Pitt County's first COVID-19 case visited an ECU Physicians’ clinic for treatment, East Carolina University announced at 3 p.m. today
The release did not identify which clinic the individual visited.
The university said it is notifying the campus community and will coordinate with the health department to notify people who may have come in contact with the patient.
Neither the university nor the public health authorities will identify patients or provide information that may compromise their confidentiality.
“ECU officials understand this news is concerning and want to assure you that reasonable precautions are being taken to ensure the health and well-being of our campus community,” the release stated.
An employee of North Pitt High School is the individual identified earlier today as the first person in Pitt County to test positive for COVID-19, according to the school system's spokeswoman.
The individual's name and position at the school was not released.
"We can share that the employee has not been on any PCS campus for more than a week and has no children or immediate family members currently enrolled or working in the school system," according to a news release. "To the extent our employee may have interacted with people affiliated with our school system, we are working with the health department to identify these individuals and provide notice to them."
The release said the high school's employees have been notified and the campus is shut down.
The building is being cleaned and disinfected following the guidelines provided by the health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health officials reported Thursday morning that a person from Pitt County has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and that the state now has nearly 100 confirmed cases.
The Pitt County Health Department was notified of the positive test result at 8 a.m., a news release said. The patient has mild symptoms and is in isolation.
County Health Director Dr. John Silvernail was notified by a local physician, the release said. Public Health officials are currently learning more about this case and will begin following up with individuals who may have been exposed.
This individual is an adult male who traveled out of state and is believed to have become infected during this travel. He is recovering at home.
Dr. Silvernail will address this case, along with all county response efforts moving forward, during the next COVID-19 media session at 3:15 p.m., the release said.
At least 97 others in the state have tested positive for the virus in 22 counties, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. The statewide numbers were updated at 11 a.m. and are expected to rise. They did not include the Pitt County case.
The Pitt County Health Department response plans have already been put into activation, the county news release said, and actions are being taken to further limit and identify potential further spreading.
Silvernail also stresses the importance community members have in helping prevent the transmission of infections, through actions such as:
- Avoiding Panic: Most cases of COVID-19 have mild symptoms with full recoveries. Panic only hinders you from taking care of yourself or your family.
- Good Hygiene: Washing hands often; covering coughs; and avoiding others if you get sick, so as not to spread any infection you may have is important.
- Avoid Smoking/Vaping: Smoking or vaping irritates the respiratory system making it easier for infections to invade your body.
- Social Distancing: A newly common term, practicing “social distancing” can be effective. Avoid participation in events with multiple people, and maintain a safe personal space between yourself and others.
For the latest information on Pitt County’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, visit: www.PittCountyNC.gov/Coronavirus.