- On March 17, 2020
Note: We want to share important information with you as efficiently as possible. Going forward, we will combine all COVID-19-related updates into one news release each day. This news release will be emailed to you around 5 p.m. We will send additional news releases in some circumstances.
Wake County is investigating two new positive cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of positive test results in Wake County to 17.
Using contact tracing, the county is working to confirm who may have come in close contact with the affected people and what their risk of exposure might be. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines “close contact” as being within six feet of the patient for 10 minutes or more.
“As with all the positive cases we’ve received to date, our public health team is creating a timeline of where these people may have been when they were symptomatic,” said Wake County Medical Director Dr. Kim McDonald. “That information will help us determine the risk level for those who may have been in close contact with the affected individuals.”
Testing by the Numbers
Providing an accurate number of tests taken at any given time is challenging, because samples are processed by multiple laboratories, including the State Laboratory of Public Health and LabCorp. Other locations may come online in the future.
The county doesn’t have access to the number of tests LabCorp is processing each day, but does track samples submitted to the State Lab. However, in both cases, positive results are reported to the local Public Health Division.
As of March 17 at 5 p.m., Wake County has 17 cases of COVID-19. There are 68 people under investigation who were exposed to the virus and have developed symptoms. Of those, 45 test results are pending and 23 people are in the process of being tested. Through contact tracing, Wake County has identified another 214 people who are being monitored because they may have been exposed to the virus through close contact, defined as being within six feet of the patient for 10 minutes or more. Monitoring lasts two weeks to see if people develop symptoms. If symptoms develop, the county will test for COVID-19 and recategorize them as “people under investigation.”
Media should contact LabCorp for similar numbers from private sector tests.
Accessing Wake County Economic and Social Services
Because people are encouraged to stay home and avoid crowded places, the county is sharing some ways that residents can access services without coming to our Human Services buildings.
To apply for Medicaid, people have three options:
- You may apply online at epass.nc.gov.
- You may mail applications to: Wake County Human Services, P.O. Box 46833, Raleigh, N.C. 27620.
- You may apply by calling 919-212-7000.
Medicaid questions can be emailed to FCMAintake@wakegov.com.
Food and Nutrition Services
To apply for food and nutrition services, people may:
- Apply online at epass.nc.gov.
- Mail applications to: Wake County Human Services, P.O. Box 46833, Raleigh, N.C. 27620
Questions related to Food and Nutrition Services can be emailed to email@example.com.
If you need to speak to your case worker, call 919-212-7000.
Most utility providers are not currently disconnecting service during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, you can obtain an application for energy assistance by calling 919-212-7000 or downloading an application here.
To apply for assistance with childcare costs, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions about childcare subsidy can be answered by calling 919-212-7000.
GoRaleigh, GoCary, GoTriangle, and GoWake Access are taking additional precautionary measures due to COVID-19.
These measures include additional applications of commercial disinfectants, and spraying and wiping door handles, common areas and surfaces including handrails, fareboxes and seat backs. Hand sanitizer is available for bus operators and the public.
Transit riders are encouraged to call the Regional Information Center at 919-485-RIDE with questions or visit GoTriangle’s updated information here.
Although your risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low, the county’s public health team encourages you to protect yourself from COVID-19 and any other flu-like illness by following these simple steps:
- Stay away from sick people and practice social distancing measures.
- Wash your hands.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
- Stay home if you’re sick and don’t send sick children to school or childcare.
Wake County has made it easy for you to stay updated on the latest information about COVID-19. You can visit our COVID-19 webpage, which has a set of frequently asked questions to educate residents in English and in Spanish, a list of COVID-19-related closures and service changes, as well as an email address and phone number that people can use to ask personal health-related questions about COVID-19. The county is also sharing important information on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.