• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Thursday, March 12, 2020

Forsyth County identifies two presumptive cases of COVID-19

Two Forsyth County residents have tested presumptively positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The test was conducted by the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health and considered presumptive until confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab. Both people are doing well and are in isolation at home.

“We will continue to work with the State Department of Health and Human Services and local partners to protect public health and limit the spread of infection,” said Forsyth County Public Health Director Joshua Swift.

The two COVID-19 cases are related to travel and not attributed to community spread. Forsyth County health department officials are identifying close contacts to monitor symptoms and contain any potential spread. To protect the individuals’ privacy, no further information about them will be released.

“County officials will continue to monitor and respond to the guidance from federal and state public health officials for all county services as appropriate,” said County Manager Dudley Watts. “We plan to use the Thursday commissioner briefing session as an opportunity to inform and update both the elected officials and the general public. Additional media releases will be issued as the situation develops.”

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health is continuing to collaborate with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), other local health departments and health care providers as well as community partners, including the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Emergency Management Office, to respond to the situation and prepare for any future potential local cases.

“The county is both financially and operationally prepared to respond,” said County Commissioner Chair Dave Plyler. “We have dedicated and competent staff working to respond to the situation. We urge residents to take regular precautions like washing your hands and staying home if you’re sick.”

Health officials suggest residents should take the following standard precautions to help protect themselves and others from this respiratory illness:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Have a plan in case you need to miss work or other responsibilities due to personal illness or to care for a sick family member.
  • People over 65 or who have chronic health conditions, who are at high risk of severe illness from the virus, are advised to avoid large gatherings.

For updates and more information about prevention, click here.

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