Macon County Public Health has confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 in the past six days according to information provided by the department on Monday.
According to MCPH officials, the fourth resident to test positive for COVID-19 did so on Friday, May 15. The patient is between the ages of 25-49 and is considered asymptomatic. The patient is being isolated at home for 14 days and is being monitored by public health staff.
“Macon County Public Health is working to identify close contacts of the individual,” MCPH Director Kathy McGaha said in a written statement. “The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately six feet of a person with an infection with COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time of 10 minutes or longer. Based on information provided by the individual, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed such as temperature and symptom checks, quarantine and/or testing.”
A fifth patient tested positive in Macon County on Sunday, May 17. According to MCPH, that patient had close contact with the previous positive patient and is also being isolated for 14 days and monitored by MCPH staff.
Macon County has had five COVID-19 cases confirmed. Two of those are considered active, two are listed as recovered, and one patient has died as result of the disease. Along with the local cases, there have been two additional travel-related cases with connections to Macon County, but each of those patients has recovered.
As of Tuesday, there have been 19,023 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide with 661 of those resulting in death.
Stay at Home order
The entire state of North Carolina is under a modified executive order that Gov. Roy Cooper signed on May 5.
During “phase one” of Cooper’s plan to reopen businesses, attractions and public facilities, public gatherings are limited to 10 people or less. Retail businesses have been allowed to reopen at limited capacity and with increased social distancing and improved cleaning procedures in place. Restaurants are only open for takeout or delivery, and personal care businesses, such as gyms, salons and spas remain closed.
Phase two of the governor’s reopening plan could come as early as Friday, but Cooper noted on Monday that he was waiting to see the most recent data before making a decision regarding when to implement phase two guidelines.
“Our COVID-19 decisions are guided by the data and the science,” Cooper said. “We will use the time in this phase to keep a careful eye on the data and the indicators before we are ready to announce the start of phase two. North Carolinians should continue to stay home if they can and take precautions to keep themselves safe.”
In phase two, restaurants and bars will be allowed to open at a limited capacity, as will personal care businesses. Public facilities, including playgrounds, would reopen, as would places of worship. The number of people allowed at a public gathering will increase, although a new limit has not been announced.
Restrictions on nursing homes, assisted living centers and other congregate care facilities would continue in phase two of Cooper’s plan.