Iredell County Health Department continues to monitor the novel coronavirus situation in our area and provide guidance and support to our community and municipal partners in response to the pandemic. Late in the afternoon on March 21, 2020, the Iredell County Health Department was notified of the third presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the county. Iredell County Health Department immediately made contact with the individual who had been in isolation at home since they were tested. Close contacts were identified and contacted by the health department. They will monitor their symptoms at home for 14 days in an attempt to contain potential spread. All impacted parties are cooperating with the health department.
The NC Department of Health & Human Services announced this week that they believe that community transmission of COVID-19 is now occurring in communities across North Carolina based on the increased number of cases in North Carolina and national and regional trends. Jane Hinson, Iredell County Health Director, explains that the risk of transmission in Iredell County at this time is not from individuals who are diagnosed and properly isolating. It is from undiagnosed residents who are not staying home. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These respiratory droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or they can be inhaled into their lungs. Adults age 65 and older, people with underlying medical conditions or a compromised immune system are at higher risk for severe illness if infected with COVID-19. Those in a higher risk group should stay home as much as possible to further reduce their risk of being exposed. Distance should also be put between yourself and other people.
Residents are encouraged to continue to take actions to reduce their risk of getting sick. These actions include the following:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• 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.
• 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.
Preventing and controlling the spread of communicable diseases is one of the core activities of public health systems. This is a rapidly evolving situation. The Health Department is monitoring it day by day and maintaining regular communications with our local and state partners to provide residents with the most current information available.
It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources such as CDC, NCDHHS, and Iredell County Health Department not from social media outlets.
Residents with general questions can call the NC Division of Public Health Coronavirus Call Line 24 hours a day/7 days a week: 1-866-462-3821. Nurses and pharmacists from the North Carolina Poison Control are available to answer questions.
Additional information related to COVID-19 can be found at the following resources: NC DHHS-DPH: epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/cd/diseases/2019nCoV.html
Iredell County Health Department: https://nc-iredellcounty.civicplus.com/1383/Coronavirus-COVID-19
North Carolina Public Information Hotline: 1-866-462-3821