By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • Two Butterball employees – one who lives in Hoke County, and one who does not – tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Hoke County Health Department.
The Health Department added Butterball to the list of food production companies in the area experiencing an outbreak of coronavirus. A 28-year-old man who works at Butterball tested positive May 11 at the Hoke County Health Department.
The state defines an “outbreak” as two or more cases of COVID-19 in the same facility. The Hoke area has also seen outbreaks at Smithfield Foods and Mountaire Farms. Many recent positive cases in Hoke include the family members of those who work at those meat processing plants.
Hoke County was up to 152 known cases of coronavirus Monday, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. That includes all cases from March 18 to present, including people who have recovered and those still sick.
Recent Hoke cases
Other recently identified known cases of COVID-19 in Hoke County include:
- 47-year-old woman who became ill May 8 and tested positive May 14 at Womack Army Medical Center
- 31-year-old man who became ill May 8 and tested positive May 14 at Southeastern Regional Medical Center
- 47-year-old man who became ill May 11 and tested positive May 13 at FirstHealth Hoke
- 39-year-old woman who became ill May 8 and tested positive May 13 at FirstHealth Hoke
- 41-year-old woman who tested positive May 14 at the Moore County Health Department
- 29-year-old man who became ill May 6 and tested positive May 13 at NextCare
- 20-year-old man who became ill May 10 and tested positive May 13 at FirstHealth Hoke
So far, no one in Hoke County has died of coronavirus. More than 660 people across North Carolina have died of COVID-19 related causes.
Eight people from Hoke were hospitalized with COVID-19. More than 500 people from across the state are currently hospitalized for coronavirus treatment.
The state planned to release new numbers Monday afternoon about how many people across North Carolina who tested positive for the virus, have since recovered. Last week the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported that over 9,100 people in the state have recovered after testing positive.
The state was up to more than 19,000 known positive cases since the pandemic hit the United States in March.
Free testing available
Anyone in Hoke can schedule an appointment to get a drive-through COVID-19 test thanks to a partnership from Harris Teeter.
To schedule an appointment, go online to www.harristeeter.com/covidtesting and sign up. There is no cost for the test.
The FDA-approved test is done as a self-administered nasal swab. Results should be back within 72 hours of the test.
Testing is done in drive-through fashion, by appointment only, at Don Steed Elementary School. The school is located at 800 Philippi Church Road.
Testing will be available by appointment only from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, May 22; Saturday, May 23; Friday, May 29; and Saturday, May 30. Testing won’t take place on Memorial Day.
Addendum May 19: This story has been updated to include a correction of the person in Hoke County who works at Butterball and tested positive for COVID-19. The story incorrectly identified the person, initially. The misidentified person works at Smithfield Foods, not Butterball.