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Cumberland County officials announced Thursday afternoon that TWO unrelated Cumberland County residents have had a presumed-positive test result for coronavirus.

The first case was from someone who had traveled out of state. The second individual’s circumstances are still being investigated. Both people had shown symptoms and were privately tested, but not at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

Of note:

  • “We knew this day was coming. And we are not caught off guard.”
  • Two cases in county. Unrelated.
  • First individual traveled from out of state. Being treated in isolation at home.
  • The second individual circumstances are currently being investigated.
  • County is looking into path each may have gone on to identify individuals they may have interacted with.
  • Urging residents to continue doing as they have been. Social distancing and healthy habits.
  • County Manager Amy Cannon says county facilities and offices will change access beginning Friday. Most services will be closed in person, but will continue online and on phone.
  • New county site http://www.co.cumberland.nc.us/covid19
  • No additional information of the two individuals will be provided yet, to protect their privacy.
  • Both individuals are symptomatic. The first person was tested late last week. Second was unknown.
  • Individuals were NOT tested at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
  • Any close contacts will be contacted as path is determined.

PRESS RELEASE FROM CUMBERLAND COUNTY:

FAYETTEVILLE – Cumberland County Department of Public Health was notified by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on March 19, 2020, that two residents have tested positive for COVID-19. These are the first two cases in Cumberland County.

At this time, the cases are not known to be related.

The Health Department can confirm that one affected individual traveled from out of state and upon returning home tested positive for COVID-19. The affected person is currently in isolation at home.

Information is still being gathered on the second patient.

To protect privacy, no further information about the individuals will be shared by the Public Health Department.

“This is not a surprise based on what’s happening across the state and nation. We expect there will be more cases as testing ramps up. Residents should be prepared; not scared. We want to remind everyone to continue to practice prevention measures and social distancing as we try to contain the spread,” said Health Director Jennifer Green.

The Public Health Department is monitoring the patients and identifying close contacts who may be affected. Staff will notify any contacts who fall under the guidelines for additional monitoring and testing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a “close contact” as being within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more. If a staff member does not contact you and you do not have any symptoms, you do not need to quarantine yourself.

Precautions

All residents are encouraged to increase prevention measures and practice social distancing:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched (like your phone, tablet, countertops and daily work surfaces).
  • Stay home and away from others when you are sick.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, call Cape Fear Valley Health System’s nurses’ line at 910-615-LINK (5465). If you have general questions about COVID-19, call 2-1-1 or the NC DHHS hotline at 1-866-462-3821.

Seek information from credible sources including the Cumberland County COVID-19 webpage at co.cumberland.nc.us/covid19 and the NC DHHS website at ncdhhs.gov.

For information on County services, call 910-678-7657 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

 

A CLOSER LOOK: CORONAVIRUS IMPACT WORLDWIDE

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.