April 6, 2020
Rebecca McLeod, Public Health Director
Lisa Moore, Burke County Public Information Officer
Michael Willis, Emergency Management Director
Burke County Confirms Twenty-eight Cases of COVID-19
Morganton, NC: The Burke County Health Director was notified of five additional positive cases of COVID-19 which brings the total cases to 28 in Burke County. The cases consist of both traveling and community spread. Fifteen of the cases are associated with long-term care facilities. All positive cases are isolated.
Public Health staff continues to investigate the cases 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. 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.
Residents are encouraged to CALL their medical provider if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but they do NOT need to come out to be tested since it may spread the illness to others in the community including those at higher risk of complications and health care workers. For those residents who do not have a medical provider can call and make an appointment for a primary care visit at the Burke County Health Department.
- Since this virus is now spreading in the community, it is extremely important to follow the Governor’s Stay at Home Executive Order for the next 30 days and only be out to pick up essential items and when out make sure to take proper precautions such as social distancing and hand washing to help reduce the spread of this virus.
- Businesses that are not determined to be essential really need to adhere to the Governor’s Stay at Home order so Burke County can reduce the spread of this virus to those most at risk within our community.
- DO NOT congregate anywhere to help reduce the spread of this virus within the community.
- Wash your hands often especially after going to stores, or touching objects or surfaces that others have touched. Wash for 20 seconds and sing a song while you wash. Use hand sanitizer if you do not have access to soap and water.
Update from Centers for Disease Control:
Wearing Masks Out in Public
Since it has been found that some people who do not have symptoms of this infection and are in close contact with others when speaking, coughing or sneezing and can transmit this infection the CDC is recommending that people wear masks or cloth face coverings in public settings where social/physical distancing cannot be done like grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, etc. especially in areas with a lot of community spread of this infection.
CDC is advising the use of cloth coverings for the general public and can be made from common household materials.
This is how to wear a cloth face covering:
- You must wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer before putting the mask on
- It has to fit snugly around the face, around the nose and down under the chin
- Needs to be secured with ties or ear loops
- It should include several layers of fabric but allow for breathing without restricting air flow
- Be able to be washed and machine dried without damage to the fabric or change in shape. And should be routinely washed
- It is extremely important that you do not touch the outside of the mask when you are wearing it and do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth while wearing the mask
- It is also very important not to touch the outside of the mask when you are taking it off. Grasp the ear loops only and throw away in a closed trash can if it a disposable mask or put in a separate container from other clothes or surfaces until it is washed and ready to wear again
- Then wash your hands again with soap and water or use hand sanitizer
- Face coverings should not be used on children less than 2 years of age, or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated or unable to remove the face covering without help.
Surgical masks or N95 masks are in really short supply and only needs to be used by healthcare workers or first responders when responding to calls or treating sick patients
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.