Check your sources -- info on "Cherokee County's" COVID case from North Carolina

by By Cristin Parker
This information, which has been circulated by local Facebookers, was shared on the Cherokee County, North Carolina, Health Department's website. This information, which has been circulated by local Facebookers, was shared on the Cherokee County, North Carolina, Health Department's website.

UPDATED: Friday, March 27 at 12:19 p.m.

While Cherokee County, Texas, does have one confirmed case of Coronavirus at this time, a press release blaming the "local" COVID-19 case on a cruise patron is actually information posted by the Cherokee County, North Carolina, health department.

Local Facebookers have been sharing a post that includes only the first three paragraphs of the release that was uploaded to the North Carolina department's website, around 10:30 a.m., on Thursday, March 26.

This is the release in its entirety:


March 26, 2020

Cherokee County Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19, Currently Isolated in Cherokee County

A Cherokee County resident that tested positive for COVID – 19 is being monitored and following isolation orders in Cherokee County. The Cherokee County Health Department was notified that a resident of our county was on a cruiseline and had been exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19 while on the cruise. At the time that the Health Department was notified, the patient had known of their exposure for approximately five days and had self-quarantined since notification. The individual developed mild synptoms and the Health Department coordinated testing for COVID-19.

This individual has been on isolation since before becoming symptomatic. We can say with great certainty that this case was isolated during the symptomatic phase of the illness and therefore had little to no opportunity to spread the virus.

New recommendations from the CDC now urge anyone who becomes ill with a respiratory type illness to isolate until the following criteria are met:

• At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and

• At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

It is also recommended that household and close contacts of persons with a respiratory type illness should quarantine to the extent possible for 14 days and monitor for symptoms of a respiratory illness. If household or close contacts become sick during the 14 day monitoring period, it is advisd that they then isolate until the criteria for discontinuation of isolation (listed above) are met.

Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, individuals should take the same measures that health care providers recommend to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, staying home if you are sick and covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow. It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like Cherokee County Health Department, CDC, and NCDHHS. For more information, please visit

the CDC’s website at and NCDHHS’ website at, which will also include future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina.

Cherokee County Health Department regularly updates our Facebook page with accurate and current information regarding COVID-19, we encourage the public to check our Facebook page for up-to-date information.

Symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, and other lower respiratory illness (shortness of breath). If you are having a mild respiroatory illness, isolate yourself from others until the criteria above is met. If your illness becomes severe requiring urgent or emergent health care, call and inform your health care provider or emergency services of your symptoms prior to arrival.

If you have questions, you may call the Health Department at 828-837-7486 during regular office hours which are Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM.

This is the extent of the information on the local case, as released by Cherokee County Judge Chris Davis at 5:13 p.m., Thursday, March 26

Cherokee County, Texas, Public Health Department has identified a positive case of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Cherokee County. We understand that this news is difficult to hear and is deeply unsettling to all of us. Unfortunately, we anticipate that we will have additional positive cases during the days and weeks ahead as COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, and across the state of Texas.

Human coronaviruses are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, such as coughs and sneezes. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. People who are at higher risk for serious complications are those with underlying health conditions and those who are over the age of 65. Health care providers and public health will remain in contact with this confirmed individual, as well as with anyone that interacted with this individual, if they believe they may be at risk of infection.

With one confirmed case, and the anticipation of more to come, it is very clear that the current health crisis is real and is impacting the Cherokee County community. We must continue to do everything we can to strengthen our personal health protection and heighten our social distancing practices, as well as following the instructions of federal, state, and local officials.

We would like to remind everyone to adapt simple practices that are commonly recommended to help prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory viruses. These practices include:

• 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 available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• 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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Be sure to call before going to your doctor or emergency department to prevent any potential spread.Allison K. Hale, Executive Director James, R. Low, M.D., Medical Director