Special to Iredell Free News

The Iredell County Health Department continues to monitor the novel coronavirus situation in our area and provide updated guidance and support to our community, municipal partners and healthcare businesses in response to the pandemic.

The Health Department was notified on Wednesday, March 18, of the second presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the county. At this time, the individual is isolating at home and willingly cooperating with public health officials.

To protect the individual’s privacy, no further information will be shared. Iredell County Health Department team members are monitoring the individual during their mandatory isolation and are identifying close contacts to monitor symptoms and contain potential spread.

As we continue to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Iredell County officials are urging residents to follow social distancing protocols and seek alternatives for communication, including phone, email, and other online resources, to limit exposure to others and 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 to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Governor of North Carolina has written an Executive Order that outlines mandated social distancing measures that include the ban of mass gatherings of 100 people or more in the same room or same space (auditorium stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, theater or any other confined indoor or outdoor space).

The NC Department of Health & Human Services has recommended that residents not participate in mass gatherings with greater than 50 participants while President Trump has encouraged citizens to socialize in groups of no more than ten people.

Included in the Governor’s March 14 Executive Order is a minimum two-week closure of all K-12 public schools.

The March 17 Executive Order closed the sitting area of restaurants and bars, limiting them to take-out or delivery only.

Even if individuals feel healthy and are not exhibiting symptoms, it is important for everyone to follow these measures to better protect themselves and their fellow residents. This is especially significant for certain populations who are at high risk for severe illness. These populations include those 65 years or older, those with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, or those with weakened immune systems.

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