Onslow County Officials: No plans for shelter in place; donations needed

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Onslow County leaders are giving new information on their fight against the coronavirus.

Sharon Russell, the county manager, emphasized a shelter in place, or shutting down roads in and out of the county, are not an option.

“It’s definitely not feasible in our county. We are a community that welcomes our military bases, and we also have a geographically distanced municipalities,” said Russell during the county’s Facebook live Wednesday morning.

In an email, Russell stated the only way the county would consider moving toward a shelter in place is if all municipalities in the area and the military base were pushing for the initiative.

“We are reluctant to issue local orders, which do not apply to the military base, and create enforcement issues for our already-taxed law enforcement officers. It also matters because we have many families here who do not have close relatives living nearby to assist them with childcare, and we have essential personnel who need childcare options to be able to continue to care for our citizens during this crisis,” said Russell.

Victoria Reyes at Onslow County Public Health says most people who test positive for COVID-19 will recover. Patient can return to their normal routine if they can answer these questions:

1. Has it been at least seven days, since you last had symptoms?

2. Have you been without a fever for 3 days without any fever reducing medication?

3. Have other symptoms improved?

The county’s emergency services are asking for your help in the fight against the coronavirus. People can donate gloves and specifically N-95 masks at the emergency services operation center in Jacksonville.

Emergency services director Norman Bryson says his department has more than 40 pending requests. Hospitals, EMS, and doctors offices are asking for materials including hand sanitizers. The pandemic is not affecting how the department responds to calls just yet. Fire and EMS departments are running at full staff, but they’re being proactive for future calls.

​​​”Now is about getting those supplies in as we do not think that we will have enough supplies to go into​ the future weeks, so that’s why we’re making the call now to be able to provide those services,” said Bryson.

Emergency managers say if you call 911, they want to inform them if you have been evaluated for COVID-19. That will ensure workers can properly protect themselves when they respond. ​

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