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LEDGER – The Mitchell County Health Department, part of Toe River Health District, was notified at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, a second Mitchell County resident has tested positive for novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The individual is in isolation. The announcement comes a week after the county's first positive case was announced.
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 local media partners.
"It is important for the community to understand that the identification of an additional case does not change our local strategies for preventing and reducing the spread of disease," said Diane Creek, director of the Toe River Health District. "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 911 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19. Remember that 80 percent of coronavirus cases generate only mild symptoms.
Creek added it is especially important to be proactive at this time.
“We are blessed in Mitchell County to have a strong community," she said. "Your public officials and county leaders are continuing to work to prepare for the impact of this virus. Community members can do their part by following the guidelines, and 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
- Practice social distancing- stay at least 6 feet away from others
- 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 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 the Mitchell County Public Health Department," Creek said.
Call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 1-866-462-3821 (staffed by nurses and pharmacists 24/7), or visit the Centers for Disease Control’s website for information and frequent updates at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.