By Tim Gardner
A fourth case of Coronavirus has been confirmed in Mitchell County, NC.
The Mitchell County Health Department, part of Toe River Health District, was notified at 4:00 p.m. Friday, April 10th that a Mitchell County resident has tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The individual is in isolation, according to Mitchell County health officials.
The Toe River Health District includes Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties.
There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Avery or Yancey.
Public health staffers have already initiated an investigation and will be identifying close contacts to contain the spread of COVID-19 disease. To protect individual privacy and for legal reasons, no further information about the case will be released.
Medical professionals have said to isolate yourself at home if you are sick. Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you experience these symptoms, please call your healthcare provider and follow their advice. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19. Only 80 percent of coronavirus cases generate only mild symptoms.
“It’s especially important to be proactive at this time,” added Diane Creek, Mitchell County Health Director. “We are blessed in Mitchell County to have a strong community. Public officials and county leadership are continuing to work to prepare for the impact of this virus. Community members can do their part by following the guidelines, and by remembering that we’re all in this together, and to support one another.”
Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, medical professionals urge everyone to take precautions to protect themselves from the spread of all respiratory illness, including flu and COVID-19:
Especially stay home when sick
Practice social distancing- stay at least 6 feet away from others
Avoid contact with persons that you know are sick
Cover your cough (cough into the crook of your elbow; or use a tissue and throw in trash)
Practice good hand hygiene (wash 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 you do not have access to soap and water use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol
Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces with household cleaners
Routine use of these measures by everyone will decrease the spread of viruses and respiratory diseases in our community.
It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC, NCDHHS and local health department. For more information, call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 1-866-462-3821 (staffed by nurses and pharmacists 24/7), or visit the Center for Disease Control’s web site for information and updates.