FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 15, 2020
May 15, 2020
Haywood County Public Health received notice May 15, 2020, that a 25th Haywood County resident has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The individual is in isolation at home.
The individual is a resident of Haywood County with no recent out-of-state travel history. Haywood County Public Health nurses are identifying close contacts of the individual. To protect individual privacy, no further information will be released. The CDC defines close contact as being within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 infection for 15 minutes or longer and without protection. Based on the information provided by the individuals in close contact, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed such as temperature and symptom checks, quarantine, and/or testing.
“The Haywood County Health Department will trace, test, and contain anyone we identify who was exposed to this virus,” said Haywood County Health Director Patrick Johnson.
“This case is an indicator of community transmission, so it’s vital citizens assume the virus is circulating in the county and take appropriate precautions. Community transmission means that cases occur where someone affected doesn’t know where or when they were exposed. An individual can be infected for 2-14 days before showing symptoms. You or the person near you in the grocery store could be unknowingly carrying the virus and spreading it throughout the community if basic steps like social distancing, wearing a mask, staying home if you are sick, and regular hand washing isn’t followed,” Johnson said. “In addition, this individual tested negative on April 28 in our study of essential frontline workers. Ten days later developing symptoms and then having a positive test shows two things: 1. Frontline workers are at risk and need to continually take precautions, and 2. Our study was simply a snapshot of 283 workers on one day, April 28, 2020.”
“Two other reminders; if you have symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, or loss of sense of smell don’t wait, get tested! Then it’s important to understand that anyone tested for COVID-19 needs to stay home and self-quarantine until test results are received, and then follow instructions according to the test results.”
Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, North Carolinians should take the same measures that health care providers recommend in order to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including:
Practice social distancing. This is the Number One Enemy of COVID-19. To prevent community spread we need everyone to take social distancing seriously!
Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water for 20 seconds.
Regularly sanitize frequently-touched surfaces.
Avoid touching your face.
Cover coughs and sneezes, preferably with your elbow to avoid transferring germs to your hands.
Stay home if you are sick.
Wear a mask, especially when you will be in close contact with people.
The first 17 cases of COVID-19 in Haywood County are categorized as recovered. The other 8 remain in isolation.
It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. For more information, please visit the CDC at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus, NCDHHS at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus, and Haywood County at https://www.haywoodcountync.gov/684/Coronavirus-Covid-19-Information.
Residents are encouraged to call 828-356-2019 for questions or concerns related to COVID-19.