UPDATE: Second COVID-19 case confirmed in Columbus County

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

      A second case of the coronavirus COVID-19 has been confirmed in Columbus County, just hours after the first.

     This post will be updated during the day and cover these topics:

  • Second COVID-19 in Columbus
  • First COVID-19 case at CRHS

Second COVID-19 in Columbus

     A second case of COVID-19 in Columbus County was reported by the Columbus County Health Department late Saturday morning, following by just hours confirmation of the county’s first case, who was treated at Columbus Regional Healthcare and is now in isolation at home.

     The second individual “is doing well and is isolating at home,” a Health Department news release said. “The positive individual traveled to another state and had close contact with a known positive individual. This individual is not connected with the first positive case, which was reported earlier today.”

     Columbus County Health Department is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to protect public health and limit the spread of infection, working to identify any close contacts, defined by the CDC as “being within approximately 6 feet of a person with a COVID-19 infection for 10 minutes or longer,” the news release said. “Based on information provided by the individual, county public health officials will assess risks of exposure, and determine which, if any, additional measures are needed such as temperature and symptom checks, quarantine and/or testing.”

 First COVID-19 case at CRHS

     A Columbus County resident has tested positive for the coronavirus COVID-19 virus, CRHS and the Columbus County Health Department were notified early Saturday.

     “The individual required a short hospital stay at Columbus Regional but is now at home in isolation,” a CRHS news release said. “Columbus Regional has worked with the Columbus County Health Department and continues to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to protect patients and teammates, and to limit the spread of the virus.”

     The patient has not travelled and had no known contact with another person known to have tested positive for the virus, Health Director Kim Smith said.

     “We’re working to find out who the individual has had close contact with,” Smith said. She confirmed that the patient is a Columbus County resident.

     Close contact, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines defines, is someone who has been within about 6 feet of the COVID-19 infected person for 10 minutes or longer.

     To protect patients, families, and healthcare workers from the spread of COVID-19, Columbus Regional continues to temporarily limit visitors, the news release said. Visitors are not allowed in the emergency department or on the floors, with very few exceptions, including minor children. Any visitors that are permitted on the campus are subject to a health screening to ensure they do not have any flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

     Columbus Regional Healthcare System continues to monitor and respond to this rapidly evolving situation. This temporary restriction on visitors follows local, state, and national guidelines and best practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to protect patients, visitors, and healthcare workers.

     Columbus Regional continues to encourage everyone to follow the recommendations of the CDC, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the Columbus County Health Department to take the necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which are:

  • Social distancing (e.g. avoiding crowds, self-quarantining, etc.)
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw it away, and then wash your hands
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched

     For the most recent updates from Columbus Regional, please continue monitoring the website here and Facebook page here.

     Look for continuing coverage on local impacts from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak here and in the Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.