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New Guidelines for COVID-19 Testing

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDPHHS) reported 297 positive COVID-19 cases in North Carolina. Bladen has no positive cases, as of 5 p.m. on Monday, March 23, according to Bladen County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Terri Duncan.

NCDPPHS has also revised guidelines for COVID testing. People with mild symptoms of COVID-19 do NOT need testing and should stay home to recover. Mild symptoms are defined as fever and cough without any of the following: shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest discomfort, altered thinking, cyanosis.

Anyone who exhibits symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should self-isolate for :

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without
    the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and
  • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

People with mild symptoms at home, should all call their provider for worsening signs or symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g. increasing fever, shortness of breathing, difficulty breathing, chest discomfort, altered thinking, cyanosis). If severe symptoms, call 911.

Patients with clinical COVID-19 infection do NOT need a negative COVID-19 test result to
document recovery.

The recommendations for the change in testing are to decrease the rapid spread of COVID-19 in
communities, and decrease the exposures in healthcare settings.

  • People infected with SARS-CoV-2 (virus causing the disease COVID-19) coming out to be tested may spread illness to others in the community, including those at higher risk of complications, and health care workers.
  • People who are not infected with SARS-CoV-2 can become so when seeking testing,especially at health care sites.

People with questions related to COVID-19 may call the Bladen County Health Department hotline at 910-872-6291 or 910-872-6192 Monday through Friday , the Department of Health and Human Service 2-1-1 hotline or visit or https://www.ncdhhs.

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