02/21/2024
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On August 25, North Carolina Health and Human Services announced East Coast Migrant Head Start has five staff members with positive COVID-19 cases qualifying the daycare facility as a cluster. No children tested positive at the center, according to the report. 

A cluster is five or more positive COVID-19 cases in a facility. An outbreak is two or more positive COVID-19 cases in facilities. 

Bladen East Health & Rehab has two staff members who tested positive in the congregate living setting with an ongoing outbreak. The report had zero residents reported as testing positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Teresa (Terri) Duncan said about the two facilities, “They both have done really nice jobs pre and post events. They took preventative measures prior to the positive cases, and they have worked with us in every way possible.”

According to the Bladen County Health and Human Services Agency, there are 689 positive COVID-19 cases with 44 active cases, and one hospitalization in the county.  Below is the COVID-19 Update for Bladen County and North Carolina. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidelines for dealing with COVID-19. However, according to Dr. Ducan, the NCDHHS (North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services) has not changed our guidelines. 

She said, “We will be proceeding based on the current guidelines in our state.” 

The NCDHHS states, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19. Most people with illnesses caused by coronaviruses like COVID-19 will recover on their own. However, there are some things you can do to relieve your symptoms, including:

  • Taking pain and fever medications (caution: do not give aspirin to children).
  • Using a humidifier or taking a hot shower to ease a sore throat and cough.
  • Drinking plenty of liquids and stay home and rest.

Follow instructions from your local health department and health care provider for appropriate care.

Medications and treatments for COVID-19 are being investigated, including through clinical trials in North Carolina and across the nation. A clinical trial is a type of research study used to test if a drug or medical device is both safe and effective for human use. Registered trials for drugs being studied for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov

Who Should Get Tested?

  • Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms.
  • Groups of some of the populations with higher risk of exposure or a higher risk of severe disease if they become infected. People in these groups should get tested if they believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms.  
    • People who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp).
    • People from historically marginalized populations who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This fact sheet provides best practices for community testing in historically marginalized populations.
    • Frontline and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, child care workers, construction sites, processing plants, etc.)
    • Health care workers or first responders.
    • People who are at higher risk of severe illness.
  • People who have attended protests, rallies, or other mass gatherings could have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or could have exposed others.

If you leave home, practice your Ws: Wear, Wait, Wash

  • Wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth.
  • Wait 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.

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

Bladen cases have been linked to social gatherings, work, travel and community-acquired (unknown source). Bladen County residents are vulnerable of getting or spreading the virus. 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. 

There is no vaccine for the virus; however, Dr. Duncan announced there had been discussions about Bladen County receiving a limited supply of vaccines in November for the high-risk population and a larger amount of vaccines in the spring of 2021. 

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