The Chatham County Public Health Department, along with local partners, like Chatham County Emergency Management, as well as state and federal health officials, continue to coordinate planning and response efforts for any impacts to the Chatham community due to the new coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Click a button below to learn more about that topic:
Statewide Safer at Home Order
On May 20, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper released Executive Order 141, which transitions the state to "Safer at Home" Phase 2 effective May 22 at 5pm. Frequently asked questions about Phase 2 are here, and a side-by side comparison of the different phases is here. The Chatham County Reopening Your Business: A Guide for Safely Opening and Operating Your Business is also a great resource.
It is important to note that this will be a gradual process using key metrics to inform next steps. We continue to see cases of COVID-19 across Chatham and strongly encourage everyone to remain vigilant. Stay at home and away from others to the degree possible and if you do go out, keep distance from others and wear a face covering.
*Please note that this only includes the number of confirmed cases. The actual number of cases is higher and residents are urged to practice social distancing and follow the guidance below and on the FAQs to reduce the risk of infection.
Chatham County Public Health Director Layton Long and Board of Health member Dr. Stephanie Freese speak about the new coronavirus with Chatham News + Record (March 24)
COVID-19 Presentation by Chatham County Board of Health Member Dr. Stephanie Freese (March 24)
What to do if you feel sick?
- If you are experiencing mild symptoms (fever, cough without shortness of breath or difficulty breathing), please stay home. Call your doctor to see if you need medical care. Most people will not need to be tested, and leaving your home to get tested may put you and others at risk. Avoid close contact with others.
- If you are at higher risk of getting very sick (65 year and older, live in a nursing home, have a high-risk condition listed in the image below), call your doctor if you have a fever or cough.
- If you experience shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, blue lips, or confusion, call your doctor or 911.
To reduce the spread of coronavirus, the best preventive measures are:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Learn more at the CDC handwashing website.
- Especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Stay home with you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaner spray or wipe.
Practice social distancing:
What does social distancing mean? It means making changes in your every day routines in order to minimize close contact with others, including:
- Limit close contact with others (within six feet).
- Stay home as much as possible and limit non-essential travel.
- Avoid crowds and gatherings of more than 10 people, especially in small, poorly ventilated spaces.
- Greet with a wave instead of a handshake, hug, and kiss.
- Use food delivery or pickup services and online shopping, if possible.
- Work from home if possible. Employers are encourages to be as flexible as possible with remote work and leave protocols.
- Use technology to stay in touch with friends and family, if possible.
Click on an image below to download a PDF version of the flyer for printing.
It is important to reduce stigma and avoid incorrectly directing fear or anger at others. According to the CDC, “Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem. We can fight stigma and help not hurt others by providing social support. We can communicate the facts that being Chinese or Asian American does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.” Learn more about reducing stigma from the CDC.
Face Coverings and Masks:
Recommendations about wearing a face covering in public have changed as more is known about the new coronavirus. The CDC has always recommended that those who are sick remain at home, but if they are in contact with others (like others in the home or healthcare setting), a face covering or mask can help prevent them from infecting others.
Because we now know that many people who have the new coronavirus do not have symptoms (“asymptomatic”) but can transmit the virus to others, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, like grocery stores and pharmacies. However, wearing a cloth face covering does not mean a person who does not have the new coronavirus will be protected, and these measures remain critical: Stay at home, maintain at least 6 feet of distance if you do go out (but avoid crowded places), wash your hands, and avoid touching your face.
The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Or at least two of these symptoms:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Looking for current and accurate information about coronavirus?
Below are the latest news releases. For all coronavirus-related news releases from the State and Chatham County, visit the coronavirus new releases page.
You also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coronavirus website or North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services coronavirus website. The NCDHHS website has an updated count of confirmed coronavirus cases in NC.
For the General Public:
- Fact sheet (Hoja de Información): In English and en español
- Frequently Asked Questions about the new coronavirus
- For Travelers: Latest information on travel health notices and frequently asked questions
- Current Cases Worldwide: Can be found here and here
- Get your household ready
- Pregnant Women and Children
- CDC Facts about COVID-19: Share Facts not Fear
- Governor's Task Force Encourages North Carolinians to Increase Preparedness Measures for COVID-19
- Helpline: 866-462-3821 or email@example.com
For Community Partners:
Guidance for Healthcare Settings:
- Provider Guidance: NC DHHS This is a rapidly evolving situation. The most up-to-date information and guidance can be found at here and here.
- Information for Healthcare Professionals: NC Division of Public Health
- Information for Healthcare Professionals: CDC
- Healthcare Infection Control Guidance
- Long-term Care Facilities
Guidance for non-Healthcare Settings
- Chatham County Child Care Facilities
- NC DHHS Guidance for Colleges, Universities, Schools and Childcare Facilities
- Guidance for Schools
- Guidance for Businesses: A Guide for Safely Opening and Operating your Business
- Guidance for Emergency Management
- Information on Cleaning for Non-Healthcare Settings