For Immediate Release
March 24, 2020
Rebecca McLeod, Public Health Director
Lisa Moore, Burke County Public Information Officer
Michael Willis, Emergency Management Director
Burke County’s First Positive COVID-19 Case
Morganton, NC: At 6pm today, the Burke County Health Director was notified by the North Carolina State Lab that two people tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19). One is a Burke County resident and one is a resident of another NC county. The individuals are in isolation. Public health authorities nor any other community partner will identify any individual that tests positive and we will not provide information that may compromise their confidentiality as a matter of their personal safety, so individuals are not targeted, threatened or harassed.
Please know that your public health and community partners have been planning and preparing for this reality and Public Health staff have begun their investigation and will be locating those close contacts to help contain the spread of the infection. The Burke County Health Department and County Emergency Management will keep the public informed by announcing any additional cases that may arise through our local media partners.
It is likely to expect more cases to be identified in Burke County. This case does not change any of the guidance issued by the State or CDC. Remember that for most people, the immediate risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low. Older adults, people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, asthma, diabetes, etc) or a weakened immune system may be at a higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. This infection comes at a time when we are seeing other infections and sickness throughout the community. It is very important for those who are sick with COVID or any other infectious disease to isolate yourself at home until you are symptom free. Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The Health Department is continuing to test individuals for COVID-19 that meet the state criteria for testing.
Each of us have a role to play to help slow the spread of this virus. Our role, as the situation continues to change, will be to continue to work very hard to get as much updated information out to you as possible to keep you informed, to test those that meet the state required criteria, and keep the community as safe as possible during this crisis. Your role as a community, is to stay as calm as possible, check in on your family, friends and neighbors and help out as you can by dropping off food, calling to talk and stay connected, and continue to help support local businesses by getting take-out meals or ordering delivery. We all must work together for the true benefit of the community.
If you have any further questions or need additional information, contact the Burke County Public Information Line at 828-764-9388, Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm and after hours the NC Public Information Line number is provided as a resource to contact. The operator will answer your questions or direct you to the correct person to answer your questions. Or you can also visit the Burke County COVID-19 webpage at www.burkenc.org/COVID-19.
If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms listed for COVID-19.