UPDATED: Subject of COVID-19 case reported in Hyde isolating in another county

Published 1:29 pm Saturday, March 21, 2020

Hyde County health director Luana Gibbs received notification of Hyde County’s first positive COVID-19 case and that information was release to the public late morning on Saturday, March 21. The individual who tested positive is in isolation, according to a Hyde County Press release.

“The Hyde County Health Department is following NC DHHS guidelines on contact tracing and working diligently to determine anyone who may have come into close contact with the case,” stated the initial release. “Close contact is anyone who has come within six feet of the individual for a period of 10 minutes or more.”

Information on which area of Hyde – including whether mainland or Ocracoke – was not released.

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“The health director has not released that information at this time. They are working on contact traces and notifying anyone that may have been exposed right now,” stated Donnie Shumate, Hyde’s public information officer, shortly after the first press release was issued. “The person has been in isolation since notifying the health department of symptoms and while the test was being analyzed.”

Around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, the Hyde County Health Department released a follow-up report which states:

“After diligent contact tracing of Hyde County’s first case of COVID-19, it has been determined that the identified case has been isolating in another county, where the individual resides. The individual has more than one address and provided a Hyde County address when tested, causing Hyde to be the county of ownership. The individual reports there has been no travel to Hyde County during or after illness and there has been no contact with any individual in Hyde County during this period.

“This case will be followed in the appropriate county of residence, but Hyde County citizens should remain cognizant of the fact we are still vulnerable to the illness. Please continue to practice the prevention measures you will see in each press release . . .”

The individual is in Pitt County, according to Misty Gibbs, Hyde County Health Department preparedness coordinator/PIO.

Luana Gibbs reminds the general public to practice prevention measures by doing the following:

– Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

– Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

– Stay home when sick.

– Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

– Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

– Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating and after blowing noses, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

– Practice social distancing (six feet between individuals); avoid handshakes, hugs and other close contact.

Reliable sources of information include:

– CDC, www.cdc.gov/Coronavirus

– NC Division of Health and Human Services, www.ncdhhs.gov, 1-866-462-3821 (NC Coronavirus Hotline)

– Hyde County Health Department, www.hydehealth.com, 252-926-4399

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