Officials Confirm First Case of Coronavirus in North Carolina

By Kimberly Lawson

March 3, 2020

The Wake County patient is currently in isolation at home and doing well.

Local health department officials have confirmed North Carolina’s first case of coronavirus. The Wake County patient, who is currently in isolation at their home and doing well, appears to have contracted the virus after traveling to Washington state. The person was exposed at the Seattle-area long-term care facility where there is currently a COVID-19 outbreak.

“We’ve been preparing for this, and we do expect to see more cases in North Carolina,” Gov. Roy Cooper said during a press conference on Tuesday.

The North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health began testing potential cases on Monday, local health officials said. The current patient’s test came back positive but has not been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As they await confirmation of results from the CDC, officials said they would treat any and all presumptive cases as positive and follow guidelines to protect the public health of North Carolinians.

As the patient did travel by plane from Washington back to North Carolina, health officials are also currently working to inform those who were on the patient’s flight about potential exposure.

“I know people are worried about this virus,” said Cooper, who established the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force in February. “And I want to assure you that the state of North Carolina is prepared. Our most important work is keeping people healthy and safe.”


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