Water quality swimming advisory lifted for ocean-side site in Pender County

MOREHEAD CITY – State recreational water quality officials today lifted a water quality swimming advisory for an ocean-side swimming area in Pender County.
The advisory was lifted because water testing shows that bacteria levels have dropped below the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s standards set for swimming and water play.
The advisory was posted at public beach access #1A located across from Catherine Avenue in Topsail Beach on April 14. Test results of water samples taken April 12 and April 13 showed bacteria levels exceeding 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water, the standard for recreational use coastal waters. Test results of water samples from the site now shows bacteria levels below the state and federal recreational water quality standards.
The sign advising against swimming, skiing or otherwise coming into contact with the water has been removed.
Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it is not known to cause illness, scientific studies show that enterococci may indicate the presence of other disease-causing organisms. People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.
Coastal recreational waters in North Carolina are generally clean. However, it is important to continue monitoring them and to informed of any localized problems. The N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program samples 213 sites in coastal waters of the state, most of them on a weekly basis from April through October.
For more information on the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program, visit the program’s website, view a map of the testing sites, and follow the program’s Twitter feed. https://deq.nc.gov/

Division of Marine Fisheries urges fishermen to promptly complete license/permit renewals for FY 2022

MOREHEAD CITY – The Division of Marine Fisheries will begin mailing renewal packets for fiscal year 2022 commercial and for-hire fishing licenses and permits this week and is asking fishermen to complete and return the applications without delay.

Division offices have been closed to the public since March 2020 to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, and the division is facilitating license purchases and renewals using mail and a combination of mail and no-contact drop boxes.

The division does not anticipate that its offices will reopen to the public prior to June 30, 2021, when fiscal year 2021 commercial and for-hire licenses and permits expire. Due to the potential delays that mail processing may cause, it is important that fishermen not wait until the last minute to renew.

As an alternative to mail, fishermen may submit completed applications with payment (check, cashier’s check, or money order only) in drop boxes provided at the following division offices:

DMF Headquarters
3441 Arendell St.
Morehead City
Phone: 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

 

Manteo Field Office
1021 Driftwood Dr.
Manteo
Phone 252-473-5734 or 800-405-7774

 

Pamlico District Office
943 Washington Square Mall, Highway 17
Washington
Phone: 252-946-6481 or 800-338-7804
Southern District Office
127 Cardinal Drive Extension
Wilmington
Phone: 910-796-7215 or 800-248-4536
Northern District Office

100 Kitty Hawk Lane

Elizabeth City, NC 27909

252-381-6000 or 800-338-7805

 

Further information regarding individual commercial and for-hire license and permit renewals is included in the renewal packets. Fishermen who have questions should call their local license office at the number listed above or email License@ncdenr.gov.

Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses can be purchased or renewed online at www.ncwildlife.org or by calling N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission at 1-888-248-6834 during office hours.

Pender County Parks and Recreation to host Master Plan public meetings

Burgaw – Pender County Parks and Recreation will conduct Master Plan Public Meetings to gather public input regarding parks.

The Pender County Parks and Recreation Department invites residents to share their vision for Parks and Recreation activities and facilities throughout the county.

The Pender County Parks and Recreation Department continues to update the Parks and Recreation Master Plan with the goal of better understanding the communities’ current recreation needs as the county prepares for additional parks, facilities, and programs. Since the adopted 2010 Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan, the county experienced significant growth. The county recognizes the important need for additional parks and recreation resources.

[“The Master Plan Public Meetings throughout the various communities will allow input and feedback on the parks and recreation offerings,” states Dee Turner, Pender County Parks and Recreation.We would like the members of the public to engage and assist in the planning process.”

 The Master Plan Public Meetings will be conducted around the county over the next several weeks beginning on Tuesday, April 27. These meetings are designed to be floating meetings and staff encourages community members to stop by the meeting locations between 4:30-7:30 p.m. to share thoughts and ideas. Additional public meetings will be scheduled for the communities of Burgaw, Currie, Surf City, and Maple Hill.

  • April 27 – Poplar Grove Barn, 10200 US-17, Wilmington, NC 28411
  • April 29 – Penderlea Gym, 231 W H Robbins Road, Willard, NC 28478
  • May 4 – Hampstead Annex, 15060 US Hwy 17, Hampstead, NC 28457
  • May 6 – Cape Fear Middle School Gym, 1886 NC- Hwy 133, Rocky Point, NC 28457

The meeting schedule will be available online at https://penderpr.recdesk.com/Community/Calendar and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Pender-County-Parks-and-Recreation.

For more information about the master plan or public meetings contact the Pender County Parks & Recreation Department 910-259-1330.

 

COVID-19 vaccination appointments available online or by phone

PENDER COUNTY – The Pender County Health Department currently has COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Appointments are available at two convenient locations – the Pender County Health Department, 803 S. Walker St., Burgaw, or the Hampstead Annex, 15060 US Hwy. 17.

Pender County Health Department administers the Moderna vaccine which is available to everyone 18 years and older.

You may schedule an appointment online on the county’s website, pendercountync.gov, and click on the red banner across the screen.

If registering online, the Pender County website is best viewed in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Mozilla Firefox and NOT Internet Explorer.

Citizens without the ability to make an appointment online can call 910-663-4200 for assistance.

 

Water quality swimming advisory issued for ocean-side Catherine Avenue access

MOREHEAD CITY – An advisory against swimming was posted today at an ocean-side site in Pender County, where state officials found bacteria levels in the water that exceed the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational water quality standards.

The advisory is for the public beach access #1A located across from Catherine Avenue in Topsail Beach. Test results of water samples taken on April 12 and April 13 indicate bacteria levels that exceed the state and federal action levels of 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters for Tier 1 daily use sites. Swimming areas are classified based on recreational use and are referred to as tiers.

NC Recreational Water Quality Program tests water quality at the ocean and sound beaches in accordance with federal and state laws. Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, is found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it does not cause illness, scientific studies show that enterococci may indicate the presence of other disease-causing organisms. People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the action level have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.

This advisory is not a beach closing, nor does the advisory affect the entire Topsail Beach area. Swimming advisories are for waters within 200 feet of the sign. The sign posted reads as follows:

ATTENTION
SWIMMING IN THIS AREA IS NOT RECOMMENDED. BACTERIA TESTING INDICATES
LEVELS OF CONTAMINATION THAT MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR
HEALTH. THIS ADVISORY AFFECTS WATERS WITHIN 200’ OF THIS SIGN.
OFFICE OF THE STATE HEALTH DIRECTOR

State officials will continue testing the site, and they will remove the sign and notify the public again when the bacteria levels decrease to levels below the standards.

State recreational water quality officials sample 213 sites throughout the coastal region, most of them on a weekly basis, from April to October. Testing continues on a reduced schedule during the rest of the year, when the waters are colder.

For more information on the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program, visit the program’s website , view a map of the testing sites, and follow the program’s Twitter feed.

Joint CDC and FDA statement on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

The following statement is attributed to Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the CDC and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research

As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.

CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution. This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.

Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.

CDC and FDA will provide additional information and answer questions later today at a media briefing. A recording of that media call will be available on the FDA’s YouTube channel.

COVID-19 vaccination appointments available online or by phone NOW for Tuesday, April 13 in Burgaw

PENDER COUNTY – COVID-19 vaccination appointments are NOW being accepted for Tuesday, April 13, at the Pender County Health Department, 803 S. Walker St., Burgaw.

The Moderna vaccination appointments are available to Group 4 which includes anyone 18-64 years old.

Groups 1-4 may schedule an appointment online on the county’s website, pendercountync.gov, and click on the red banner across the screen.

If registering online, the Pender County website is best viewed in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Mozilla Firefox and NOT Internet Explorer.

Citizens without the ability to make an appointment online can call 910-663-4200 for assistance.

If citizens miss this opportunity to be vaccinated, continue to monitor the county’s website, Pender County’s Facebook page, and the local news for future vaccine appointments.

North Carolina’s COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opens for all adults on April 7

Pender County is currently serving everyone ages 18 and older

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. gave an update on the state’s current data, trends and vaccination progress as tomorrow also marks the opening of vaccine eligibility for Group 5. This means anyone 16 years and older who wants a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination is eligible to get one.

“We remain focused on getting people vaccinated as quickly and as equitably as possible and continuing to slow the spread of the virus,” said Governor Cooper. “The more people we vaccinate, the more we can safely do.”
North Carolina continues to focus on distributing vaccines quickly and equitably. To date, the state has administered over 5.2 million doses. 39 percent of those 18 and up is at least partially vaccinated, and 26 percent of those 18 and up have been fully vaccinated.

“These tested, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines will help us get back in control of our lives and back to the people and places we love – like safely hugging a grandmother, traveling to see vaccinated family or friends, or having a potluck dinner with your vaccinated neighbors,” said Secretary Cohen.

State health officials are continuing to monitor the presence of COVID-19 and its more contagious variants in North Carolina, which is why it is important to continue to follow the state’s mask mandate and practice safety precautions, including the

Three Ws—wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart, and wash hands often.

Dr. Cohen also provided an update on North Carolina’s data and trends.

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is decreasing.

Trajectory of Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of cases is level.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is level.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is level.

In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread in testing, tracing and prevention.

View the slides from today’s briefing.

 

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COVID-19 vaccination appointments are NOW being accepted for everyone 12 years and older. Schedule your appointment in Burgaw or Hampstead. (Moderna vaccine is only approved for age 18 and up.)

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