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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Oct. 9, 2020
Haywood County Public Health received notice of 14 new cases of COVID-19 since the last press release on Oct. 2, 2020. As of 5 p.m. Oct. 8, 2020, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has recorded 638 cases in Haywood County.
The current trends in COVID infections include several university students, church-related cases, people who travel frequently for work and wore masks inconsistently, and close contacts of individuals who later tested positive after spending unmasked time together.
As of 5 p.m., Oct. 8, 2020, Haywood County’s COVID-19 working number, representing individuals who are in isolation or quarantine due to exposure, is 77 people. Of these, 25 cases are in isolation after testing positive and 52 people are in quarantine, having been identified as a close contact of a known case during contact tracing. All are being monitored by the Haywood County COVID-19 contact tracing team.
“Haywood County has the lowest percentage of cases increased in the past week of all the counties in the west – just 2% or 14 cases. That’s good news. This week we have to report the unfortunate news of four deaths of Haywood senior citizens from COVID-19. Sadly we have the highest death rate in the west. This past week we have had three positive COVID cases related to three different churches in Haywood County. One positive individual named 13 contacts at his church as they were not wearing masks nearby and they were singing. As a reminder…Please wear a mask in church. A church can be a cluster environment,” said Public Health Services Director Patrick Johnson.
“If you have symptoms such as headache, fever, cough, shortness of breath or loss of sense of smell don’t wait, get tested,” said Johnson. “If your doctor isn’t providing testing, contact one of the local urgent cares. Call first for pre-emptive screening and to find out what the current protocols are for when you arrive. 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.”
COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets; North Carolinians should take the same measures recommended to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, ESPECIALLY during the phased reopening. These measures include:
Practice social distancing. To prevent community spread we need everyone to take social distancing seriously!
Wear a face covering over the nose AND mouth, especially when you will be in close contact with people.
Do what you can to NOT be a close contact with anyone
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.
Make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming 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.