April 29, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: COVID-19 Burke County Media Briefing
Burke County’s Response to COVID-19
• Burke County is currently at 99 positive cases. The cases consist of both traveling and community spread. All positive cases are isolated and Public Health staff continues to investigate the cases and will be locating those close contacts to help contain the spread of the infection.
• Numbers noted on the state website may fluctuate during the public health investigations when staff find out that some positive tests are truly not Burke County residents. Numbers listed above are correct numbers for Burke County.
• Public information line has been opened Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm for those with questions can call 828-764-9388.
Update from Burke County Animal Services:
With the recent developments in the animal world we thought we needed to highlight the new recommendations from the CDC for pet owners as well as help to ensure that pets are safer in households than being surrendered over to the shelter. The information is below.
Until we learn more about how this virus affects animals, the CDC and the veterinary community recommend that you treat pets as you would other human family members to protect them from a potential infection.
• Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
• Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
• Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people and animals.
• Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.
• When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick.
• If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.
• Talk to your veterinarian if your pet gets sick or if you have any concerns about your pet’s health.
Pets can provide important emotional support during challenging times. The risk that they would be a source of COVID-19 in a household is exceptionally low, with some basic practices. While there are reports of people asking to surrender their pet because of fear of COVID-19, the risk posed by driving to a shelter to surrender a pet is probably much greater than the risk posed by a pet.
Update from Burke County Command Staff:
Last week in the News Herald, a Memorandum of Understanding and an article was published regarding housing COVID patients at The Comfort Inn. These individuals were those that were going to need a place to stay during their isolation period that had nowhere else to stay. But this
agreement is no longer happening. The Comfort Inn DOES NOT andWILL NOT have sick individuals staying in their facility.
Update on www.burkenc.org/COVID-19Webpage:
• Charts with percentages of positives cases by gender and age breakdowns
• These charts are updated by 5pm daily
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. After hours, weekends and holidays, 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.