Toe River Health District announces first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Mitchell County

  • COVID-19
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The Mitchell County Health Department, part of Toe River Health District, was notified at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, a Mitchell County resident has tested positive for novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19. The individual is in isolation.

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LEDGER – The Mitchell County Health Department, part of Toe River Health District, was notified at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, a Mitchell County resident has tested positive for novel Coronavirus, or 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,” said Diane Creek, director of the Toe River Health District. “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, according to a press release.

“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,” Creek said. Creek reiterated that people should isolate themselves at home if they are sick. Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should call their 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,” Creek said. “Remember that 80 percent of coronavirus cases generate only mild symptoms.”

Creek said the best practice moving forward is to continue following the guidelines in place to slow the spread of the virus.

“It’s especially important to be proactive at this time and there is no need to be afraid,” she said. “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 commonly spread through respiratory droplets, the Mitchell County 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 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 a hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent 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 such as the CDC, NCDHHS and Mitchell County Public Health. For more information, call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 1-866-462-3821, which is staffed around-the-clock by nurses and pharmacists, or visit the Center for Disease Control’s website for information and frequent updates at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.