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Updated: Bladen County Health Department COVID-19 Update

The Bladen County Health Department released a COVID-19 (coronavirus) update today. As of Saturday afternoon, May 23, with the increased testing, Bladen has 92* positive coronavirus cases with 64 recovered and two (2) deaths. The last death contributed to COVID-19 in the county was announced on May 11th.

The two deaths were a female and male in the elderly populations. Bladen County Health and Human Services Director, Teresa (Terri) Duncan requests everyone to remember the three W’s, when in public. The three W’s are Wear a face covering in public, Wait six feet apart, and Wash your hands frequently.

North Carolina entered Phase II of Governor Roy Cooper’s reopening plan on Friday, May 22. The NC and Bladen County Health Officials are now promoting COVID-19 testing

When asked about testing and tracing in Bladen County, Dr. Duncan stated, “Bladen has tracers scheduled to start this coming week, and will have additional tracers in the coming weeks. Bladen did not receive direct funding for the positions. The tracers are funded through a state allocation.”

In the update given by Dr. Duncan today she states the NCDHHS updated guidance on who should be tested for COVID-19. The new guidance recommends that clinicians test any patient in whom COVID-19 is suspected and ensure the following populations have access to testing, regardless of symptoms:

Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19

Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms

Persons who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care facility, homeless shelter, correctional facility, migrant farmworker camp)

Persons who are at high risk of severe illness (e.g., people over 65 years of age, people of any age with underlying health conditions)

Persons who come from historically marginalized populations

Health care workers or first responders (e.g. EMS, law enforcement, fire department, military)

Front-line and essential workers (grocery store clerks, gas station attendants, etc.) in settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain

Bladen County COVID-19 Testing sites:

Bladen County Health Department is excited to announce a collaboration with faith based organizations and CommWell Health to offer two new drive-thru testing sites for some of the most rural, at-risk populations in our county. No out of pocket expense for individuals.  Call CommWell Health 910-567-7114 for more information.

Baltimore Center, 2104 Elwell Ferry Road, Rieglewood, NC   Wednesday, May 27th 10:00 am-3:00 pm

Booker T. Washington School, 66 Booker T. Washington Road, Clarkton, NC Wednesday, June 3 10:00-3:00 pm.

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

A drive-thru testing site is operating in the Walmart parking lot located at 1347 W. Broad St., Elizabethtown, NC on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 7:00 am- 9:00 am. The site is supported by Walmart, eTrueNorth, state and local officials to test anyone who meets CDC, state and local guidelines on who should be tested, including first responders, health care providers and others with symptoms of COVID-19, and those in high risk groups without symptoms. Those interested in being tested need to visit www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com to see if eligible for testing and to make an appointment.

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.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services unveiled an updated COVID-19 Dashboard. The interactive dashboard provides an overview on the metrics and capacities that the state is following to inform decisions to responsibly ease measures that slow the spread of the virus.
The updated dashboard includes an enhanced NC map, sections on COVID-Like Illness Surveillance, Cases, Testing, Hospitalizations, Contact Tracing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Congregate Living Settings. There is also a section on weekly reports that currently includes presumed recoveries and risk factors for severe illness for North Carolinians.

A feature of the interactive dashboard is the ability to filter cases and deaths by demographic information (i.e., race, ethnicity, gender and age). For example, if a user selects a race, data will display for the ethnicity, gender and age breakdown for that racial group for cases or deaths.
Additional features of the interactive dashboard include:

Searching by county or ZIP code for case and death counts.

Viewing cases by date reported or date of specimen collection.

County map for ongoing outbreaks in congregate living settings.

Rollover functions to see daily numbers.

On May 1, 2020, bill H.R. 6666 was introduced, but has not been passed into law at the present date.

The purpose of the bill H.R. 6666 is to “authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award grants to eligible entities to conduct diagnostic testing for COVID–19, and related activities such as contact tracing, through mobile health units and, as necessary, at individuals’ residences, and for other purposes.”

To carry out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated—

(1) $100,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2020; and
(2) such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal year 2021 and any subsequent fiscal year during which the emergency period continues.

*When first published BladenOnline reported 93 cases instead of 92 cases by mistake. 

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