July 2, 2020
As our community continues to work through the COVID-19 pandemic, we first want to recognize those families who have been impacted by the virus. Our thoughts and continued prayers go out to these individuals. In the midst of this challenging time, the Board of County Commissioners and Davie County Government are grateful to be part of a community that works together to find ways to support our residents and help others in need.
Although your local government has been working hard to keep the community informed, it has been a while since our last “all in one” update. Below is a comprehensive summary of items, including available information and resources regarding COVID-19 that we hope you will find to be useful. Please keep in mind that although a large amount of information is available in this update, we want to stress that our primary focus is the mitigation and prevention of COVID-19 in Davie County.
State Level Updates and Direction
On June 24, 2020, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary, Dr. Mandy Cohen, announced that North Carolina would remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three additional weeks. This extension of Phase 2 is currently scheduled through July 17th at 5:00 pm.
Governor Cooper also announced that face coverings should be worn when people are in public places to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread. This information is subject to change in light of new guidance from public health studies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and additional Executive Orders or local government declarations.
Understanding Why State Level Updates and Direction Were Implemented
Doctors, public health officials, hospital administrators, and health care providers are concerned that unless the spread of COVID-19 is limited, existing health care facilities may not have the capacity to care for those who become sick.
Health officials point to the growing evidence showing that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Face coverings should be worn in public places where physical distancing is not possible. In addition, certain businesses have safety requirements outlined by state officials.
Reporting Cases and How That Information is Communicated
NCDHHS now indicates that counties do not have to track COVID-19 cases beyond the 14-day testing time period. Davie County had been going beyond this requirement to ensure residents were no longer sick before removing them from the sick list. Due to this new criteria and guidance from NCDHHS, a drop in sick cases may appear in the information that is provided to the public. Active cases will continue to be reported for those who are within 14 days from the date they received testing. To see the daily NC COVID-19 Dashboard for County and State data, please click here.
Davie County’s Method for Tracing and Testing for COVID-19
Davie County Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health staff test, monitor, and conduct contact tracing for COVID-19. Once the health department receives notification of a positive case, staff follow up with the positive case to investigate, identify potential contacts, and provide education. During the contact tracing process with a known positive case, the individual (case) is asked about anyone he or she had close contact with in the past two weeks – or prior to and during symptom onset. The individual (case) provides names and contact information of all individuals they have had contact with (less than six feet for more than 15 minutes). Public Health staff then contact these “close contacts” to provide them with information about their exposure and then offer testing resources and information needed to protect themselves and others.
When someone has been in close contact with a known positive case, they meet the requirements to be tested for COVID-19. Those who have symptoms, whether they have been around a known positive case or not, also meet the criteria to be tested for COVID-19. Davie County Division of Public Health collects the specimen to submit for testing, or refers the individual to other collection sites (a primary care provider, urgent care, Davie Medical Center, etc.). The intention of COVID-19 tracing and testing is to identify those with the virus and work to prevent others from getting it. If close contacts are identified and asked to quarantine, then the virus is less likely to be transmitted to others.
When places of employment have positive cases and choose to independently conduct their own form of contact tracing, they work with the positive COVID-19 case to identify all contacts within the work place. This workplace contact tracing is independent of Davie County Division of Public Health’s contact tracing efforts. It is common for cases to identify co-workers as close contacts, so it is possible that some individuals will be contacted by public health and the employer. Health Departments are required by law to investigate communicable diseases – and have been required to do so for many years before COVID-19. North Carolina has developed a COVID-19 Community Team Outreach (CCTO) Tool that helps streamline disease investigation.
Testing numbers reflect tests completed on sick individuals, those exposed to or in close contact with positive COVID-19 cases, repeat testing of COVID-19 positive cases for return-to-work purposes, and precautionary testing of residents and staff in long-term care facilities.
Testing as It Relates to Long-Term Care Facilities
Long-term care facilities within Davie County have implemented stronger precautionary measures than the North Carolina state guidance and are increasing testing to ensure the ongoing health and safety of their residents. Long-term care facility testing makes up a significant number of overall COVID-19 tests completed in Davie County. Anytime a resident tests positive, the facility and public health test every staff member and resident of these facilities. This could be done multiple times. The guidance also recommends repeat testing every 3-7 days until everyone in the facility tests negative. Facilities can have several (even hundreds) of residents and staff members in total. One facility site may be tested several times. If we could separate public cases/tests and facility cases/tests, the percentage of tests to positive cases would be more telling.
Links to Various Websites Where You Can Find Critical Information
For the Davie County Human Services daily update and more important information, please click here.
For more information or additional guidance from NCDHHS, please click here. For signage that businesses can use, please click here.
Click here to read the Frequently Asked Questions about the New Executive Order (and past orders). Also, click here for NCDHHS guidance regarding face coverings.
Click here to go to the Chamber of Commerce site where you can find resources about the Davie County Smart Restart Plan that can serve as a valuable resource for businesses in Davie County.
For Behavioral Health related resources, please click here.
Davie County Government Continues to Work Hard to Serve Residents
Davie County Government continues to provide services to our residents. Current conditions do require that we adapt and do things differently. To see a listing of county departments and how they are operating given COVID-19 concerns, please click here.
Each week we conduct a weekly YouTube update from our Emergency Operations Center Team. You can access it by clicking here. Our Emergency Operations Center team is also working diligently to ensure that preparedness and contingency planning is taking place. The team has established a COVID-19 hotline that is staffed by Public Health Nurses. Community members can reach the hotline by calling 336-753-6750 or 336-753-6550.
Employment and Unemployment Assistance
Job seekers can visit the Davie Works website to see potential job openings from our local employers. To visit, click here.
For those with questions about unemployment benefits, the following information is available:
Local Social Media Sites to Help You Stay Updated
- PANDEMIC EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION: This option is an extension of benefits after State resources have been exhausted. You must apply for PEUC by filing a separate claim using the same DES platform that provided the original state unemployment insurance.
- PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE: This option is an alternative resource for those unable to access traditional state unemployment insurance (independent contractors and self-employed). You must apply for PUA after being officially denied state benefits. The same DES platform is used for both applications.
We encourage you to also follow these Davie County Government social media sites for real-time updates:
In closing, we must continue to be proactive and identify the things that we can control individually and how our decisions impact those around us. Let’s focus on the advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our local Public Health partners to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Each of us have an important role in assisting with this goal.
There are countless heroes working each and every day in the midst of our current situation. Those people may or may not receive the thank you and credit they deserve. They are not always visible and have challenging work that sometimes require them to be a phone call away to help-even when they are not on shift. To all of those people, you are indeed our heroes. Thank you for your service and for making a difference.
Together … #WeAreDavie
John Eller, County Manager