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A second Moore County resident has tested positive for coronavirus, the Health Department reported Thursday afternoon.

The Health Department said in a news release that this case is unrelated to the first one Wednesday involving a physician with FirstHealth of the Carolinas. To protect privacy, the Health Department will not identify the individual or provide any other information about the person.

Moore County Health Department staff are monitoring the individual and will follow up with anyone who is identified as a “close contact.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines “close contact” as being within six feet for 10 minutes or more, the release said.

The first case was Dr. John Byron, an OB/GYN with Southern Pines Women’s Health Center, who learned of his positive test Wednesday. He first exhibited symptoms on Tuesday, FirstHealth said in a news release.

While the Health Department did not release Byron’s identity, FirstHealth later issued its own news release with his name in an effort to be transparent with the community because he had recently seen patients.

Upon learning that Germany was added to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of high alert countries, Byron “appropriately began self-quarantine,” FirstHealth said.

As with the second case confirmed Thursday, county Health Department staff is also monitoring Byron and will follow up with anyone identified as a “close contact.”

The Moore County Health Department continues to urge all residents to take measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus:

* Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

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

* Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
* Stay home if you are sick.

* Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

* Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Health officials also encourage everyone to implement social distancing measures to reduce frequency of contact, like maintaining six feet of distance and avoiding large crowds. This is important for everyone and especially those at high risk of severe illness, specifically anyone over 65 years old or anyone who has an underlying health condition like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or a weakened immune system.

Also individuals in this high-risk category should stay home to the greatest extent possible in order to avoid exposure.

(6) comments

Barbara Misiaszek

What industry will bring us the most visitors? Golf.That's who we are. People who come here to play golf come from all over the world. I've been waiting for governmental authorities to do something about this. Nothing yet. Who's in charge? Are we going to wait for the governor? Does he even know where we are?

John Misiaszek

Kent Misegades

With all the world travelers and elderly in our area, and two major highways linking us to Wake and Mecklenburg Counties, it’s remarkable that we haven’t had more cases.

Barbara Misiaszek

I certainly don't think a person's identity should be released but I do believe information re: to the possible source of contagion should be released. Was it a local resident who had traveled? Was it community spread brought to us from a visitor? More details should be released.

John Misiaszek

Jennifer Peterson

I don't fully agree. We need to know who this individual is, because we may have come in contact with him or her. The point that the CDC & other virus experts are trying to make is that if YOU have been EXPOSED to someone who is found to be positive, YOU need to quarantine yourself for about 14-days to save the rest of us from possible exposure AND further spread of the virus.

d h

I so agree with Ms. Peterson. We do need this and all info. Regarding Dr. Bryon he disclosed all info as was his choice. We can not protect ourselves if we do not have all the pertinent info regarding not cases.. Follow up with any residents as quoted.....at least we need to know this persons address, where they might have shopped. How can you follow up if the public does not have this needed information? Thank you Ms. Peterson.

Donna Sargent

Posting the name and address of a person who tests positive is not a good idea. That will put them at personal risk of threats from some members of the community. The Health Department will interview them about their whereabouts for the last several days and ask who they came in contact with. Those individuals will be notified by the Health Department. If they were in a public place that location and date/time can be released to the public. If you were in the same place around that time you can contact the Health Department. I am in West Texas now and we just had a person get off an airplane and go to a fast food restaurant to eat. Stayed there over an hour. They didn't feel good when they got off the plane and have now tested positive. While their identity has not been released the dates and times of where they were have been.

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