As COVID-19 cases increase, Health Department reveals testing numbers

Published 3:35 pm Thursday, April 16, 2020

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Stanly County Health Department has confirmed 20 positive cases of COVID-19 with approximately 480 persons tested. Six individuals have recovered and two deaths are reported.

The health department has received many calls from the community on the COVID-19 Helpline. Here are some questions with answers that Stanly County residents need to know.

● I was sick with a fever and cough but I didn’t get tested for COVID-19 or my doctor said I didn’t need to be tested. When can I go back to work?
○ You can go back to work if it has been 7 days since symptoms started, AND you have not
had a fever (without fever reducing medicine) for 3 days, AND your other symptoms
have improved.

● How do I get a work release so I can go back to work? My boss says I have to have this to return to work.
○ NC Department of Health and Human Services guidance states, “Employers should not
ask for a negative COVID-19 test or a note from a medical provider for employees to
return to work.” For more information: https://files.nc.gov/ncdhhs/documents/files/covid-19/Interim-Guidance-for-Operators-Employees-and-Patrons-of-Essential-Businesses.pdf

● My job is considered essential but my workplace is not following prevention guidelines, what
can I do?
○ Stanly County Health Department recommends that employees that are worried about
precautions such as social distancing or wearing a cloth face covering, should talk to
their supervisor or employer. Employers who have questions about how to protect
employees and customers should get guidance from NC Department of Health and
Human Services website: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/covid19/covid-19-businesses-and-employer

● Someone at my workplace was sick and may have had COVID-19, I don’t feel sick but I’m

concerned. What do I need to do?

○ Exposure at work means that you have been in close contact (within 6 feet for more
than ten minutes while not wearing personal protective equipment such as a mask) with
a person while they are having symptoms or for two days before they began having
symptoms. If you are working right now you are likely considered an essential employee. Essential employees who are exposed to COVID-19 are allowed to work if they do not have symptoms.

The following steps are recommended for employees who may have been exposed to
COVID-19 and continue to work:

○ Prescreen – check your temperature daily before working

○ Self-monitoring – assess your temperature and any symptoms (fever, cough, shortness
of breath) throughout the day

○ Wear a mask – you should wear a mask or cloth face covering at all times in the
workplace for 14 days after last exposure

○ Social distancing – you should maintain 6 feet distance from others as work duties
permit

○ Disinfect and clean work spaces – include offices, bathrooms, common areas, and shared
electronic equipment

For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/critical-workers/implementing-safety-practices.html

● Can the health department release the zipcode where positive COVID-19 cases are identified?
○ Information that identifies a person who has or may have COVID-19 is protected by NC’s
communicable disease confidentiality law, G.S. 130A-143. When the information is
maintained by a local health department, it is protected by HIPAA as well. The zipcode
alone in a small community is enough to make it possible to identify an individual, even
without a name. Therefore, the information must be managed in a way that complies
with these laws.
Questions or Concerns?
Stanly County Health Department Coronavirus Helpline 704-986-7483 or Covidhelp@stanlycountync.gov 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.