The Columbus County Health Department on Saturday morning reported the first positive case of COVID-19 in the county.
The person who tested positive has several underlying medical conditions and required a short hospital stay at Columbus Regional Healthcare System but is now isolating at home, according to a press release from the health department.
The person who tested positive has not been linked to international travel or other individuals who tested positive for COVID-19, the health department said. Therefore, this case can be associated with community spread of the coronavirus. The health department will work to identify any close contacts, which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines as someone who has been within approximately 6 feet of a person with a COVID-19 infection for 10 minutes or longer.
Based on information provided by the person who tested positive, county public health officials will assess risks of exposure, and determine which, if any, additional measures are needed such as temperature and symptom checks, quarantine and/or testing, the health department said.
Columbus Regional Healthcare System said in a press release that it has worked with the Columbus County Health Department and continues to follow the CDC guidelines to protect patients and teammates, and to limit the spread of the virus.
To protect patients, families, and healthcare workers from the spread of COVID-19, Columbus
Regional continues to temporarily limit visitors. Visitors are not allowed in the emergency
department or on the floors, with very few exceptions, including minor children. Any visitors that are
permitted on the campus are subject to a health screening to ensure they do not have any flu-like
symptoms, including fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
Columbus Regional Healthcare System continues to monitor and respond to this rapidly evolving
situation. This temporary restriction on visitors follows local, state, and national guidelines and best
practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to protect patients, visitors, and healthcare
Columbus Regional continues to encourage everyone to follow the recommendations of the CDC,
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the Columbus County Health
Department to take the necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which are:
— Social distancing (e.g. avoiding crowds, self-quarantining, etc.)
— Washing hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time
— Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
— Avoid close contact with people who are ill
— Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw it away, and then
wash your hands
— Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
— Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched