The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released this morning an updated case count for COVID-19. As of March 18, 2020 there are 63 positive cases in 16 counties of North Carolina reported by the NC State Laboratory of Public Health and all hospital and commercial labs.
At this time there are no reports of laboratory positive cases nor CDC confirmed cases in Wilkes County. Many individuals have submitted specimen samples through their primary care provider or the Health Department and are waiting on test results. With wide-spread testing by community providers, actual numbers of specimens submitted by Wilkes County residents is not known at this time. Guidance for individuals who have submitted a specimen for COVID-19 testing include instructions to remain at home until your provider or public health official informs you that you are no longer considered a person under investigation.
Wilkes Health is working closely with community partners to ensure the community is receiving reliable and up-to-date information.
We want to remind everyone that practicing good hygiene is the best prevention measure:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available
- Stay home when you are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes and face
- Cover your sneeze or cough
- Frequently clean high-touch objects or surfaces
- Practice social distancing, stay at least 6 feet away from others
Wilkes Health is encouraging the community to adhere to the Governor’s mitigation recommendations and Executive Orders.
Individuals who suspect they might be experiencing systems of COVID-19 should call their primary care provider to inform them about their systems prior to arrival so appropriate steps can be taken to protect yourself and others. “Wilkes Health would also like to encourage individuals not to use the hospital Emergency Department unless it is a true emergency. This will help with an overburden of resources to the healthcare system during this time,” stated Rachel Willard, Health Director.
It is vital that information regarding COVID-19 comes from a reliable source such as the CDC, NC DHHS and Wilkes Health.
NC DHHS has established a COVID-19 Helpline, the phone number to the helpline is 1-866-462-3821. The helpline is staffed by North Carolina Poison Control’s nurses and pharmacists who have been trained in responding with up-to-date information to a host of questions about Coronavirus.
Additional resources can also be found at www.wilkeshealth.com.