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The Bladen County Health Department released the latest COVID-19 update this afternoon. Last week two COVID-19 testing sites were added for Bladen County residents to take advantage of, and now the county has an additional two drive-through testing sites.Dr. Teresa (Terri) Duncan, Bladen County Health Director stated in today’s release, “Dr. Pearline Graham-Hoskins from the Council area, and Rev. Anthony Henry from the Clarkton area, called this week to inquire about COVID testing for individuals in their communities. Many of these persons live in the most rural areas of our county, and many have underlying health conditions.”Pam Tripp representing CommWell Health (Federally Qualified Health Center with a site in Tar Heel), enthusiastically responded, “Yes, we will make it happen!” when she was contacted by Dr. Duncan.Dr. Duncan stated with additional collaboration involving Bladen County Sherriff, Jim McVicker, Bladen County Emergency Director, Nathan Dowless, and Dr. Robert Taylor, and Ms. Esters, with Bladen County Schools the new testing sites are available.She added, “I learned early in my career that in order to have a healthy community, schools, churches, businesses, and healthcare agencies must be involved and working together. Thank you to everyone involved!”

Below is the release the local health department released on Friday afternoon.

North Carolina moves into Phase II today Friday, May 22. Show you care about others: Practice the 3 W’s!
 Wear a face covering when out in public
 Wait 6 feet from each other
 Wash hands frequently
 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 27 th 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 22, 2020 the NCDHHS Dashboard (ncdhhs.gov) listed data for North Carolina:
 21,618 positive cases
 568 hospitalizations
 and Bladen with 91 positive cases and 2 deaths. Bladen reports 64 recovered cases.
(*NCDHHS dashboard is updated daily and may change based on verification of county residence.)
 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. Bladen and every surrounding county have confirmed cases of COVID-19.The virus has been reported in all 100 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. In addition to fever, cough and shortness of breath, the CDC identified new symptoms for the coronavirus: chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, and a new loss of taste. There is no vaccine for the virus.

Bladen County Health Department continues to follow CDC and NCDHHS recommendations to protect public health and prevent the further spread of infection.
If you believe that you may have COVID-19, please call your health care provider, or the Health Department call center: 910-872-6291. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 5:00 pm, until further notice. Individuals may also call 2-1-1. This NCDHHS call center is available 24/7, in English and Spanish. Updates are routinely posted on the Health Department Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/BladenHHS/, and the NCHDDS Facebook page:

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