Today, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announce a second North Carolina person, unrelated to the first case, has tested positive for coronavirus. According to DHHS, the test, conducted by the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, is presumptively positive and will be confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab. The person is reportedly doing well and is in isolation at home.
The man is from Chatham County and traveled in late February to an area in Italy that now has a COVID-19 outbreak. The report from DHHS states he had two days of mild, flu-like symptoms while in Italy. His fever resolved and symptoms were improving, and he flew back to the United States the following day. This person was a contact to a case identified in Georgia and the Georgia Department of Health notified North Carolina health officials.
Chatham County Public Health Department officials then conducted a home visit and collected samples from the man, which came back presumptively positive Thursday night. Officials say he has been cooperative and is in home isolation until follow-up tests are negative. The Chatham County Public Health Department said they will work to identify close contacts to monitor symptoms. Since the person had been symptomatic before travel, the CDC will identify close contacts on the flight thought to be at risk and notify the appropriate public health agencies.
While awaiting confirmation of results from the CDC, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will treat presumptive cases as positive and follow CDC guidelines to protect public health and limit the spread of infection.
Governor Roy Cooper and the coronavirus task force will give a briefing on the new case at 2 PM today at Joint Force headquarters in Raleigh.