On Monday, March 9, North Carolina health officials put residents on notice that a person from Indiana had brought a case of the coronavirus to this state.
The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) had seen seven cases of the virus in North Carolina as of Monday afternoon and a Sunday, March 8 notice from Indiana health officials now has NCDHHS officials expressing concern that the traveler may have spread the disease in Durham and Wake counties.
The March 9 press release states that Indiana State Department of Health officials notified North Carolina officials that a person who tested positive for the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, was traveling in Durham and Wake counties for five days in early March.
That person – who Indiana officials say was symptomatic at the time – is now in isolation at home in Indiana. NCDHHS officials are hoping that he or she didn’t leave any new cases of the virus behind in this state. Health officials across the country are trying to prevent “community spread” of the disease.
According to the NCDHHS press release, the Durham County Department of Public Health and the Wake County Public Health Division are working to identify everyone who came in “close contact” with the person from Indiana. NCDHHS, however, does not give the name of the person, the sex, or any other identifying details – so it may be difficult to find everyone who came in contact with the carrier.
The press release states, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person with a COVID-19 infection for a prolonged period of time,” which it defines as 10 minutes or longer.
The release adds, “Based on information provided by the individual, county health leaders will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed such as temperature and symptom checks, quarantine and/or testing.”