Mitchell County Health Department – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toe River Health District Announces
First Confirmed Case of COVID-19 in Mitchell County
Ledger, NC (March 25, 2020). The Mitchell County Health Department, part of Toe River Health District, was notified at 8:30 tonight that a Mitchell County resident has tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The individual is in isolation.
Mitchell County has been preparing for this reality and anticipated that our community would likely be impacted at some point. Public health staff have already initiated an investigation and will be identifying close contacts to contain the spread of disease. To protect individual privacy, no further information about the case will be released.
The Mitchell County Health Department will keep the public informed by announcing any additional cases that may arise through our local media partners.
It is important for the community to understand that the identification of a case does not change our local strategies for preventing and reducing the spread of disease. Above all else, please isolate yourself at home if you are sick. Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you experience these symptoms, please call your healthcare provider and follow their advice. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19. Remember that 80% of coronavirus cases generate only mild symptoms.
“It’s especially important to be proactive at this time and there is no need to be afraid,” added Diane Creek, Mitchell County Health Director. “Everybody is worried and their lives have been disrupted. We are blessed in Mitchell County to have a strong community. Your public officials and county leadership have been working tirelessly to prepare for the impact of this virus. Community members can do their part not only by following the guidelines, but by remembering that we’re all in this together, and to support one another”.
Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, the Health Department urges everyone to take precautions to protect themselves from the spread of all respiratory illness, including flu and COVID-19:
• Stay home as much as possible
• Especially stay home when sick
• Avoid contact with persons that you know are sick
• Cover your cough (cough into the crook of your elbow; or use a tissue and throw in trash)
• Practice good hand hygiene (wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing)
• If you do not have access to soap and water use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol
• Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces with household cleaners
Routine use of these measures by everyone will decrease the spread of viruses and respiratory diseases in our community.
It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC, NCDHHS and Mitchell County Public Health. For more information, call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 1-866-462-3821 (staffed by nurses and pharmacists 24/7), or visit the Center for Disease Control’s website for information and frequent updates at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
Mountain Community Health Partnership:
The Bakersville Health Center and the Spruce Pine Health Center will be closed Thursday and Friday, March 26 & 27. The recently identified Mitchell County COVID-19 case visited the clinics during the testing period. Acting in an abundance of caution we are closing the sites to allow for a thorough sanitizing of both sites to ensure the safety and welfare of our patients and staff. We will reopen on Monday, March 30. Through this process we are working closely with the Mitchell County Health Department, following recommended guidelines and procedures.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the closure. As always, should you have a medical condition that needs immediate attention please call 828-688-2104 and leave a message for the on-call provider
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