Smoky Mountain News, by Holly Kays

Two more COVID-19 cases were announced in Jackson County today, bringing the total to 19.

That number includes 17 full-time residents and two part-time residents. Official statistics will add the two part-time residents to the tally of their home county, but the Jackson County Department of Public Health continues to record the number of part-time residents diagnosed with the disease.

In addition to the 19 residents, 13 people who do not live in Jackson County were diagnosed with the virus by a Jackson County health care provider. That number has increased by three since yesterday. The health department began including the section on diagnoses of non-residents in its daily report after three subcontractors working on the Apodaca Science Building construction project at Western Carolina University — none of whom were county residents — tested positive for the disease. However, the category itself is not an indication of how many workers on the site tested positive.

“Many from the construction site were not from Jackson County and did not get tested for COVID-19 in Jackson County,” said Deputy Health Director Melissa McKnight. “They went to their place of residence — whether that is out-of-county or out-of-state — to be tested.  At this time, I don’t have a way to track those individuals.”