Posted on 02/05/20
Page Updated: April 8, 2020, 4:42 p.m. | Español
UNION COUNTY CORONAVIRUS HOTLINE: 704-292-2550, available Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
If you have general questions related to COVID-19, or are not a Union County resident, please call the North Carolina COVID-19 hotline at 866-462-3821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU HAVE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS:
Virtual Healthcare Options:
|New Cases in Union County||Total Cases in Union County|
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 daily at approximately 5:00 p.m. There are new features and data available with this format:
It’s important to note:
Residents should stay home in accordance with the Statewide Stay at Home Order and only leave for essential activities.
On March 27, 2020 at 4:00 p.m., Governor Roy Cooper signed a statewide Stay at Home order effective Monday, March 30, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. to slow the spread of COVID-19. Click here to read the Governor’s Executive Order. To read frequently asked questions about the Stay at Home Order, click here.
Union County launched a #UCStayHome initiative asking residents to stay home to help stop the spread of COVID-19. If residents must leave for essential activities, they need to keep six-feet distance from others. See the Union County, NC Facebook page to see our recent posts. Check out videos on our YouTube channel for #UCStayHome.
Union County Government has evaluated its services and is committed to supporting the community and our residents during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) public health crisis. In order to keep our employees and residents safe, all Union County Government buildings will be closed to the public effective Monday, March 23 until further notice.
Union County will continue to serve residents two ways:
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.
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.
There are currently no walk-in testing sites in Union County. 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.
Click here for all postponements/closures related to Union County Government.
The Union County School District is posting updates on this web page: https://www.ucps.k12.nc.us/Domain/3350
There are several community organizations in need.
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.
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.
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.
The Union County Public School district has compiled a list of businesses offering meals and supplies to families in need. Click here for more information.
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.
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:
Everyone in North Carolina should follow the latest recommendations from NCDHHS to reduce and slow the spread of infection.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Certain models of professional, tight-fitting respirators (such as the N95) can protect health care workers as they care for infected patients. For the general public without respiratory illness, wearing lightweight disposable surgical masks is not recommended. Because they don’t fit tightly, they may allow tiny infected droplets to get into the nose, mouth or eyes. Also, people with the virus on their hands who touch their face under a mask might become infected. People with a respiratory illness can wear these masks to lessen their chance of infecting others. Bear in mind that stocking up on masks makes fewer available for sick patients and health care workers who need them.
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.
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.
Social distancing or maintaining a minimum distance of 6 feet away from others is recommended at this point on a community level.
Increasing social distancing and restricting mass gatherings, in an attempt to "flatten the curve."
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.
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.
The CDC does not recommend that people who are healthy wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory viruses. Face masks should be used by people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses like flu to protect others from getting infected. Healthcare providers and others taking care of people with COVID-19 should wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
People should exercise at home or outside as much as possible. For those that continue to go to the gym, it is recommended that people practice social distancing, and wipe down the equipment with disinfecting wipes before and after using gym equipment. It is also recommended that people use common sense measures such as washing their hands frequently or using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. People who are considered at high risk for more serious COVID-19 illness or are sick are encouraged to stay home.
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.
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.
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:
Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the flu. They are:
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.
Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure.
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.
There is information for people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 available online.
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.
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).
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.
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:
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.
Below are some resources that offer at-home activities for kids:
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 will have Monroe Middle and Wingate Elementary serving lunch between 11-1. Click here for more information.
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.
“There is no evidence that companion animals, like dogs and cats, can spread the new coronavirus to humans.” –Veterinary Expert from Johns Hopkins Medical Center. “Because this is a new virus, experts recommend good hygiene when handling or caring for your pets.”
Wash Your Hands
Whether you are playing with, feeding, or cleaning up after your pet, it is important to wash your hands to help reduce the risk of getting sick from germs pets can carry. If you or a family member are concerned about illness, talk to a doctor and mention the animals you’ve had contact with recently. Always wash hands:
After touching or playing with your pet:
Running water and soap are best for hand washing, but you can use hand sanitizer until running water and soap are available. Adults should always assist young children with handwashing.
This is information from the WHO site:
The organization does advise pet owners infected or susceptible to being infected with the coronavirus to avoid close contact with their pets and have another member of the household care for the animals, as precautionary. If they must look after their pet, they should maintain good hygiene practices and wear a face mask if possible.
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.
On March 23, 2020, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 120 which closes K-12 public schools statewide through May 15, 2020, bans mass gatherings over 50 people, and closes some businesses. Click here for more information.
Union County Government Center
500 North Main Street, Monroe, NC 28112
704-283-3500 | Contact Us