Health Department Reports First Coronavirus Case In Johnston County

Johnston County officials confirmed Thursday morning the first coronavirus case in the county.  Health officials said they received notice from the State Lab on Wednesday that a resident has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.

“This is not a surprise,” said Johnston County Health Director Dr. Marilyn Pearson. “It’s likely that more individuals will test presumptively positive for the virus.”

Johnston County Public Health is currently creating a timeline of where this individual went and when – paying particular attention to places visited when they became symptomatic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that people are at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19 when the affected person is showing flu-like symptoms.

Health officials confirmed the affected individual traveled multiple places and upon returning home tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. The CDC defines “close contact” as being with six feet of the patient for 10 minutes or more.

The affected person is currently in isolation at home and is doing well.

The Health Department is creating a timeline to help public health staff determine who is at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 from this patient.

“If you are at increased risk, the Johnston County public health team will contact you directly. If a member of our team does not contact you and you do not have any symptoms, you do not need to quarantine yourself or take precautions beyond washing your hands, covering your cough, and staying home from school or work if you feel sick,” officials said in a press release.

Although the risk of contracting COVID-19 locally 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:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay away from sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces – especially ones that are touched frequently – using regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick and don’t send sick children to school or childcare. received several emails Wednesday night and Thursday morning claiming a teacher at Meadow School had the coronavirus.  Dolores Gill, Chief of Communications for Johnston County Schools said administrators had also heard some of those same rumors.  The Johnston County Health Department confirmed Thursday morning the rumor was not true, and that no one on the Meadow School staff had the coronavirus.