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Haywood records first coronavirus cases

For weeks now, people have been asking why a county of 60,000 people like Haywood hadn’t yet reported a case of COVID-19, even as national, state and local leaders have cautioned that it’s a “when, not if” proposition.

According to a press release issued by the Haywood County Sheriff’s office around 11:15 this morning, that “when” is now.

Here’s the full text of the release:

Haywood County Public Health received notice April 2, 2020 that two Haywood County residents have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.  These individuals live together and are doing well in isolation at their home. They have followed CDC recommended guidance since the onset of initial symptoms in mid- March.

Both are residents of Haywood County with no out of state travel history.  Haywood County Public Health nurses are identifying close contacts of these persons.  The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 infection for a prolonged period of time of 10 minutes or longer. Based on information provided by the individuals in close contact, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed such as temperature and symptom checks, quarantine and/or testing.

To protect individual privacy, no further information will be released.

These are the only cases of COVID-19 identified in Haywood County to date.  As of April 2, 2020 the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services was reporting 1,857 cases across the state. 

“We have been planning and preparing for cases of COVID-19 in our community,” said Haywood County Health Director Patrick Johnson.  “The Haywood County Health Department will aggressively trace, test and contain anyone we identify who was exposed to this virus.”

Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, North Carolinians should take the same measures that health care providers recommend to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including: 

  • Practice social distancing. This is the Number One Enemy of COVID-19. To prevent community spread we need everyone to take social distancing seriously!
  • 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

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, 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.

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