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On the rise

Polk sees 9 new COVID-19 cases this week

POLK COUNTY—After more than a week with no new positive cases, Polk County had a jump of 9 positive cases in 2 days this week.

Polk County officials announced on Tuesday it went from 35 to 39 cases, then on Wednesday announced it had an additional 5 cases, for 44 total cases.

The new counts means there are currently, with 4 deaths and 28 presumed recovered.

County officials said the 9 new cases may seem small compared to neighboring counts, but from a per capita perspective, it is significant.

“This increase in cases is to be expected as we observe more members of the community, the state, and the nation becoming more mobile,” said Polk County Health and Human Services Director Joshua Kennedy. “This is also expected because more people will be returning to work and other locations where they will be congregating for longer periods of time, which increases the risk of transmission.

We encourage all community members (residents and guests) to remember our primary strategies to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus: Social distance of at least 6 feet, wear a cloth face mask when in public, and wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer. Our efforts at this time are to keep the number of new cases at zero if at all possible and to protect all members of the public from severe life threatening outcomes related to COVID-19, and especially our vulnerable population. These prevention strategies are an act of compassion for our community and our families.”

County officials remind residents that those with COVID-19 may experience a variety of symptoms (listed below) or may be completely symptom free, but in either situation it is possible to spread the virus to others. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COIVD-19 or believes they may have been exposed are encouraged to get tested to help prevent the spread of the disease. Tests are now available from several vendors for at-home testing often with no upfront cost for those who are uninsured or insured, your current healthcare provider, or through the Polk County COVID-19 Testing drive- thru that occurs weekly by calling 828-722-5086.

The CDC indicates people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-

14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

 Fever or chills

 Cough

 Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

 Fatigue

 Muscle or body aches

 Headache

 New loss of taste or smell

 Sore throat

 Congestion or runny nose

 Nausea or vomiting

 Diarrhea

 This list does not include all possible symptoms. The CDC will continue to update the list as we learn more about COVID-19.

Polk County Health and Human Services Agency urges all residents to take measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus:

 Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.

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

 Avoid close contact with people who are ill.

 Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

 Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

 Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

For more information about the coronavirus and to read the latest guidance on keeping yourself and others safe and where to get tested, visit the www.polknc.org , www.ncdhhs.org , https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/covid-19-testing- locations , or call the Polk County Message Line 828-722-5086.