News Flash

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Posted on: November 20, 2020

11-20-20 test status update, message from health director

PEOPLE, NOT NUMBERS:

  • As we head towards Thanksgiving and the holiday season, the key message for this week is simple: PLEASE wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose and keep at least six feet of distance any time you’re going to be around anyone who doesn’t live in your household, no matter how well you know them, no matter whether they are close friends, coworkers, extended family, or just people on the street. It’s the only tool we have right now to minimize rapid spread in our schools, workplaces, churches, families, and community.  We can’t mandate a sense of personal responsibility; it’s up to each individual to understand the moral imperative of practicing these simple interventions to keep their loved ones safe and minimize the impact of the pandemic on their community. Here’s why we’re pushing this message so hard:
    • Since our last weekly message, the state has documented 84 new positives in Haywood County. Since Monday morning, our COVID team has received 119 new case investigations (which begin when we receive the contact information on positives to begin casework and contact tracing). 
    • The last time we saw such a surge in cases, there was an outbreak in a nursing home. This time it’s due to community spread. The vast majority of these cases are being spread between coworkers, friends, and extended family members due to infrequent masking.
    • We’ve done a lot of messaging around the importance of remaining vigilant about COVID-19. The cluster identified this week among detention center staff attending a training certification event is a classic example of the dangers of letting down your “COVID guard.” Cases like these are largely avoidable through consistent masking and social distancing. It’s an important reminder that COVID-19 can hit suddenly and spread quickly if the appropriate precautions aren’t taken.
    • To clear up some confusion that we’ve heard from folks: simply maintaining six feet of distance isn’t necessarily enough, particularly when you’re indoors for extended periods with others who don’t live in your household. No single intervention is 100% effective, which is why the CDC and other health organizations recommend the combination of distancing AND masking, along with frequent handwashing and disinfecting of surfaces to minimize the spread of COVID-19. We also cannot stress enough that wearing the mask under your nose or under your chin isn’t effective.
    • If illness prevention isn’t enough of an incentive, consider this: people who test positive isolate for a minimum of ten days, depending on the course of illness. Close contacts of positives quarantine for at least 14 days, potentially longer if they become symptomatic and test positive. Depending on the number of employees involved, a COVID cluster at a business can seriously impact staffing and operations.  It’s better to not give the virus a chance by making sure that staff are consistently practicing the 3W’s.
  • Attached you’ll find updated testing information for Haywood County.
  • Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.  The weekly COVID message will be on hiatus next week.
  • As always, get your information from reliable resources:

 

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