By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • There were 139 known COVID-19 cases in Hoke County Thursday morning, including a six-month-old baby who is the daughter of a first responder.
The most recently identified cases of COVID-19 in Hoke County include:
- A six-month-old baby girl, who became ill May 7 and tested positive May 12 at FirstHealth Hoke, and who is the daughter of a first responder
- 29-year-old man who became ill May 6 and tested positive May 13 at Next Care
- 20-year-old man who became ill May 10 and tested positive May 13 at FirstHealth Hoke
- 72-year-old man who became ill May 2 and tested positive May 5 at FirstHealth Hoke, and is hospitalized at FirstHealth Hoke
- 41-year-old man who became ill May 8 and tested positive May 12 at FirstHealth Hoke
- 65-year-old man who became ill May 6 and tested positive May 12 at Dr. Karen Smith’s office
- 19-year-old woman who became ill May 4 and tested positive May 8 at Goshen Medical; she is the fifth member of a local family to test positive. Her 20-year-old and 25-year-old siblings, and their 42-year-old mother and 46-year-old father who works at Smithfield Foods, previously tested positive.
- 33-year-old man who became ill May 10 and tested positive May 12 at FirstHealth Hoke, and who lives in a household with a 30-year-old woman who became ill May 10 and tested positive May 12 at FirstHealth Hoke; and who had exposure to a family member known to have COVID-19
- 40-year-old man who became ill May 8 and tested positive May 12 at FirstHealth Hoke
Eight from Hoke hospitalized
So far, there haven’t been any deaths in Hoke County due to COVID-19. Eight people from Hoke County were hospitalized with the illness. More than 590 people in all of North Carolina have died of COVID-19 related causes, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
The total number of 139 cases in Hoke includes both active cases, and people who have recovered. While the Hoke County Health Department doesn’t have an exact number of how many people have recovered, most of the people who tested positive in April should have recovered by now. Staff members are calling weekly to check on patients.
It’s taking about 14 days for people with milder symptoms from COVID-19 to recover, according to state health officials. People who have to go into the hospital for treatment of more serious symptoms take upwards of 28 days to recover. So far, over 9,100 of the more than 15,000 people in North Carolina who tested positive for coronavirus have recovered.
About 20 of the known cases in Hoke County include people who work at meat processing facilities such as Mountaire Farms and Smithfield Foods. Many of the others are family members of people who work at those facilities.
Another 23 of the total cases came from an outbreak at Canyon Hills child behavioral health facility in Hoke County. Fourteen of the young residents, and nine of the employees – including six who live outside the county – tested positive April 28. The young residents didn’t show any symptoms and didn’t feel sick when they tested positive, local health officials said.
Free drive-through testing starts Friday
Anyone in Hoke County can schedule an appointment to get a free drive-through COVID-19 test, thanks to a partnership from Harris Teeter.
Testing is by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, go online to www.harristeeter.com/covidtesting and sign up.
Testing is available Friday, May 15; Saturday, May 16; Monday, May 18; Friday, May 22; Saturday, May 23; Friday, May 29; and Saturday, May 30. Testing won’t take place on Memorial Day.
The FDA-approved test is a self-administered nasal swab. Results should be back within 72 hours of the test, a spokesperson for Harris Teeter said.
Testing is done in drive-through fashion at Don Steed Elementary School. The school is located at 800 Philippi Church Road.
Harris Teeter is partnering with Kroger Health and The Little Clinic to offer the COVID-19 testing, according to a press release.
If you are tested for COVID-19…
What should you do while you are waiting for the test results?
If you don’t have any symptoms and don’t feel sick, it’s probably all right under current guidelines to return to work – as long as you practice social distancing, Hoke Health Department Director Helene Edwards said.
“We are waiting for more guidance, but the (North Carolina Department of Public Health Epidemiology) t has said that if people are asymptomatic for COVID-19, they may return to work after the test as long as they practice the Ws – Wear Masks, With 6 feet of social distancing, Wash hands for 20 seconds. (Harris Teeter) will call individuals with test results within 72 hours,” Edwards wrote in an email.
What happens if you test positive for COVID-19?
“All positive results require a 10-day isolation period,” Edwards said.