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March 18
​Wake County COVID-19 Cases at 22

Note: We want to share important information with you as efficiently as possible. Going forward, we will combine all COVID-19-related updates into one news release each day. This news release will be emailed to you around 5 p.m. We will send additional news releases in some circumstances.

Wake County is investigating five new positive cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of positive test results in Wake County to 22.

Using contact tracing, the county is working to confirm who may have come in close contact with the affected people and what their risk of exposure might be. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines “close contact” as being within six feet of the patient for 10 minutes or more.

“We aren’t surprised that the number of positive test results in Wake County is increasing,” said Wake County Medical Director Dr. Kim McDonald. “While it’s important to track the data, it’s even more important to reinforce the social distancing message. By doing things like working from home and staying six feet away from others while running necessary errands, we can slow the spread of this virus.”

Slowing the spread of COVID-19 will help reduce the burden on our healthcare system and better prepare to treat those who are most in need of urgent and emergent care.

Testing by the Numbers
Providing an accurate number of tests taken at any given time is challenging, because samples are processed by multiple laboratories, including the State Laboratory of Public Health and LabCorp. Other locations may come online in the future.

The county doesn’t have access to the number of tests LabCorp is processing each day, but does track samples submitted to the State Lab. However, in both cases, positive results are reported to the local Public Health Division.

As of March 18 at 5 p.m., Wake County has 22 known positive cases of COVID-19. There are 82 people under investigation who were exposed to the virus and have developed symptoms. Of those, 70 test results are pending, and 12 people are in the process of being tested.

Through contact tracing, Wake County has identified another 221 people who are being monitored, because they may have been exposed to the virus through close contact. The county will monitor them for two weeks to see if they develop symptoms. If they do, the county will test them for COVID-19 and recategorize them as “people under investigation.”

Media should contact LabCorp for similar numbers from private sector tests.

Wake County Libraries Closes Book Returns, Reminds Residents of Online Accessibility
In addition to closing locations through March 27, Wake County Public Libraries will close all book returns and no longer accept book donations, starting tomorrow, March 19. There will be no penalty for keeping books until libraries reopen. 

While physical locations are closed, residents can still access WCPL’s services. Residents who don’t already have a library card can register online, and receive a temporary card number and PIN that are good for 60 days. This access will enable people to use all of WCPL’s online resources while still practicing social distancing.

Everyone with a library card can access WCPL’s mobile app, which makes all online resources and services offered easily accessible.

Learn more about WCPL’s online offerings here.

NCWorks Career Center Employment Services
Capital Area Workforce Development’s NCWorks Career Center is offering virtual appointments to those who need employment and training resources services or are experiencing joblessness as a result of COVID-19. You can learn more about accessing their services via phone or online here.

Protecting Yourself
Although your risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low, the county’s public health team encourages you to protect yourself from COVID-19 and any other flu-like illness by following these simple steps:

  • Stay away from sick people and practice social distancing measures.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Stay home if you’re sick and don’t send sick children to school or childcare.

Staying Updated
Wake County has made it easy for you to stay updated on the latest information about COVID-19.

You can visit our COVID-19 webpage, which has a set of frequently asked questions to educate residents in English and in Spanish, a list of COVID-19-related closures and service changes, as well as an email address and phone number that people can use to ask personal health-related questions about COVID-19. The county is also sharing important information on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.


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