Print
Coronavirus

TOP STORIES: Area Continues To Navigate COVID

By Johanna Cano, posted Dec 17, 2021
COVID-19 vaccinations began at the end of 2020 for frontline workers in the health care industry. (Photo c/o NHC DHHS)
Almost two years after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the world has gained more understanding and at the same time still has questions about the virus and its impact.
 

VACCINE ROLLOUT

Three vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) were approved for emergency use in the United States, and vaccinations began in December 2020 starting with health frontline workers. But most of the public did not start getting inoculated until early 2021.
 
New Hanover County began its vaccine rollout on Jan. 7, starting with adults ages 75 and older with appointments filling out within hours. Eventually, after managing rollout to different groups, anyone 16 and older was eligible in April.
 
As of early December, 60% of New Hanover County residents were fully vaccinated.
 

COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

While vaccines were underway, many regions still had mandates set in place including masking and social distancing. When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that fully vaccinated individuals were safe to not wear a mask or social distance, Gov. Roy Cooper in May lifted many restrictions.
 
In July, public health officials learned of a new threat. The delta variant was a concern for many after it was discovered it was more than two-times infectious than previous variants and became the dominant COVID strain in the U.S.
 
By August, New Hanover County saw a rise in cases, and the county’s Health and Human Services Board voted to mandate face coverings in all indoor public places once again.
 
During this time, booster shots were starting to be administered in the county. In November, metrics started to improve on the county level, and the mask mandate was once again lifted.
 

PANDEMIC RELIEF

Pandemic relief came for businesses in various programs, loans and grants.
 
The U.S. Small Business Administration provided the Paycheck Protection Program to help businesses keep their workforce. Through May 31, the SBA approved a total of 11 million loans adding up to $799 billion.
 
Another form of funding came from New Hanover County and the city of Wilmington in September.
 
Businesses in the hospitality, retail and service sector received grants totaling more than $4 million used for payroll to hire and rehire employees or for costs related to becoming COVID-19 compliant. The 192 businesses chosen represented as many as 3,700 local employees.
 
Much of the relief stemmed from the American Rescue Plan, which provided $45.5 million to New Hanover County and $25.9 million to the city of Wilmington. Brunswick County received $27.7 million and Pender County $12.2 million.

Top stories from 2021:

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Mcwhorter 0005

The Coastal Corridor is Helping Wilmington Startups With Connected Devices for Life Sciences Industry

Heather McWhorter - UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
2022052 75 142344351

Bridging Futures: The Case for Toll Funding in Wilmington’s Cape Fear Memorial Bridge Revamp

Natalie English - Wilmington Chamber of Commerce
Headshots march websized 2

NEW YEAR, NO ROOF LEAKS!

David Grandey - Highland Roofing Company

In The Current Issue

MADE: IKA Works Inc. Equips Labs

IKA Works Inc. manufactures products used by universities, biotech companies and more....


Locals Cook Up Kitchen Concepts

Local chefs and restaurant industry owners are setting up shared kitchens, some with an entrepreneurial drive....


Gadgets Boost Area’s Biotech

“AI is starting to weave itself into our social culture. Say you have a wearable on 24/7; you don’t even know it’s there,” said Morris Nguye...

Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2023 Power Breakfast: Major Developments