Nash County Health Director Bill Hill said his understanding is that the person who is the first known case of the coronavirus in the county immediately self-quarantined upon having developed symptoms.
Hill provided the latest about the case in a video conference call on Saturday with fellow Nash County management officials. Hill first reported about the case in a video conference call on Friday.
The Telegram asked Hill if he knew when the person came down with the coronavirus.
“It was my understanding that, around Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, the person was showing enough symptoms not to go to work,” Hill said.
Hill said the person self-quarantined along with the other person living in the same house.
The Telegram also asked Hill about whether he could say the person is a male or a female or a younger person, an older person or a senior citizen.
“I’m really not so sure that it’s extremely relevant at this point,” Hill said.
But Hill said, “I do not have a confirmed written report on the gender or the age.”
Nash County Manager Zee Lamb on Saturday led the video conference.
Hill said he and Lamb as late as Friday evening discussed the case. Hill said he and Lamb still do not have confirmation the person has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Hill said he checked with his nurse supervisor shortly before Saturday’s video conference.
Hill said the nurse supervisor was reaching out to obtain details from the health care organization in connection with the person and find out what the status is.
“We do not have a patient identification yet,” Hill said. “And it’s my understanding, from what I have seen — and what I have had an oral report on — that it’s a presumptive case that has to be confirmed with the state lab.”
Lamb asked Hill whether he has heard of any presumptive cases later determined to have been positively false. Hill said he has not.
“This is a highly likely positive that will be confirmed, but I have not,” Hill said of the one case. “But I don’t know if I would have heard about any that came back presumptively positive and then were later found to be negative.”
Lamb said, “I am a little concerned that there was a report on Thursday of a presumptive positive yet it has taken this long to get in the (statewide) system — and it’s still not in the system.”
Lamb said he believes as long as there is the appearance of zero publicly reported cases in Nash County, people may become complacent — and he made clear he did not want the county’s population to think the county is an island.
Lamb urged Hill to continue to try track down that case.
As for that case, Lamb said, “Hopefully it will be a false positive, but in the meantime, I think reporting should be a little quicker than two days — and that could cause problems.
“And I’m sure it has caused problems in other states and metropolitan areas of North Carolina,” Lamb said.
On March 10, Gov. Roy Cooper declared a statewide emergency to prevent any mass gatherings or community or social events organized for groups of more than 100 people from assembling on local government properties.
On March 14, Cooper issued an order closing all K-12 public schools, effective on March 16 and lasting for a period of two weeks.
During Saturday’s video conference call, Nash County Chief Deputy Brandon Medina said Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools officials and the sheriff’s office, in collaboration in the meantime, have been busy making sure breakfasts and lunches are provided to pupils at public school campuses.
Medina later emailed Friday’s numbers by campus, which were as follows: Bailey Elementary, 465; Nash Central Middle, 240; Hubbard Elementary, 132; Spring Hope Elementary, 116; Swift Creek Elementary, 87; Southern Nash High, 78; and Cedar Grove Elementary, 73.
Medina also said Sgt. Angel Ricks has been doing an exceptional job ensuring the effort has been going smoothly.
Among other items from Saturday’s video conference call, Nash County Assistant Director of Fire-Rescue Services and Emergency Management Brent Fisher said one item having been discussed is finding out how Cooper’s order about mass gatherings affects sweepstakes businesses.
Fisher said he reached out to Norma Houston, who is a lecturer at the UNC School of Government and whose expertise includes emergency management law.
Fisher said Houston said there has not yet been official guidance about the sweepstakes businesses.
Fisher said, however, his information from Houston is that the state Public Safety Department’s legal team is aware of the concern.
Fisher also said his information from Houston is that “once DPS or the governor’s office issues any clarification on that, they will share that on the Listserv (electronic mailing system).”