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Case Count Grows to 18, Testing Priorities Explained

Mar 30, 2020

Cumberland County now has 18 positive COVID-19 cases, according to Health Director Dr. Jennifer Green. The case count grew by five since Saturday.

The Cumberland County Department of Public Health is conducting contact investigations and will notify any contacts who fall under the guidelines for additional monitoring and testing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a “close contact” as being within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more.

Testing Guidance Updated
The Public Health Department is suspending a drive-thru testing pilot program that ran March 24 and 26.  The department is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services guidance that most people do not need a test.

Based on the guidance, the Health Department is prioritizing testing on the Public Health Center grounds for symptomatic patients in high risk settings like nursing homes or long-term care facilities, health care workers and first responders such as EMS, law enforcement and firefighters on a case by case basis. Individuals in these categories should call 910-433-3655 or 910-433-3645 in advance for assessment and screening.

“In general, patients in non-congregate settings who have mild symptoms that are not worsening do not need testing for COVID-19 and should stay and recover at home,” Green said.

“When you leave your home to get tested, you could expose yourself to COVID-19 if you do not already have it. If you do have COVID-19, you can give it to someone else, including people who are high risk. Your doctor can help you decide if you need a test. There is no treatment for COVID-19. For people with mild symptoms who don’t need medical care, getting a test will not change what you or your doctor do.”

Mild symptoms are defined as fever and cough. If you have shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest discomfort, confusion or blue lips, then call your doctor or 911 right away and tell them about your symptoms and any potential exposure to COVID-19.

More information and Health Department COVID-19 Testing Frequently Asked Questions are available at

Commissioners Approve Changes to Emergency Management Ordinance
The Board of Commissioners unanimously approved amendments to the Cumberland County Emergency Management Ordinance during a special meeting today. County Attorney Rick Moorefield recommended the changes to ensure the County has full authority to take actions necessary for the unincorporated areas of the county during the current public health crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ordinance was updated to include the broadened scope of what constitutes an emergency under state laws, which includes a public health emergency. The existing ordinance used the old statutory definition of emergency, which did not include “public health.”

No other business was discussed at the special meeting.