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Cornelius News

Late update: Guidelines from NC health officials

GOVERNOR COOPER

March 12. The state and Mecklenburg County are taking proactive steps to protect the health and well-being of residents in the face of growing cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 around the nation, in North Carolina, and two new cases today reported in Mecklenburg County.

“The two cases we have will likely expand and we are as prepared as we can be to meet the needs of our community,” said Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham.

COTHAM

Most organizations are canceling or postponing larger gatherings of people. Businesses are teleworking if possible. ​Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Cornelius is cancelling in-person worship services and Sunday School for the next two Sundays​.​

CMS Board Member Rhonda Cheek said the school system is approaching the ongoing health crisis head-on, and staying abreast of the situation with not just kids, but parents in mind.

North Carolina and Charlotte area officials have tough decisions ahead.

CHEEK

“We will be ready to make them,” Cooper said. “We have the benefit of learning from other countries and other states about the best ways to fight this pandemic.”

“We know that if we can slow the spread of this virus now, then fewer people will be infected or become seriously ill. And we can be more effective in avoiding an overload of our medical system. It will save lives,” he said.

North Carolina currently has 15 positive cases reported with more expected.

Cotham she is “proud of how our County Manager and staff have been so transparent and have updated the community daily.”

Health officials are making the following recommendations for all North Carolinians:

1. SYMPTOMATIC PERSONS

If you need medical care and have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspect you might have COVID-19, call ahead and tell your health care provider you have or may have COVID-19. This will allow them to take steps to keep other people from getting exposed. NC DHHS recommends that persons experiencing fever and cough should stay at home and not go out until their symptoms have completely resolved.

2. HIGH RISK PERSONS WITHOUT SYMPTOMS

NC DHHS recommends that people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should stay at home to the extent possible to decrease the chance of infection.

People at high risk include people:

Over 65 years of age, or
with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, or
with weakened immune systems.

3. CONGREGATE LIVING FACILITIES

NC DHHS recommends that all facilities that serve as residential establishments for high risk persons described above should restrict visitors. Exceptions should include end of life care or other emergent

situations determined by the facility to necessitate a visit. If visitation is allowed, the visitor should be screened and restricted if they have a respiratory illness or potential exposure to COVID-19. Facilities are encouraged to implement social distancing measures and perform temperature and respiratory symptom screening of residents and staff. These establishments include settings such as nursing homes, independent and assisted living facilities, correction facilities, and facilities that care for medically vulnerable children.

4. SCHOOLS

We do not recommend pre-emptive school closure at this time but do recommend that schools and childcare centers cancel or reduce large events and gatherings (e.g., assemblies) and field trips, limit inter-school interactions, and consider distance or e-learning in some settings. Students at high risk should implement individual plans for distance or e-learning. School dismissals may be necessary when staff or student absenteeism impacts the ability to remain open. Short-term closures may also be necessary to facilitate public health investigation and/or cleaning if a case is diagnosed in a student or staff member.

5. WORKPLACE

NC DHHS recommends that employers and employees use teleworking technologies to the greatest extent possible, stagger work schedules, and consider canceling non-essential travel. Workplaces should hold larger meetings virtually, to the extent possible. Additionally, employers should arrange the workspace to optimize distance between employees, ideally at least six feet apart. Employers should urge high risk employees to stay home and urge employees to stay home when they are sick and maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits.

6. MASS GATHERINGS, COMMUNITY, AND SOCIAL EVENTS

NC DHHS recommends that organizers of events that draw more than 100 people should cancel, postpone, modify these events or offer online streaming services. These events include large gatherings where people are in close contact (less than 6 feet), for example concerts, conferences, sporting events, faith-based events and other large gatherings.

7. MASS TRANSIT

Mass transit operators should maximize opportunities for cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces. People should avoid using use mass transit (e.g. buses, trains) while sick.

As the number of cases of COVID-19 rise in North Carolina and the United States, and with the designation of COVID-19 as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the state is responding with a whole government response. COVID-19 is a new infection that is particularly severe in older persons and those with medical conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and weakened immune systems.

Additional Information

At this time there are no approved treatments and no vaccine to prevent it. However, there are known methods to reduce and slow the spread of infection. Individuals can practice everyday prevention measures like frequent hand washing, staying home when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes. Community-based interventions can also help slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes measures collectively known as “social distancing.” Social distancing measures aim to reduce the frequency of contact and increase physical distance between persons, thereby reducing the risks of person-to-person transmission. These measures are most effective when implemented early in an epidemic. We are at a critical inflection point where we may have the opportunity to slow the spread of this epidemic by taking proactive steps now.

 

Discussion

One Response to “Late update: Guidelines from NC health officials”

  1. I was at the DMV yesterday for drivers license renewal. No one took any precautions for the Coronavirus. I put my head in the machine for eye testing and no one wiped it off before or after. There were no disinfectant wipes anywhere. Please address this problem. Also eveyone uses the same pen to sign and nothing done to disinfect it. Scary!!

    Posted by Susan Covelli | March 12, 2020, 6:04 pm

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