County leaders updated on virus

By: By Charles Wood - Staff Writer
The Anson County Board of Commissioners held an Emergency Meeting concerning COVID-19. The meeting was live-streamed on YouTube in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus. -

WADESBORO: The Anson County Health Department provided updates on COVID-19 to the Board of Commissioners during their emergency meeting held on Tuesday, March 17. The meeting was live-streamed on YouTube in order to limit the number of people present in the room and reduce the chance to spread infection.

Fred Thompson, Director of Anson County Health Department, was the first to speak to the Board. “I had a conference call earlier today,” said Thompson, “As of 1 p.m., we had 40 cases of coronavirus in NC within 16 different counties. None in Anson County.”

The Health Department is maintaining operations as normal for now but they are extremely concerned about protecting their employees. As a precaution, they have put up a sign on their door alerting patients to return to their car and call them to have a nurse come out and assess them if they have traveled outside of the U.S., been to an area impacted by the virus, been in contact with someone confirmed to have the virus or display symptoms of the virus within the past 14 days.

Thomas introduced Nursing Supervisor Dana Thomas who then addressed the Board. Thomas spoke on the requirements necessary in order to get tested for COVID-19 at the state lab, “The patient has to have to a negative flu test and exhibit signs that their clinician feels meets a lower respiratory infection,”

Private labs, like LabCorp, can now test for the virus and have less strict criteria to meet in order for it to be performed. “The criteria to meet for the test depends on which provider you use,” explained Thomas. Although private providers, urgent cares, and hospitals can now conduct testing for the virus, Thomas urges people to go to these facilities only if there’s a life-threatening condition and to otherwise stay home. “We don’t people filling up healthcare centers and getting other people sick,” said Davis.

Davis also informed the Board that two individuals have been tested for COVID-19 so far but they have no positive cases to date.

Kristy Davis, the Communicable Disease Nurse at the Health Department, was the next speaker. “Part of what we’re doing is every time we get an update received from the state, we’re sending out the updates to every doctor’s office, the hospital, every long-term care facilities, and the assisted living facility here in Anson County so that everybody is on the same playing field,” said Davis.

Davis also spoke on what the policy is if someone tests positive for COVID-19 and needs to be isolated. “We will provide the patient with a tracking list. They will monitor their symptoms twice a day, such as their temperature, and record and if they have taken any fever-reducing or pain medication. They’ll write this down twice a day. We will make contact with them every 24 hours,” said Davis.

“This is not new for the health department,” explained Davis, “For persons with H.I.V., hepatitis, and tuberculosis use these quarantine orders already,” Davis said that in her seven years of working at the health department she has only had one person break quarantine protocol.

Should someone break quarantine and refuse to isolate themselves, the Health Department and has already worked with Sheriff Reid to set up a negative pressure room at the jail. A negative pressure room is an isolation technique used by hospitals that include a ventilation system that generates negative pressure to allow air to flow into but not escape from the room. This will only be used after all other avenues to have been exhausted.

In addition to the updates from the Health Department, the Board of Commissioners discussed whether or not to declare a State of Emergency. “It would be used to prepare for what people are seeing as a potentially large infection rate coming down. Because it’s evolving at the Federal and State level, having the State of Emergency already declared frees up some transition time,” explained Anson County Manager Barron Monroe. The Board is taking time to consider whether or not to make the declaration.

The Anson County Board of Commissioners held an Emergency Meeting concerning COVID-19. The meeting was live-streamed on YouTube in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.
https://ansonrecord.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/web1_Document.jpgThe Anson County Board of Commissioners held an Emergency Meeting concerning COVID-19. The meeting was live-streamed on YouTube in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.

By Charles Wood

Staff Writer