COVID-19 cases in Western North Carolina have stabilized says Dr. Mark Jaban, medical director of Haywood County Health and Human Services.
At a Tuesday meeting, Jaban updated Haywood County commissioners about the county’s COVID-19 cases. He says new cases have plateaued after a outbreak at an assisted living facility, Silver Bluff Village, in early August. But Jaban warned the community to continue to follow health guidelines:
“We would like to ask people to pause and think about what you want," says Jaban. "If you want the economy and businesses to fully open, if you want schools to open and to remain open, if you want to live less under the shadow of this virus then we know what this takes, because people in the community are showing us the path.”
There have been 534 positive COVID-19 cases in the county and 31 deaths as of this week – 30 of those deaths have been identified as residents of Silver Bluff Village.
“We are sad and devastated at our losses,” says Silver Bluff Village Administrator Lisa Leatherwood in a press release.
Local public health leaders echoed her sentiments.
“We extend our deepest sympathy to the families and loved ones. This is a sad reminder that COVID-19 is a serious and sometimes deadly illness. We urge all citizens to do their part by observing social distancing, wear masks, and practicing good hygiene,” says Health Director Patrick Johnson in a press release.
This month there is free drive-through COVID-19 community testing site in Haywood County run by Blue Ridge Health.
It will be open to the community weekly through September at 490 Hospital Drive in Clyde on the following dates: Tuesday, Sept. 3, 5 - 7 p.m.; Tuesday Sept. 15, 5 - 7p.m.; Thursday Sept. 17, 5 - 7 p.m.; and Tuesday Sept. 22, 5 - 7 p.m.
The testing is open to the public and no appointment is necessary. No insurance is required. There will be no charge for the uninsured and copays will be waived for those with insurance, according to a press release.
The county health department cautions that COVID-19 cases from the Labor Day Holiday Weekend will be identifed in about 10 days.