COVID-19 death toll rises to 14 at local nursing home


Harnett County continues to work with state officials and local agencies to closely monitor the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). Residents are encouraged to stay up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 information by reviewing our daily press release.

We will continue to provide new information while also communicating reminders for residents during this time.

 In today’s update, the following sections include new information:

·         Harnett County COVID-19 Data

·         Count on Me NC Restaurant Training Program

·         Wear. Wait. Wash.

·         Harnett County Business Resources

·         Harnett County Schools Announce 2020 Graduation Plans


The Harnett County Health Department is reporting the county’s 20th COVID-19 related deaths of Harnett County residents.   

Three deaths, which occurred over the weekend, were all associated with the current COVID-19 outbreak at Universal Healthcare Lillington, a Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.  An outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases. The individuals were elderly and had underlying medical conditions. 

The number of deaths associated with this facility is currently at 14 as of May 18. To protect the family’s privacy, no further information about these individuals will be released.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families,” stated Health Director John Rouse.  “Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, but anyone can have complications from the virus.  The safety of all Harnett County residents is our priority” Rouse added.  

As we continue to see an increase in the number of cases in Harnett County, we are reminding residents, we need everyone to take action to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a cloth face covering in public spaces, keeping at least 6 feet of physical distance, and frequently washing your hands. We are encouraging the community to follow the Public Health Orders that have been issued to help stop the spread of this disease in our county. 

Highlights of the data derived from the confirmed positive cases for Harnett County as of May 18 include:

·         Confirmed cases: 245

·         Recovered cases: 156

·         Deaths reported: 20

·         Age ranges are 2 to 97 years

·         Average Age is 53

·         Gender 54% female and 46% male

It is important to remember that the data contained in this release is subject to change as cases are investigated and additional testing is performed. 

COVID-19 Data report.  This report provides information on the confirmed case, charts movement trends which includes the daily case count, cases per week, cases by age and gender, deaths by gender and age. To view the report for the week of May 18, visit the Harnett County Health Department’s webpage


The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA), in partnership with NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), tourism bureau Visit NC and NC State University, rolled out “Count on Me NC,” a new COVID-19 restaurant training program. 

This voluntary COVID-19 training program is available to all restaurants across the state by NCRLA and its network of partners.   The courses are free to businesses; each module contains best practices and procedures to ensure safety. All the trainings are online and designed to take 30 minutes.  

For more information contact the Harnett County Health Department, through the Environmental Health Division at 910-893-7547 or log onto the Health Department’s website located


As North Carolina eases some COVID-19 restrictions, the NC Department of Health and Human Services is asking people to remember these three things to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve. If you leave home, practice your Ws: Wear, Wait, Wash  

  • Wear a cloth face covering if you will be with other people. 
  • Wait 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer. 

Please take time to view and share Dr. Mandy Cohen’s PSA on the three WWW’s:  Public Service Announcement


Harnett County Economic Development

Harnett County Economic Development has compiled the latest COVID-19 information and resources for businesses in Harnett County. If your company is considering transitioning to production of medical supplies or equipment, please contact Angie Stewart at for an expanded list of resources to potentially assist beyond those listed on the website. For businesses preparing to reopen, view these COVID-19 resources.  

COVID-19 Relief Bills

On May 4, Gov. Cooper announced two COVID-19 relief bills. House Bill 1043 includes appropriation of $125 million to Golden LEAF Foundation for the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program. Applications are reviewed on a first come, first served basis. Visit to learn more about the program and submit an application for your small business.

Job Opportunities

There are also several local businesses within Harnett County looking to hire. The following positions are available at this time:

·         Harnett Health, Dunn & Lillington- Multiple Healthcare Opportunities

·         Champion Home Builders, Lillington - Manufacturing Production Opportunities

·         Food Lion Distribution/ADUSA Distribution, Dunn - Transportation Support, Forklift, and other Associate Opportunities

·         Gray Flex Inc., Coats- Machine Operator / Assembler

·         Armtec Defense Technologies, Lillington - Manufacturing Engineer, Machine Operator

·         Harnett County GovernmentMultiple Opportunities to Join the Harnett County Team

·         North Carolina Immediate Employment Opportunities - Statewide Positions

Free Webinar for Businesses

Central Carolina Community College Small Business Center will be offering the following free webinar for local businesses regarding COVID-19. To register or for more information,

·         Tuesday, May 19  from 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m: Rock Your Talk – Attract Conversations That Turn Into Cash For Your Service-Based Business

Support from Local Chambers

Businesses can also receive support from the County’s five Chambers of Commerce. Small businesses are encouraged to reach out to these organizations for additional support during COVID-19.

·         Angier Chamber of Commerce

·         Coats Area Chamber of Commerce

·         Dunn Area Chamber of Commerce

·         Erwin Chamber of Commerce

·         Lillington Area Chamber of Commerce 


Harnett County Schools announced alternative celebrations for the Class of 2020 under public health and state guidelines. Central Services administrators, along with high school principals, have explored several feasible alternatives celebrating the Class of 2020. 

Following the COVID-19 Guidance on High School Graduation Ceremonies issued by the State Board of Education, Harnett County Schools will adhere to the North Carolina Executive Order No. 121. The order directs individuals to physically stay at least six (6) feet apart and bans gatherings of more than ten (10) people. Harnett County Schools will honor our high school seniors with two celebrations, Class of 2020 “Be The Light” Nights and Senior Ceremonies. High schools will implement the same experience district-wide to ensure appropriate guidelines are followed. 

Depending upon the evolving COVID-19 rules, restrictions, orders and guidance that affect our state, a full traditional graduation ceremony may take place in the Summer/Fall of this year. Harnett County Schools Superintendent Aaron Fleming stated, “Our seniors had to endure a lot this year, and I want to be sure we celebrate our seniors with having the opportunity to have a full graduation ceremony later this Summer/Fall.”

Harnett County Schools Class of 2020 “Be The Light” Night

Harnett County Schools will honor the Class of 2020 at high school stadiums across the district on May 27. “Be The Light” Nights will take place at high school football stadiums, and scoreboards will light up at 8:20 p.m. EST to highlight the Class of 2020. This experience will allow seniors to dress in their caps and gowns, decorate their cars, and drive through their campus. While the end to a senior year is not what they imagined it would be, an event such as “Be The Light” Night will leave a positive memory to the end of their high school experience. 

Harnett County Schools Senior Ceremonies

Senior Ceremonies are designed for each member of the Class of 2020 to have an individualized graduation experience where they will receive their diploma with select family members present to help celebrate the end of their high school journey. 

Harnett County Schools has worked diligently to ensure that the Class of 2020 is celebrated for their hard work. School principals will share the logistics details with parents and guardians regarding each celebration. An overview of the district-wide Graduation Experience 2020 is below:

Harnett County Schools Class of 2020 “Be The Light” Nights

Date: Wednesday, May 27

Time: 20:20 (8:20 p.m.)

Location(s): Football Stadiums at Harnett Central High, Triton High, Overhills High, Western Harnett High Schools 

Harnett County Early College Senior Ceremony

Date: Wednesday, June 3

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location: Harnett County Early College 

Harnett Central High School Senior Ceremonies

Date(s): Monday, June 8 - Thursday, June 11

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Location: Harnett Central High School

Western Harnett High School Senior Ceremonies

Date(s): Monday, June 8 - Thursday, June 11

Time: 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Location: Western Harnett High School

Triton High School Senior Ceremonies

Date(s): Tuesday, June 9 - Friday, June 12

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Location: Triton High School

Overhills High School Senior Ceremonies

Dates(s): Tuesday, June 9 - Friday, June 12

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Location: Overhills High School


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