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The Wilkes County Health Department is reporting three new COVID-19 associated deaths in Wilkes County.
The first individual passed on August 1st from complications associated with the virus. The patient was in their 60’s. The second individual passed on August 4th and in their 80’s. The third individual passed on August 11th and in their 80’s. All three residents were part of the Westwood Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation outbreak. To protect the families’ privacy, no further information about these patients will be released.
“On behalf of the Wilkes County Local Health Department and Government, we extend our deepest sympathy to the family”, stated Rachel Willard, Health Director. “This unfortunate situation is a reminder that we should continue to follow social distancing to protect ourselves and those around us, especially those who are at an increased risk, and who are most vulnerable.”
As of this afternoon Wilkes County has 854 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 711 recoveries, and 5 currently hospitalized. As of August 12th, NC DHHS is reporting 137,895 cases, 1,122 hospitalizations, and 2,202 deaths related to COVID-19.
If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, we would recommend you be tested. This means if you are sick with a fever, cough or other mild symptoms, call your healthcare provider or Wilkes Health. Please do not just show up to a doctor’s office without calling first. This will help your provider prepare should you need to be tested and lessen the potential exposure to others.
If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.
Wilkes Health also wants to remind the public that community transmission is happening in Wilkes County. Every person is a potential carrier, even if no symptoms are present, so it’s urgent that every person -sick or healthy- stay home to the fullest extent possible and help break the chain of transmission. Wilkes Health wants to continue to encourage people to protect themselves to help lessen the spread of COVID-19 in our community. There are many ways we can all protect ourselves and our communities.
If you go out you should practice the three W’s: Wear, Wait, and Wash.
•Wear a face covering,
•Wait 6 feet apart from other people.
•Wash your hands often and
How to Protect Yourself
Practice social distancing which means avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, keeping 6 feet or more between you and others and remaining at home to the greatest extent possible
Frequent hand washing
Cover your cough or sneeze
Keep distance from others who are sick
Avoid touching your face
Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, lightswitches, tables and handles
Wear cloth mask or face covering when out in public where you may be around people like grocery stores or pharmacies.
COVID-19 Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of reported symptoms.
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Repeated shaking with chills
New loss of taste or smell
People at high risk include anyone who:
Is 65 years of age or older
Lives in a nursing home or long-term care facility
Have a high-risk condition that includes:
Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
Heart disease with complications
Compromised immune system
Severe obesity – body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
Other underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease
People who are at high risk should stay home to the greatest extent possible to decrease the chance of infection.
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.”