First case of new coronavirus confirmed in North Carolina

Moss Brennan and Emily Broyles

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported the first case of novel coronavirus in North Carolina Tuesday afternoon. A resident of Wake County was exposed at a health care facility in Washington, according to a NCDHHS release. 

“I know that people are worried about this virus, and I want to assure North Carolinians our state is prepared,” said Governor Roy Cooper in the press release. “Our task force and state agencies are working closely with local health departments, health care providers and others to quickly identify and respond to cases that might occur.”

According to NCDHHS, local health department officials are working to identify close contacts to the person to monitor symptoms and contain spread. No further information will be released to protect individual privacy. 

“NCDHHS will treat presumptive cases as positive and follow CDC guidelines to protect public health and limit the spread of infection,” the press release stated

For more information, visit the CDC’s coronavirus page at and NCDHHS’ coronavirus page at, which will also include future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina.

From the press release:

Last month, Governor Cooper established the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force to support the state’s ongoing effort to monitor, prepare for and respond to COVID-19. State actions include: 

  • Aggressively pursuing containment strategy of rapid identification, testing and contact tracing.
  • Engaging in daily collaboration with federal, state and local partners to ensure rapid response.
  • Mobilizing resources for our providers, local public health system, local emergency management and others. 
  • Developing detailed response plans for multiple sectors for a range of scenarios. 
  • Developing guidance for planning for multiple sectors for a range of scenarios. 
  • Preparing health care providers and facilities to streamline and standardize response activities. 
  • Activating a Joint Information Center to provide timely information.
  • Testing patients in the NC State Laboratory of Public Health.
  • Leading regular calls with local health departments, hospitals and local emergency management.
  • Providing guidelines for health care providers, child care, employers, schools, colleges and universities and others.
  • Monitoring residents who have returned from China through local health departments.
  • Staffing a COVID-19 phone line to answer urgent questions from the public. 
  • Maintaining an up-to-date website with information about COVID-19 disease, risk and guidance.