COVID-19 Carteret County Government Update 11: Measures Taken So Far

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Released by Carteret County Human Resources Director Jaime Long at 5:46 pm March 17:

Due to the NC Governor’s Executive Orders and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for the COVID-19 outbreak, Carteret County Government has implemented the following protective measures.

1. Carteret County developed a COVID-19 Task Force of personnel to manage the incident by providing their expertise in decision making and communicating with the public. The Task Force meets via conference call twice daily to ensure all efforts are made to keep the public safe and informed.

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2. Carteret County restricted all work-related travel for staff on March 13, 2020. This travel restriction includes travel outside of Carteret County and outside of North Carolina. The travel restriction will remain in effect until further notice.

3. The cleaning crews for County offices has increased sanitizing and disinfecting efforts in all common areas.

4. Carteret County Government began limiting public access to County offices on Monday March 16, 2020, until further notice. Residents who need to conduct face-to-face business with the County should call the Department to set up an appointment. If possible, all business with the County including permits, appeals, payments or service requests, should be conducted online, by telephone or through the drop boxes located outside the Courthouse.

5. As of Monday, March 16, 2020, Carteret County Aging Services and the Leon Mann Jr. Enrichment Center will be closed until further notice. Home Delivered Meal participants will still receive services. Congregate Nutrition participants will have the option to come and pick up their meal. Staff will be available to answer questions from 8 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday at 252-247-2626.

6. As of Monday, March 16, 2020, Carteret County Area Transportation System (CCATS) suspended transportation for all nonessential trips. Transportation will continue for dialysis patients and employment necessary transports.

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7. In order to help communicate clear, effective, up-to-date information with the citizens of Carteret County, two public communication telephone lines have been established. Public Information Recording: 252-726-7177. This line provides recorded information regarding several topics of guidance for Carteret County Citizens.

The information will include:

  • Number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Carteret County.
  • What to do if you are feeling sick or think you may be exposed to Covid-19.
  • Contact information for the Carteret County Health Department.
  • General guidance for sheltering in place and good hygiene procedures.

Citizen Inquiry Phone Line: 252-726-7060. This phone line is staffed for questions from the public that are not answered via the automated phone line. This line is staffed Monday-Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

8. Carteret County Department of Social Services is encouraging the use of our electronic application process, EPass, for both Medicaid applications and Food and Nutrition Services applications. Staff are available via phone to assist should applicants experience any difficulty in completing the online application. Clients still have the choice of applying for these services in person at our two locations, the DSS office in Beaufort and the Carteret County Health Department. However, as noted earlier, please call for appointment. Applications can be accessed via the web at epass.nc.gov.

9. The Carteret County Parks and Recreation Department suspended all recreation programs effective March 17, 2020. In an effort to limit exposure, Fort Benjamin Recreation Center and Western Park Community Center will be closed to the public. This includes any building rentals or events scheduled through the end of March.

10. CPC Regional Library closed Carteret County Public Libraries on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, through Tuesday, March 31, 2020. During this time employees will provide limited services to patrons by phone such as: renew materials, waive fines, provide reader’s advisory for online materials, answer reference questions etc.

The library Wi-fi will be available for the public to access from outside the buildings. Carteret County Government COVID-19 updates will post on the Carteret County website at www.carteretcountync.gov and on the Carteret County Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pg/CarteretCounty.

The County encourages citizens to remain calm and follow the preventative measures recommended by the CDC and local health officials. Reduce the risk of person-to person transmission by practicing social distancing measures which decrease the frequency of contact and increase physical distance between persons.

Continue to practice good hygiene by:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
  • People who are sick should always cover their coughs and sneezes using a tissue or the crook of their elbow; wash your hands after using a tissue to wipe your nose or mouth.
  • People who are sick should stay home from work or school until they are well.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your unwashed hands.

For more information on COVID-19, including symptoms and treatment, the County urges citizens to please use the following creditable sources:

  • COVID-19 Information Call In Line at the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS): 866-462-3821 or the Coronavirus Response in North Carolina (NCDHHS): http://ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): http://coronavirus.gov