FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 26, 2020
June 26, 2020
Haywood County Public Health received notice on June 26 that three more Haywood County residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. This brings the number of cases recorded in Haywood County as of 2 p.m. on June 26, 2020, to 85. The individuals are currently in isolation at home.
The individuals reside in Haywood County. None have recent out of state travel. One has an unknown exposure source, while the other 2 are close contacts of existing known cases and were identified and tested through contact tracing efforts. 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. “It’s vital that citizens assume the virus is circulating in the county and take appropriate precautions. You or the person near you in the grocery store or at work could be unknowingly carrying the virus and spreading it throughout the community. Basic steps like social distancing, wearing a mask when in public, staying home if you are sick, and regular hand washing help to limit exposures and slow the spread. It’s very important to practice all of these precautions in the workplace as well.”
“We also ask Haywood County residents to be aware that the key to safely navigating Phase 2 reopening is to remember the 4 C’s: avoid physical CONTACT, avoid indoor activities in CONFINED spaces, avoid CROWDS, and make wise and realistic CHOICES.”
“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 away from other family members as able 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, ESPECIALLY during the phased reopening. These measures include:
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.
Sixty-seven cases of COVID-19 in Haywood County are categorized as recovered. The other 18 remain in isolation. Twenty-seven people are in quarantine because they have been identified as close contacts of known cases during contact tracing efforts. Others will be added to the quarantine list as contact tracing efforts continue.
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.