As of today, the Wayne County Health Department has identified 246 positive COVID-19 cases in the County. This number is significantly higher due to 149 positive cases at the state’s Neuse Correctional Institution in Goldsboro after increased testing measures. Officials with the North Carolina Division of Prisons have initiated the testing of all 700 offenders at the facility, as well as providing access to tests for staff who wish to be tested. The Wayne County Health Department is assisting the facility with this testing process, and these numbers will most likely continue to climb.
“This strategy is the result of a strong collaborative and coordinated effort between the Prisons Incident Command Team, the Department of Health and Human Services, the State Laboratory for Public Health, LabCorp and the Wayne County Health Department,” Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee said. “The outbreak at Neuse CI is no doubt a cause for concern but not for panic. We have medical protocols in place to handle this and frankly it is better to know up front what we are facing so we can do what is necessary to stop the spread.”
Health department staff also continue working closely with long-term care facilities to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by following guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Interim Health Director Ken Stern said, “As testing increases across Wayne County, our positive cases will also increase. We know that community spread is taking place in our County and the only way to prevent infection is to stay home, physically distance between others, and continue practicing proper hand hygiene and disinfection measures.”
The Wayne County Health Department has setup a COVID-19 website with information and a COVID-19 dashboard with the latest case information at www.waynegov.com/coronavirus.