Second case of coronavirus confirmed in North Carolina

Moss Brennan, Political Editor

A second case of novel coronavirus has been confirmed in Chatham County. The test was conducted by the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health and is presumptively positive. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab will confirm the test.

A man from Chatham County traveled to Italy in late February to an area that now has an outbreak of the disease. According to the NCDHHS, the Chatham County Public Health Department officials conducted a home visit and collected specimens that came back presumptively positive on March 5.

The man is currently in home isolation. The Chatham County Public Health Department will work to identify close contacts to the man to monitor symptoms. The CDC will work to identify those in close contact on the flight thought to be at risk since the man was symptomatic before travel.

NCDHHS will treat any presumptive cases as positive as it waits for the confirmation from the CDC.

According to the NCDHHS, North Carolina state actions include:

Containment

  • Proactively launched cross-agency preparation work in January, putting together an aggressive containment strategy of rapid identification of suspected cases, testing and contact tracing.
  • Began testing cases at the NC State Laboratory of Public Health, which allows for faster results and response.
  • Monitoring travelers returning from China through local health departments.

Preparation and Ongoing Response

  • Formalized preparation and response work with Governor Cooper creating the Novel Coronavirus Task Force.
  • Developing detailed response plans for a range of scenarios.
  • Engaged in regular communication with federal, state and local partners.
  • Preparing health care providers and facilities to streamline and standardize response activities including regular calls and mobilizing resources.
  • Sharing and updating guidelines on how to proactively prepare and respond, including guidelines for health care providers, child care, employers, schools, colleges and universities.

Public Information

  • Activated a Joint Information Center to provide timely information.
  • Maintaining an up-to-date website with information about COVID-19 disease, risk and guidance.
  • Staffing a COVID-19 phone line to answer urgent questions from the public.

North Carolinians with questions or concerns about COVID-19 can call the COVID-19 phone line toll-free at 866-462-3821. This helpline is staffed by the North Carolina Poison Control 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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