For Immediate Release
April 1, 2020
Rebecca McLeod, Public Health Director
Lisa Moore, Burke County Public Information Officer
Michael Willis, Emergency Management Director
Burke County Confirms Eight Cases of COVID-19
Morganton, NC: The Burke County Health Director was notified today of two additional positive cases of COVID-19 which brings the total cases to 8 in Burke County. The cases consist of both traveling and community spread. Burke County now only reports positive cases for Burke County residents. Since residents are getting tested from outside county agencies and other counties are overwhelmed with managing their residents, negative tests are not getting reported.
All these cases are isolated and Public Health staff have begun their investigation with the newest cases and will be locating those close contacts to help contain the spread of the infection. The Burke County Health Department and County Emergency Management will keep the public informed by announcing any additional cases that may arise through our local media partners. Public health authorities nor any other community partner will identify any individual that tests positive and we will not provide information that may compromise their confidentiality as a matter of their personal safety, so individuals are not targeted, threatened or harassed.
Residents are encouraged to CALL their medical provider if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but they do NOT need to come out to be tested since it may spread the illness to others in the community including those at higher risk of complications and health care workers. For those residents who do not have a medical provider can call and make an appointment for a primary care visit at the Burke County Health Department.
So, the most important messages continue to be:
• Since this virus is now spreading in the community, it is extremely important to follow the Governor’s Stay at Home Executive Order for the next 30 days and only be out to pick up essential items and when out make sure to take proper precautions such as social distancing and hand washing to help reduce the spread of this virus.
• Call to check in on family and friends.
• Businesses that are not determined to be essential really need to adhere to the Governor’s Stay at Home order so Burke County can reduce the spread of this virus to those most at risk within our community.
• Remember while you are at home, it is a good idea to go outside some and get some exercise, play with your children but do not gather with large groups of 10 or more people.
• Wash your hands often especially after going to stores, or touching objects or surfaces that others have touched. Wash for 20 seconds and sing a song while you wash. Use hand sanitizer if you do not have access to soap and water.
If you have any further questions or need additional information, contact the Burke County Public Information Line at 828-764-9388, Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm and after hours the NC Public Information Line number is provided as a resource to contact. The operator will answer your questions or direct you to the correct person to answer your questions. Or you can also visit the Burke County COVID-19 webpage at www.burkenc.org/COVID-19. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms listed for COVID-19.
Update from Sheriff’s Association about “drive in” worship services:
Regarding questions regarding “drive-in” worship services, vehicles should adhere to social distancing of at least six feet apart, participants should remain in their vehicles, no one at the service should be going to the vehicles of other worshipers, and please be respectful of the community residents regarding any excessive noise and potential noise ordinance violations.
Update from the Burke County Public Schools:
BCPS receives grant from Duke Energy, food donation
Burke County Public Schools recently received a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to help provide sanitation products to our daycares and food distribution sites.
The $3,000 grant will help BCPS to purchase hand sanitizer for our daycare sites and the schools that are providing meals to students. Using hand sanitizer is one of the recommended ways to prevent being exposed to COVID-19. Students and staff will benefit from this grant by being able to use the hand sanitizer while at daycare and for the child nutrition staff who are serving meals.
Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam said, “Thank you to the generosity of Duke Energy for helping to provide a way to help our students and staff stay healthy during the coronavirus outbreak. This is just one of the many ways that I see our community coming together to support one another. As always, our first priority is the safety and well-being of our students.”