The number of people found to have COVID-19 in Forsyth County remains on the rise, with state public health officials adding seven new cases Monday for a total of 40.
There are 149 known cases in the 14-county Triad and Northwest North Carolina region. North Carolina has 1,307 known cases statewide. Ashe, Rockingham, Stokes and Wilkes have not reported a case to date.
Separately, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. confirmed Monday that two employees have tested positive for the virus. Neither works on the production line at its Tobaccoville manufacturing plant.
Reynolds spokeswoman Kaelan Hollon said the employees are in self-isolation at home.
“After receiving notification of a positive coronavirus diagnosis, we reached out to other employees that may have had routine contact with the two sick employees and alerted them of the need for vigilance and preventative health screening for the next two weeks, in accordance with local Health Department requirements,” Hollon said.
“We are in regular communication with local health authorities to ensure workplace safety and ensure business continuity, and do not anticipate that this incident will impact our business, customers or partners. We will closely monitor the (two employees’) status in partnership with their supervisor.”
Since Saturday, there was an additional COVID-19-related death in North Carolina for a total of six. There are 137 persons listed as hospitalized, up from 87 Saturday.
Most patients in the state are between the ages of 25 and 49.
There had been 20,864 tests administered statewide as of Monday morning.
Statewide, there are 777 available intensive-care beds and just over 6,500 total available hospital beds.
In Forsyth, the health department said it could no longer make a precise determination about which cases were travel-related and which were from community spread of the virus. Of the 40 cases reported here, 10 people are considered to have recovered and are no longer showing symptoms.
County Health Director Joshua Swift said Forsyth residents should assume there are undiagnosed cases in Forsyth County and that people are unknowingly transferring COVID-19 to one another. He asked people to obey the county’s stay-at-home order, which went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday and lasts through April 16.
"It is reasonable to suggest that if you leave your home, you should assume you will come in contact with COVID-19," Swift said.
"Therefore, only leave your home if it is essential and continue to practice frequent hand washing.”
There are 44 known cases of COVID-19 in Guilford County, 19 in Davidson County, 16 in Randolph County, 12 in Davie County, seven in Alamance County, five in Watauga County and two each in Alleghany, Surry and Yadkin counties.
On Saturday, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center erected triage tents to assess patients who may be suffering from a respiratory illness. The tents are not to test people for COVID-19 but rather to allow people to be evaluated without having to enter the emergency department.
Similar tents were put in place by Novant at Forsyth Medical Center earlier this month.
Nearly 2,600 individuals have died nationwide as a result of COVID-19, up by nearly 900 since Saturday.
There are more known cases of COVID-19 in the United States — more than 144,000 — than in any other country in the world.
The majority of people with COVID-19 will not require medical treatment or hospitalization and will instead experience mild symptoms. There is no effective medical treatment for the virus, according to the state health department.
For questions or concerns about the virus, call the Forsyth COVID-19 helpline at (336) 582-0800. Calls will automatically be forwarded to the state health department’s helpline over the weekend at (866) 462-3821.
Novant Health Inc. said Monday it has altered its visitor's policy again for its North Carolina hospitals to allow for just one visitor for a woman in labor, rather than two.
The new policy went into effect at 6 a.m. Monday. It amends the policy set March 20 in which a spouse/significant other and a birth support person were allowed.
Minors under 18 may have one visitor, parent or guardian. Visitors must be healthy — no cough, fever or flu-like symptoms — and at least 13 or older unless seeking medical care.
Additional exceptions may be granted in special circumstances, such as end-of-life care.
Hospitals included in the visitor changes are Forsyth, Clemmons, Kernersville, Medical Park, Rowan and Thomasville.
The Surry County Board of Commissioners said Monday that it will implement a stay-at-home order, beginning at 5 p.m. Monday and lasting 30 days.
Most waiting areas in Surry County government buildings are open to the public for critical in-person visits only. The county Landfill and Convenience Center Sites are open regular business hours.