Unfortunately, it’s now here.
At 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3, NC Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina has had its first known case of the coronavirus.
The statement reads, “A North Carolina person has tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The test, conducted by North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, is presumptively positive and will be confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab. The person is doing well and is in isolation at home.”
The North Carolina resident infected was someone from Wake County who traveled to the State of Washington and was exposed to the virus at a long-term care facility where there’s currently a coronavirus outbreak. The governor stated that health department officials are identifying contacts of the person to monitor symptoms and contain any spread.
The press release states, “To protect individual privacy, no further information will be released.”
Cooper also attempted to allay people’s fears in a prepared statement.
“I know that people are worried about this virus, and I want to assure North Carolinians our state is prepared,” Cooper stated. “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.”
The press release also states that, while awaiting confirmation of results from the CDC, the NC Department of Health and Human Services will treat presumptive cases as positive and follow CDC guidelines to protect public health and to limit the spread of infection.
According to state health officials, at this point, this is an isolated case and the virus is currently not widespread in North Carolina. But the health officials also said that North Carolinians should take the same measures that healthcare providers recommend annually to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses