The town has taken a number of actions in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Some of these actions affect town services. Please check this page often for updates, and subscribe to town news releases.
The Orange County Health Department has a phone number and email address for questions regarding the virus and vaccination (see the department's section below). Additionally, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services maintains various dashboards related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit the local, state and national health resources listed below.
Town offices and staffing
Town offices are closed to the public until further notice. Cash water payments may be made by appointment only. See the news release for more information.
Town employees are telecommuting when possible. Customers can receive assistance by phone and email. See the Contact Us page of the town’s website.
The Hillsborough Board of Commissioners's virtual meetings may be viewed on the town's YouTube channel.
Many Hillsborough advisory board meetings have been canceled. Any virtual meetings may be viewed on the town's YouTube channel.
For the monthly bulk items collection, please place only large items out for collection to prevent the need for Public Works staff to handle items by hand. Collection of bulk items takes place the second full week (starting on Sunday) of each month. See the Garbage Collection page.
Water and sewer payments
Water and sewer customers are urged to pay their bills via credit or debit card online or by telephone. Appointments are available for cash payments only for customers who have no other way to pay. For details and other restrictions, see the news release. A video showing the location of the billing office is available below. No other business will be transacted in person.
- Pay online: www.municipalonlinepayments.com/hillsboroughnc.
- Pay by phone: 833-262-5902 toll-free 24 hours a day.
New water and sewer service
To set up a new account, follow the instructions in the "new service accounts" section on the Water and Sewer Billing and Collections page of this website.
N.C. Executive Order No. 116 — emergency declaration, effective March 10, 2020
Orange County emergency declaration amendment — effective July 23, 2021
The Orange County Long-Term Recovery Group is creating a plan for recovery from COVID-19 to help strengthen the community for all people. See the plan website for more information.
Orange County maintains a listing of resources available to the community on its COVID-19 Community Resources page. Below are some ways to help your community. Please remember that adhering to COVID-19 safety measures is the most important way you can support our community.
Orange County staff can assist with several county programs including Eviction Diversion and Emergency Housing Assistance. More information is available in a county news release.
People in housing crisis can call the Orange County Housing Helpline at 919-245-2655 to talk with someone:
- Noon-4 p.m. Monday-Friday
- Midnight-6 a.m. Sunday-Thursday
Contact staff by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
County staff are also routinely updating an online document with services available for people experiencing housing crises during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Orange County is seeking volunteers to help in the response to COVID-19. In addition, it is hosting a list of community organizations that are coordinating events or fundraisers to benefit the community. See the county's Community Resources page related to COVID-19 for more information and to complete a volunteer form.
Water Assistance Program
The Water Assistance Program offers assistance with paying Hillsborough water and sewer bills and is funded entirely through donations from utility customers. The program is administered through a partnership with Orange Congregations in Mission, a local nonprofit organization. One-time donations can be made online using the payments and donations website. Recurring donations can be made using the online form.
For more information on the program, see the Water Assistance Program page.
Orange County and the towns and chambers of commerce within the county are working together to help mitigate the financial hardship small businesses are experiencing due to the COVID-19 outbreak and to help provide guidance on employment and reopening. The group is providing guidance and funding options to businesses. See the group's COVID-19 Resource Hub.
Please check the following resources for businesses:
- Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce: COVID-19 Business Resources.
- The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina: North Carolina Business Reopening Resources ― COVID-19
Small Business Administration assistance
Small business owners in North Carolina can seek assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration due to COVID-19. See the agency's Coronavirus Relief Options page for more information.
Preparing buildings and facilities for reopening
Buildings that are underutilized or closed for more than a few days should take precautions before reopening. See information below, including a comprehensive guide on reopening, state guidance on reopening, and guidance on flushing water systems.
Flushing building water systems and devices
Water systems and devices in underutilized or unoccupied buildings should be flushed to ensure stale water is removed and fresh water with disinfectant is available. This reestablishes water quality and prevents waterborne illness. It includes all water-using appliances, like ice machines and dishwashers, and all water treatment devices, such as filters and water softeners. See the documents below. For additional information, contact the Hillsborough Water Treatment Plant at 919-732-3621.
A comprehensive guide is now available to provide businesses with the best known guidance to ensure consumer confidence and to promote community health during the pandemic. It includes recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, and local public and environmental health professionals.
The guide was drafted by the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation in partnership with other entities in Chatham and Orange counties, including the Town of Hillsborough. It is in the form of a Google document to allow updates as new information is made available. The guide is available at www.reopeninghelp.com.
The state recommends public-facing businesses post signage reminding guests to social distance and wear a face covering if they are not fully vaccinated, remind employees to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, have a plan to immediately isolate and remove sick workers and clean high-touch surfaces once a day. Businesses may choose to continue to require that their customers wear face coverings.
Additional business guidance and resources are available in the documents below and on the state's COVID-19 Guidance webpage.
Updated guidance from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reminds unvaccinated people to:
- Continue practicing the three Ws ― wear a mask in all indoor public settings, wait 6 feet apart in all public settings, and wash hands often.
- Not gather with other unvaccinated people who do not live with them ― or stay outside and keep 6 feet of distance.
- Not travel.
Updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week recommends that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas where the COVID-19 virus has substantial or high community transmission. According to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, Orange County currently has moderate community transmission. Counties surrounding Orange County currently have substantial or high community transmission.
Executive Order 224
The governor’s latest executive order took effect at 5 p.m. July 29 and will remain in effect through 5 p.m. Aug. 31. Under the order, private businesses and organizations are strongly encouraged to follow, at minimum, the guidance from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to reduce transmission of COVID-19, including the Delta variant. The recommendations are available at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/guidance. They include:
- Requiring workers to verify that they are fully vaccinated.
- Requiring unvaccinated workers to wear face coverings and be tested weekly.
- Recommending face coverings for fully vaccinated workers and guests indoors when other people are present.
North Carolina has opened vaccinations to all people age 12 and older. Full protection occurs two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine.
Find nearby locations to receive a vaccine by using the state's online tool MySpot.nc.gov or calling 888-892-1162. Spanish and other languages are available.
Walk-in and pop-up clinics
The Orange County Health Department offers regular walk-in vaccination clinics:
- Hillsborough ― 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday at Whitted Human Services Center, 300 W. Tryon St.
- Chapel Hill ― 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at the Orange County Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill.
The county also offers pop-up clinics at other locations throughout the county. The vaccine is free, and no identification or insurance is required. For a full schedule of pop-up and walk-in vaccine clinics in Orange County, visit www.orangecountync.gov/getyourshot. Appointments also can be made.
Additional vaccine providers in the area include:
- Duke Health ― Visit dukehealth.org or call 919-385-0429.
- UNC Health ― Visit YourShot.org or call 984-215-5485.
- Walgreens ― Visit walgreens.com or call 800-925-4733
Additional and up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccines in North Carolina is available on these sites.
The Orange County Health Department offers regular testing events:
- Hillsborough ― 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at Whitted Human Services Center parking lot, 300 W. Tryon St.
- Chapel Hill ― 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays at the Orange County Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill.
Anyone can receive a test regardless of whether they are showing symptoms or are a close contact of someone positive for the virus. Registration is on site, and the nasal swab tests are billed to insurance or provided free to those without insurance.
Testing is sometimes canceled due to holidays or inclement weather. For updates, see the county’s COVID-19 Testing page.
You can help slow transmission of the virus by using the state’s new SlowCOVIDNC Exposure Notification app. Download the app, enable your Bluetooth and Exposure Notification settings, and be notified if you have been in close contact with someone who has shared a positive COVID-19 test result in the app.
Once you opt-in to the notification system, you can also anonymously share a positive COVID-19 test result in the app. SlowCOVIDNC protects your identity and privacy while empowering you to protect yourself, your family, and your community.
The Orange County Health Department is our local source for health-related information.
Orange County has a voicemail message system for questions about COVID-19 or its impacts on Orange County services. Call 919-245-6111 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Spanish and other languages are available.
Send email to email@example.com.
- See the department's COVID-19 web section (English).
- See the department's COVID-19 web section (Spanish).
- Sign up for daily text updates: Text 888-777 and put OCNCHEALTH in the message for English or OCNCSALUD for Spanish. Carrier message or data rates may apply.
- Sign up for the department's COVID-19 e-newsletter: www.orangecountync.gov/list.aspx
- Follow the department on Facebook: @orangecountyhealthdepartment
- Follow the department on Twitter: @OrangeHealthNC
- See the department's YouTube channel: OCHDNC
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is our state authority when it comes to health-related concerns.
Text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive updates via text message.
For general, non-urgent questions about coronavirus, contact the department:
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- By phone: 1-866-462-3821 or 211 (available at all hours).
- See the department's COVID-19 web section.
- Follow the department on Facebook: @ncdhhs.
- Follow the department on Twitter: @ncdhhs.