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.