The Town of Hillsborough is working closely with local health officials to receive the latest information about COVID-19 (coronavirus). Listed below are key reminders and local resources.
Orange County has a phone number and email for questions regarding the virus. See the "Orange County Health Department" section below for additional ways to receive information, including signing up for daily text updates.
N.C. Department of Health and Human Services maintains a map with the current count of COVID-19 cases by county: covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard. For more information, please visit the local, state and national health experts listed below.
Protect yourself and others
Vaccinations have started in North Carolina. The first and second doses each take 10 to 14 days to become effective. The full 95% effectiveness against COVID-19 is achieved 10 to 14 days after receiving the second shot (the booster shot). Individuals must continue to wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart from others, and wash hands often even after receiving the vaccine. For registration and other information, see the vaccinations section on this 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 state has mandated use of face coverings in many situations. See the "face coverings" section of the COVID-19 Restrictions page on this website for more information.
Remember to follow the three Ws:
- WEAR a face covering.
- WAIT 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact.
- WASH hands often or use hand sanitizer.
Please see the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services' online vaccination information to find which vaccination phase you are part of and which phases are currently eligible to be vaccinated.
Residents may make an appointment for vaccination through the Orange County Health Department or UNC Health. To expedite getting through the phases, people are advised to not double book but to choose whether to be vaccinated through the Health Department or UNC Health. Appointments are required to better manage crowds and to track available supply of vaccine.
North Carolinians can get the vaccine outside their home county, but they are encouraged to check with their local health department first. The state has prioritized access points for the vaccine in every county.
Follow this three-step process to make an appointment with the Orange County Health Department:
- Complete the Vaccine Interest Form (VIF) ― Call 919-913-8088 if you don’t have access to a computer or would like help filling out the form. Foreign language interpreters are available. The department is receiving a high call volume. Please be patient for a return call if you decide to leave a voicemail.
- Register for the vaccine ― You will receive an email in 24 to 48 hours with a link to an online registration form to enter your data into the COVID-19 Vaccine Management System (CVMS). This will take several minutes to complete. The form is only available in English, but county staff are available at 919-913-8088 to help register people in other languages.
- Schedule your vaccine appointment ― When you are eligible to receive a vaccine, you will receive another email from the Health Department to schedule an appointment. Only an appointment for the first of the two vaccine doses can be scheduled at this time.
UNC Health has opened registration for its local points of vaccination.
Additional and up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccines in North Carolina is available on these sites.
- North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services: YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov
- UNC Health Care: yourshot.health
- Orange County Health Department: orangecountync.gov/getyourshot
The Orange County Health Department is now offering regular testing events in Hillsborough and elsewhere in the county.
- Every weekday ―
- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Whitted Human Services Center parking lot, 300 W. Tryon St.
- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at R-7 parking lot, 725 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Chapel Hill.
- First Sunday of each month —1-5 p.m. at McDougle Middle School, 900 Old Fayetteville Road in Carrboro.
- Third Saturday of each month ― 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Lattisville Grove Missionary Baptist Church, 1701 Jimmy Ed Road in Hurdle Mills.
- Fourth Saturday of each month ― noon-4 p.m. at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 940 Carmichael St. in Chapel Hill.
Testing will be drive through or walk up. 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.
For up-to-date testing information, see the county’s COVID-19 Testing page.
- Every weekday ―
Gov. Roy Cooper has issued a series of statewide orders restricting certain activities to slow the spread of COVID-19. See the COVID-19 Restrictions page on this website for more information.
Town services affected by COVID-19
The town is maintaining a list of town services affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and measures we are taking to slow the outbreak. Please check the page often for updates in changes to our services.
Preparing buildings and facilities for reopening
Buildings that are underutilized or closed for more than a few days should take precautions before reopening. Water system flushing information is provided for buildings operating at lower capacity; for businesses choosing to restart some services as allowed under state orders; and in preparation for when local and state restrictions are further eased.
See the "business resources" section on this page for a comprehensive guide on reopening and for state guidance on reopening. Also see the COVID-19 Restrictions page on this website for additional guidance on reopening.
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.
During these challenging times, many of us are needing help or wanting to help. 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. See information in the "informational resources" section on this page and on the COVID-19 Restrictions page.
Orange County has expanded hours for people in housing crisis to talk with someone to get help. People in housing crisis can call the Housing Helpline at 919-245-2655 to talk with someone:
- Noon-4 p.m. Monday-Friday
- Midnight-6 a.m. Sunday-Thursday
The county is routinely updating an online document with services available for people experiencing housing crises during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended a moratorium on evictions through March 31. An order from N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper (available below) clarifies that federally subsidized properties are included in the moratorium and is in effect through Jan. 31. The orders protect residential tenants from eviction for nonpayment of rent and require landlords to make residential tenants aware of their rights.
Local businesses support
The pandemic is causing great financial hardship to our local businesses. It is important to support them throughout this period because they are the backbone of our economic security.
The Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce and the Wooden Nickel Public House are hosting tip jar campaigns to benefit local workers. For more information, see the news release.
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.
N.C. Executive Order No. 171 — eviction restrictions, effective Oct. 28, 2020
N.C. Executive Order No. 184 — extension of eviction restrictions, effective Dec. 31, 2020
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.
For information on specific restrictions for restaurants, see the COVID-19 Restrictions webpage.
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.
Water system flushing guidance
The town has created water system flushing guidance for any facility that has been closed for more than a few days or has been operating at reduced capacity. The guidance is contained in documents linked below.
Water systems and devices in closed or underutilized 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. The disinfectant added to drinking water begins to dissipate over time, and pathogens can begin to grow.
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.
Additional business guidance and resources are available in the documents below and on the state's COVID-19 Guidance webpage.
Information about business-related restrictions is available on the COVID-19 Restrictions page of this website.
The Orange County Long-Term Recovery Group is creating a plan for recovery from COVID-19 to help strengthen the community for all people. A draft plan is now available for review, with the public comment period open through Jan. 29. See the plan website to review the plan, see a brief video about the plan, and provide comment.
Below are sources for local news:
Below are resources made available by the town and Orange County Health Department. Please share.
Orange County Health Department
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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
N.C. Department of Health and Human Services
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: email@example.com.
- By phone: 1-866-462-3821 or 211 (available at all hours).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the national authority for health-related concerns.