May 4th Update

Mitchell County Health Department:

oe River Health District Announces
First Confirmed Case of COVID-19 in Yancey County

Ledger, NC (May 3, 2020). The Yancey County Health Department, part of Toe River Health District, was notified that a Yancey County resident has tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The individual is in isolation.

Yancey 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 Yancey 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, shortness of breath, sometimes a sore throat, and body aches. 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,” added Diane Creek, Toe River Health District Health Director. “Everybody is worried and their lives have been disrupted. We are blessed in Yancey 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
Especially stay home when sick
Social distancing (at least 6 feet)
Avoid being around sick people
Cover your cough or sneeze, or cough/sneeze into your bent elbow
Wash hands for at least 20 seconds
If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol
Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces
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 Yancey County Health Department. For more information, call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 1-866-462-3821 (staffed by nurses and pharmacists 24/7).

NC General Assembly passes COVID-19 relief and recovery legislation

The North Carolina General Assembly has unanimously passed COVID-19 relief and recovery legislation that spends and reserves nearly $1.6 billion.

The compromise spending plan is a significant investment laying the groundwork for moving the state forward and responding to the economic and human impacts of this pandemic. This commitment goes above and beyond previous requests and includes funding for testing, tracing, immediate recovery needs, and increasing access to broadband and electronic devices to access remote learning opportunities.

Appropriations include:

$75 million for school nutrition

$1 million for the Department of Public Instruction to improve internet connectivity for students through the use of mobile Wi-Fi hotspots on buses

$11 million for the Department of Public Instruction to improve internet connectivity for students by providing internet access devices

$30 million for schools to purchase devices for students in response to COVID-19

$5 million for electronic devices for school staff in response to COVID-19

$4.5 million for cybersecurity

$10 million for student health programs

$70 million for summer learning programs

$1.48 million for enhancing the state’s learning management platform

$3 million for non-digital learning instructional resources

$15 million for exception children programs

$660,029 for residential schools

$5 million for the Department Public Instruction’s Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports (ELISS) Grants

$25 million for the Community College System to respond to COVID-19 impacts

$44.4 million for the UNC System to respond to COVID-19 impacts

$20 million for independent and private colleges to respond to COVID-19 impacts

$85.1 million for COVID-19 research, including $29 million for the UNC Collaboratory, $20 million for Wake Forest University Health Services, $15 million for Duke University’s Human Vaccine Institute, $15 million to the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, and $6 million to the Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine

$25 million for testing, tracing, and trends related to COVID-19

$20 million for additional public health capacity, including increasing nursing capacity, number of community health workers, telehealth services and providing infection control support and training in nursing homes and adult care homes

$20 million for enhanced behavioral health and crisis services to respond to COVID-19, including diverting individuals experiencing behavioral health emergencies from emergency departments

$50 million for purchasing additional PPE

$19 million for food, safety, shelter, and child care

$6 million for food banks

$2.25 million for foster care support

$25 million for facilities that serve Special Assistance recipients

$50 million for rural and under-served communities

$65 million for rural hospital support

$5 million for free and charitable clinics

$1.5 million for NC MedAssist

$15 million for the Teaching Hospitals Relief Fund

$15 million for the General Hospital Relief Fund

$300 million for the DOT Coronavirus Relief Fund, if allowed by the federal government

$150 million for local government grants to support immediate COVID-19 needs

$150 million for the Local Government Coronavirus Relief Reserve, if allowed by the federal government

$20 million to support fee-supported state operations, if allowed by the federal government

$70 million for continuity of government operation needs, including covering overtime costs, purchasing PPE, sanitation and hygienic supplies, and critical information technology equipment

$15 million for animal depopulation and disposal

$125 million for small business loans through Golden LEAF

$290,000 for the LINKS program

$5 million for the Association of Community Health Centers

$5 million for Visit NC marketing

$1.8 million for the Old North State Medical Society

$9 million for the GREAT program to expand access to broadband internet

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