Beaufort County Emergency Management: COVID-19 Update (3/16/2020) | Beaufort County Now

The Following information is as of 4pm. beaufort county, emergency services, coronavirus, updates, covid-19, march 17, cvd19
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Beaufort County Emergency Management: COVID-19 Update (3/16/2020)

Press Release:

3/16/2020 Beaufort County, NC
The Following information is as of 4pm
Case Statistics (As of 4pm)

  • NC has 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across 13 counties, with 17 persons pending testing.
  • Beaufort County currently has no confirmed cases.
  • Area counties of Craven, Onslow, Wayne, and Wilson have confirmed cases. These persons are being monitored by local Health Department personnel.
    Mitigation Efforts

  • Beaufort County Government has implemented "social distancing" measures in all areas where the public and county staff interface. This initiative will use a combination of preexisting building elements (I.E. counter-tops, entry ways, etc.) and temporary barriers to allow for at least 6' of space between employees and the public for as much of the interaction as possible.
  • The City of Washington closed the following city office building to the public until further notice:
    • City Hall
    • Bobby Andrews Recreation Center
    • George H. and Laura E. Brown Library
    • Grace Martin Harwell Senior Center
    • Moore Aquatic and Fitness Center
    • Susiegray McConnell Sports Complex
  • Beaufort County Schools is closed for the next 2 wks. They will be offering free breakfast and lunch drive through from 10:30 - 12:30 pm at the following locations:
    • Northeast Elementary School
    • Eastern Elementary School
    • John Cotton Tayloe Elementary School
    • Chocowinity Primary School
    • SW Snowden Elementary School
    Additional information and updates can be found on Beaufort County School's Website.

  • North Carolina is currently under an executive order to limit gatherings to less than 100 people. (Exceptions include, but are not limited to retail stores, restaurants, shopping centers, etc.)

    We realize that there are currently conversations and announcements at the federal and state levels regarding mass and / or rapid testing for COVID-19 However, testing for Beaufort County remains limited, and continues to be subject to the following requirements.

  1. Have fever or lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) and close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case within the past 14 days; OR
  2. Have fever and lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) and a negative rapid flu test
    We will pass along information pertaining to additional test, or testing requirements as they become available.

    Retail Commodities

    North Carolina's State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) has been monitoring the supply chains of grocery and other retail stores. As of this morning, representatives from distributors for Wal-Mart, Foodlion, etc reported that commodity sales over the past 3 days have exceeded what is normal sold in a month. As such, they are encouraging everyone to return to their normal purchasing habits and refrain from bulk buying and / or hoarding. Distributors have reported having many of the supplies need to replenish stores and have begun to do so. North Carolina has assisted that effort by lifting many of the travel and weight restrictions of transport services.

    Individual /Community Mitigation Efforts

  • If sick, STAY HOME! (for at least 48 hours after symptoms go away)
    • If needed, call your provider or the local health department. Call, DO NOT come in.
  • Wash your hands FREQUENTLY with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact (less than 6 ft) with people who are ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw it away.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
    Workplace Protection

  • Employers should take necessary precautions as they see fit, to ensure the safety of their employees. This may include enforcing social distancing measure, teleworking, etc.
  • Encourage sick employees to stay home. For your business or organization, encourage staff to stay home which may inquire the alteration or review of your leave policy.
  • Disinfect work surfaces, including equipment., often
    • Pay special attention to common surfaces such as phones, door handles, radios, steering wheels, etc.
  • Use technology for updates and information exchange instead of in-person meetings.
  • Limit visitors and family to workplace.
  • Early recognition of employees that are ill is important to protecting your entire staff.
    What to Expect in the Future?

    The mitigation efforts listed above remain the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, given the social and travel habits of today's population, we must also acknowledge that we will most likely have cases in Beaufort County. We expect that and are prepared to respond accordingly. The announcement of a local case, or cases should serve as a reminder of the importance of practicing our mitigation efforts, and not simply a source for panic.


    We have created a resource page that can accessed at This resource page contains guidance for businesses, long term care facilities, families, and more.

    We are here to offer support and answer any questions or concerns. We are encouraging all community partners to share accurate information and promote it within your businesses, communities, and elsewhere. Beaufort County's website and Facebook page are great ways to stay up to date on accurate information.

  • Chris Newkirk
  • Deputy Director
  • Beaufort County Emergency Services
  • 1420 Highland Dr
  • Washington, N.C. 27889
  • Office: (252) 940-6511
  • Cell: (252) 378-5352


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