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Haywood reports 70 new COVID cases, 7 deaths

Haywood County Public Health received notice of 70 new cases of COVID-19 since the last press release on Aug. 7. As of 5 p.m. Aug. 13, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has recorded 445 cases in Haywood County.

Some of the cases are still in the contact tracing process. Of those that have been processed, 32 are residents or employees of Silver Bluff Village in Canton. Of the remainder: 7 cases are work-related, 2 are event-related, 10 are close contacts of someone who is COVID-19 positive, and seven do not know how they acquired the virus. 

The health department reported seven more deaths attributed to COVID-19 within the last week at Silver Bluff Village. Two of the deaths list COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death (the disease that initiated the events resulting in death.) Five of the deaths list COVID-19 as the primary cause. The individuals were all over the age of 70 and all had underlying medical conditions. To protect the families’ privacy, no further information about these patients will be released.

In a statement from Silver Bluff Village, Administrator Lisa Leatherwood said, “We are sad and devastated at our losses.”

 “We extend our deepest sympathy to the families and loved ones. This is a sad reminder that COVID-19 is a serious and sometimes deadly illness.  We urge all citizens to do their part by observing social distancing, wear masks, and practicing good hygiene,” said Health Director Patrick Johnson.

As of 5 p.m., Aug. 13, Haywood County’s COVID-19 working number, representing individuals who are in isolation or quarantine due to exposure, is 355 people. Of these, 127 cases are in isolation after testing positive and 228 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.

“Since Monday this week, there has been a marked decrease in new cases — a hopeful sign that we may be headed in a better direction, but it is still too early to predict that the downward trend will continue. It is important, now more than ever, to remain vigilant, follow health precautions and maintain social distancing,” said Johnson.

“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.”

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.  

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