Haywood County Public Health received notice of 23 new cases of COVID-19 since the last press release on Sept. 18. As of 5 p.m. Sept. 24, 2020, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has recorded 590 cases in Haywood County.

Some of the cases are still in the contact tracing process. Of those that have been processed, five are work-related, one is event-related, three are close contacts of someone who is COVID-19 positive, five are related to a business cluster reported last week, and six do not know how they acquired the virus.

Haywood County’s COVID-19 working number, representing individuals who are in isolation or quarantine due to exposure, is now 89. Of these, 39 cases are in isolation after testing positive and 50 people are in quarantine, having been identified as a close contact of a known case during contact tracing. All are being monitored by the Haywood County COVID-19 contact tracing team.

“As recent clusters of cases have shown, it only takes one person to expose a large number of people to the virus through close contact. Let’s all work hard and continue to practice the 3Ws to avoid becoming someone else’s close contact,” said Public Health Services Director Patrick Johnson.

“If you have symptoms such as headache, fever, cough, shortness of breath or loss of sense of smell don’t wait, get tested,” said Johnson. “If your doctor isn’t providing testing, contact one of the local urgent cares. Call first for pre-emptive screening and to find out what the current protocols are for when you arrive. It’s also important to understand that anyone tested for COVID-19, even as a standard pre-operative precaution, needs to stay home and self-quarantine away from other family members as able until test results are received, and then follow instructions according to the test results.”

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