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Get your free At-Home COVID test kits from Pender County Health

Pender County Health Department Provides at-Home COVID-19 Test at No Charge

 

Pender County Health Department is currently offering free at-home COVID-19 test kits.  Test kits are available for pickup with a limit of four per person.  Visit either of our locations:

  • Pender County Health Department- 803 S. Walker Street, Burgaw
  • Hampstead Annex- 15060 NC Hwy 17, Hampstead
  • Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. while supplies last.

At-home COVID-19 test kits help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by providing you with results in minutes.

 

When to use your at-home testing kits:

  • You have any COVID-19 symptoms
  • You were exposed to someone with COVID-19. NOTE:  Test at least 5 days after close contact.  The last day of contact is Day 0.
  • You are not up-to date for COVID-19 vaccinations
  • You are going to an indoor event, gathering, or traveling
  • You were asked by your school, workplace, or health care provider to test.

 

If your test is Positive:

  • You are encouraged to report the result to your health care provider or to the health department.
  • You should follow CDC Isolation Guidelines cdc.gov Quarantine and Isolation
  • Seek medical care immediately if symptoms worsen or you have trouble breathing.

 

Resources for COVID-19 at-home test kits:

 

Questions?   Contact Pender County Health Department at 1-910-259-1230

at-home covid19 test availability

Pender County Health Department Provides at-Home COVID-19 Test at No Charge

BURGAW – Pender County Health Department offers at-home COVID-19 test kits at no charge. Test kits are available for pickup with a limit of four per person.  Having COVID-19 test kits available in your home plays an important role in helping reduce the spread of COVID-19 and provides you with results in minutes.

Here are a few tips on when to use your at-home testing kits:

  • You have any Covid-19 symptoms
  • You were exposed to someone with COVID-19
  • You are going to an indoor event or gathering

To pick up your at-home test kits, visit either of our locations:

  • Pender County Health Department 803 S. Walker Street, Burgaw
  • Hampstead Annex 15060 NC Hwy 17, Hampstead

Hours are:

  • Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. while supplies last.

If you complete an at-home test and receive a positive result, the CDC strongly encourages everyone to report any positive results to their health care provider or their local health department.

 

Households may also order up to eight at-home COVID-19 tests by visiting Covid.gov/tests.

 

If you have any question or need additional information, please contact Pender County Health Department at 910-259-1230 or visit our website.

State agencies responding to release of EPA health advisories for four PFAS compounds

RALEIGH – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today released health advisory values for four PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances): GenX, PFOA, PFOS and PFBS. Today’s EPA actions are based on the best available science and consider lifetime exposure to these PFAS compounds. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are moving quickly to evaluate the state’s drinking water supplies based on these health advisories and determine appropriate next steps to assess and reduce exposure risks. 

In step with the DEQ Action Strategy for PFAS, DEQ will prioritize actions to protect communities based upon the number of people impacted, concentration of PFAS in the drinking water, and the impacts to vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.  

GenX  

Since 2017, North Carolina has taken decisive action to address GenX contamination originating from the Chemours Fayetteville Works Facility. For GenX, the EPA set a final lifetime health advisory level of 10 parts per trillion (ppt), which would replace the state’s provisional drinking water health goal of 140 ppt developed by NCDHHS in 2018.  The Consent Order requires Chemours to provide whole house filtration for private drinking water wells with GenX concentrations above a health advisory.  The federal health advisory will now replace the state provisional drinking water health goal and DEQ estimates more than 1700 additional private well users will now be eligible for whole house filtration or connection to a public water supply.  DEQ is directing Chemours to proceed with the implementation of the health advisory and additional information will be provided to residents about their options and next steps as soon as possible. 

PFOA and PFOS 

While GenX contamination is specific to the Cape Fear River Basin in North Carolina, PFOS and PFOA were commonly used nationwide for decades in a variety of consumer goods and industrial processes.  PFOA and PFOS, often called ‘legacy compounds’ have been largely phased out of current use and replaced by GenX and PFBS.   

EPA issued interim updated health advisories of 0.004 ppt for PFOA and 0.02 ppt for PFOS, with a minimum reporting level of 4 ppt.  These interim advisories replace the 2016 provisional health advisory of 70 ppt for both compounds.  According to EPA, there is an increased risk of adverse health effects, including effects on the immune system, the cardiovascular system, human development (e.g., decreased birth weight), and cancer, when drinking water with compounds above the health advisory over a lifetime.  

EPA recommends water systems that measure any levels of PFOA or PFOS take steps to inform customers, undertake additional sampling to assess the level, scope and source of contamination, and examine steps to limit exposure.  At this time, EPA is not recommending bottled water or providing alternative water sources, based solely on concentrations of these chemicals in drinking water that exceed the health advisory levels.  

Data on the PFOA and PFOS levels in North Carolina’s private drinking water wells and public water systems are limited.  However, available sampling indicates the presence of one or both compounds in multiple public water systems across the state. DEQ and DHHS are evaluating the available data in light of these new health advisories to identify potentially affected communities and take action to address impacts to North Carolina residents.  DHHS will ensure guidance on health impacts related to these forever chemicals is available to the public and remains up-to-date. Specific health information can be found in the EPA’s health advisories or in the NCDHHS PFAS fact sheet and GenX fact sheet.  

Most exposures occur by consuming food or water containing PFAS. The EPA health advisories account for margin of safety for other potential exposure sources, such as through skin (dermal), breathing (inhalation), dietary exposure, consumer products, etc. You can lower the risks of health impacts by using home or point of use water filters or alternate water sources if PFAS are above health advisory levels in your drinking water. Information on testing and filtration can be found in the NCDHHS PFAS Testing and Filtration Resources Fact Sheet.  

While health advisories are not enforceable regulatory standards, EPA plans to propose federal drinking water standards for both PFOA and PFOS.  DEQ is evaluating the appropriate next steps to assist communities, well owners, and water systems in advance of the proposed federal drinking water standards.  

PFBS
For PFBS, EPA set a health advisory at 2,000 ppt.  PFBS has not been found in significant concentrations in sampling to date in North Carolina.  

DEQ and DHHS will plan additional outreach for affected residents in the weeks ahead.  Specific health information related to PFAS from DHHS, including fact sheets, can be found online here. Additional DEQ information about PFAS, including the DEQ Action Strategy for PFAS, is available here. 

DHHS Anticipated Public Question Responses V2
GenX_Factsheet_6.15.22
PFAS_Factsheet_6.15.22
PFAS_TestingFiltration

Warning signs of heat illness

The record temperatures we are experiencing can be dangerous to the health of all ages, as well as pets. The Pender County Health Department shared this warning regarding heat illness.

 

Should your well be considered for Chemours drinking water well testing?

Chemours has begun a drinking water well testing program in New Hanover, Brunswick, Columbus, and Pender counties. The testing is being performed per the revised Interim Four Counties Sampling and Drinking Water Plan (Plan). The revised Plan was submitted to North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ; https://deq.nc.gov/) on April 1, 2022.

Chemours is in the process of identifying private drinking water wells that may qualify for testing. The water will be tested for the 12 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds listed in the Consent Order (CO) and may be also other PFAS compounds as well as non-PFAS water quality parameters. Call (910) 678-1100 and leave a message if you feel your well should be tested.  A team member will call you back within three business days.

For more information, please check the Fayetteville Works website at: https://www.chemours.com/en/about-chemours/global-reach/fayetteville-works.

Initial-Sampling-Poster_Four_Counties_R2

DEQ directs Chemours to expand its interim sampling and drinking water plan for the Lower Cape Fear River area

RALEIGH – After a comprehensive review, the Department of Environmental Quality has sent a letter today directing Chemours to expand the scope and detail of its proposed interim sampling and drinking water plan for New Hanover, Brunswick, Columbus, and Pender counties.

“The interim plan is insufficient and does not include the necessary steps to adequately determine the extent of Chemours’ contamination in the downstream communities,” said DEQ Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser. “Chemours must contact residents directly, sample more wells, and proceed more quickly to address contaminated drinking water.”

The interim sampling plan was submitted on February 1, in response to the department’s November 3, 2021 Notice. In that notice, DEQ determined that Chemours is responsible for groundwater contamination in New Hanover County and potentially Pender, Columbus, and Brunswick counties. DEQ directed Chemours to expand the off-site assessment required under the 2019 Consent Order to determine the extent of the contamination, and conduct sampling of private drinking water wells to identify residents who may be eligible for replacement drinking water supplies.

DEQ has identified seven areas in which the interim sampling and drinking water plan is deficient, and is requiring Chemours to submit a revised plan within 30 days. The revisions must include, but are not limited to:

  • Expanding eligibility criteria of private wells to be sampled.
  • Starting sampling within 45 days.
  • Directly contacting eligible private well owners.
  • Using a data-driven approach to broaden private well sampling, not limited to 200 per county and not limited to residents who have requested sampling.
  • Including other property types for sampling where a private well is used as the primary source of drinking water, including schools, day care centers, churches, mobile home parks and others.
  • Providing bottled water to impacted residents within three days of receipt of sampling results and providing replacement drinking water supplies as required in Paragraphs 19 and 20 of the Consent Order.
  • Describing a proposed step-out or other approach to drinking water sampling based on the received results.

The response letter and related documents are available online. Residents in the four counties of the lower Cape Fear River basin can request well sampling by calling 910-678-1100.

Rabies detected in bobcat; protect your pets

An important message from Pender County Health Department:
Pender County Health Department has been notified that a bobcat has tested positive for rabies. While the animal was captured in a sparsely populated area off Highway 421, residents are encouraged to avoid contact with wildlife. Do not feed feral cats, dogs, or wildlife. Anyone that sees a wild animal acting strangely or aggressive toward people should contact the Pender County Sheriff’s Department, Animal Control staff at (910) 259-1349.
When rabies is detected in wildlife, it is very important that pet owners assure their pet has a current rabies vaccination. Rabies vaccinations are available at the Pender County Animal Shelter for $5. For details call 910 259-1484.

Local Emergency Planning Committee highlights disaster preparedness

NEW HANOVER COUNTY – More than two dozen government agencies from Pender and New Hanover counties, several local municipalities, and private business partners from across the region came together at the Wilmington Convention Center on Feb. 3 for the first conference of the New Hanover and Pender Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).

The event was an opportunity for officials in the public and private sectors to discuss, review and develop a deeper understanding of the needs and strategies necessary to collaborate and successfully navigate an emergency, should it arise.

“Working together when a disaster happens, whether it’s a natural event or something caused by human error, is so important to keep our communities safe. This was a chance to really dive into what that looks like,” said New Hanover County Emergency Management Technician and event conference coordinator Teresa Smith. “In Southeastern North Carolina, we know a lot about hurricanes and flooding, but those aren’t the only type of disasters that could potentially impact our area. Being prepared for an array of events and scenarios is so critical to safety.”

The conference opened with a welcome by Pender County Chairman David Piepmeyer who stressed the importance of regional collaboration. The event was bookended by two speakers who drove home the importance of being prepared. Charleston firefighter Dr. David Griffin opened the day with an emotional presentation about the 2007 fire at a furniture store in Charleston that left nine firefighters dead and how that moment reshaped the training and skill development of firefighters in the city and across the country. Pender County Fire Marshall Mark Haraway closed the gathering by discussing his role as Fire Chief and Emergency Management director for the town of Apex during a chemical fire back in 2007 at the Environmental Quality Industrial Services plant that made international headlines.

In between those presentations, more than 200 attendees heard from and asked questions of local and state health officials, staff at General Electric, the National Weather Service, community service providers and others about things to consider when developing plans for a major event.

“Hearing from people who have lived through these types of catastrophic events truly drives home just how crucial it is to be prepared and have those open lines of communication between our public and private partners in the LEPC,” said Pender County Emergency Management Director Tommy Batson. “We certainly hope this training and these partnerships are something we never have to call upon, but we also know it could be the thing that leads to a decision that saves someone’s life.”

Partners in the LEPC include New Hanover County Emergency Management, Pender County Emergency Management, City of Wilmington Emergency Management, Town of Carolina Beach, New Hanover County Commissioners Office (with Commissioner Jonathan Barfield, Jr. serving as the representative), New Hanover County Public Health, New Hanover County Fire Rescue, City of Wilmington Fire Department, Pender County Health Department, UNCW Emergency Management, NC Emergency Management, NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, NC Department of Environmental Quality, NC Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, Acme Smoked Fish, Airgas, Alcami, American Red Cross, Buckeye Terminal, Colonial Terminal, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, Celanese, Corning, Duke Energy Sutton Plant, Elementis, GE/ GE Hitachi, HEPACO, Kinder Morgan, NC State Port Authority, Novant Health NHRMC, Piedmont Natural Gas, Praxair, SeaSafety, SR&R Environmental, Stepan, and Sturdy Corporation.

The LEPC is responsible for SARA Title III environmental compliance, HAZMAT training and exercises, site-specific chemical planning programs, coordination of chemical information to emergency responders, and maintenance of the county-wide HAZMAT Incident Management Plan.

Conference planning staff included representatives from New Hanover County Emergency Management, Pender County Emergency Management, New Hanover County Fire Rescue, City of Wilmington Fire, City of Wilmington Emergency Management, American Red Cross, and New Hanover County Public Health.

Pender County Library will host American Red Cross Blood Drive on March 11

Register today!

BURGAW – Pender County Library will host a community blood drive with the American Red Cross on Friday, March 11 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The blood drive will be held at the Main Library located at 103 South Cowan Street in Burgaw.

According to the American Red Cross, we are currently experiencing a national blood crisis and need your help. Blood is routinely transfused to patients with cancer and other diseases, premature babies, organ transplant recipients, and trauma victims.

The short amount of time it takes to donate can mean a lifetime to a patient with a serious medical condition. Donors of all blood types are needed, especially those with types O negative, B negative, and A negative.

The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to join us in the selfless act of giving blood. With a simple blood donation, we can potentially save the lives of our community members in need.

For more information call Pender County Library at 910-259-1234 during regular business hours. To make an appointment to donate, call the Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767 or sign up online at RedCrossBlood.org with sponsor code “Pender.”

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