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Health officials on Sunday said one person has tested positive for COVID-19 in Vance County.
The known case in Vance County, as well as a case identified Friday in Granville County, were both considered examples of community spread. Neither patient recently traveled outside of North Carolina, according to a press release from Granville Vance Public Health.
The infected person in Vance is in isolation at their home. Health officials will notify anyone who may be at risk or who may have been in contact with either patient.
The health department said revealing where in each county these patients live infringes on the patients' privacy and “does not contribute to the public’s health. It does not change what you or they are to do to stay healthy,” the release said.
“I know people are worried and want additional information — that is natural and I understand,” said Lisa Macon Harrison, the health director.
The latest official tally by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services showed 297 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state as of Monday morning. More than 8,400 tests have been completed in the state, and no deaths have been reported.
Nationally, more than 15,000 people are infected and more than 200 have died.
Health officials said they are working to trace the contacts the Granville and Vance patients have had over the last two weeks. Health officials are also working to identify more local cases. New cases will be announced as soon as the department confirms the test results.
“That may include getting information out to the public before we have even completed our contact tracing fully, but it’s important to us that we get you what we know as soon as we know it. We will let you know more information that is appropriate to share about whether a case is community spread or travel related once we are able to confirm that through an interview with the patient. At this point in the pandemic, it is likely that most counties in NC have some amount of community spread.”
That may include getting information out to the public before we have even completed our contact tracing fully, but it’s important to us that we get you what we know as soon as we know it,” the release said. “We will let you know more information that is appropriate to share about whether a case is community spread or travel related once we are able to confirm that through an interview with the patient.”
Granville Vance Public Health said some amount of community spread is likely happening in most counties across the state.
“While the illness isn’t severe for most people, it can be really serious for some,” the release said. GVPH is taking appropriate steps to stop its spread. Some who are sick when they are tested may even clear the virus by the time the results are back from the lab.
“We all need to be following the guidance to stay home and practice good hand hygiene regardless of the number of positive cases in our community.”
People seeking a COVID-19 test must have a fever and some type of lower respiratory symptom, such as cough or difficulty breathing. Those seeking a test should call a doctor, hospital or health department to arrange for testing, instead of arriving unannounced.
“The person who tested positive in Vance did all the right things — called first, was able to prepare the provider for testing and everyone addressing the patient was able to remain at low-risk for exposure in the situation,” the release said. “That is the ideal way to ask for a test — to talk through it first — and that is what we ask of everyone.”
Patients should only go to an emergency room if they are critically ill. That may include having difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion, inability to arouse or bluish lips or face.
THe statewide coronavirus helpline can be reached at 1-866-462-3821.