“Our country has been drastically affected by COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). The Village of Bald Head Island is not protected from these impacts. A few weeks ago, we were preparing for island visitors and property owners to “kick-off” the summer season. In short, that has changed. We are now considering methods to keep our island safe. There will be hard choices in the coming days, weeks, and perhaps months. Rest assured, we have truly dedicated staff willing to work tirelessly to get us through this period.”
Jeff Griffin, Assistant Village Manager
If you are on Bald Head Island and are symptomatic and have been told by a physician that you need to be tested, please call 911. As always, tell the 911 operator that you are on Bald Head Island. This will ensure that if you are symptomatic and in need of testing that Public Safety can coordinate your care with the least amount of exposure to others. If you think you are sick, please do not come directly to the Public Safety building.
The Village has protocols in place to ensure that known or suspected cases will be isolated and appropriate precautions are taken by Public Safety Officers. The Village is following CDC, NC Department of Health & Human Services (NCDHHS), and County Health Service guidelines.
The Village’s Response
On March 19, 2020, the Village of Bald Head Island declared a State of Emergency which included a Voluntary Evacuation of Bald Head Island. Since that time, the Village amended its original State of Emergency (SOE). The fourth amendment enacted the expiration of the Village’s original State of Emergency on May 27, 2020. The State of North Carolina’s Executive Orders remain in effect and continue to restrict some activities within the Village. These orders also affect the ferry system for more information regarding the ferries and trams, CLICK HERE. With the ferry system impacted, the Village continues to reduce its use of the system by having employees who can work remotely working at home or working at an off-island site and reducing/staggering schedules to protect the health of its staff.
A link to each amendment can be found below.Original Village State of Emergency Proclamation – 3/19/2020 First Amendment to SOE – 3/30/2020 Second Amendment to SOE – 4/17/2020 Third Amendment to SOE – 4/28/2020 Fourth Amendment to SOE – 5/15/2020
Island Package Center & Post Office Customers: The Village is requesting all customers who enter the IPC/PO to wear a mask since it is difficult to maintain social distancing in this building. The Village is also requesting that islanders and visitors reduce the number of shipments to the IPC during the pandemic.
The Island Package Center (IPC) is working on reduced/staggered schedules to protect staff and limit access to the public. To further protect staff and our customers, the Village is asking all customers to minimize shipping to the IPC. The Village has requested that residents order only essential items (like medicine). Some non-essential items are: bikes, entertainment items, electronics, furniture, and home décor.
North Carolina’s Response
The State of North Carolina is currently under the Governor’s Phase 2 “Safer at Home” order extension. The state is expected to be in this phase until at least July 17, 2020. Under Phase 2 folks are encouraged to stay at home, especially vulnerable populations. The extension also includes the requirement that most folks wear masks/face coverings in many places where social distancing is not possible.
We have seen many of the island’s businesses open back up in Phase 2 to include restaurants and pools at 50 percent capacity. Things appear to be getting back to normal on the island, but this does not mean that the virus is no longer a threat. Please practice your W’s if you go out in public.
Count on Me NC
As the state moves through its phased approach and restrictions are lifted, the Village is assisting Brunswick County and NC Cooperative Extension in getting the word out about “Count on Me NC.” This is a free, voluntary program offered state-wide that provides relevant training guidance to business owners as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. It also involves customers who can pledge their support in protecting employees and fellow patrons.
Click HERE for more information about Count on Me NC.
How to get more information about COVID-19
As this evolving situation progresses, the Village will be doing its best to provide the most up-to-date information as it pertains to the Village of Bald Head Island. This information will be distributed using the Village’s Voice e-newsletter and announcements. If you do not receive the Village’s e-newsletter and announcments, CLICK HERE to sign up. CLICK HERE for an archive of past Village Voice messages regarding COVID-19. CLICK HERE to access the Village’s Frequently Asked Questions page which is updated frequently.
In addition to the Village’s Voice, we suggest that you seek the latest updates from Brunswick County, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We strongly suggest that you follow the guidelines that are provided by these agencies as they apply to ALL OF US and are subject to change as more information is learned about this new virus.
Below are links to the COVID-19 web pages from each of the most credible sources:CDC NC Department of Health & Human Services Brunswick County
CLICK HERE to receive regular announcements from Brunswick County on COVID-19. This will include updates on the case numbers and testing numbers for the County.
If you have any questions about COVID-19 please contact the following:
Brunswick County Public Health Call Line and email dedicated to coronavirus: 1-910-253-2339 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
NC Public Health line is available for questions after hours and on weekends: 1-866-462-3821