Both deaths list COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death (the disease that initiated the events resulting in death.) Both individuals died in the hospital, were over the age of 70, and had several underlying medical conditions.
One had been exposed to COVID-19 through contact with multiple positives in the family, while the other was a secondary contact in a COVID-19 cluster identified at Enchanting Hair Fashions Salon in September. This is the third death to result from that cluster. To protect the families’ privacy, no further information about these patients will be released.
“Our sympathies go out to the families and loved ones. This is a sad reminder that COVID-19 is a serious and sometimes deadly illness,” said Interim Haywood County Health Director Garron Bradish.
“We urge all citizens to do their part by observing social distancing, wearing masks, and practicing good hygiene,” said Bradish.
Haywood County Public Health received notice of 84 new cases of COVID-19 between Nov. 13 and Nov. 19, and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has recorded 931 cases in Haywood County.
Aside from clusters and outbreaks at long term care facilities, the ongoing trend in new cases seems to be people letting their guard down around people close to them and inadvertently sharing more than friendship. That false sense of security around people outside of our own households is enabling the spread of COVID-19.
“With our rapidly rising case count this week and holidays coming right up, the key message this week is simple: please wear a mask and keep at least six feet of distance any time you’re going to be around anyone who doesn’t live in your household, no matter how well you know them, no matter whether they are close friends, coworkers, extended family, or just people on the street. It’s the only tool we have right now to minimize rapid spread in our schools, workplaces, churches, families, and community. We can’t mandate a sense of personal responsibility; it’s up to each individual to understand the moral imperative of practicing these simple interventions to keep their loved ones safe and minimize the impact of the pandemic on their community,” said Bradish.
Guidance for safe holiday celebrations can be found on North Carolina’s COVID-19 web page: https://files.nc.gov/covid/documents/guidance/NCDHHS-Interim-Guidance-for-Thanksgiving.pdf
As of 5 p.m., Nov. 19, Haywood County’s COVID-19 working number, representing individuals who are in isolation or quarantine due to exposure, is 302 people. Of these, 90 cases are in isolation after testing positive and 212 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.
To stay up to date on COVID-19 in Haywood County visit https://www.haywoodcountync.gov/684/Coronavirus-Covid-19-Information
If you have questions about COVID-19 and would like to speak to local Public Health staff, call 828.356.2019, M-F, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.