WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Dr. Mandy K. Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, said during a news conference Monday the CDC has updated its recommendations of when to go to the doctor if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Testing that has been done across the state has given health experts a snapshot of the virus in North Carolina. Since they have determined the coronavirus is considered a virus that is "community in transmission," meaning it's unclear how people are getting it since they haven't been directly exposed and haven't traveled, the state is moving into the next phase of response.
Cohen said the CDC recommends anyone who thinks they have COVID-19 with mild symptoms to stay at home and call your doctor to see if you should be seen in person. Healthcare providers have been given guidance to do all they can to provide outpatient care remotely, with patients staying at home.
"We need to do all we can to prevent people from getting sick at the same time," Cohen said.
Dr. Phil Brown, Chief Physician Executive at NHRMC, has confirmed that health officials have received guidance to assume that anyone who calls with symptoms of a fever and lower respiratory symptoms should be assumed to have COVID-19 and given self-isolation instructions.
Only patients who are ill enough to require hospitalization should be evaluated and tested. The turnaround time for COVID-19 tests is now down to one day in North Carolina.
The CDC updated who is at greatest risk:
- people 65 years and older
- people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- people with high-risk conditions including chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, or heart disease with complications
- people who are immunocompromised
- people of any age with severe obesity or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes
- women who are pregnant should be monitored, but has not shown an increased risk to date
- children are generally at lower risk for severe infection, some studies indicate a higher risk for infants
WECT’s Frances Weller will be speaking with Dr. Brown tonight during a live chat on WECT’s Facebook page at 7:30. Be sure to tune in and ask your questions!