There Is COVID-19 'Community Spread' In Jackson County
Jackson County Department of Public Health announced today that there are now 24 total COVID-19 cases in the county. This is a jump up from last week when there were just five positive cases.
Public Health Director Shelley Carraway says that there has been community spread in the county for a few weeks. ‘Community spread’ is when patients aren’t able to trace where they contracted the virus.
“Please know it is definitely community spread in Jackson County. It is not just part-time residents coming to their summer homes. There’s no reason to point fingers. It’s just here in the community,” says Carraway. “So act accordingly: Act like everyone has it and act like you have it. That’s how we will get through this.”
The first two cases in the county were part-time residents, explains Carraway.
In the last month, Carraway says that the health department has been able to increase the amount of COVID-19 testing because of improved turnaround time from labs - this has also led to the increase in positive case numbers. The health department is receiving test kits from the state and Dogwood Health Trust.
Some of the new cases were a part of last week’s announcement of a positive COVID-19 case at a Western Carolina University construction site, the Apodaca Science Building, which is now closed. In total, nine of the new cases are non-residents who have now left the county, says Carraway.
Carraway says that the best way to stay healthy is to practice social distancing and wear a face mask when outside.
“Truly wash your hands maniacally,” says Carraway. “I mean the virus is here. We are dealing with it. But it would really help if that was the message of the day."