The global threat that has had the world on edge for weeks is now arriving in North Carolina.
On Monday, March 9, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced that five more people – all in Wake County – have tested presumptively positive for coronavirus.
According to state health officials, all of those infected individuals traveled to Boston late last month to attend a BioGen conference in Boston. NCDHHS notes that multiple cases of coronavirus across the country have now been tied to that conference. The department also states that these cases aren’t related to another Wake County person who tested positive last week. Those carrying the virus are now in isolation in their homes.
“The tests, conducted by the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, are presumptively positive and will be confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab,” the March 9 release states. “While awaiting confirmation of results from the CDC, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will treat presumptive cases as positive and follow CDC guidelines to protect public health and limit the spread of infection.”
The Wake County Public Health Division is working to identify anyone who had “close contacts” with the five.
On Monday, the state also put state residents on notice that a person from Indiana had the virus and had traveled through Wake and Durham counties.
Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, the state is urging the same actions that everyone has heard over and over again in recent weeks: “Take the same measures that health care providers recommend to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, staying home if you are sick and covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow.”
Anyone with questions or concerns regarding the coronavirus can call line toll-free at 866-462-3821. This helpline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.