By Catharin Shepard – Staff writer – A soldier from Fort Bragg who lives in Hoke County tested positive for COVID-19 March 20, Hoke County Health Department Director Helene Edwards said Tuesday. The soldier is one of several people connected to Fort Bragg who tested positive for the illness last week. As the soldier is currently a resident of Hoke County, they are included in the county’s coronavirus numbers, Edwards explained.
Hoke County currently has two positive cases of the coronavirus, with the first case being a male patient who tested positive Wednesday, March 18. He was isolated at home with his family. The soldier is in isolation on post, Edwards said.
Other residents of Hoke County have undergone testing for COVID-19 in the last week, officials said, but so far the other test results received have been negative. It is taking anywhere from two days to a week for physicians and the health department to receive the test results, the health department director said.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is no longer advising local health departments to conduct contact tracing on people with COVID-19, as officials have identified the first cases of community-transmitted coronavirus in the state. “Community transmission” is when people who have not had known contact with a person with COVID-19, and who have not traveled to an area with a COVID-19 outbreak, contracts the virus. The onset of community transmission marks the start of a different phase in the response to the coronavirus, state officials have said.
Instead, healthcare leaders encourage people to stay home and call their doctor or local health department if they have symptoms of respiratory illness.
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