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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

Posted on February 5, 2020

Page Updated: November 30, 2020, 6:00 p.m. | Haga clic aquí para ver información en español

Total Cases in Union County Total Deaths Associated with COVID-19 in Union County
7,989 76

* Updated Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

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


On this page: Testing | Prevention | Resources | FAQs

Testing

WHO SHOULD GET TESTED:

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • People who have had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more cumulatively over a 24 hour period) with someone with confirmed COVID-19.
  • People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider, local or state health department.
  • Use the CDC’s self-checker tool to help you make decisions on when to seek testing and appropriate medical care.
  • If you get tested, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.

COVID-19: What to do if you test positiveAFTER BEING TESTED:

While waiting for results, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.

  • If you test positive, you need to self-quarantine/isolate for 10 days, even if you do not have symptoms. Distance yourself from family members at home as much as possible. Only leave for urgent/emergency medical care. A negative test prior to the end of the 10 day isolation period does not shorten the isolation requirement. At the end of the 10 days, you may return to normal activities as long as you do not have a fever or worsening of respiratory symptoms.
  • If you test negative, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected. The test result only means you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing. Continue to take steps to protect yourself.

TESTING OPPORTUNITIES:

NCDHHS Testing Locations:

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.

Atrium Health Mobile Coronavirus Testing Center:

Click here to see all upcoming locations for the Atrium Mobile Testing Center.
Información en español sobre la unidad móvil para pruebas del Coronavirus.

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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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.
  • Wear a cloth face covering or mask over your mouth and nose in public settings where physical distancing is 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

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. 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. If you test positive, you need to self-quarantine/isolate for 10 days, even if you do not have symptoms. Distance yourself from family members at home as much as possible. Only leave for urgent/emergency medical care. A negative test prior to the end of the 10 day isolation period does not shorten the isolation requirement. At the end of the 10 days, you may return to normal activities as long as you do not have a fever or worsening of respiratory symptoms.

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

How can I help?

There are several community organizations in need. Visit the UC CARES web page and see the section for “Give Help.”

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, are operating with reduced capacity.

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?

Visit the UC CARES web page and see the section for “Get Help.”

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. Click here to learn how to protect yourself.

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. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

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, present indications are that it has a higher mortality rate than the flu. Scientists are still researching associated morbidities from COVID-19 that generally do not occur after the flu.

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

The CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people. Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings or masks, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Click here for CDC guidance on how to select, wear, and clean your mask.

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. 

Who is physical distancing recommended for?

Physical distancing or maintaining a minimum distance of 6 feet away from other people who are not from your household is recommended in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Physical distancing should be practiced in combination with other preventative actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing a mask over your mouth and nose, avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

How does physical distancing help?

According to the CDC, COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. Because people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay at least six feet away from others when possible, even if you – or they – do not have any symptoms. Physical distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

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

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

Isolation separates people who are sick from those who are well.

Should I wear a mask?

The CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people. Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings or masks, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Click here for CDC guidance on how to select, wear, and clean your mask.

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. Read the CDC’s information for people at increased risk and other people who need to take extra precautions.

Symptoms & Testing

What are the symptoms?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

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?

If you have had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more cumulatively over a 24 hour period) with someone with confirmed COVID-19, you should begin quarantine at the same time and continue for 14 days after the last contact with the positive person. If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19. You should wait to be tested for COVID-19 for 5-7 days after the first contact. If the result is positive, you may return to normal activities after your 10 day isolation period has ended. If the result is negative, you need to continue to quarantine until it has been 14 days since contact with the positive person.

Can COVID-19 be spread before someone has symptoms?

COVID-19 can be spread by an infected individual before they have symptoms, or by an infected individual who does not have symptoms. 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).

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

If your symptoms are mild, you can ride out your illness while isolating at home from others.

Contact Tracing

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing has been used for decades by state and local health departments to slow or stop the spread of infectious diseases. Contact tracing slows the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Letting people know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • Helping people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 get tested
  • Asking people to self-isolate if they have COVID-19 or self-quarantine if they are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

Contact tracers will NOT ask you for:

  • Money
  • Social security number
  • Bank account information
  • Salary information
  • Credit card numbers

What will happen with my personal information during contact tracing?

Discussions with health department staff are confidential. This means your personal and medical information will be kept private and only shared with those who may need to know, like your health care provider.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, your name will not be shared with those you came in contact with. The health department will only notify people you were in close contact with that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

What if I don’t want to share my information?

Not being truthful or not providing information to Public Health, limits Public Health’s ability to keep others safe and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in our community.

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