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Fourth COVID-19 Case Identified in Johnston County


For Immediate Release:


March 23, 2020
10:45am

Smithfield, NC — Johnston County has identified its fourth case of COVID-19 and continues to see an increase in the number of individuals with symptoms of respiratory illnesses and coronavirus disease 2019.  Thank you to our county residents and business owners who have been following the recommendations and guidance to mitigate this public health threat.

You can continue to do your part to stop the spread by following these simple steps:

  • Stay home if you can except to get medical care.  Do your best to limit contact with others by only going out for food, medicines, to exercise or take care of essential concerns.
  • Help protect our healthcare workers by calling ahead before visiting your healthcare provider.
  • Utilize take out, delivery, or pick up for meals from restaurants or food trucks. Observe social distancing guidelines (minimum of 6 feet) in all settings, including when picking up your meals.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If unable to wash your hands, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay away from sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces – especially ones that are touched frequently – using regular household cleaning spray or wipes.  You can also make a bleach and water disinfecting solution by mixing 1/3 cup of bleach per 1 gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick and don’t send sick children to childcare.
  • Stay informed of updated case counts and information from reliable sources like www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus and www.cdc.gov.  Listen to your public health leaders at the local, state, and national level and your health care providers.

 

 

What to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and have not been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19

If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath but have not been around anyone you know has COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent your infection from spreading to people in your home and community.

Could I have COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath but have not been around anyone who you know has COVID-19, you may have COVID-19 or another respiratory virus. COVID-19 is circulating in many communities in North Carolina but several other respiratory viruses are circulating in North Carolina as well.

Should I go to my doctor and get tested for COVID-19?

If you have any of the conditions that may increase your risk for a serious viral infection—age 60 years or over, are pregnant, immune compromised, or have medical conditions—call your physician’s office and ask if you need to be evaluated in person. They may want monitor your health more closely or test you for COVID-19, influenza, or other respiratory viruses.

If you do not have a high-risk condition and your symptoms are mild, you may not need to be evaluated in person and may not need to be tested for COVID-19. There are currently no medications to treat COVID-19.

What should I do to keep my infection from spreading to my family and other people in the community?

Stay home except to get medical care. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.  As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while sick. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick; if you must care for your pet, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask, if possible.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor. If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Wear a facemask.  You should wear a facemask, if possible, when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not be in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

Cover your coughs and sneezes.  Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trashcan; immediately clean your hands as described below. 

Clean your hands often. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water is preferred if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 

Avoid sharing personal household items. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water and dried before use by others.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day. High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Monitor your symptoms.  Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that your symptoms are consistent with COVID-19. Put on a facemask, if possible, before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting your infection.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

Discontinuing home isolation.  If you have fever, cough or shortness of breath and have not been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should stay home away from others until:

At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath);

 AND,

At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

 

What to do if you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

 If you are sick and have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspected to have COVID-19 because you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.

 

Symptoms of COVID-19.  The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have been exposed to someone with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 and are experiencing fever with either cough or shortness of breath, you might have COVID-19. You can contact your doctor to see if you need to be tested. If you have tested positive for COVID- 19 or are suspected to have COVID-19 but are not tested, you should follow the below instructions.

Stay home except to get medical care.  You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.  As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while sick. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick; if you must care for your pet, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask, if possible.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor.  If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Wear a facemask. You should wear a facemask, if possible, when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with you should not be in the same room with you, or they should wear a facemask if they enter your room. 

Cover your coughs and sneezes.  Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trashcan; immediately clean your hands as described below.

Clean your hands often.  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water is preferred if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sharing personal household items. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water and dried before use by others.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day.  High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Monitor your symptoms.  Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19. Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or may have COVID19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

 

Discontinuing home isolation

For individuals with symptoms who are confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 and are directed to care for themselves at home, discontinue home isolation under the following conditions:

At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath);

AND, 

At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms may discontinue home isolation when at least 7 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic  test and have had no subsequent illness.

 

What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

If you think you have been exposed to someone with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, follow the steps below to monitor your health and avoid spreading the disease to others if you get sick.

What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new virus called SARS-CoV-2. The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Most people with COVID-19 will have mild disease but some people will get sicker and may need to be hospitalized.

How do I know if I was exposed?

You generally need to be in close contact with a sick person to get infected. Close contact includes:  Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19, caring for a sick person with COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for about 10 minutes, OR being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.). 

If you have not been in close contact with a sick person with COVID-19, you are at low risk for infection. You can continue to go to work and school, but should monitor your health for 14 days since the contact and stay away from others if you get sick.

What should I do if I was in close contact with someone with COVID-19 while they were ill but I am not sick? 

You should monitor your health for fever, cough and shortness of breath during the 14 days after the last day you were in close contact with the sick person with COVID-19. You should not go to work or school, and should avoid public places for 14 days.

What should I do if I was in close contact with someone with COVID-19 and get sick?

If you get sick with fever, cough or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are very mild), you likely have COVID-19. You should isolate yourself at home and away from other people. If you have any of the following conditions that may increase your risk for a serious infection—age 60 years or older, are pregnant, immune compromised, or have medical conditions—contact your physician’s office and tell them that you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. They may want to monitor your health more closely or test you for COVID-19. 

If you do not have a high-risk condition but want medical advice, call your healthcare provider and tell them you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. Your healthcare provider can help you decide if you need to be evaluated in person or tested. There are currently no medications to treat COVID-19. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you may have been exposed to COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive or immediately after they arrive.

 

Stay up to date as we share information and resources for our residents:

www.johnstonnc.com

www.facebook.com/jocogovNC

www.facebook.com/JoCoEmerServ/

https://twitter.com/jocoemerserv

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