A North Carolina person has tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The test, conducted by North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, is presumptively positive and will be confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab. The person is doing well and is in isolation at home.
“I know that people are worried about this virus, and I want to assure North Carolinians our state is prepared,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Our task force and state agencies are working closely with local health departments, health care providers and others to quickly identify and respond to cases that might occur.”
The North Carolina person from Wake County traveled to the State of Washington and was exposed at a long-term care facility where there is currently a COVID-19 outbreak. Local health department officials are identifying close contacts to monitor symptoms and contain the spread. To protect individual privacy, no further information will be released.
While awaiting confirmation of results from the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will treat presumptive cases as positive and follow CDC guidelines to protect public health and limit the spread of infection.
Today’s announcement represents an isolated case, and COVID-19 is currently not widespread in North Carolina. Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, North Carolinians should take the same measures that healthcare providers recommend annually to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes.