Safer at Home Phase 2 Order HERE  |  Safer at Home Phase 2 FAQ HERE  |  Safer at Home Phase 2 Business Guidance HERE

Coronavirus/COVID-19


[UPDATED: 5/29/20 - 11:23 AM]

Important Information about the Data

  • Case numbers are based on test results for county residents. Not all cases of COVID-19 are tested, so this does not represent the total number of people who have or had COVID-19 in the county. Many individuals infected by COVID-19 have not been tested, including:
    • People who had minimal or no symptoms and were not tested.
    • People who had symptoms but did not seek medical care.
    • People who sought medical care but were not tested.
    • People with COVID-19 in whom the virus was not detected by testing.
  • Deaths are reported for county residents with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19.
  • Local case data are released following all data release laws and policies and will be supplemented when possible. Data are subject to change on a daily basis.
  • Recovered is defined as a confirmed case that has been released from isolation based on meeting clinical requirements for release.
  • Minimum reporting thresholds must be met before more specific data about cases is released in order to protect against the indirect identification of a person with a communicable disease within small population groups.
  • Locations of laboratory-confirmed cases are mapped by zip code by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on their statewide dashboard. Please note the map does not represent all infected individuals in Catawba County or elsewhere, because not all people with COVID-19 have been tested and community spread is occurring. See the link below to view the map.

Additional Data Resources
North Carolina COVID-19 Dashboard

Governor Cooper's Path Forward
On May 20, Governor Cooper announced a Phase 2 Executive Order, transitioning the state to Phase 2 of easing additional COVID-19 restrictions. Executive Order 141 goes into effect Friday, May 22 at 5 pm. Learn more.

Local COVID-19 Response
Catawba County Public Health is actively monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are working with community partners to ensure a coordinated community response. We are focused on containing the illness when it occurs, preventing its spread through comprehensive case investigations, and providing information residents need to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Commonly Asked Questions about Catawba County's COVID-19 Cases
Earlier this month, Catawba County Public Health Director Jennifer McCracken answered some common questions about Catawba County's response to COVID-19. Learn More.

Why Contact Tracing Matters
Governor Cooper's path forward focuses on the need to increase contact tracing in order to ease certain COVID-19 restrictions. Public Health Director Jennifer McCracken discusses what contact tracing is and how it works. Learn More.

Coronavirus Information and Resources
The following COVID-19 information and resources are regularly updated for your reference.

Community Spread
Community spread of COVID-19 is happening in Catawba County. This means the virus is spreading from person to person without people knowing, which puts everyone at risk. The virus can spread even before someone starts showing symptoms, which is why it is so important to take the stay at home order, social distancing, and all prevention guidelines seriously.

While most people who contract COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover within a couple of weeks, many others are at high risk of serious illness from the disease, such as older adults and people with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions. Staying home and social distancing helps prevent you and everyone else from getting sick all at once, which prevents our local healthcare system from being overwhelmed. This is especially important for people who may need significant medical care such as hospitalization.

High Risk Populations
Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Based upon available information to date, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:

  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Other high-risk conditions could include:
    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People who have heart disease with complications
    • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
    • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [(BM]I)≥40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk

People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date, data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk

Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.

For updated information regarding COVID-19 testing, antibody testing, and a self-checker to help determine if you should contact your doctor to be tested, visit the CDC’s Testing for COVID-19 page.

COVID-19 Testing
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services advises doctors to consider testing for any patient in whom COVID-19 is suspected. If you suspect you have COVID-19, contact your primary care doctor or a local primary care provider. If you do not have a local primary care doctor, the Catawba County Community Resource Inventory may be of help.

People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

This list is not all inclusive. Please talk with your doctor about any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Call 911 if you feel your symptoms are life threatening. For more information, visit the CDC’s COVID-19 Symptoms & Testing FAQ.

CVS Health Opens Drive-Thru Test Sites in NC
Catawba County Location: CVS Pharmacy, 1220 Highway 321 NW, Hickory, NC 28601

Select CVS locations in NC are making self-swab tests available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to state and age guidelines. Patients must register in advance at CVS.combeginning Friday, May 29 to schedule an appointment. Patients will be required to stay in their cars and will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window, where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly. Tests will be sent to an independent, third party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days. Testing will not take place inside any retail locations, and CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB and MinuteClinic will continue to serve customers and patients.

Antibody Testing
Antibody testing is slowly becoming available through healthcare providers. Guidance regarding this type of testing in North Carolina is currently being developed by NCDHHS due to concerns over the current reliability of this testing. If you have questions about getting tested or when testing will become available, contact your primary care doctor. For more information about this type of testing, visit the CDC’s Testing for COVID-19 page.

Understanding Antibody Testing (Adapted from an April 22, 2020 Johns Hopkins University Report: “Developing a National Strategy for Serology (Antibody Testing) in the United States”)
Because public health decision making depends in part on an understanding of how many people may have already had the disease and might be immune, extensive blood antibody testing is needed to determine the true prevalence of COVID-19. However, it is not known whether the presence of antibodies provides protection from being re-infected.

While blood antibody testing has the potential to provide valuable information to individuals and to public health authorities, there are significant areas of uncertainty.

The first and most urgent area is test validation. There are dozens of tests being marketed in the United States that are not providing accurate results and that do not provide the same information. Ensuring that tests are comparable and accurate requires a validation process with access to many patient samples, overseen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While such a validation process is apparently under way, it is unclear when it will be completed.

Second, while some degree of immunity to COVID-19 after recovery is assumed by most experts, there is not currently a set antibody level that means a person is immune. Finding this number will require additional research.

Third, even if a person gains immunity by being infected and recovering, it is not clear how long that immunity lasts. For SARS in 2003, antibodies were maintained in recovered patients for up to 2 years, but as the virus disappeared by mid-2004, protection from reinfection was never demonstrated.

NC Stay at Home Order
On May 5, Governor Cooper modified North Carolina’s Stay At Home Executive Order, transitioning the state to Phase 1 of slowly easing COVID-19 restrictions. Executive Order 138 went into effect Friday, May 8 at 5 pm.

Know Your Ws!
While North Carolinians should still stay home, if they go out, they should know their Ws: Wear. Wait. Wash.

  • Wear a face covering,
  • Wait 6 feet apart from other people.
  • Wash your hands often.

A Know Your Ws flyer is available in English and Spanish.

Basic Prevention
The steps to prevent coronavirus transmission are similar to the steps to prevent other respiratory illnesses, like the flu. The following are measures we can all take to protect ourselves and others from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses.

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Practice social distancing in public when possible by maintaining a 6 foot distance from others.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

It is also good practice to start being more aware of the number of times a day your hands touch an object or hard surface and then touch your face without being washed. Limiting the exposure of your nose, mouth and eyes to unwashed hands can help to protect from the spread of all germs and illnesses.

For pregnant women and children, review the information and guidance available on the CDC website.

Cloth Face Coverings
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. They have also advised the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. The CDC suggests cloth face coverings should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

For more information from the CDC about cloth face coverings, sewn / non-sewn instructions, and shareable PDF versions in English and Spanish, please visit this link.

Cloth Face Coverings FAQ

Effective May 22 at 5 p.m., Governor Cooper’s Safer at Home Phase 2 lifts the Stay at Home Order restrictions and allows additional businesses to re-open to start reigniting our economy while protecting health and safety.

Phase 2 Executive Order
Phase 2 Executive Order: Frequently Asked Questions
Phase 2 Interim Guidance

What is different about Phase 2 compared to Phase 1?
This Phase 2 Executive Order does the following:
• Lifts the Stay at Home Order and moves the state to a Safer at Home recommendation;
• Allows restaurants to open for on-premises dining with limits on occupancy, specific requirements for disinfection of common spaces, and six feet between each group of customers sitting at each table;
• Allows child care businesses to open to serve all children, as long as they follow state health guidelines;
• Allows overnight camps to operate, following specific public health requirements and guidance;
• Allows personal care, grooming, massage, and tattoo businesses to open with specific requirements for disinfection of equipment, face coverings for the service providers, six feet of distance between customers, and at 50 percent reduced occupancy;
• Allows indoor and outdoor pools to open with 50 percent reduced occupancy, following specific public health requirements;
• Allows people to gather together for social purposes, so long as they do not exceed the mass gathering limit of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors; and
• Allows sporting and entertainment events to occur in large venues for broadcast to the public, so long as the events occur in large venues and spectators are limited to the mass gathering limit of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

What stays the same in Phase 2?
This Phase 2 Executive Order does not change the following:
• The Three Ws (Wear, Wait, Wash) should be practiced;
• Public playgrounds remain closed;
• Bars and nightclubs remain closed;
• Movie theaters, museums, bowling alleys, amusement parks, arcades, and skating rinks remain closed;
• Bingo parlors and other gaming establishments remain closed;
• Teleworking continues to be encouraged whenever possible;
• Visitation at long-term care facilities remains restricted, except for certain compassionate care situations; and
• The following facilities that operate within an indoor space remain closed: spas, exercise facilities, gyms, fitness studios, martial arts facilities, dance studios, trampoline and rock-climbing facilities, roller skating rinks, ice staking rinks, and basketball courts.

Know Your Ws! While North Carolinians should still stay home, if they go out, they should know their Ws: Wear. Wait. Wash.

  • Wear a face covering,
  • Wait 6 feet apart from other people.
  • Wash your hands often.

A Know Your Ws flyer is available in English and Spanish.

Phase 2 Resources
Executive Order 141
FAQs
Data Presentation from Press Briefing
What Phase 2 Means for North Carolina

Phase 2 Interim Guidance
Child Care Settings
Churches and Places of Worship
Day Camp Settings
Large Venue Settings
Overnight Camp Settings
Public Pools and Spas
Restaurants
Retail Businesses
Salons, Massage and Personal Care Business Settings
Tattoo Business Settings

Give Help, Get Help
Help is available from dozens of local organizations right here in our community. These resources are listed by topic - including crisis assistance, food, housing, healthcare, transportation,counseling and more - in the Catawba County Community Resource Inventory.

  • If you need assistance, contact the organizations listed in the inventory or call 2-1-1 to get connected to local services.
  • If you have help or resources to offer, such as donations or volunteers, contact the agencies listed in the inventory to determine their needs.

View the Catawba County Community Resource Inventory HERE.

Additional Local COVID-19 Specific Resources

  • Family Guidance Center Housing and Finance Crisis Line: (828) 338-8193
  • Catawba County United Way: The Catawba County United Way is posting regular updates regarding its activities and services provided by various agencies and nonprofits. Learn More.

More resources for Catawba County residents - including food, childcare, unemployment, health insurance, mental health and more - can be found in the State Assistance and Resources, Business Resources and How Can You Help? sections of this page.

Updated State Resources: Visit the North Carolina COVID-19 Response page to find all the updates, information and resources available from state government related to COVID-19. Information includes:

Frequently Asked Questions NC DHHS Website
Frequently Asked QuestionsPrintable Handout

North Carolina COVID-19 Hotline: 1-866-462-3821

North Carolina COVID-19 Email: ncresponse@dhhs.nc.gov

North Carolina COVID-19 Online Chat:www.ncpoisoncontrol.org

NC 2-1-1: NC 2-1-1 by United Way of North Carolina is a resource for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service that families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services resources within their community. NC 2-1-1 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and resources are available in most languages.

Text COVIDNC: North Carolinians can text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive general information and updates about COVID-19. Sign up now to get regular alerts on the rapidly evolving situation and North Carolina’s response.

Text FOODNC: To learn about local meal distribution sites serving children across North Carolina, textFOODNC to 877-877.

Hope4NC Helpline: Call 1-855-587-3463 to receive mental health support 24/7 throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

North Carolina WIC Families:Referral Form

Special WIC Food Waivers and New Approved Foods: Click HERE

Hope4Healers Helpline: (919) 226-2002. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for professionals working in childcare, health care, emergency medicine, first response and their families who are experiencing stress from being on the front lines of NC’s COVID-19 response. English Flyer 1, English Flyer 2, Spanish Flyer 1, Spanish Flyer 2

Food and Nutrition Services: EBT recipients in North Carolina have been authorized to purchase groceries online via Amazon or Walmart. Learn More.

The following organizations have gathered information and resources to help all local businesses respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Catawba County Economic Development Corporation:COVID-19 Business Resource Guide

The Chamber of Catawba County:COVID-19 Business Resource Guide

While you stay home and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are other ways you can help make a difference. To get connected with local agencies and learn about how you can help, visit the Catawba County Health Resources Inventory and contact the agencies of interest.

  • Donate Supplies. Vendors and manufacturers can donate medical supplies and personal protective equipment to aid the response. Send an email with your company's information to a publichealth@catawbacountync.gov.
  • Support Food Pantries. North Carolina food banks are in desperate need of donations. Visit the Catawba County Community Resource Inventory to find a list of local food pantries and soup kitchens who need your help.
  • Give Blood. Healthy, eligible blood donors are encouraged to find opportunities to give blood to help support a stable blood supply throughout the pandemic. Consider scheduling an appointment today.
  • Volunteer as a Health Care Worker. You can register through the State Medical Response System as clinical, clinical support or non-clinical support volunteers.
  • Support Local Restaurants. Have fun and support local business when you order takeout food and participate in The Chamber of Catawba County's Takeout Blitz. Learn More.

Catawba County Public Health, in coordination with Catawba County Emergency Management, our municipalities and our community partners, is working to coordinate a countywide response to COVID-19. This includes encouraging all county residents and visitors to be our partners in prevention and follow all current prevention orders and guidelines.

Additionally, we continue to communicate with organizations representing various sectors in our community to provide current information about COVID-19 and help ensure they are prepared to respond. These meetings have included healthcare providers, municipalities, schools, law enforcement, first responders, nonprofit organizations, childcare centers, congregate care centers and the faith community.

Public Health is in frequent communication with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services regarding response measures. We will continue to provide updated information and guidance as it becomes available.

For additional community education resources, click HERE.

On April 23, NC Governor Roy Cooper extended his original Statewide Stay-at-Home order to be in place through May 8.

On April 9, NC Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order that requires new social distancing policies at open stores, mandatory protective measures for nursing homes, and additional measures that will get more unemployment claims processed faster.

On April 3, the first death associated with COVID-19 in Catawba County was announced.

On March 31, NC Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order directing utilities to give residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills and prohibiting them from collecting fees, penalties or interest for late payment.

On March 27, NC Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order announcing a Statewide Stay-at-Home order and lowering the limit for the number of people at public gatherings to 10, effective Monday, March 30th at 5:00pm.

On March 23, NC Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order expanding the list of public places he was ordering closed and extending the closing of public schools through May 15.

On March 23, CDC extended its definition of individuals at high risk of coronavirus complications. Learn more.

On March 20, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Catawba County.

On March 18, Catawba County Board Chair Randy Isenhower declared a State of Emergency in Catawba County. The declaration covers the entire area of Catawba County and was made by and with the consent of all municipalities within Catawba County.

On March 17, NC Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order mandating that North Carolina restaurants and bars will be closed to sit-down service and limited to take-out or delivery orders starting at 5 pm tonight, March 17, 2020. Grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores, are exempt from this order and will remain open, though they may not serve sit-down food. Additionally, the order lifts some restrictions on unemployment benefits and adds benefit eligibility for those out of work because they have the virus or must care for someone who is sick. Learn more.

On March 10, Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency. The declaration activates the Emergency Operations Center to help agencies coordinate from one location and makes it easier to purchase needed medical supplies, protect consumers from price gouging, and increase county health departments’ access to state funds. In addition to Governor Cooper’s emergency declaration, the NC DHHS is making several recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the number of people infected. Learn more.

On March 3, North Carolina reported its first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is providing timely updates on our state’s status. Learn more.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Includes national case counts and prevention guidance.

The CDC page is also available in the following languages:

Coronavirus Disease Response in North Carolina (NCDHHS)
Includes North Carolina case counts, prevention guidance and statewide actions to combat coronavirus.

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)-World Health Organization
Includes facts, maps, and global case count information.