer. And stay at least 6 feet apart, especially when eating or drinking.
  • Consider getting a COVID-19 test prior to travel or attending any gatherings. You can find free testing sites in New Hanover County by using the Find My Testing Place tool online. Screening tests are not perfect, but they can catch some people who have the virus and don’t have symptoms yet. Screening tests can miss some infections – particularly if you use rapid tests. And, a negative test only gives you information for that point in time. A negative test does not mean you will remain negative.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly-touched surfaces such as door handles, countertops, sink faucets, and daily work surfaces. Include regular cleaning of items like your phone, tablet or computer, and remotes.

Additional Resources:

Use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

View a message about face covers from New Hanover County Assistant Health Director Carla Turner, RN, BSN, MSHA in the video below.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is a way to reach out to people who have been near someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Public Health performs contact tracing for every identified positive case of COVID-19 in New Hanover County. They ask about anyone else that may have recently been near or in close contact with a positive case. Each of these steps allows us to identify potential cases and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Public Health will reach out to people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and share any information and support they may need to stay at home until the risk of giving the virus to others has passed. Any text messages from Public Health contact tracers will come from the number 45394. Emails will come from the email address If the Team reaches out with a phone call, “New Hanover County” or “Unknown” will appear on the Caller ID. A message will be left if contact is not made, so be sure to keep up regularly with voicemails.

Name and other personal information are confidential and will remain private. The COVID-19 Community Team will never ask for anyone’s Social Security Number, bank or credit card numbers, or any other financial information at any time. If you are asked for this information, please hang up and call your local health department to report the incident.

View additional guidance, recommendations, and best practices during the reopening process:


Health: 1650 Greenfield Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-3500 • Fax 910-798-7834 • Human Services Fax 910-798-7824
Environmental Health: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-6667 • Fax 910-798-7815
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