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The Bladen County Health Department reported Saturday that a ninth resident had been diagnosed positive for COVID-19.

The person is hospitalized in a nearby county, according to Health and Human Services Director Dr. Terri Duncan. No further information was released about the person because of privacy laws.

Duncan said in a news release that of the other COVID-19 cases confired in Bladen County that seven are isolating at home and one has recovered.

Based on information from the latest confirmed case, public health officials will assess risks of exposure and determine which, if any, additional measures are needed, Duncan said.

The Bladen County Health Department continues to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services recommendations to protect public health and prevent the further spread of infection.

Cases of the virus have been linked to social gatherings, work, travel and community acquired (unknown source). Bladen County residents are vulnerable of getting or spreading the virus. Bladen and every surrounding county have confirmed cases of COVID-19.

There is no vaccine for the virus at this time. The one proven way to reduce transmission is social distancing, wearing a cloth face covering in public spaces and frequently washing your hands.

Symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, and other lower respiratory illness (shortness of breath). If you believe that you may have COVID-19, please call your health care provider, or the Health Department call center at 910-872-6291. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. until further notice. People also may contact the NCDHHS call center at 2-1-1. The center is available 24/7 and is available in English and Spanish.

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