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North Carolina watchfully prepares for spread of coronavirus

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Last week, two cases of the coronavirus were confirmed by North Carolina state officials. The two cases, which are unrelated, are the first cases for the state as COVID-19 continues to spread across the country.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced last week that the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health can test for the virus. Cooper also stated that the state has been “preparing diligently” for a potential outbreak before it identified its first case. As the state waits for additional test kits from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), several universities and research labs across North Carolina are creating testing kits and are researching cures to combat the virus.

From the Carolina Public Press:

“I know that people are worried about this virus, and I want to assure North Carolinians our state is prepared,” Cooper said in a press release announcing the case.

“Our task force and state agencies are working closely with local health departments, health care providers and others to quickly identify and respond to cases that might occur.”

Major health care providers across North Carolina are getting prepared or the spread of coronavirus and providing information to the public.

Winston-Salem-based Wake Forest Baptist Health is among the hospital companies has published a page with information on the virus.

“We’re actively coordinating with local, state and federal agencies but also with other hospitals and health systems across the state so that we’re all best prepared to take care of, to keep our patients safe, visitors safe and staff safe,”Joe McCloskey, a spokesman for Wake Forest Baptist, said Tuesday.

[School districts are asking] students and staff to stay home if they are sick and to follow basic recommendations to prevent illness, including hand-washing and not touching eyes, mouth or nose.

“Additional measures Asheville City Schools is putting in place include an extensive sanitizing process and a review of our food purchasing plan,” Short’s statement continued.

“Our custodians and maintenance department will continue to proactively disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. For the next several weeks, we will also be adding supplemental custodial personnel in our buildings, after school hours, to assist with our extended sanitizing process. In collaboration with our school nutrition department, we have begun reviewing our food supply purchases to help ensure we are able to provide daily meals should a disruption in delivery occur due to impacts of the coronavirus.”

Like others in the state, the schools are preparing for the possibility of teaching classes online.

While Trump continues to minimize the seriousness of this virus it’s important that we understand what is true and prepare. If you are sick, stay home and follow basic CDC recommendations to prevent illness, including hand-washing for 20 seconds and not touching eyes, mouth or nose.

North Carolina resources can be found on the Division of Public Health website at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.

For information on how to protect students and children, faculty and staff from the spread of respiratory illnesses.

For information on how businesses and employers should reinforce good hand hygiene tips and other common-sense precautions with employees and patrons.

CDC information on how to get your household ready for COVID-19.

Additional information about COVID-19, can be found on the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/coronavirus

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Alanna Joyner

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