Leaders talk COVID-19 prep

Columbus County Health Director Kim Smith addresses a gathering of leaders review the local state of COVID-19. (Deuce Niven, TLT)

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Columbus County’s Coronavirus COVID-19 risk remains low, but public health, government and business leaders planning for any local impact met in Whiteville Thursday afternoon.

     County Health Director Kim Smith led discussions with more than 60 representatives from various local governments, public safety agencies, industry, and at least one pastor.

     Smith described the current state of COVID-19 in North Carolina, 12 confirmed cases in the state as of 11 a.m. Thursday, and provided those attending with a contract list and resources anyone dealing with those impacts.

     No one in Columbus County is under quarantine for COVID-19, Smith said, one test has been given but the results for that person were negative, Smith said.

     Columbus Regional Healthcare Emergency Manager Jeremy Jernigan encourages business and industry to pay consider travel policies, teleconference meetings in place of face-to-face gatherings, and to establish policies and procedures for dealing with leadership and employees if they become infected.

     Anyone who becomes sick, Smith said, should call their physician and follow their advice, self-quarantine if tested for COVID-19 for two weeks or until a negative result of the test is received.

     Hand washing, social distancing including the avoidance of shaking hands and close contact with people, was also encouraged.

     Look for updates here as events warrant and in the Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.