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Friday update: 11 additional coronavirus cases in McDowell. Known positives: 240
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Friday update: 11 additional coronavirus cases in McDowell. Known positives: 240

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The McDowell County Health Department has been notified that 11 additional McDowell County residents have tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the known total to 240 locally.

The latest update comes just hours after the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) reported the state’s highest one-day number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases with 2,099.

Hospitalizations are also at a record high with 951 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state.

“We are seeing significant spread of the virus and it is very concerning," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “Today we have the highest reported day of new cases and hospitalizations - and that should be a warning to us all as we go into this holiday weekend. We don’t get a holiday from COVID-19. We all need to wear a face covering, avoid crowds and wash our hands often.”

Public Health officials and the McDowell County Emergency Operations Center are monitoring trends of transmission. By tracking these trends and data, conclusions can be made that transmission continues to be in gatherings of 10 or more people where social distancing is not practiced, households where multiple people reside and widespread community transmission. Public health staff are aggressively investigating and tracing all contacts to positives. 

In McDowell, there have been 4,500 people tested, 4,057 negative results and 203 tests are pending results. Presently, there are 72 individuals in quarantine, 166 out of quarantine and two deaths.

“The holiday weekend is upon us and we know there will be temptation to be in large groups. I encourage you to be extremely cautious when making these decisions. Our largest outbreaks have come from mass gatherings in social settings. It only takes one person with COVID-19 to infect an entire group.” stated Public Health Director Karen Powell. “It is so important that you wear a face covering anytime you are out in public. It will keep yourself and others safe. Always wash your hands, use hand sanitizer and avoid touching your face. We want to see these numbers go down and wearing a face covering is one way to do that.” 

The Health Department is working diligently to get in touch with all contacts of positives to offer testing. Those who test positive are quarantined for 14 days.

If an individual would like to be tested, they can call the hotline at (828) 527- 6687. The operator will ask a list of questions and will provide the caller with the appropriate instructions based upon the answers given. The hours of operation for this hotline are 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., 7 days per week. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Citizens can utilize an online COVID-19 screening tool by going to https://mcdowell.clearstep.health/ and completing the assessment. Additional statistics related to COVID-19 testing in McDowell County can be found by visiting http://www.mcdowellem.com/covid-19.html

Free COVID-19 testing will be conducted at the following locations via a drive-thru setup:

• Monday, July 6 from 9-11 a.m.; Nebo Crossing Church at 963 Harmony Grove Rd. in Nebo

• Wednesday, July 8 from 9-11 a.m.; McDowell High School

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