COVID cases rise to 231; Angel reports no hospitalizations

Macon County Health Dept. photo by Vickie Carpenter

Macon County Public Health has identified a third COVID-19 cluster in an area business.

Six employees of Wind River Construction have tested positive. All positive individuals have been issued isolation orders. Additional employees are aware of their exposure, and are currently being contacted for testing. All employees who are awaiting test results have also been given instructions to quarantine until they receive a negative test result; those who test positive will be given isolation orders for 14 days or until they receive two negative COVID-19 tests within a 24-48-hour period. In addition, management has been provided disinfection guidance. Public health has determined that this cluster was was acquired through community spread and not from associations with other identified clusters.

MCPH is working to identify additional close contacts of these individuals. The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person with an infection with COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time of 10 minutes or longer. County health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed such as temperature and symptom checks, quarantine and/or testing.

NC DPH defines clusters of COVID-19 in workplace, educational, and other community settings as:

• A minimum of 5 cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and

• Plausible linkage between cases; where cases were present in the same setting during the same time-period.

As of Tuesday, June 16, Macon County has a total of 231 positive cases: 211 active, 19 recovered, and 1 death. Tests reported in Macon County have reached 2,654, with 157 pending. MCPH is currently testing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with results generally expected in 24 to 48 hours but may extend to as long as four days. Area hospitals report 15 lab-confirmed positive inpatients at Mission Hospital, one at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, and none at any of the other hospitals including Angel Medical Center (AMC).

Symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, other lower respiratory illness (shortness of breath). If you think you may have COVID-19, call the Health Department at (828)349-2517. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.