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Patrick Johnson

As of May 21, Haywood County currently has recorded 39 cases of COVID-19 with 16 new cases discovered since last week.

Twenty are considered “recovered” and 19 are sick and isolated at home. Of the total number, 22 are male and 17 are female. The average age so far is 43. The youngest is in their teens and the oldest in their 70s.

Case numbers in surrounding counties include 302 in Henderson County with 41 deaths; 209 in Buncombe with seven deaths; 27 cases each in Jackson and Cherokee counties with one death in each county and 20,910 cases statewide as of May 21, with 716 deaths attributed to COVID-19 statewide.

Haywood County is currently seeing a leap in COVID-19 cases. The increase has been due to community transmission as well as family and other close contact transmission.

“Community Transmission” means people test positive and their point of exposure can’t be identified. This happens because people can be infected for 2-14 days before showing symptoms, giving the virus plenty of time to circulate in the community and spread before the infected person realizes that they are sick and quarantines.

The safest bet is to assume that the virus is present in Haywood County and act accordingly. That’s why it’s important to keep implementing the essential interventions, especially as we move into Phase 2 of reopening this weekend.

This information may be getting repetitive, but we still see people disregarding the most basic guidance on a daily basis. It’s best to protect yourself, your coworkers, and your household by minding your W’s and remembering your I.Q. (Thanks, Dr. Jaben.)

It’s National EMS Week. Thanks to all of the Emergency Medical Services workers in Haywood County and their leader Greg Shuping. Not only are they the first responders in everyday emergencies, they have also been on the frontline of COVID-19 response planning for our community. EMS ready today, preparing for tomorrow. Thank you for your dedication.

The CDC has a page dedicated to frequently-asked questions. It’s full of extremely helpful information and guidance specific to different business, situations, groups, and species.

Haywood County Schools will continue its feeding program through the summer. Good on them.

Stay safe over Memorial Day weekend. Remember those who sacrificed their lives for the peace and security of our county.

Patrick Johnson, RN-C, MPA; Public Health Services Director; Haywood County Health & Human Services Agency.

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