COVID-19 Update Updated at midday Sunday April 5th
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
The number of cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina is now almost 2600 (as of noon Suday April 5th). The North Carolina Dept. of Health & Human Services reports at least 31 deaths in our state.
The Lincoln County Health Department reported Friday (April 3rd) that 291 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Lincoln County; of those there were eight positive-active cases, one positive-recovered case, 270 other people who had tested negative, and 12 others who had been tested and are considered persons under investigation (PUI). A PUI is a person who was tested and is self-isolating until test results are received.
The next update for Lincoln County will be Monday afternoon (April 6th).
Two new cases of COVID-19 were added to the list Sunday (April 5th) in Catawba County, bringing the county’s total number of residents who have tested positive to 24. The Catawba County Health Dept. reports 339 negative test results. Not all cases of COVID-19 are tested, so the 24 positive test results does not necessarily represent the total number of people who have or had COVID-19 in Catawba County.
Because community spread is occurring locally and across North Carolina, all residents are urged to stay home and avoid contact with others to the extent possible. Catawba County case and testing numbers are updated by 1 PM daily on the Catawba County website at www.catawbacountync.gov.
Catawba County reported its first death due to COVID-19 on Friday (April 3rd). The individual was hospitalized and died on March 30th from complications associated with the virus. Public Health was notified of the test result Friday. The patient was in their early 70s and had underlying medical conditions. The person did not reside at a senior living facility. To protect the family’s privacy, no further information about this patient will be released.
"We extend our deepest condolences to this person’s loved ones. This is news no one wants to hear," said Catawba County Health Director Jennifer McCracken.
Gaston County reported its first death related to COVID-19 Thursday; the person who died was an octogenarian who died Wednesday evening. The victim, according to the Gaston County Department of Health and Human Services, had other health issues.
Gaston County had 47 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday evening, but 24 of those people have since recovered; 22 are still considered active cases and one person died. Gaston County had 715 negative test reports and 146 people who had been tested and were still awaiting the results of their test.
Cleveland County has now had 16 confirmed cases. Some of those cases were people who had not recently traveled or had direct contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19. Interim Cleveland County Health Director Deshay Oliver said “This confirms that COVID-19 is now spreading throughout our community. I strongly urge county residents to comply with the stay at home order. Residents should only leave their homes for essential services and, when doing so, should take proper precautions such as social distancing and hand washing.”
Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, residents should take the following steps to prevent the spread of respiratory illness, including COVID-19:
Clean your hands often.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Put distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk for experiencing severe illness. The CDC has expanded its definition of high-risk to include the following:
People aged 65 years and older
People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
People who have heart disease with complications
People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [(BM]I)≥40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease
Stay home if you’re sick, except to get medical care.
Cover coughs and sneezes.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
If you have a face mask, wear it when you go out. If not, you could use a scarf or kerchief to cover your mouth and nose.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks at least once daily.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them: use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Individuals experiencing these symptoms are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider immediately.
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, visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus, which will also include information about future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina. If you have questions regarding COVID-19, call 1-866-462-3821 or NC 2-1-1.
Lincoln County Health Director Davin Madden said most people do not need to be tested: "When you leave your home to get tested, you could expose yourself to COVID-19 if you do not already have it. If you do have COVID-19, you can give it to someone else, including people who are high risk. If you are sick with COVID-19 or believe you might have it, you should stay home and separate yourself from other people in the home as much as possible. You can stop isolating yourself and go back to your normal activities when you answer YES to these THREE questions:
Has it been at least 3 days (72 hours) since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications?
Has it been at least 3 days (72 hours) since you have had an improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath)?
Has it been at least 7 days since symptoms first appeared?
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