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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 20, 2020
May 20, 2020
Haywood County Public Health received notice May 20, 2020, that four more Haywood County residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. These are the 29th – 32nd cases in the county. All are in isolation at home.
All of the individuals reside in Haywood County with no recent out-of-state travel history. Two cases are indicative of community spread, one is related to workplace transmission and the fourth does not know how the exposure occurred. Haywood County Public Health nurses are identifying close contacts of all of these individuals. 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. “Since the majority of our recent cases include clear indicators of community spread, it’s vital that citizens assume the virus is circulating in the county and take appropriate precautions. Community spread means that cases are occurring where the affected individuals don’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. Basic steps like social distancing, wearing a mask, staying home if you are sick, and regular hand washing help to limit exposures and slow the spread.”
“Two other reminders; if you have symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath or loss of sense of smell don’t wait, get tested,” said Johnson. “It’s also important to understand that anyone tested for COVID-19, even as a standard pre-operative precaution, 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 19 cases of COVID-19 in Haywood County are categorized as recovered. The other 13 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.