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PEOPLE, NOT NUMBERS! All cases reported as Haywood County cases are people whose official and permanent place of residence is in Haywood County. Any tourists or visitors who test positive while in Haywood County may receive education and guidance while here, but their case will be counted in their county of residence, not here.
Our first Haywood County COVID-19 cases were recorded in early April. By the end of the month, we had five cases. By the end of May, we had 53. By the end of June we had 91. So far in July we’ve more than doubled that cumulative total. Besides an increase in cases, the current trends we are seeing are: cases in a congregate living facility, workplace cases, infections from parties and family get-togethers, older individuals becoming infected and people staying sicker longer.
With additional cases come additional close contacts who need to quarantine. As of 9:45 am today, we have 35 people still in isolation after testing positive (+ 2 non-resident visitors isolating in Haywood County), and 98 people in quarantine after being identified as close contacts of positive cases. When you combine the isolation and quarantine numbers, it constitutes our “COVID number.” This morning our COVID number is 135. This is the number of Haywood County residents (and visitors isolating here) currently and actively impacted by COVID-19 who are being monitored by the Public Health COVID-19/contact tracing team. As you can see, the overall load is trending sharply upward.
SOCIAL DISTANCING REMINDERS: Be very aware of how much space you keep between yourself and people who don’t live in the same house as you. We have seen cases in Haywood County related to people gathering with family and/or friends. A few reminders:
· It’s important to practice social distancing outdoors, too. Generally, the outdoors seem to be safer for interactions than indoors, but it’s still in everyone’s best interest to keep at least six feet of distance between you and others whenever possible, particularly if you’re going to be together for more than fifteen minutes.
· If you’re going to get together with family or friends:
o Be outside rather than inside.
o Wear masks (over your mouth AND nose) when you mingle closer than six feet, even when you’re outside.
o Set up lawn chairs at least six feet apart.
· If you want to eat lunch with coworkers or friends, be sure to keep at least six feet of distance between each of you when you unmask to eat.
An interesting article about kids and COVID-19 is attached. Studies are showing that young children are less likely to show symptoms or spread COVID-19, but kids 10 and over seem to be just as capable as adults at contracting and spreading the virus.
Stay safe. Wear a mask. Keep your distance.