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Cornelius News

Town, chamber announce coronavirus precautions

March. 11. By Dave Yochum. A day after Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency in North Carolina in response to five new cases of the Coronavirus in Wake County, ​The Town of Cornelius and the Lake Norman Chamber are providing advice to residents and businesses.

​The town has posted ​ “No Handshaking” signs and reminders throughout Town Hall and other facilities. (The mayor’s message to citizens can be viewed here.)

Meanwhile, the chamber said now is the time to prepare, not panic.

According to Johns Hopkins, there are more than  1,000 US case of the coronavirus, with 29 deaths. Their detailed web site, with up-to-date information is here.

“At this time, we have not seen a major disruption to the business community nor do we have any plans to alter, postpone, or cancel any chamber programs or events. The local impact will depend greatly on how long this lasts,” said Bill Russell, CEO of the chamber.

While the current immediate health risk to the general public in North Carolina is considered low at this time, ​people are encouraged to stay abreast of the rapidly evolving situation.

​In conversations with Cornelius Today, local doctors and health care experts have mentioned the need to have three weeks of food and supplies on hand in case of quarantines.

“We have four weeks,” one health care industry expert said.

At some local medical practices, staff members are wearing face-masks.​

​O​lder ​residents​ face a potentially life-threatening risk​.

The novel coronavirus has caused ​considerably more ​deaths ​among ​60-plus-year-olds ​from China to the United States.

High-risk individuals include those with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and weakened immune systems.

Hospitals are restricting access.

Atrium Health and Novant are expanding visitor restrictions to prevent the spread ​of ​coronavirus​. Other NC hospital chains joining in include Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, CaroMont Health, Cone Health, Randolph Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health.

Effective immediately, only immediate family members, aged 13 and over, will be able to take part in hospital visiting hours unless deemed absolutely necessary by the patient’s healthcare team.

This standard will apply even if visitors are healthy and regardless of their age. Existing visitation restrictions already apply to all children age 12 and under due to the ongoing flu season visitor restrictions that remain in effect.

In addition, any and all visitors, including family members, with flu-like symptoms such as fever and new or worsening cough or shortness of breath will not be allowed in patient areas to help control the spread of illnesses.

​​Nursing staff and the attending physician will work with families who have special circumstances, such as a critically ill or injured family member, on a case-by-case basis.

There are likely more than seven actual cases in NC.

​”​The truth is we are under-testing due to a national shortage of test kits​,” said NC Sen. Jeff Jackson.


Nationally, the number of infected people appears to be doubling roughly every week.

“That means we have exponential growth, which is difficult to conceptualize but basically means it starts off slow but then rapidly grows. It means we could go from 100 cases to 1​.6 million in roughly 14 weeks ​without​ successful containment,” Jackson said.

Small businesses are stepping up cleaning efforts.

Gold’s Gym in Cornelius is providing extra quantities of cleaning products and sanitizer, including more equipment wipes and sanitizer pumps for use during your workouts and as you enter and exit the gym.

The chamber’s Russell recommended that small business “implement best health practices” to help prevent workplace exposure, including:


@Good hand washing (soap and water for at least 20 seconds)

@Covering your cough and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth

@Regular use of tissues and hand sanitizer

@Stay home if you or a family member is sick

@Sanitize commonly touched surfaces and objects regularly

@Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices before any international travel