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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Oct. 23, 2020
Haywood County Public Health received notice of 25 new cases of COVID-19 since the last press release on Oct.16, 2020. As of 5 p.m. Oct. 22, 2020, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has recorded 693 cases in Haywood County.
This week has been good from the perspective of the low number of positive cases (just 2-5 a day) but not so good as far as the number of people exposed. We had a positive from a wedding out of state. One positive case did not isolate after testing. 46 contacts of this one individual were identified in Haywood County and 18 of these contacts were determined to have had 1st-degree exposure and are in quarantine. Another case did not consistently wear a mask in an office setting and neither did the co-workers and eleven were exposed. This is a lesson we’ve learned the hard way in Haywood County.
“In an office setting, it’s easy to let your guard down among co-workers because you know them. But just because you know someone doesn’t mean they don’t have COVID. If you feel sick, stay home from work, and call your provider about getting tested. And by all means, if you get tested you need to isolate and wait for the results,” said Public Health Services Director Patrick Johnson.
As of 5 p.m., Oct. 22, 2020, Haywood County’s COVID-19 working number, representing individuals who are in isolation or quarantine due to exposure, is 142 people. Of these, 20 cases are in isolation after testing positive and 122 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.
“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.