Cases of COVID-19 in Macon County on the rise

Macon County Public Health Department identified three more COVID-19 cases at 6 p.m. last night. Active positive cases in the county now stand at 18; recovered at 2, and 1 death.

MCPH received notice late Tuesday evening that a MC individual, in the 65 and older age range, has tested positive for COVID–19.

MCPH also received notice of two additional positive cases on Wednesday. One patient is under 18, and the second patient is in the 25-49 age range. All are following isolation instructions and are under the guidance of MCPH. No further information will be released about these individuals.

On Sunday night, MCPH reported a COVID-19 cluster of seven positive cases in the Evangelical Ebenezer Church congregation in Franklin. 

Clusters of COVID-19 in workplace, educational, and other community settings are identified as a minimum of five cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period.

All members of the congregation are aware of their exposure and are currently being contacted for testing. All members of the congregation have also been given instructions to quarantine until they receive a negative test result; those who test positive will be given isolation orders for 14 days.

In addition, church leadership has been provided disinfection guidance. 

MCPH is working to identify additional close contacts of these individuals.

Kathy MaGaha, director of MCPH, won’t confirm if the two new cases reported on Wednesday are part of a “cluster” of cases affiliated with the Evangelical Ebenezer Church or from the previous cases reported at a “business” in Franklin.

MCPH is working to identify additional close contacts of these individuals. The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person with an infection with COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time of 10 minutes or longer.

Based on information provided by the individual, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed such as temperature and symptom checks, quarantine and/or testing.

According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services as of May 27, there are 24,628 cases in the state resulting in 794 deaths. 

By Kim Lewicki, Highlands Newspaper

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