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Columbus County Health Officials Link New COVID-19 Case to Smithfield Foods Worksite

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Columbus County is reporting the tenth COVID-19 associated death. The individual passed away on April 30 while hospitalized.  The individual was one of the previously identified positive cases in Columbus County. To protect the families’ privacy, no further information about this individual will be released. We offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to all of the individuals’ family and friends in this very difficult time.

Columbus County has 12 new cases of COVID-19 to report today. Our current total number of COVID-19 cases stands at 153.  Seven of the new cases are connected to congregate living facilities in Columbus County, three cases are connected to positive family members, one case is connected to the COVID-19 outbreak at the nearby Smithfield Foods facility, and one case is still under investigation.

The Columbus County Health Department will be releasing an update on COVID-19 recoveries next week.  For more information about COVID-19 cases in congregate living facilities please see the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.  The Columbus County Health Department has also received notice from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services that they will begin releasing the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases by zip code (if the population is more than 500) later this week – we will release more information about this change in the coming days.  The Columbus County Health Department will continue to provide daily COVID-19 updates.

With the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continuing to rise in Columbus County, we are BEGGING the public to take the necessary measures to stop the transmission of COVID-19. The Columbus County Health Department would like to remind everyone of the recommended measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which are:

•     Social distancing (e.g. avoiding crowds, self-quarantining, no mass gatherings, only going out in public when necessary)
• Wearing a mask or face covering when in public places
•     Washing hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time
•     Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
•     Avoid close contact with people who are ill
•     Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw it away, and then wash your hands
•     Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose

Public Health continues to work with our health and safety partners in the community to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to provide daily updates.

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