Pender County Health and Human Services Statement

Pender County Health and Human Services (PCHHS) continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working closely with state and federal officials and are following all guidelines and recommendations from the NC Department of Health & Human Services (NC DHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Currently in the State of North Carolina 736 COVID-19 cases and three deaths have been reported. There have been no cases reported in Pender County to date.

According to the CDC, most people who get COVID-19 will recover without needing medical care. For that reason, people who think they have COVID-19 showing mild symptoms such as fever and cough without shortness of breath or difficulty breathing are encouraged to isolate themselves at home, separate themselves from others in their home as much as possible, and call their medical provider for advice.

People can stop isolating themselves when they have met the following:
• It has been at least 7 days since you first had symptoms
• You have had no fever for three days (72 hours) without any fever reducing medication
• Your other symptoms have improved

We urge our residents to stay informed. The CDC and the NC DHHS provides factual information and recommendations.

We strongly encourage our residents to follow the recommended safe hygiene practices and social distancing.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
• Stay home if you’re sick
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 – a cough, fever, and shortness of breath – please contact your health care provider. It is extremely important for people at higher risk of getting sick to call their medical provider if they develop symptoms of fever or cough. High-risk individuals include: those 65 years or older; someone with a high-risk condition like heart or lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, a compromised immune system, diabetes, or severe obesity, and pregnant women.

The Pender County Health Department clinic is open Mondays through Fridays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointment is necessary. We have COVID-19 testing kits and are following the testing criteria provided by NC DHHS and the CDC.

Pender County Health and Human Services is actively working to keep you informed. If you should have questions, please call the Pender County Health Department at 910-259-1230. The website, www.pendercountync.gov, features a COVID-19 microsite with information. For the latest information on COVID-19, visit reliable websites such as the NC Department of Health and Human Services https://ww.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-response-north-carolina and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service provided by United Way of North Carolina. Families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services and resources within their community.

Gov. Roy Cooper announces statewide Stay-at-Home order until April 29

Governor Cooper Announces Statewide Stay at Home Order Until April 29

Essential businesses may remain open, social distancing mandated

Executive Order No. 121 can be found here

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper ordered people in the state of North Carolina to stay at home for 30 days, until April 29, 2020, in another step to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 121 takes effect on Monday, March 30 at 5:00 PM and reduces the size of gatherings to 10 people. The Order provides for essential businesses to continue to operate while prioritizing social distancing measures. The Order has the force of law and will be enforced in all 100 counties statewide.

“To continue our aggressive battle against COVID-19, I have signed a Stay at Home Order for the entire state of North Carolina. Though it is difficult we must do this to slow the disease spread,” said Governor Cooper. “We need our medical system to be able to care for the friends and family we know will become seriously ill from the virus.”

The Governor noted today that three North Carolinians have died due to COVID-19 and the state has 763 confirmed cases of the virus in 60 counties. He called on all North Carolinians to protect themselves by staying home and following social distancing guidelines. North Carolina is now considered to have widespread transmission of the virus, which means people who have tested positive cannot trace where they were exposed to the virus.

The Order directs people to stay at home except to visit essential businesses, to exercise outdoors or to help a family member. Specifically, the order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to physically stay at least six feet apart from others.

“I know this order may lead to even more hardship and heartache. Although we are physically apart, we must take this step together in spirit,” Governor Cooper said.

Unless noted in the order, previous closures and orders stand as written as do local government orders in cities and counties. Frequently Asked Questions about the Order can be found here.

If you do not think your business is included in the list of the essential services, and you think it should be, you may apply online at the NC Department of Revenue to be designated essential https://www.ncdor.gov/…/ncdor…/covid-19-essential-businesses. Until your exemption is reviewed, you may operate as long as your business can accommodate social distancing in your workplace.

For more information about health recommendations and who is designated at high risk for becoming seriously ill, please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.

Important Information from Pender County Deparment of Social Services (DSS)

Due to Declaration of COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, NCDHHS encourages potential recipients/recipients to utilize online, alternate and telephone methods for applications and questions. Most transactions can be handled by phone, fax, email or mail. A Drop Box is located to the left of the Entrance Doors for your convenience. Appointments will be scheduled for transactions that can’t be handled by one of these methods. Caseworkers will follow-up by phone or email.

Click here for more information.

ePASS is a quick and easy way for individuals and families to learn about and apply for available benefits and services. Online applications are available for Food and Nutrition Services (formerly Food Stamps) as well as Medical Assistance (Medicaid and NC Health Choice or CHIP). You can learn if you are potentially eligible for Medical Assistance by completing an electronic pre-assessment screening.

To access ePASS click here 

Carson Smith returns to Pender County Emergency Management, interim post

BURGAW – State Representative Carson Smith will return to his former post as Pender County Emergency Manager as an interim director, effective March 26.

“Carson will be the stabilizing force to lead Emergency Management through this pandemic,” George Brown, chairman of the Pender County Board of Commissioners, said. “Our Emergency Management and Public Health both have vital leadership roles as they work together to help guide our county through this event.”

Carson attended Topsail schools where he began working in many different aspects of public safety including Pender East EMS, Hampstead Volunteer Fire Department, and Scott’s Hill Fire Department. Following his college education and training as a North Carolina Highway Patrolman, Smith returned to Pender County in the 90s to take the position of Emergency Management Coordinator. Shortly after taking the job, Pender County began facing many challenges created from the unusually high hurricane activity we saw in the mid and late 90’s. There were five Presidential Disaster Declarations due to hurricanes during his time as Coordinator including: Bertha ’96, Fran ’96, Bonnie ’98, Dennis ’99, and Floyd ’99. Smith served as Emergency Manager until he was elected sheriff in Pender County in 2002. He served as Pender County Sheriff for 16 years before running for office as a NC State Representative.

Smith will oversee the day-to-day operations of the emergency operations center as the interim director. He will replace Charles Tear, who resigned, effective March 24.

Advertisement to Bid: Pender County Courthouse – Interior Renovations

ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS

 

Sealed bids will be received until 3:00 p.m. (local time), April 23, 2020, in the Commissioner’s Room of Pender County Administration Building, 805 S. Walker Street, Burgaw, North Carolina, and then opened and publicly read for furnishing all labor and materials and performing all work connected with: Pender County Courthouse – Interior Renovations, as indicated in the plans and specifications dated March 29, 2020.

In response to social distancing recommendations by state and local health authorities, bids will be opened publicly through video/audio conference. Conference log-in information to be provided by Architect at the pre-bid meeting. Bidders shall notify the Architect in advance if they wish to be physically present during the bid opening.

 

A mandatory Pre-Bid Meeting will be held at 3:00 p.m. (local time), April 8, 2020 at the Pender County Courthouse, 100 S. Wright Street, Burgaw, North Carolina 28425.  Prime bidders and asbestos abatement subcontractors are required to attend. Subcontractors (other than asbestos abatement subcontractor) and suppliers are invited to attend.

Precautions will be taken with respect to COVID-19. If weather permits, the pre-bid meeting will be conducted outside of the courthouse.  In the event of bad weather, bidders shall meet in the courtroom and maintain distance between individuals as recommended by state and local health authorities. Bidders shall bring gloves and any other personal protective equipment desired. Bidders may tour the building in small groups after the pre-bid meeting.    

 

The project shall consist of storm damage repairs and renovations to the historic courthouse in Burgaw.  Work includes relocating mechanical and electrical systems from basement to first floor;  new HVAC systems throughout the building; data wiring; plaster demolition, repair and replacement; custom woodwork to match existing; new accessible bathrooms; new elevator and masonry shaft; ADA upgrades; a new building generator; site work to facilitate drainage; masonry screen wall at the generator and ADA ramp; upholstery replacement for courtroom seating; and miscellaneous paint and floor finishes throughout.    Hazardous materials, including asbestos floor mastic, asbestos ceiling coatings, and lead paint, will be removed under this contract.

 

Hazardous Material Abatement Subcontractors must be pre-approved to be eligible to submit bids and have their bids considered.  The following Abatement Subcontractors have been pre-approved for this Project.

  1. Demolition & Asbestos Removal, Inc., Division of D. H. Griffin; Glenn Collins dgcollins@daricorp.com
  2. CCI; Clay Fields or Justin fields@cci-env.com
  3. Enpuricon, Inc.; Scott Gordon sgordon@enpuricon.com
  4. NEO Corporation; Langdon Williams lwilliams@neocorporation.com
  5. EHG, LLC; Larry Crickmore LCrickmore@ehgllc.com

 

Bid Forms, Plans, Specifications, and Contract Documents may be examined at the Owner’s office at 805 S. Walker Street, Burgaw, North Carolina, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and the following plan rooms’ websites:

 

Dodge Data & Analytics – www.construction.com

Carolinas Plan Room – www.carolinasplanroom.com

iSqFt + bidclerk – www.iSqFt.com

 

Bidders may obtain a complete set of bidding documents beginning on March 30, 2020 from: McGee Cadd Reprographics, 2527 S. 17th St., Wilmington, NC 28401, (910) 392-5500, e-mail: mcgee01@mcgee-cadd.com, upon the non-refundable payment of services charges.

 

Electronic Documents:  Complete plans, specifications, and contract documents can be obtained electronically on March 30, 2020.  Go to http://infoexchange.ls3p.com and login using your e-mail address and “anonymous” as the password.  Click on the Pender Courthouse Interior Bid Documents download link.

Minority Participation:  Bidders shall note that compliance with the Owner’s Minority Participation Policy is applicable to this project.  The bidder shall make good faith efforts, as defined in the bid specifications, to subcontract 10% of the dollar value of the single prime contract to businesses owned and controlled by minorities.  Individuals who are minorities include women, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, and Asian-Indian Americans.  Bidders are required to submit, along with the bid, information concerning minority business enterprises which will participate in the contract.  The information will include: (1) name and address of each minority firm; (2) description of the work to be performed by each minority firm named; and (3) the dollar value of the work to be performed by each firm named.  Bidders are required to submit along with the bid, specific documentation demonstrating that they made good faith efforts to meet established goals.  A bid which fails to meet these requirements may be considered non-responsive.

Visit NC Department of Administration at http://www.doa.nc.gov/hub/searchhub.aspx and/or NC Department of Transportation at https://partner.ncdot.gov/VendorDirectory/default.html to search for Minority/Women Business Enterprises.

 

Bid security required is (5%) of the bid, in cash, certified check or Bid Bond.

 

Performance and Payment Bonds in the amount of (100%) of contract amount will be required.

 

Bids may not be withdrawn for sixty (60) days after bid due date.

 

The Owner reserves the right to reject each and every bid and to waive informalities in bidding.

 

/s/ Mr. Chad McEwan, Assistant Manager

Pender County, Burgaw, North Carolina

Pender County continues services during COVID-19 pandemic

BURGAW- Pender County officials urge residents to call or email county departments for assistance before visiting county offices. Effective Wednesday, March 25, the county strongly encourages appointments for in-person visits.

“We are practicing social distancing yet not limiting county functions,” said George Brown, Chairman of the Pender County Board of County Commissioners.

Many county residents have already taken advantage of the ease of online services, available at www.pendercountync.gov. Citizens have the opportunity of utilizing payment options available online, by mail, and drop boxes. Citizens are strongly encouraged to call county departments prior to driving to Burgaw or Hampstead. Most service needs can be addressed over the phone or online.

These heightened protective measures are in addition to the social distancing guidelines Pender County implemented a week ago. These steps were taken out of an abundance of caution and to help protect County staff and the public while also providing for the continuity of governmental services.

“With the assistance of the Board of Commissioners, I feel we have developed a solid plan to address the safety concerns of our employees and public related to COVID-19,” said Chad McEwen, Pender County manager.

The County will continue to follow the guidelines recommended by the Pender County Health Department, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) during the COVID pandemic.

“Our goal is to protect the public at large as well as our county employees through these protective, common sense measures,” Carolyn Moser, Pender County health department director, said.

Pender County Health and Human Services is open 8-5, Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary.

Learn more about the Coronavirus and the Pender County Health and Human Services recommendations at http://www.pendercountync.gov/covid-19/.

Here is a directory to our direct lines to our county departments. We are also including the webpage where residents will find the department’s available online services.

Board of Elections:
910-259-1220 http://www.pendercountync.gov/boe/

Pender County Adult Services:
910-259-9119 http://www.penderpas.com/programs.html

PAS-TRAN:
910-259-9119 http://www.penderpas.com/programs.html

Pender County Clerk to the Board of Commissioners:
910-259-1200 http://www.pendercountync.gov/cmo/

Planning and Community Development:
910-259-1202 http://www.pendercountync.gov/pcd/

Permitting and Inspections:
Hampstead: 910-270-2505; Burgaw: 910-259-1201
http://www.pendercountync.gov/inp/

Pender County Cooperative Extension:
910-259-1235 https://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/

County Manager’s office:
910-259-1200 http://www.pendercountync.gov/cmo/

Pender County Emergency Management:
910-259-1210 http://www.pendercountync.gov/em/

Pender County Health and Human Services:
910-259-1230 http://www.pendercountync.gov/hhs/health-human-services/health-department/

Animal Shelter:
910-259-1484, http://www.pendercountync.gov/as/ or https://www.facebook.com/PCAS28425/

Social Services, Food Stamps, and WIC:
910-259-1240 http://www.pendercountync.gov/hhs/health-human-services/department-of-social-services/food-nutrition/

Finance:
910-259-1282 http://www.pendercountync.gov/fin/

Pender County Fire Marshal:
910-259-0210 http://www.pendercountync.gov/fin/

Floodplain Management:
910-259-1202 http://www.pendercountync.gov/pcd/planning-zoning/know-your-flood-hazard/

GIS:
910-259-0129 http://www.pendercountync.gov/its/geographic-information-systems-gis/

Human Resources:
910-259-1513 http://www.pendercountync.gov/hr/

Pender County ITS:
910-259-1260 http://www.pendercountync.gov/its/

Pender County Library:
Burgaw, 910-259-1234; Hampstead Branch 910-270-4603
http://penderpubliclibrary.org/

Library items may be reserved by calling either the Burgaw or Hampstead branches or through customer online accounts. Please call or go online to PenderPublicLibrary.org for curbside pick-up instructions. Returned items may be placed in the drop boxes.

Parks and Recreation:
910-259-1330 https://penderpr.recdesk.com/

Housing:
910-259-1208 http://www.pendercountync.gov/hse/

Facilities and Fleet Services:
910-259-1228 http://www.pendercountync.gov/pw/

Public Information:
910-259-1536 www.pendercountync.gov

Utilities:
910-259-1570; After-hours emergency 910-471-1041
http://www.pendercountync.gov/utl/

Payment for water/sewer bills are accepted online. In addition, drive up window and drop box payments will be accepted in Burgaw for utility customers. A drop box is also available for utility payments at the Hampstead Annex.

Solid Waste:
910-259-1570 http://www.pendercountync.gov/utl/

Register of Deeds:
910-259-1225 http://www.pendercountync.gov/rod/

Sheriff’s Department:
910-259-1212 http://www.pendersheriff.com/

Tax Assessing:
910-259-1221 http://www.pendercountync.gov/txa/

Tax Collections:
910-259-1222 http://www.pendercountync.gov/txc/

County property or business tax payments may be paid and returned in the provided envelope. Additionally, a drop box for payments is located on the front of the tax office in Burgaw.

Tourism:
910-259-1278, 910-259-0311
www.visitpender.com

Veterans Services:
Burgaw, 910-259-1203; Hampstead 910-270-5005
http://www.pendercountync.gov/va/

Pender County Clerk of Court:
910-663-3900 http://penderclerk.com/index.html

Pender County playground guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Burgaw – Pender County Parks and Recreation department’s playground equipment remains open at this time, but Pender County officials are advising residents to bring sanitizing wipes with them to wipe down any playground equipment before it is used.

“Pender County staff have been cleaning and disinfecting the playground equipment at the three county-owned parks, following the recommendations from the CDC, “said Zach White, Parks and Recreation supervisor. “Staff will continue to clean and disinfect the equipment twice per week.”

“COVID-19 spread can occur from touching your mouth, nose or possibly eyes after having contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, according to the CDC,” said Carolyn Moser, Pender County health director.

Residents should be prepared to wipe down playground surfaces with recommended cleaning products, if they choose to use county-owned playground equipment.

Here are some recommendations to help limit the spread of COVID-19:
Follow social distancing: gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited, under the NC State of Emergency, and individuals are encouraged to maintain 6-feet of distance from others.
Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched (like your phone, tablet, countertops and daily work surfaces).
Stay home and away from others when you are sick.

Pender County Schools announce hotspot access for school-issued devices

BURGAW – Schools are closed and social distancing measures are in place as Pender County responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, but staying connected remains a necessity during these trying times.
To help students engage in learning, Pender County Schools has installed Wi-Fi hotspots at the county’s three traditional high schools where district-issued devices can get online, allowing students to connect with their teachers.

“Last Monday, a lot of students and their families picked up Chromebooks from our schools in anticipation of online learning becoming necessary. With help from our community partners, including ATMC, Four County Electric, the Pender County Government and NCDOT, we’re trying to make sure our students have the opportunity to access the information they need to keep learning,” Pender County Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Hill.

Thanks to Wi-Fi access point hardware provided by ATMC, students can come to Pender High, Topsail High or Heide Trask High, remain in a vehicle and access the internet in the parking lot. The hotspots, which have a range of several hundred feet, are marked by an orange traffic barrel labeled “PCS Wireless Access.” These hotspots will be live from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. seven days a week. Additionally, the Pender County Public Library in Burgaw also has an ATMC provided public access point, giving students another option to utilize.

“Our maintenance staff and technology department worked quickly to drill holes and run cable to make this possible. Their work is greatly appreciated to bring this together,” Dr. Hill said.

At this time, only district-issued devices will be able to access the internet at these hotspots. If you did not get the opportunity to pick up a PCS-issued device last week, please contact your school to set up a possible pickup in the coming days.

Pender County Schools would like to offer its appreciation to ATMC for providing the needed hardware. Additionally, PCS would like to thank Four County Electric and Pender County Government for needed support to make this project possible.

“These are really unprecedented times, and ATMC is glad that we can help,” ATMC CEO Keith Holden said. “We were proud to be able to work with Four County EMC and Pender County Schools to design and implement a solution that will be critical to keeping students connected.”

Pender County Schools announce hotspot access for school-issued devices

 

Internet connectivity available to Pender County residents

Burgaw – Pender County Board of Commissioners remind Pender County citizens that the Atkinson, Burgaw, and Hampstead libraries will continue to provide FREE public Wi-Fi Internet access.

“Under the recommendations of state health officials, social distancing is a must,” said Erik Harvey, Pender County IT director. “This FREE resource is available for both students and citizens who don’t have Internet access to stay connected and informed of the latest news on COVID-19.”

Available locations for wireless networks:
Atkinson Municipal Library
300 W Henry St.
Atkinson, NC 28421

Pender County Burgaw Library
103 S. Cowan St.
Burgaw, NC 28425

Pender County Hampstead Library
75 Library Dr.
Hampstead, NC 28443

Here’s what you need to know to access the Pender County Library Wi-Fi:

• Provide your own Wi-Fi enabled laptop or device
• Power on your own computer
• Select and connect to the appropriate Wi-Fi wireless network
• Open your Internet browser

Additionally, Spectrum is providing free Internet Service at all their hotspot locations. To locate a Spectrum hotspot in nearest you, go to https://www.ncbroadband.gov/covid19broadband/ and type in your address.

Starting on Tuesday, March 24, Pender County Schools will have designated “hotspots” for students to utilize in school parking lots.

For the safety of the public, the Pender County Sheriff’s Department will routinely patrol the area’s “hotspots.”

“We are working to bring better Internet connectivity to our county,” said Harvey. “In the interim, we urge our students and residents to utilize these free resources to stay connected to school and county updates.”

Resources for businesses impacted by COVID-19

Helpful links for your business

Wednesdy, March 25, 2-3:30 p.m. take a free online class from the Small Business Center entitled “Preparing Your Business for the Threat of Coronavirus.”

You must register online for this online panel discussion. Access is limited, so please, register today.

If COVID-19 has impacted your business, there’s assistance available.

Businesses and individuals may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or 1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, or by emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan application forms can also be downloaded at disasterloan.sba.gov. Here’s a link for more information on low interest loans.

Be sure to visit SCORE, a free service with helpful links designed for your success.

The Small Business Administration offers information for businesses impacted by COVID-19. Click here for the link.

Misinformation and panic are two viruses you can control. Be informed. When in doubt, go to the CDC  or the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services for COVID-19 information.

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