The first case of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been confirmed in Warren County.
This individual was tested for COVID-19 on Monday, March 30, and confirmation of a positive COVID-19 test result was received at the Warren County Health Department today. This individual is currently receiving medical care at an inpatient facility. To protect privacy, no additional information about the individual will be shared by the health department.
“Given the spread of COVID-19 across North Carolina and in our region, we are not surprised to receive our first case,” said Dr. Margaret Brake, Warren County Health director.
Warren County Health Department’s Communicable Disease staff is working at this time to conduct contact tracing to make sure everyone who came into close contact with this individual is quarantined. Close contact is anyone who was within six feet of the individual for 10 minutes or more.
Contacts of individuals who are confirmed positive for COVID-19 will be given information about isolation and quarantine and asked to monitor symptoms. Due to the limited supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and test kits across the state and nation, Warren County residents should not seek testing for coronavirus unless they have symptoms (fever, cough or difficulty breathing, shortness of breath) or have been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive.
State guidance continues to require those symptoms to be present in order to send in a sample for testing. Residents who are sick should call their doctor before going in to the office, hospital or urgent care.
While this illness is not severe for most people and they can recover at home, it can be really serious for others. Individuals who have a higher risk for complications are those 65 years and older; have chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma; weakened immune systems; pregnant women and infants.
According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, at this time there are no approved treatments and no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. However, there are known methods to reduce and slow the spread of infection.
Individuals can practice everyday prevention measures like frequent hand washing, staying home when sick, disinfecting surfaces, and covering coughs and sneezes. Community-based interventions can also slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes measures collectively known as “social distancing.” Social distancing measures aim to reduce the frequency of contact and increase physical distance between persons, thereby reducing the risks of person-to-person transmission. Implementation of these measures can slow the spread of this disease.
“Residents are advised to comply with Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Order, only going out for essential needs. We urge you to stay home to save lives,” said Brake.
For more information on COVID-19 and preventive measures you can take, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html or the NC Department of Health and Human Services website: ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-response-north-carolina.
Residents can also call the Warren County COVID-19 Information Line at 252-257-7132, Monday– Friday 8:30-5 p.m. or visit the Warren County Government website at: warrencountync.com/712/COVID-19-Resources.