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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

Posted on February 5, 2020

Page Updated: October 23, 2020, 6:25 p.m. | Español

UNION COUNTY CORONAVIRUS HOTLINE: 704-292-2550, available Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

If you have general questions related to COVID-19 outside of these hours, or are not a Union County resident, please call the North Carolina COVID-19 hotline at 866-462-3821 or email ncresponse@dhhs.nc.gov.

Total Cases in Union County Total Deaths Associated with COVID-19 in Union County
5,765 62

* Updated Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Union County has developed an interactive map and dashboard showing confirmed COVID-19 cases by zip code. (Información en español) This information will be updated Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at approximately 5:00 p.m.


On this page: Testing | Latest Updates | Prevention | Resources | FAQs | Situation

 

Testing

Pruebas

IF YOU HAVE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS:

  • If you have difficulty breathing, call 911.
  • If your symptoms are mild, you are advised to contact your primary care provider who will likely ask you to stay home until symptoms resolve without testing. This is consistent with new CDC guidance.
  • If your symptoms worsen, call your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, call one of the two hotlines above, a local urgent care center, or a hospital emergency room and ask for guidance on how to be evaluated for COVID-19. Please do not arrive at a healthcare facility without calling first to seek guidance on preventative measures upon arrival to prevent the potential spread of the virus. Your physician will determine if testing is necessary.

Atrium Mobile Testing Center:

Monday, October 26, 2020
8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Forest Hill Church Waxhaw Campus, 8120 Kensington Drive, Waxhaw, NC 28173
This event is for anyone who is symptomatic or has been identified as a contact to a positive COVID-19 case.
Click here to see all upcoming locations for the Atrium Mobile Testing Center.
More Information | Mayor Información

CVS COVID-19 Testing:

Select CVS locations have opportunities for COVID-19 testing. Click here for more information on CVS COVID-19 testing and to register for testing. Registration is required.

Locations in and near Union County:

  • CVS Pharmacy, 1142 North Broome Street, Waxhaw, NC 28173
  • CVS Pharmacy, 1602 Providence Road South, Waxhaw, NC 28173
  • CVS Pharmacy, 3610 Matthews Mint Road, Matthews, NC 28105
  • CVS Pharmacy, 3310 Siskey Parkway, Matthews, NC 28105
  • CVS Pharmacy, 10012 Weiss Way, Waxhaw, NC 28173
  • CVS Pharmacy, 6713 East Marshville Road, Marshville, NC 28103
  • Several Charlotte locations are available

NCDHHS Testing Map:

NCDHHS launched an interactive tool for finding local COVID-19 test sites. There are now more than 300 places across North Carolina to be tested.

Virtual Healthcare Options:

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Latest Updates

Actualizaciones en español

The CDC now recommends a symptom-based, instead of test-based, approach to determine when people are no longer considered infectious and can end isolation. Click here to learn more about when you can end self-isolation.

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Prevention

Most people who contract COVID-19 will have mild symptoms and will make a full recovery. Currently, no vaccine is available to prevent COVID-19 infection. Health officials advise the steps you take to prevent the spread of the common cold and flu will also help prevent COVID-19.

Know your WsMeasures you can take to prevent respiratory virus include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • The CDC now recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 or develop symptoms, call your doctor’s office. Read more from the CDC on steps to take to prevent the spread if you are sick.

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Resources

For support resources related to programs and services, see our UC CARES webpage.

Union County Resources

North Carolina Resources

National Resources

Recursos en español

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Frequently Asked Questions

Union County Local Information

What are my options if I want to be tested for COVID-19?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, contact your primary care provider for evaluation and guidance. If you do not have a primary care provider, call the Union County coronavirus hotline (704.292.2550) or the North Carolina COVID-19 hotline by calling 2-1-1. You may also call a local urgent care center, or a hospital emergency room and ask for guidance on how to be evaluated for COVID-19. Please do not arrive at a healthcare facility without calling first to seek guidance on preventative measures upon arrival to prevent the potential spread of the virus. Your physician will decide whether you need to be tested, based on a variety of conditions; including, but not limited to: symptoms, possible exposure to COVID-19, travel history, etc. Physicians who determine an individual should be tested for COVID-19 will either collect a nasal swab to be tested or refer the individual to a testing facility. Keep in mind there is no treatment for COVID-19. People who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.

What happens after an individual in Union County tests positive for COVID-19?

  • An individual whose illness resulted in a positive test for COVID-19 will be contacted by Union County Public Health. The Public Health department will issue guidance requiring the individual to self-isolate. The individual will receive detailed instructions on what they can and can’t do.

Where can I find a list of closures and/or postponements?

Click here for all postponements/closures related to Union County Government.

What are the impacts of COVID-19 to Union County Public Schools?

The Union County School District is posting updates on this web page: https://www.ucps.k12.nc.us/Domain/3350

How can I help?

Where can I find childcare services while schools are closed?

Most childcare centers are still operating normal hours and exercising even more precautions than normal. Some childcare centers have “Emergency Drop In Services” availability, so you can contact a local provider to see if that’s an option. During this time, parents have to utilize their discretion regarding extended family, friends, and neighbors assisting with childcare issues. Some churches and local college students are looking for ways to help the community during this crisis, so you may want to contact your local church or friends with reliable teenagers or college students to see if they may be interested in assisting you in this way.

If you work in healthcare, are a first responder, or otherwise designated as an essential worker, please click here for resources provided by the state of North Carolina.

*Please do not ask anyone considered elderly or anyone with serious chronic medical conditions to watch your children, as they are most at risk.

Are banks open?

The FDIC is working with federal and state banking agencies, as well as, financial institutions to consider all reasonable and prudent steps to assist customers in communities affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition, the agency is monitoring information issued by international and U.S. health organizations. Regulatory agencies have encouraged financial institutions to work with customers impacted by the coronavirus. Customers experiencing difficulties beyond their control should work directly with their financial institutions.

Presently, banks will continue with normal operations. Customers are asked to consider utilizing online banking or drive-thru services when possible.

Are court schedules at the Union County Judicial Center postponed or impacted?

The Union County Judicial Center (Courthouse), including the office of the Clerk of Superior Court, continues to be open on a limited basis during normal hours. The Courts are still available for emergency domestic violence and no-contact restraining orders, as well as certain hearings in juvenile matters. All other matters - jury trials, district criminal and civil trials, family court cases, traffic cases, and small claims matters - have been canceled and will be rescheduled.

Please call the Clerk of Court’s office at 704-698-3100 or visit their website for information.

Where can I receive help with meals and supplies?

How It Spreads

Learn what is known about the spread of COVID-19.

What is community spread?

Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

How does it spread and what can I do to prevent it from spreading?

Coronaviruses like COVID-19 are most often spread through the air by coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact (including touching and shaking hands) or through touching your nose, mouth or eyes before washing your hands. Learn more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about how COVID-19 spreads and how to protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses.

Follow these common-sense measures to protect yourself and others from spreading viruses, including COVID-19:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

Everyone in North Carolina should follow the latest recommendations from NCDHHS to reduce and slow the spread of infection.

Can COVID-19 be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that is shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.

Should I worry about opening packages from places where there’s been an outbreak?

Currently there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.

Can you get COVID-19 from touching contaminated objects?

Possibly, if you touch a surface with the virus on it, and then touch your mouth, nose or eyes. However, this is not likely to be the main way the virus spreads.

Will warm weather stop the outbreak of COVID-19?

It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months. At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when the weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

What are the differences between COVID-19 and the flu?

While COVID-19 and influenza are both infectious respiratory illnesses and have some similar symptoms, they are caused by different viruses. While both the flu and COVID-19 may be transmitted in similar ways (airborne, meaning tiny droplets remaining in the air could cause disease in others even after the ill person is no longer near), there is no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. Doctors and scientists are working on estimating the mortality rate of COVID-19, but at present, it is thought to be higher than most strains of the flu.

Should I wear a face mask to protect me from COVID-19?

The CDC now recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

How to Protect Yourself

Is hand sanitizer effective against novel coronavirus?

Health officials believe hand sanitizer is effective to prevent COVID-19, if used properly. The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands. But if soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.

What cleaning products should I use to prevent the spread of COVID-19? What should be cleaned?

Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in common areas, such as doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, tables, desks, toilets, sinks, hard-back chairs. First, clean dirty surfaces with detergent or soap and water. Disinfect surfaces with a diluted household bleach solution (1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water), alcohol solutions of 70%+ alcohol or EPA-registered household disinfectants. Use gloves or wash hands thoroughly after cleaning. More from the CDC.

Who is social distancing recommended for? Should we all be social distancing?

Social distancing or maintaining a minimum distance of 6 feet away from others is recommended at this point on a community level.

How does social distancing help?

Increasing social distancing and restricting mass gatherings, in an attempt to "flatten the curve."

What does “flattening the curve” mean?

Flattening the curve is the idea that communities and countries can delay the peak of the outbreak and thus relieve some of the stress on the healthcare system.

Flattening the curve graph

What is the difference between self-monitoring, isolation and quarantine?

These are protective measures used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among people who may have been exposed.

Self-monitoring is for those that may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, and they should monitor themselves for symptoms. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If they develop symptoms (fever, cough and shortness of breath) during the self-monitoring period, they should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider or their local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.

Quarantine is for people who were exposed to a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 but are not experiencing symptoms. Contact your local health department if you are unsure if you should self-quarantine.

Isolation separates people who are sick from those who are well. The people who tested presumptive positive and positive in North Carolina are in isolation.

Should I wear a mask?

The CDC now recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Is it safe to go to the gym?

People should exercise at home or outside as much as possible. Per Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 120, health clubs were required to temporarily close.

Is it safe to go outside and for children to play outside?

Experts say social distancing is the best weapon against the spread of COVID-19 — defined as keeping six feet away from another person. Children experience much less severe symptoms from COVID-19 than older people, though they can carry and spread the virus. And wherever social distancing can be practiced, kids can go. “We don’t have to go crazy,” said Joe Aracri, system chair of pediatrics for Allegheny Health Network. “We just want to be careful.”

Dr. Sean O’Leary, M.D., an executive member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Infectious Diseases, said it’s still reasonable for people to err on the side of caution as much as possible right now. “We’re in the midst of something that no one alive has really experienced before,” he said.

A small playground with lots of young children touching surfaces is probably not a great idea. Young kids just aren’t developmentally able to think about where they put their hands and keeping them cleaned often. At this point, some communities are closing their playgrounds; considering schools are out and we don’t want children congregating all together, Dr. O’Leary said playgrounds are “probably not the safest place right now.” “A quieter open park large enough to have space in between children is perfectly acceptable”, he said, “as is a hike in the woods or a backyard.”

Encourage your kids to play in your own yard and definitely go outside into the fresh air, especially as the weather is warming up. This will ward off “cabin fever” and allow them to exercise during the day. Avoid groups or team sports, though and always practice proper hand hygiene after playing outside.

Are restaurants open? Is it safe to use drive-thru or take out?

Governor Cooper issued an executive order to close all bars and restaurant dining rooms effective 5PM on 3/17/20. Restaurants are remaining open to provide take out options.

Most restaurants have increased their sanitation precautions, in addition to their standard sanitation and cleaning requirements and our Environment Health Agency monitors these restaurants on a regular basis.

The move aims to lessen the spread of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — by limiting interactions between large groups of people. A number of other states have issued similar orders, including New York, Ohio and Florida.

Who is at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19?

Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. Based upon available information to date, those most at risk include:

  • People 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People of any age with the following underlying medical conditions, particularly those that are not well controlled:
      • Chronic lung disease or asthma
      • Congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease
      • Diabetes
      • Neurologic conditions that weaken ability to cough
      • Weakened immune system
      • Chemotherapy or radiation for cancer (currently or in recent past)
      • Sickle cell anemia
      • Chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis
      • Cirrhosis of the liver
      • Lack of spleen or a spleen that doesn’t function correctly
      • Extreme obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40)
  • People who are pregnant

Symptoms & Testing

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the flu. They are:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

COVID-19 typically causes mild to moderate respiratory illness. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms that do not require hospitalization, although there have been reports of severe illness with a small percentage resulting in death. Respiratory symptoms alone are not an indicator of COVID-19.

When do symptoms appear?

Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure.

What should I do if I am showing any of these symptoms?

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, contact your primary care provider for evaluation. If you don’t have a primary care provider, call a local urgent care center or hospital emergency room and ask for guidance on how to be evaluated for COVID-19.

What should I do if I had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?

There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 available online.

Can COVID-19 be spread before someone has symptoms?

We know that people are most contagious when they have symptoms. Whether the virus can be spread before someone has symptoms is currently being evaluated. More on how COVID-19 spreads is available from the CDC.

What treatments are available?

Most people with illnesses due to coronavirus recover on their own. There are no specific treatments for COVID-19, but treatments to bring down fever or alleviate other symptoms may help. For people who become severely ill, hospitals can provide care. There is more to be learned about COVID-19 as the situation continues to evolve, and treatment options may change over time. Learn more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How can I be tested for COVID-19?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, contact your primary care provider for evaluation and guidance. If you do not have a primary care provider, call the Union County coronavirus hotline (704-292-2550) or the North Carolina COVID-19 hotline by calling 2-1-1. You may also call a local urgent care center, or a hospital emergency room and ask for guidance on how to be evaluated for COVID-19. Please do not arrive at a healthcare facility without calling first to seek guidance on preventative measures upon arrival to prevent the potential spread of the virus. Your physician will decide whether you need to be tested, based on a variety of conditions; including, but not limited to: symptoms, possible exposure to COVID-19, travel history, etc. Physicians who determine an individual should be tested for COVID-19 will either collect a nasal swab to be tested or refer the individual to a testing facility. Keep in mind there is no treatment for COVID-19. People who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.

What if I haven’t had a COVID-19 test and don’t plan on getting a test but I have symptoms?

Updated guidance as of March 24, 2020 recommends if your symptoms are mild, you can ride out the virus at home.

*Instructions from the CDC: If you have not been tested and do not anticipate being tested to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)
    AND
  • Other symptoms have improved (cough and shortness of breath have improved)
    AND
  • At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

Household Preparedness

How can my household prepare for an outbreak?

The CDC recommends households have a plan of action to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak. People should think about having daily necessities and medications to last about two weeks, in case they need to isolate. Massive stockpiling of supplies is not necessary.

Individuals and families should have a plan in case they need to miss work due to illness or need to care for a sick family member.

More information on household planning is available from the CDC.

What can our kids do while home from school?

I’m in need of food/supplies/formula. Where can I go to find everyday essentials?

You can go to the grocery store for items, as that is considered an essential trip during this time of sheltering in place, but send only one person, if possible, and preferably not anyone over 65 years of age, as they are being advised to stay home. Practice proper prevention techniques and use precautions, and be sure to disinfect your hands once you are back home. Limit the times you go to the store, and avoid public transportation, if at all possible. And avoid stockpiling so there is enough food and supplies for others. Offer to shop for your elderly family members, friends and neighbors if you’re going, if they do not have someone to shop for them.

In any place where large numbers of people gather, there is a potential risk for disease transmission. When you visit the grocery store, keep about 6 feet between yourself and others and use prevention techniques like avoiding touching your face and washing your hands. If possible, visit the store at times when there are likely to be fewer people shopping.

If you are in an area with home delivery, ask that your groceries be left at the door, rather than face-to-face interaction.

UCPS is offering free meals Monday-Friday 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. to children 18 years old and younger. Friday meals include an additional meal and snack. No sites will be open on Friday, April 10 in observance of Good Friday. Click here for meal distribution locations.

Some restaurants and food establishments are offering assistance to families. Please check with individual businesses for any help they may be offering to the community.

Animals


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Situation

Situación en español

The Union County Division of Public Health is closely monitoring the international outbreak of a novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, and is working with public health partners at the state and federal level. COVID-19 has caused an outbreak of a respiratory illness and was first detected in Wuhan, China in late December 2019.

“Union County Division of Public Health and our Communicable Disease team are working with state and federal health partners to follow all protocols and guidance to limit exposure to this respiratory disease,” said Dennis Joyner, Director of Public Health. "We know this is a fast-evolving situation and anticipate additional cases. We are working diligently to prevent the spread. We advise residents to take precautions, including staying home when sick."

The spread of COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. The CDC is constantly monitoring the situation and consistently updating its website with information as soon as it becomes available. Click here to see the CDC’s webpage on COVID-19 that includes information on symptoms, travel, guidance for healthcare professionals, and more.

On March 10, 2020, Governor Cooper declared a state of emergency due to coronavirus concerns. Declaring a state of emergency allows increased flexibility to respond and prevent the virus; access to federal funds; helps speed receiving of supplies; and gives health and emergency managers across the state budget flexibility.

The state's Division of Public Health has set up a helpline to answer questions from the public about coronavirus (COVID-19). The phone number to the coronavirus helpline is 1-866-462-3821. It is answered 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Please rely on reputable health sources, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, for information and updates on COVID-19.

Board of Commission Chairman Jerry Simpson signed a declaration of a State of Emergency on Monday, March 16, 2020. For more information, click here.

Click here for COVID-19 information and resources from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

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