Health and Human Services
Richmond County Update
It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NC Department Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).
On your cellphone, touch the link to call
Richmond County COVID-19
Hotline (910) 417-4947
Preparation and Response
This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and Richmond County Health and Human Services will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.
March 30, 2020, Richmond County, NC Update:
- As of 2:00 PM, March 30, 2020, Richmond County does NOT have a case of COVID-19
- At this time, 182 individuals have been tested for COVID-19 in Richmond County. 95 test results have been returned and all results received have been negative.
There is currently NO curfew in Richmond County.
Governor Roy Cooper has instituted the following mandates:
No mass gatherings of more than 10 individuals are allowed. This has been lowered from 50 mandated earlier in the week. This includes church and funeral services.
Monday, March 30, 2020, beginning at 5 PM, a stay-at-home (or residence) order is being mandated. Individuals will be allowed to leave their homes for essential trips such as work, food, medicine, exercise and to help others.
When away from home, as much as possible, practice social (physical) distancing of at least 6 feet from others.
This Order permits the following businesses to remain open:
- Restaurants that provide take-out, drive-thru, or delivery
- Grocery stores ABC stores and beer and wine stores
- Doctors and other healthcare providers
- Hardware stores
- Post offices
- Office supply stores
- Gas stations and convenience stores
- Veterinarians and pet supply stores
- Hotels, airlines, buses, taxis, and rideshare services
- Places of worship
- Child care providers (that are following the required NCDHHS procedures)
- Essential Governmental Operations: all services provided by the State or any municipality, township, county, political subdivision, board, commission or agency of government and needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies or to provide for or support the health, safety and welfare of the public, and including contractors performing Essential Governmental Operations. Each government body shall determine its Essential Governmental Operations and identify employees and/or contractors necessary to the performance of those functions.
For purposes of this Executive Order, all first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, legislators, judges, court personnel, jurors and grand jurors, law enforcement and corrections personnel, hazardous materials responders, child protection and child welfare personnel, housing and shelter personnel, military, and other government employees working for or to support COVID-19 Essential Businesses and Operations are categorically exempt from this Executive Order.
Essential Infrastructure Operations: Includes, but it not limited to food and beverage production, distribution, fulfillment centers, storage facilities, construction, landscaping, building and grounds management, railroads, highways, public transportation, cybersecurity operations, solid waste, etc.
Who is considered a high-risk individual?
- People age 65 and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Other high-risk conditions include:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have heart disease with complications
- People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
- People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index greater than 40) or
- certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled,
- such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be
- at risk
Richmond County, City of Rockingham, and Town of Dobbins Heights Parks and Recreation Facilities:
As of 5 pm today, all playgrounds, picnic areas, and restroom facilities will be closed until further notice. Walking trails (where available) will remain open for public use. However, individuals choosing to walk, jog or run shall remain at least 6 feet apart and no groups of more than ten individuals shall be together.
Change in Outpatient Testing Center Hours:
A reminder of drive-thru COVID 19 testing Center located at former Sandhills Regional Hospital on highway 74 in Hamlet 9 AM-1 PM Monday- Thursday. Each person will be screened for symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and will be tested for the flu to determine if the COVID 19 test should be collected for testing. Individuals should be referred by their primary healthcare provider, health department or they call the COVID hotline at 417-4947 for a referral. Collection samples for COVID 19 are also being collected through First Health and the Health Department as needed.
FirstHealth Visitation Policy Due to COVID-19
Due to the continued spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, FirstHealth of the Carolinas is announcing additional restrictions at its four hospital locations.
Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, no visitors will be permitted at MRH-Richmond until further notice.
There are exceptions to the policy, including the following:
- Visitation of a patient nearing the end of life
- The number of visitors allowed in this situation will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the care team
- One parent to accompany pediatric patients
- One companion to accompany patients for discharge
- One emergency department companion
- One outpatient area companion
- One companion to accompany the patient for procedure or surgery
Additionally, no visitors under the age of 12 will be allowed to visit until further notice. People who are over 65, pregnant or immunocompromised are discouraged from visiting.
All visitors and patients will be screened prior to entry into a FirstHealth hospital, and visitors should not visit our campuses if they have one or more of the following symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath, or if they have come in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
Patients being treated or tested for COVID-19 may not have any visitors.
What is the difference between self-monitoring, isolation, and quarantine?
These are protective measures used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among people who may have been exposed.
Are for those that may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, and they should monitor themselves for symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If they develop symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) during the self-monitoring period, they should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or their local health department to determine whether a medical evaluation is needed.
Are for people who were exposed to a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms.
Is to separate people who are sick from those who are well. The people who test positive for COVID 19 in North Carolina are in placed in isolation.
Richmond County Nursing / Retirement Homes Visiting Policy (COVID-19)
The following visitation restrictions are now in place at the following facilities:
Richmond Pines Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center:
Regular visiting is not allowed, except for hospice and end of life residents and providers for those residents that have psycho-social needs. Temperatures are monitored prior to entrance and hand washing is required before and after a visit. Providers are escorted to and from resident rooms and escorted out of the building.
No visiting policy was implemented on March 13th per Governor Cooper. The only exception is the death of a resident.
Hermitage Retirement Center:
Closed to visitors; only open to healthcare nurses or hospice staff.
Closed to visitors until further notice.
Richmond County Hospice Haven:
Visiting is allowed from 8 AM to 8 PM. Screening is conducted on all visitors during visiting hours. Visiting is restricted from 8 PM to 8 AM - only one person can spend the night.
For more information:
North Carolinians with questions or concerns:
call the COVID-19 phone line toll-free at 866-462-3821.
This helpline is staffed by the North Carolina Poison Control 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus
(includes future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina)
What are coronaviruses? What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can cause illness in animals and humans. Some coronaviruses commonly circulate in the United States, and usually cause upper respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose, although some can cause more serious illness. The 2019 novel (new) coronavirus causes the illness COVID-19. First identified in Wuhan, China, and is now being spread throughout the world the risk to the general public in Richmond County still remains low at this time. People are encouraged to take common-sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases.
What precautions should I take?
Take the same precautions that you would use for the seasonal flu (influenza).
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose; throw it in the trash, not your pocket
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched such as doorknobs, computer, laptops, and cell phones
How does COVID-19 spread?
Coronaviruses, like COVID-19, are most often spread through the air by coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact (including touching and shaking hands) or through touching your nose, mouth or eyes before washing your hands.
Help up prevent the spread of such a virus:
- Keeping your child home if they have had a fever, used fever-reducing medication, or experienced symptoms of illness within the past 24 hours
- Stay home when you are sick with a fever, using fever-reducing medication, or experiencing symptoms of illness within the last 24 hours
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
- CDC does not recommend that people who are not sick wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
- The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
What are the Symptoms?
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Shortness of breath
What if I’ve been exposed?
If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms, you may need to seek medical attention. Call your doctor or medical provider for further guidance. Before going to a health care provider, clinic, hospital or emergency room, call ahead to describe your symptoms and how you may have been exposed to the virus.
In the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1. Let the dispatcher know that you think you have been exposed to COVID-19.
The print materials and resources below are available for downloading and printing.
Share Facts About COVID-19: English
CDC Protect and Prepares Communities: English