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Friday, April 3, 2020

Catawba County interim health director says department has been 'working diligently' to prepare for potential spread of COVID-19


By James Ledbetter | Mar 12, 2020

Stock Photo | catawbacountync.gov

According to the state's Department of Health and Human Services, the first confirmed case of the coronavirus has been reported in North Carolina. However, there hasn't been any confirmed cases in Catawba County.

That said, Jennifer McCracken, who is the interim director of Catawba County Public Health, wrote a recent column regarding the coronavirus outbreak on March 3.

She highlighted the first case of the virus in North Carolina and said she knows citizens are worried. 

"With the news of a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in North Carolina, we know residents are worried about the virus," McCracken said.

McCracken assured the residents of state that public health experts and community partners are working diligently to spread of the virus. 

"I would like to assure Catawba County residents that Catawba County Public Health and our community partners have been working diligently to prepare for the potential spread of this disease," McCracken wrote.

McCracken confirms that there are no known cases of the virus in Catawba County. However, she also said that if a case is confirmed, experts are prepared to deal with the virus head-on.

"As of now there are no COVID-19 cases in Catawba County, but we are prepared to respond should the situation change," McCracken wrote.

She wrote that health care and emergency workers prepare in advance whenever an outbreak threatens the well-being of the community.

"Public Health, along with our health care and emergency response partners, prepares in advance for any number of potential events, disease outbreaks among them, and we work daily to investigate and prevent the spread of a number of communicable diseases," she wrote. 

She highlighted the meetings and training of the in-house communicable disease response team. She says doctors and first responders are standing by just in case a situation arises. 

"We have convened meetings of our in-house communicable disease response team; have been in ongoing communication with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, area physicians and first responders to coordinate a possible local response; have communicated with local leaders and many of our community partners, and have distributed information to help residents take protective actions," McCracken wrote.

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North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

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