Stanly residents tested for coronavirus, no confirmed cases
Published 11:02 am Tuesday, March 17, 2020
County DHSS director David Jenkins told county commissioners Monday night that the county has “adequate test kits” to help combat the COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Jenkins mentioned county residents are being tested, though he could not share the number of people due to confidentiality. He said it’s an “ongoing process” with the numbers continuing to change.
There have not yet been confirmed tests of COVID-19 in Stanly. Counties such as Mecklenburg and Cabarrus have already reported cases. The state has 40 positive cases as of Tuesday morning.
People who meet the following criteria may be eligible for COVID-19 testing. Either they 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 or they have a fever and lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) and a negative rapid flu test. People who meet the criteria should contact their doctor or the county health department and isolate themselves from others.
Jenkins said once people are tested, on average it takes about two to three days to receive results.
While the county has received test kits from the state, private labs, like N.C.-based LabCorps, are also distributing kits.
“It’s gonna get worse,” said Commissioner Tommy Jordan, who also serves on the board of health, about the spread of the virus. “But what you guys are going through and how you’re handling it is amazing.”
In a news conference Monday afternoon, President Trump urged all Americans to avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people and recommended not eating or drinking at restaurants, bars or food courts.
The guidelines apply for the next 15 days, but Trump warned that the restrictions could grow more stringent and last well into July or August.
In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency last week and state officials are recommending against having gatherings of 50 people or more. Cooper was to ban dining in at restaurants and bars on Tuesday afternoon.
There have been almost 4,500 confirmed cases in 49 states, as well as Washington, D.C., and three U.S. territories, with at least 86 people with the virus having died.
Cooper also recently closed public schools for the next two weeks, and on Monday, he requested a disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration that would allow small businesses impacted economically from the pandemic to receive loans.
Several businesses and organizations throughout Stanly County have been affected by the spread of a virus, with many tweaking hours of operation.
“In this time of panic…I just pray that this thing ends quick and that God has mercy on our county,” said Commissioner Mike Barbee in his closing statement.
The commissioners approved a motion to cancel the scheduled commissioners meeting on April 6. Their next meeting will be April 20.
Contact reporter Chris Miller at 704-982-2122.