COVID-19 (Novel Coronovirus Disease 2019) Information for Granville and Vance County (Updated 3/27/2020)

The health and safety of our community is our number one priority. Granville Vance Public Health (GVPH) wants to make sure that our community has accurate information to help prevent and prepare for novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

As of March 27, 2020, there is 4 known case in Granville County, 3 cases in Vance County, and 763 confirmed cases in North Carolina. Both Granville and Vance County’s first cases are considered community spread – neither one has traveled out of North Carolina recently that we know of at this time.

 

What does the Health Department do when there is a positive case in our community? 

Once a positive test result is received, the health department reaches out to the affected person to ensure they are isolating in their home. Families of individuals who are confirmed positive for COVID-19 are given information about isolation and quarantine and asked to monitor symptoms.

Local public health officials then conduct an interview with the patient to begin contact tracing – investigating any known contacts from the previous two weeks. We determine any potential at-risk contacts and notify them individually of that contact and that risk.

Our commitment to the public is to announce all positive cases as soon as we can confirm the results. Therefore, we may make these announcements before we have fully completed our contact tracing. We will share more information as it is appropriate. To protect privacy, no additional information about the individual will be shared by the health department.

Lisa Harrison, Granville Vance Public Health Director, offers further information and guidance in a press release regarding the first case in Granville County and another press release regarding the first case in Vance County.

 

What is my risk?

Most people who get COVID-19 will recover without needing medical care. Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick with COVID-19. People at higher risk should call their doctor if they develop symptoms of fever or cough. You are at higher risk if you:

  • Are 65 years and older
  • Live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Have a high-risk condition that includes:
    • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • Heart disease with complications
    • Compromised immune system
    • Severe obesity — body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
    • Other underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease

People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk for severe viral illness. However, to date, data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk for severe illness.

Coronaviruses like COVID-19 are most often spread through the air by coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact (including touching and shaking hands) or through touching your nose, mouth or eyes before washing your hands.

 

How can I protect myself?

Regardless of risk status, there are things people can do to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a generous amount of hand sanitizer, with at least 60% alcohol, on all surfaces of the hands and wrists.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Disinfect surfaces – especially ones that are frequently touched – using household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Understand things are changing quickly and everyone is still learning.

As a reminder, Influenza (Flu) vaccines are still available, and since the likelihood of flu spreading is high, we encourage everyone get your flu shot – it’s not too late.

 

What should I do if I think I’ve been exposed to or may have COVID-19?

If you are sick with COVID-19 or believe you might have it, you should stay home and separate yourself from other people in the home as much as possible. If you have fever and cough and other symptoms of respiratory illness, even if it is not from COVID-19, you should isolate yourself as if you have COVID-19. This will reduce the risk of making the people around you sick.

Most people do not need a test. When you leave your home to get tested, you could expose yourself to COVID-19 if you do not already have it. If you do have COVID-19, you can give it to someone else, including people who are high risk.

Your doctor can help you decide if you need a test. There is no treatment for COVID-19. For people with mild symptoms who don’t need medical care, getting a test will not change what you or your doctor do.

Testing is most important for people who are seriously ill, in the hospital, people in high-risk settings like nursing homes or long-term care facilities, and healthcare workers and other first responders who are caring for those with COVID-19.

If you are in isolation, you can stop isolating yourself when you answer YES to ALL three questions:

  1. Has it been at least 7 days since you first had symptoms?
  2. Have you been without fever for three days (72 hours) without any medicine for fever?
  3. Are your other symptoms improved?

Call your doctor if your symptoms are getting worse or you have any concerns about your health. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve the most critically ill so please do not use the emergency room unless you are very sick. Call your doctor or 911 right away if you have:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Blue lips or face

 

Community Mitigation Measures

On Monday, March 16th, the White House and the CDC issued The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America – 15 Days to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus which advises individuals to avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people, among other guidelines.

On Tuesday, March 17th, Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order that closed North Carolina restaurants and bars to sit-down service and limited to take-out or delivery orders. Grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores, are exempt from this order and will remain open, though they may not serve sit-down food.

On Monday, March 23rd, Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order that closes K-12 public school statewide through May 15, bans mass gatherings over 50 people, closes a number of businesses where the ability to practice social distancing is significantly reduced. A mass gathering is any event (indoor or outdoor) that brings together more than 50 people in a single space such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, church, fair, parade, or festival.

In addition to individuals prevention measures, cancellations and closures are community-based interventions to help slow the spread of COVID-19 through “social distancing”. Social distancing or maintaining a minimum distance of 6 feet away from others is recommended at this point on a community level. The Governor’s Task Force and NC DHHS have provided additional mitigation guidance for all North Carolinians to take proactive steps to protect the health of our state as the number of COVID-19 cases increase. For more information, please see the answers to frequently asked questions issued by the NC DHHS or visit the following links for detailed mitigation guidance by industry.

While the individual risk remains low, NC DHHS is making these recommendations to reduce the spread of infection while we are still in an early stage in order to protect lives and avoid strain on our health care system. GVPH continues to work closely with our partners across Granville and Vance counties including hospitals, private providers, school systems, community health centers, senior centers, county and city governments, churches, and many others to provide education and guidance regarding mitigation efforts.

 

What’s happening with COVID-19 in other states and countries? 

For up-to-date information about COVID-19 cases around the world, check out the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Interactive Global Dashboard.

 

For more information please visit the following pages:

As questions and concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19) increase across North Carolina, we’d like to encourage promotion of the statewide Coronavirus Helpline (1-866-462-3821) for the public, which is answered 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

 

Informational Materials and Resources 

Please feel free to share the below resources with friends, family, colleagues, patients, and/or customers. These are helpful resources to distribute or post in appropriate locations within your organization for others to access.

You may access these and additional materials online through the CDC website or the NC DHHS website.

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