COVID-19 Tests Conducted
Updated at 4:00 p.m. March 23
Today, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updated guidance for COVID-19 testing. According to the updated recommendations, people with mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19 do not need testing and are encouraged to stay at home to recover and call their doctor if needed. Mild symptoms are defined as fever and cough without shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
Anyone with COVID-19-like symptoms should remain under isolation until they are fever free for 72 hours without medication and/or symptom free for 7 days. If a person has shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, difficulty breathing, blue lips, or confusion, they should call their doctor or 911 right away
Patients can call their health care provider, if they need medical care. If the patient does not have a primary care provider, they should call urgent care or the health department. Once screened, the patient will be instructed regarding further recommended action. If appropriate, the patient will be referred to UNC Caldwell’s drive-through Respiratory Diagnostic Clinic or the health department.
Testing is most important for people who are seriously ill, in the hospital, people in high-risk settings like nursing homes or long-term care facilities, and healthcare workers and other first responders who are caring for those with COVID-19.
Individuals who are at higher risk of getting very sick with COVID-19 should call their doctor if they develop symptoms of fever or cough. Those at higher risk:
- Are 65 years and older
- Live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Have a high-risk condition that includes: chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, heart disease with complications, compromised immune system, severe obesity, body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, other underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease
Women who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk for severe viral illness. However, to date, data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk for severe illness.
Moving forward NCDHHS will use influenza surveillance tools to track the spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina.
- Access has been limited to the Granite Falls Satellite Office, located at 4 Falls Ave., Granite Falls, and to the Animal Control Facility. Citizens can pay EMS bills online at www.officialpayments.com/index.jsp or by phone at 828-313-1126. Taxes can be paid by mail at P.O. Box 2200, Lenoir, NC 28645, by phone at 1-844-866-6645, or online at www.caldwellcountynctax.com. People can contact Animal Control about appointments for rabies vaccinations by calling 828-757-8625. For the complete details about limited access at Caldwell County government facilities, visit www.caldwellcountync.org/coronavirus-covid-19/limited-access-to-some-county-office-buildings.
- The special called meeting of the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners is available for viewing from the county’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/caldwellcountygov.
- Blue Ridge Energies is offering members/customers customized payment arrangements, which includes:
- Suspended disconnections for late or non-payments including FlexPay (pay as you use) plan and suspended late fees for electric customers
- Waiving same-day and emergency deliveries fees, suspending propane tank lock-outs, and suspending late fees for propane and fuels customers
- Encouraging members to use Budget Billing and spread their current usage costs over 12 months.
- Encouraging members to join the FlexPay program to better manage their bills and reduce usage.
- Encouraging members to use the free tool, Usage Tracker, to monitor daily electric usage and better understand how weather impacts their bill. You can find it at www.BlueRidgeEnergy.com under My Account or through the Blue Ridge mobile app
- The Caldwell Senior Center is offering Telephone Call Reassurance Program. Seniors age 60 and older can call 828-758-2883 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. to talk with Senior Center staff. The Senior Center is also offering Puzzle Packs, which include crossword puzzles, word searches, and other brain games. Packs can be picked up outside of the Senior Center located at 650A Pennton Ave., Lenoir.
- Caldwell County Emergency Services and Health Department Directors have requested any local, regional, or State businesses consider donating personal protective equipment, specifically N95 respirators, to emergency services agencies and health departments to assist in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic rather than solely diverting their stock and supplies to medical and acute care centers.
For information about Coronavirus, visit www.caldwellcountync.org/coronavirus-covid-19 or call the Caldwell County Health Department Health Information Line at 828-426-8456.