FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COVID-19 Information Contacts
December 23, 2020 Public Information Line: 828-764-9150
COVID-19 Burke County Media Briefing Website: www.burkenc.org/COVID-19
There will not be a media briefing distributed on Friday, December 25, 2020 or on Friday, January 1, 2021. Burke County’s data dashboard will not be updated on the following days: Thursday, December 24, Friday, December 25, Thursday, December 31 and Friday, January 1. As always residents can check data listed on the NC Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 webpage.
Burke County’s Response to COVID-19
• Burke County is currently at 5656 positive cases. These are cumulative cases for the county. If you want to see a breakdown of the cases, please go visit the https://www.burkenc.org/dashboard webpage
• Para español llame al 764-9150 y presione el número dos. Si nadie contesta deje un corto mensaje con su nombre y numero de teléfono.
Please plan to get your flu shot if you haven’t already gotten one. It is important to reduce the number of flu cases within our area along with COVID-19.
Testing News from the Health Department:
The Burke County Health Department will not be doing any COVID-19 testing from December 22 through January 1, 2021 due to the Christmas holiday closings. Testing will resume on Monday, January 4, 2021.
Burke County Government offices will be closed December 24, 25, 28 and January 1 in observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays. If you call the health department while we are closed and leave a voicemail, a call will not be returned until the staff returns on Tuesday, December 29.
**Even though the health department will not be testing during the Christmas holiday, the staff will continue receiving reports from other labs, providing media briefings and completing contact tracing during the holiday period.**
Since the governmental offices, State lab and the reference lab used are all closed for some time during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the health department will not be doing COVID testing to make sure the samples are able to be received and samples stay viable due to the closures. The health department was never meant to be the only source of COVID testing within the county. There are over 20 sites within Burke County where residents can choose to be tested not including the out of county testing sites that are also being utilized by our residents.
A list of testing sites can be found on the Health Department’s FaceBook page or COVID-19 webpage.
NC Department of Health and Human Services Guidance for Winter Holidays:
Any scenario where people gather in large groups poses a risk for continued spread of COVID-19.
• CDC recommends the safest way to celebrate the holidays is to only gather with the people that you live with. Gathering with large groups, even family, that you do not live with can increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
• If you gather at the holidays, please make it small and adhere to the gathering requirements (10 people indoors and 50 people outdoors – and being 6 feet or more away from others) and stay outside.
• Governor’s Order requires face coverings to be worn indoors when you are visiting or having people visit your home that are not people with whom you live.
• Even if you have a negative test, you should wear a mask, stay away from others, avoid crowds, and monitor yourself for symptoms.
• If you are traveling during the holidays, it is recommended to get tested 1-3 days before you travel. Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home for 7 days after you travel.
People who have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19, have been around a person with COVID-19 or been tested for COVID-19, should not host or participate in any in-person gatherings until they complete their isolation or quarantine period.
If you are needing a COVID test before the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, you will need to plan and contact testing sites to check their modified testing schedule because of office/pharmacy and lab closures due to the holidays.
You can read the complete list of recommendations for the winter holidays posted on the health department’s COVID-19 webpage and FaceBook page.
If you are calling just to make an appointment for COVID-19 testing, please call 828-764-9150. The Burke County Public Information Line is answered Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm. After hours, weekends and holidays, please leave a message and your call will be answered as soon as staff returns.