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The original item was published from 3/18/2020 6:03:56 PM to 3/19/2020 2:52:23 PM.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Posted on: March 18, 2020

[ARCHIVED] March 18 update from Haywood County Health Director

NC Case counts: 63, all travel related.

Social Distancing: 15 days to Slow the Spread: Lays out guidelines for a nationwide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. It calls for the implementation of measures to increase social distancing between people at all levels of society. This is the MOST critical way to decrease the spread of infection!

Restaurants and Bars: Haywood County Environmental Health staff is working to make sure county restaurants and bars are following the Governor’s Executive Order No. 118. We are traveling to all facilities to ensure they are following limitations on the sale of food and beverages to carry out, drive-thru, and delivery only. We are discussing with managers how each individual facility is accomplishing this and still meeting social distancing of 6 feet or greater. Bars and private clubs that do not sell food thru take out or delivery must be closed. Sit down for food and beverages in grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, gas stations and charitable food distribution sites is not allowed. Onsite consumption in outdoor seating, subject to mass gathering restrictions, is allowed but with social distancing of 6 feet apart.

Nursing Homes and Child Care Centers: Haywood County Environmental Health staff has meet with all nursing homes and Child Care Centers to ensure they are operating within guidance from NCPH and all future inspections of these facilities are suspended to protect their highly susceptible populations. However we will still investigate complaints associated with these facilities.

Food and Nutrition Local resources/assistance: We know food security and other resources are top of mind currently. Local providers continue to serve the community with some changes: Haywood County Schools are providing meals for pick-up for children age 1-18 at eight area elementary schools; Open Door and Congregate Nutrition sites are serving bagged lunches; Haywood Pathways is serving meals to those who have called ahead; and many pantries are maintaining their services. We highly recommend community members utilize NC 2-1-1 for 24/7 for any assistance or questions (dial 2-1-1 from any phone to speak with trained professionals in WNC or visit the website at

Mental Health: Vaya continues to provide information and resources for supporting anxiety and overall mental health during this difficult time. Important to note: the local crisis line is available 24/7: 1-800-849-6127. Articles and tips for supporting mental health are compiled on Vaya’s website: and this NC DHHS site:


If you have no symptoms, there is no reason to be tested.

If you have fever or cough or trouble breathing, testing may be indicated, and you should contact your primary care physician. CALL YOUR PROVIDER FIRST to be assessed. Do not show up in person without a phone assessment.

There is no “screening” test for COVID. It is a Diagnostic test for symptomatic people who have been exposed to the virus. The criteria to be tested is having a fever (temperature of greater than 100.2), cough or shortness of breath and a negative flu test. The test is a specimen collection, not an on-site test. It involves placing a swab inside one nostril, leaving it in place a few seconds to absorb secretions and then place the tip in a viral medium and send it off to a lab for processing, which can take 2-4 days.

Anyone tested for COVID-19 is immediately placed under home isolation until test results are returned, at which point their situation will be reassessed.

Haywood County Health Department is working with community partners to explore the feasibility of establishing drive-through testing in the near future.

Guidance: Go to this website for the latest guidance for everything for businesses to restaurants colleges healthcare providers to homeless to travel to mass gatherings.

These weekly updates will be posted on the Haywood County Coronavirus Info page:

If you have questions, please feel free to call the North Carolina Coronavirus Helpline at 866-462-3821. This line is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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