News Flash

Carrboro Townwide News

Posted on: August 21, 2020

COVID-19 Cases Increase in Orange County; Safer at Home Restrictions Remain


Community Message From Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle: 

“The health and safety of our community continues be paramount during this pandemic. Everyone should be following the Phase Two restrictions regarding gatherings, and wearing their masks indoors, and when they cannot physically distance from others. This is a difficult time for many of us, including students who are part of our community. Let’s demonstrate mutual responsibility for our neighbors and our Carrboro values of respect, kindness and hope.”

News Release from Orange County Public Health Department 

Orange County Health Dept logo

Orange County is seeing spikes in COVID-19 cases. Please remember that the state continues to be under Safer at Home Phase 2 restrictions.

Increased Cases 

The Orange County Health Department’s weekly summary of confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 21. This shows an additional 261 confirmed cases and 1 death since last Friday for a total of 1,650 cases and 49 deaths in Orange County.

The state, which updates its COVID-19 case count dashboard daily by noon, shows a total of 1,734 cases and 49 deaths for Orange County, which is an increase of 84 cases in one day. On Thursday, the state reported COVID-19 cases increased by 88 over Wednesday in Orange County.

The data the Orange County Health Department provides for its weekly summary is based on the North Carolina Electronic Disease Surveillance System, which is a day behind the case count provided by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The Electronic Disease Surveillance System has more comprehensive demographic data.

The Orange County Health Department summary, released on Fridays, shows confirmed cases by age, gender, race and ethnicity. This week’s summary is available on the Orange County website and is attached to this news release.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reported 91 new daily cases in students as of Wednesday, Aug. 19, for a total of 478 cases in students and 50 cases in employees since February 2020. UNC students are not necessarily included in Orange County’s numbers as cases are attributed to a person’s home county unless turned over to Orange County by the home county. The UNC COVID-19 dashboard is available on the university’s Carolina Together website.

The university is implementing testing for three residence halls ― Ehringhaus, Hinton James and Granville Towers ― beginning today through Sunday, Aug. 21-23. It also is substantially reducing campus housing to those who must remain on campus. A local support network has started for UNC students in need. Information is available on the public Facebook page Local Parents Supporting UNC Students.

Safer at Home Reminders 

COVID-19 safe behaviors remain important for everyone.

Phase 2 restrictions ― The state and county remain under Safer at Home Phase 2 restrictions. See an outlining of these restrictions on the Orange County Health Department’s Stay at Home page. Under these restrictions, everyone should continue to remain at home as much as possible. Attending parties and open houses, shopping across multiple stores, and eating at dine-in restaurants increases the risk of transmitting the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers advice on how to more safely perform personal and social activities in English and Spanish.

Face coverings ― Wear a face covering when you are around others not in your household, wear it properly over your nose and mouth, and make sure it fits. If you are tugging, pulling, or adjusting your mask, it may not fit you correctly. Each time you touch your mask is a risk of touching your face and exposing yourself to the virus. The state has a video in English and Spanish that explains how to properly wear a mask.

Crowds and gatherings ― Avoid these! Even multiple small gatherings increase your risk of infection. If you visit with three to five people each day of the week, that’s a large number of potential exposures or contacts at the end of the week. Keep in mind that each person you are in contact with puts you in contact with the germs of anyone else they spend time with. Keep your “quaran-teams” or “germ bubbles” small and exclusive.

Flu season ― We are entering flu season, which has very similar symptoms to COVID-19. Make sure to get your flu shot as soon as you can to help protect yourself and your family and friends this fall and winter.

Reliable Information

For the latest information and guidance relating to Orange County’s COVID-19 response:

  • Visit
  • Receive daily text updates on the crisis by texting 888-777 with OCNCHEALTH for English speakers and OCNCSALUD for Spanish speakers.
  • Sign up for a twice weekly e-newsletter about the COVID-19 response via the county website.
  • Follow the Orange County Health Department on Facebook and Twitter.
  • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updates its COVID-19 case count dashboard daily at 12 p.m.
  • To ask questions about the virus or social service needs, contact Orange County at 919-245-6111 or The phone line and emails are monitored during business hours Monday-Friday.

Related Documents 

Weekly Data Update For August 21, 2020:

Know your Three Ws! (English and Spanish):

Face Covering Guidance:


Enforcement in Carrboro

The Carrboro Police Department is participating in both education and enforcement efforts. Residents who violate public health mandates will receive a warning and education as a first response. Additional violations on the same date or within a 30-day period will result in a citation for each occurrence.

For non-emergency reports, the public may call the Orange County COVID-19 Hotline at 919-245-6111 to leave a voicemail. Orange County Health staff actively monitor the voicemail and return calls Monday through Friday.

For violations of NC Phase 2 restrictions involving mass gatherings (the limits are 10 people for indoor or 25 for outdoor), call 911.

If you observe businesses not following the public health guidance, submit a report to   or call 919-245-6661. 

 The Town of Carrboro has previously issued community info here:


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