CHEROKEE COUNTY, N.C. – Around 10:30 p.m. on Friday, March 20, Cherokee County Health Department issued a press release concerning four new COVID-19 cases. Three are Cherokee County residents. See the entire release below.
“Two Cherokee County residents that tested positive for COVID – 19 are being monitored and following isolation orders in Cherokee County. The patients are household contacts of the case from New York that tested positive in Cherokee County earlier this week. Both the index case (patient from New York) and the residents from Cherokee County have been isolated since testing was initiated on the patient from New York.
A third Cherokee County resident has tested positive for COVID – 19 and is currently isolated in their home since testing was initiated. This patient attended the contra dance on March 10th at the John C. Campbell Folk School which the New York patient had also attended. The patient is at home on isolation. Cherokee County Health Department will continue necessary contact tracing on this patient in identifying close contacts.
A resident of Illinois that tested positive for COVID – 19 is being monitored and following isolation orders in Cherokee County. The patient had traveled from Illinois and was staying in the home with the index case (patient from New York) that tested positive in Cherokee County earlier this week. Since cases are reported under the state of residency, this case will be identified as an Illinois case, not a North Carolina case. Therefore, this case will not show up on the North Carolina maps as a Cherokee County case. Both the index case from New York and the resident from Illinois are isolated since testing was initiated on the patient from New York.
Both of the Cherokee County individuals and the Illinois case have been on isolation since before becoming symptomatic. For this reason, contact tracing on these three cases will not be necessary. We can say with great certainty that these cases were isolated during the symptomatic phase of the illness and therefore had little to no opportunity to spread the virus.
It is now advised that anyone who becomes ill with a respiratory type illness should isolate until the following criteria are met:
• 7 days have passed since the onset of symptoms; AND
• At least 72 hours without a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and respiratory symptoms are improving
Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, individuals should take the same measures that health care providers recommend to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, staying home if you are sick and covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow.
It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like Cherokee County Health Department, CDC, and NCDHHS. For more information, please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus, which will also include future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina.
Cherokee County Health Department regularly updates our Facebook page with accurate and current information regarding COVID-19, we encourage the public to check our Facebook page for up-to-date information.
Symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, and other lower respiratory illness (shortness of breath). If you are having a mild respiratory illness, isolate yourself from others until the criteria above is met. If your illness becomes severe requiring urgent or emergent health care, call and inform your health care provider or emergency services of your symptoms prior to arrival. If you have questions, you may call the Health Department at 828-837-7486 during regular office hours which are Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM.”