News Flash

Health Department

Posted on: March 30, 2020

Wilkes County Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

Wilkesboro, NC – A Wilkes County resident has tested positive for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). This is the first positive case in Wilkes County.


“We have been preparing should we see a positive case of COVID-19 in our community. Now that we have a positive case, we will continue to work diligently to protect the public’s health. It is our top priority, and we will work to keep the community informed in a timely manner,” stated Rachel Willard, Health Director. We also want to encourage the public to practice social distancing and take prevention measures like frequent handwashing, staying home when you’re sick, and keeping distance from others who are sick.


Wilkes Health is working closely with local partners and agencies to ensure the public’s health is protected and precautions are being taken to protect all residents of Wilkes County.


“We will continue to monitor and respond to the guidance from health officials for all Wilkes County Services. We continue to work with Wilkes County Health Department, stakeholders and local agencies to protect our community’s health,” stated John Yates, Wilkes County Manager.


We understand that people are going to have questions and we encourage the public to call us or their local provider if they are ill and believe they may need care. Please remember to call prior to arrival, so healthcare personnel have time to limit exposure to themselves and others. Again, we would like to remind and encourage the community to not use the hospital emergency room unless it is a true emergency. “We need to preserve our local hospital capacity to respond throughout this event to meet the various healthcare needs that require urgent action in our community,” stated Rachel Willard, Health Director.


Wilkes Health wants to remind the public to share credible, reliable information and practice prevention measures like handwashing, covering your cough and sneeze, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.


How to Protect Yourself:

  • Frequent hand washing
  • Staying home when you’re sick
  • Keeping distance from others who are sick
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, light switches, tables and handles
  • Practicing social distancing of at least 6 feet from others
  • Do not congregate with more than 9 people


Please be aware that you may hear about people who have been instructed by their healthcare provider to self-isolate since they have been tested for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). This does not mean that they have tested positive, it means that they are being guided to stay home until a test result is provided. This is a standard procedure for managing public health outbreaks.

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Signs & Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath


If you develop a fever, symptoms of respiratory illness or think you may have COVID-19, please call your healthcare provider. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your symptoms so they can be prepared.

Those at higher risk for severe illness include:

  • Adults over the age of 65
  • Underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
  • Weakened immune systems
  • Pregnant Women


Wilkes Health will not be issuing any more press releases for new cases. For an updated case count for Wilkes County please visit NC DHHS website.

Additional Resources:
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
North Carolina resources can be found on the Division of Public Health website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus. To view the case count for North Carolina, including a county map, please visit the NC DHHS website here.
A COVID-19 toll free helpline has been set up to answer general, non-emergent questions at 1-866-462-3821. To submit questions online, go to www.ncpoisoncontrol.org and select “chat.”

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