County Public Health Department Prepares for COVID-19
Suggests Everyday Precautions
FAYETTEVILLE – The Cumberland County Department of Public Health is working closely with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as regional and local partners, in preparing for the possibility of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) infections in the state.
There are currently no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cumberland County and no confirmed cases in North Carolina.
“We are prepared to quickly identify, monitor and respond to cases if they arise,” said Dr. Jennifer Green, Cumberland County Health Director. “We are in regular communication with Fort Bragg, the Fayetteville Regional Airport, local healthcare providers, our local K-12 schools and institutions of higher learning to monitor COVID-19 information and briefings.”
The Health Department’s Senior Leadership and Epidemiology Teams attend weekly calls with NC DHHS about status updates and current guidance on the virus. Cumberland County is working with other Health Departments in the region and Fort Bragg to conduct table-top exercises in the event of an outbreak.
Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 appears to be a result of respiratory transmission. The Public Health Department recommends that everyone continue taking precautions to protect themselves and others from the spread of respiratory illnesses, which include COVID-19 and the flu.
The Health Department is taking the following actions to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses and encourages individuals, families, institutions and agencies to take the same precautions.
• Encourage hand washing frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Encourage employees and visitors to get their annual flu shot.
• Use tissues when sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose and discard the tissue after one use.
• Clean common surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches and keyboards
• Offer facemasks to visitors with flu-like symptoms or symptoms of other respiratory infections.
• Employees should not return to work until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine, even if they feel better. This should be followed for parents sending children back to school.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever and shortness of breath. Persons who are experiencing symptoms such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath and have visited China or had close contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days should seek immediate medical attention. Before you go to the doctor’s office, emergency room or urgent care, call ahead and tell them your symptoms and recent travel history.
Flu is widespread in North Carolina. With rare exception, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 or older get a flu vaccine each season. Flu vaccine is available to the public at the Health Department’s Immunization Clinic at 1235 Ramsey Street. Walk-ins are welcome.
The North Carolina Division of Public Health has established a call line at 1-866-462-3821 to address general questions about COVID-19 from the public. In the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1.
We encourage the public to seek information from credible sources including the Cumberland County Health Department website (http://www.co.cumberland.nc.us/departments/public-health-group/public-health) and the NC DHHS website (https://www.ncdhhs.gov/).
If you would like more information about the Cumberland County Department of Public Health’s programs and services, health-related data, or community resources, please call 910-433-3600 or visit with someone at the information desk, or visit our website at co.cumberland.nc.us/health. Comments are welcome and can be submitted on our website at co.cumberland.nc.us/feedback. The Health Department is located at 1235 Ramsey St. in Fayetteville.