How will you know if there is a Coronavirus case in your county?

The process health officials are required to take
Updated: Mar. 11, 2020 at 12:47 PM EDT
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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - On Feb. 3 COVID-19 became a required, reportable disease in North Carolina by order of the State Health inspector. This means physicians are required to immediately report reasonable suspicion of COVID-19 to local public health departments.

When the public health department receives the report, it would then be required to report that to the North Carolina State Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).

If anyone shows up at a doctor’s office, public health, or other healthcare facilities with symptoms that meet the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) criteria for testing, they would be sampled at the physician’s office or by public health.

Those samples would be sent to the state or private lab for testing.

The NCDHHS would first publicly announce a presumptive positive or confirmed case of Coronavirus, and the respective county is expected to share the information immediately after.

WECT has reached out to all health departments in southeastern North Carolina and all are acting in accordance with these requirements.

NHCHHS has the following criteria for coronavirus testing. According to the state, only those who meet the criteria should ask their doctor or local health department about being tested for the virus.

The criteria to be tested includes:

  • Have a fever or lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) and close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case within the past 14 days
  • Have a fever and lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) and a negative rapid flu test

New Hanover County leaders are requesting patients call ahead before presenting to a healthcare provider with respiratory symptoms.

If you have traveled to an area with active COVID-19 in the last 14 days or you have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms, contact your healthcare provider or New Hanover County Public Health at 910-798-3500.

If you use an urgent care or walk-in clinic, county officials ask that you call ahead so they can plan safety precautions during your visit.

NOTE: There are no presumed or confirmed cases of coronavirus in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender, Columbus, or Bladen counties at this time.

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