As of 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24th, Alexander County continues to have zero (0) confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus). A total of 39 people have been tested for the virus, with 15 tests being negative. There are currently 24 pending tests, with those households under quarantine.
Tests are being administered at the Alexander County Health Department and local doctor’s offices, with Urgent Care of Mountain View in Taylorsville now testing as well.
In a conference call today with state officials, new guidelines advise those with mild symptoms such as fever and cough to contact their doctor, who will most likely advise them to stay home and recover there unless symptoms worsen, at which time they should contact their doctor to arrange for treatment. Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and possibly hoarseness and/or a diminished sense of smell and taste.
NC Governor Cooper and state officials held a press conference on March 23 regarding the signing of an executive order adding measures to help prevent the spread of the virus. At the press conference, it was announced that North Carolina Public Schools closures are extended until at least May 15. In addition, mass gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited. Effective Wednesday, March 25 at 5:00 p.m., the following businesses will close: bingo parlors, bowling alleys, ice skating rinks, indoor exercise facilities (gyms, yoga studios, and martial arts facilities), health clubs, indoor pools, live performance venues, movie theaters, roller skating rinks, spas, sweepstakes lounges, video game arcades, barber shops, beauty salons, hair salons, manicure/pedicure providers, massage parlors, nail salons, and tattoo parlors. Long-term care facilities shall restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 46,168 cases of COVID-19 in the country with 582 deaths. About half of the cases nationwide are in New York State. In North Carolina, there are 398 cases with zero (0) deaths. There are zero (0) confirmed cases in Alexander County; however, there are cases in neighboring counties including Iredell, Catawba, Lincoln, and Gaston. Roughly half of North Carolina’s counties have reported at least one confirmed case, with Mecklenburg County having 104 cases to date.
So far, approximately 80 percent of patients experience a mild form of the illness. Many of these cases require little to no medical intervention. Symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
The public is encouraged to stay at home if possible, practice good hygiene and handwashing, and maintain social distancing.
How to protect yourself and others
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises citizens to: avoid close contact with people who are sick; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; stay home if you are sick; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue; and clean/disinfect frequently touched surfaces or objects (tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.). The agency also advises citizens to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. In addition, avoid close contact with people who are sick, and put a six-foot distance between yourself and other people (i.e. social distancing). Learn more at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html.
What to do if you are sick
If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have it, you should stay home as most people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Wear a facemask when you are around other people. Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. Stay in touch with your doctor but call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency. If you in a high-risk category (age 65+, underlying health issues, or immunocompromised), you should get tested for COVID-19 by making arrangements with the local health department, doctor’s office, or hospital. Learn more at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html.
What is COVID-19 and Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness in animals and humans. Human coronaviruses commonly circulate in the United States and usually cause mild illnesses like the common cold. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease that was identified in Wuhan, China, and is now spreading throughout the world.
To learn more about COVID-19 (coronavirus) in North Carolina, visit https://www.ncdhhs.gov/covid-19-case-count-nc.