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March 20
​Wake County COVID-19 Cases at 32

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 seven new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive test results in Wake County to 32.

“We’ve been expecting a steady uptick in positive cases since our first case on March 3, so this is no surprise,” said Wake County Medical Director Dr. Kim McDonald. “Because of that, we’ve planned for managing the situation. As case numbers grow, so does the potential burden on our healthcare system. I strongly encourage everyone to practice social distancing to slow the virus’ spread, and to stay home if you are sick.”

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 it 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 20 at 5 p.m., Wake County has 32 known positive cases of COVID-19. There are 93 people under investigation who were exposed to the virus and have developed symptoms. Of those, 55 people are waiting for test results; 38 are in the process of being tested.

Through contact tracing, Wake County has identified another 267 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 Accessible Online
Since announcing that Wake County Public Libraries’ brick-and-mortar locations are closed through March 27, online access has been surging. More than 230 residents have self-registered for and claimed library cards, and more than 5,000 materials have been checked out online.

“We’re thrilled that residents are turning to their libraries as we all practice social distancing,” said Ann Burlingame, deputy director of Wake County Public Libraries. “Many of us are working remotely while simultaneously trying to keep children occupied. What better way to accomplish the latter than by fighting boredom with a book! While we certainly miss the community our libraries provide, being able to access some of our most popular collections and events – like storytime – online can be a respite for families during this challenging time.”

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

Learn more about WCPL’s online offerings here.

Millennium 2020 Tour
Yesterday, public health officials learned that one of the latest cases attended The Millennium Tour 2020 at PNC Arena on Friday, March 13.

Because the person was symptomatic during the concert, the Wake County Public Health Division has set up a special information phone line for people who attended the show or worked at PNC Arena that night and has developed fever (a temperature of 100.4 or higher), cough or shortness of breath. Affected Wake County residents can call 919-857-9375.

Fingerprinting Services
The Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification’s public Civic Fingerprinting office is closed through April 15.

Garbage Collection
Wake County Solid Waste warns residents to expect delays on weekends when disposing of construction waste at its convenience centers. Staff are prioritizing household garbage collection. Residents are advised to come on a weekday or consider paying to dump at a private construction landfill.

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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