Special to Iredell Free News

The Iredell County Health Department was made aware of two presumptive positive cases of novel coronavirus in Iredell County on Monday, increasing the county’s current case count total eight. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services case count website may not reflect this, but is updated daily at 11 a.m.

As of late Monday morning, the were 297 reported cases in North Carolina. Across the U.S., 15,219 cases and 201 deaths have been reported.

The Iredell County Health Department continues to diligently manage this evolving situation by conducting the appropriate public health follow-up with individuals testing positive and their close contacts.

Local health officials are urging residents to continue practicing social distancing in an effort to limit exposure to others and to protect yourself as best as possible. Social distancing means the avoidance of crowded places and maintaining distances of at least six feet from other people.

In addition, its important for households to remember the importance of practicing everyday preventative actions that can help prevent the spread of respiratory illness:

♦ Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
♦ Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
♦  Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
♦  Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, cell phones, computers, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water
♦  Wash your 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 soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

As a reminder, if you have been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for your test results, you should self-isolate until you receive negative test results to prevent the possible transmission of the disease. Self-isolation means you should stay home and limit any close contact with family, friends and the general public.

If you become symptomatic, meaning you have a fever, develop a cough, or have shortness of breath, you should also immediately remove yourself from a work environment and limit your contact with family, friends, and the general public. You should also seek testing by contacting your primary care provider.

Additional testing information can be found on the Iredell County Health Department COVID-19 web page.

Moving forward, the Iredell County COVID-19 positive case-count will be found on the NCDHHS website. COVID-19 case count information for North Carolina is displayed at the top of the DHHS web page and county-specific case count information can be found by hovering over the interactive map.

The Iredell County Health Department will continue sharing important COVID-19 information with the media in order to keep the community informed, but will not be routinely doing press releases for every individual testing positive.

This situation is escalating so rapidly with community transmission throughout North Carolina that the department’s communication focus moving forward will be on sharing pertinent guidance and information with residents and impacted organizations.

The Health Department will also continue to follow-up with individuals testing positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Residents with general questions about COVID-19 can call the NC Division of Public Health Coronavirus Call Line 24 hours a day/7 days a week: 1-866-462-3821. Nurses and pharmacists from the North Carolina Poison Control are available to answer questions.

Additional information related to COVID-19 can be found at the following resources:

♦ NC DHHS-DPH: epi.dph.ncdhhs.gov/cd/diseases/2019nCoV.html
♦ CDC: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
♦ Iredell County Health Department: https://nc-iredellcounty.civicplus.com/1383/Coronavirus-COVID-19
♦ North Carolina Public Information Hotline: 1-866-462-3821