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Bladen County COVID-19 Update with Positive Case at Clarkton School of Discovery

Bladen County Health and Human Services released the daily COVID-19 (coronavirus) update. Cases continue to increase in the county.

Dr. Teresa (Terri) Duncan stated, “Increases cases are not limited to one area, facility or group. The virus is truly community spread. Now more than ever, the 3Ws are vitally important to slow the spread of the virus.”

Following is the COVID-19 daily update for Bladen County and North Carolina, according to Bladen County Health and Human Services Agency. The positive COVID-19 case count is up five from yesterday’s report.

Also, Bladen County Schools announced on Wednesday, September 16 that an employee at Clarkton School of Discovery has tested positive for COVID-19. Due to privacy requirements, the name of the individual or details that may identify him or her can not be released, but the information has been provided to the Bladen County Health Department.

The health department is now investigating the case. The number of staff members who came into contact with this employee is minimal, according to Valerie F. Newton with Bladen County Schools. The area where the staff member worked has already undergone a deep cleaning/disinfection. Operations at the school will continue as usual, and further updates will be provided as soon as they become available. 

Bladen County Health Department is working with school staff to identify anyone who may have had close contact (i.e., within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) with this person, Newton explained. The impacted staff members who were determined to be in close contact with the infected individual have all been notified directly. Those that were in close contact will remain off-campus for up to 14 calendar days to ensure that there will not be any potential further spread. If the health department does not contact an employee directly, then the employee has not been identified as a close contact, according to the report.

Newton said, “The safety and well-being of Bladen County Schools’ staff is always our number one priority. We are taking extra steps to ensure the safety of all our staff.  Bladen County Schools are following CDC and DHHS guidelines as we continue to monitor the situation. Our Board is committed to the health and safety of its employees and supports measures that will keep all employees safe. Furthermore, we need our staff to do their part at school and at home to maintain social distance from others outside of their household, wear face coverings, and wash /sanitize hands often. The goal of every action in this sequence of events is to protect our students and staff and get back to learning and school activities as soon as possible.”

Closing Newton stated, “We will continue to work with Dr. Terri Duncan, the Bladen County Health Director, to follow recommendations as to proactive steps we can take to ensure the safety of our employees.”

For COVID-19 testing, contact one of the agencies below.

CommWell Health (1-910-567-7114 or 1-877-WELL-ALL (935-5255) continues to test in Tar Heel, Monday-Friday, times vary.

Robeson Health Care Corporation is testing at the St. Pauls site (910-241-30420), times vary.

Cape Fear Valley-Bladen Clinics and Express Care offer testing (Bladenboro, Clarkton, Dublin Elizabethtown and White Lake) for anyone exhibiting symptoms or those in high risk groups without symptoms, after a visit with the provider on duty. Contact the clinic located in your area for further information:

Bladenboro 910-863-3138

Clarkton 910-862-1217

Dublin 910-862-3528

Elizabethtown 910-862-5500

White Lake 910-862-1265

Express Care 910-862-2122

In addition to fever, cough and shortness of breath, the CDC added symptoms for the coronavirus: chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, and a new loss of taste.

Dr. Teresa (Terri) Duncan, Bladen County Health and Human Services Director, announced there were discussions about Bladen County receiving a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines for the at risk population in November for the high-risk population and a larger amount of the vaccines in 2021.

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