Smoky Mountain News, Written by Admin

The Jackson County Department of Public Health has identified a COVID-19 cluster in a local church. Eight individuals who attended a three-day revival on July 12-14 at the Cashiers Church of God have tested positive for COVID-19. All positive individuals are following isolation orders.

The North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCDPH) defines clusters of COVID-19 in workplace, educational, and other community settings as: 1) A minimum of 5 cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period AND, 2) plausible linkage between cases where cases were present in the same setting during the same time-period (e.g., same shift, same classroom, same physical work area); that the timing fits with likely timing of exposure; and that there is no other more likely source of exposure for identified cases (e.g., household or close contact to a confirmed case in another setting).

The investigation is ongoing. Symptomatic individuals who test positive will be required to remain in isolation under the following conditions: 1) At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND, 2) At least 24 hours have passed since the last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND 3) Symptoms (like cough and shortness of breath) have improved. Asymptomatic individuals who test positive will be required to remain in isolation under the following conditions: 1) At least 10 days have passed since their positive test assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.

If you or someone you know attended the three-day revival on July 12-14, 2020 at the Cashiers Church of God, you may have been exposed to COVID-19. You should watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms, AND

Stay away from others, AND

Seek testing for COVID-19.

COVID-19 testing is available through many healthcare providers in Jackson County. To seek testing, start by calling your healthcare provider. Otherwise, visit Find My Testing Place, a public website that allows you to enter your county or ZIP code and access a list of nearby testing sites online at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/about-covid-19/testing/find-my-testing-place.</p>

For information about COVID-19, look to reliable sources like JCDPH, NCDHHS, and the CDC. Visit JCDPH’s website at http://health.jacksonnc.org/covid19. For COVID-19 questions, call the Jackson County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 828-631-HELP.