The health department reported early Thursday afternoon that two of the five confirmed COVID-19 cases in Carteret County have recovered. Both have had no symptoms for 72 hours and are no longer in isolation.
The department has reported no new cases since a fifth was announced Saturday, March 21.
As of the latest numbers released yesterday, 114 COVID-19 tests were pending for Carteret residents. However County health department Director Stephanie Cannon told the Beacon yesterday that those numbers may not represent all pending tests.
“Thats based on what we know. There’s probably more testing done that we aren’t aware of.”
Medical providers are supposed to report all specimens sent off for COVID-19 testing, but Cannon said some may not have reporting forms or are simply not relaying the information to the health department.
Locations of the five positive COVID-19 patients haven’t been released, and will not be due to HIPPA laws, Cannon said. She also pointed out that releasing even vague information about general patient locations can reveal the patient themself.
“There’s a lot of people that still do not understand why we can’t release that information. I understand where they’re coming from, but there are communities with tiny amounts of people in them and they can piece together who the patient is.”
Cannon said she knew of a few situations outside of the county where patient identities had been exposed.
“That’s unfortunate; that [added stress] is not something we want our county residents who are suffering from this to have.”
Cannon presented information on COVID-19 to the county Board of Commissioners at a special meeting Tuesday. She said the brief presentation included an update on new guidance from the state that asks those with mild COVID-19 symptoms to call their doctor and self isolate rather than request testing.
“Testing is directed for individuals who are very ill, those who are hospitalized, people in high-risk settings, and healthcare workers/first responders assisting with the COVID-19 response,” Cannon stated in this afternoon’s update.
“People at high-risk of getting very sick with COVID-19 should call their doctor if they develop symptoms of fever or cough. With these guidelines, it is more important than ever to stay home as much as possible, be vigilant in your social distancing practices, and to frequently wash your hands.”
The state’s most recent patient guidance document is available below or in PDF form here.
The new coronavirus causes a disease called COVID-19. Infected individuals may experience fever, cough, or breathing trouble. Though most will only experience mild symptoms, the disease can lead to severe illness or death in some patients, particularly the medically fragile.
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