COVID-19 cluster found at Haywood jail
Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency has identified a COVID-19 cluster at the Haywood County Detention Center. Over the last week five incarcerated persons, all in the same pod, have tested positive for COVID-19.
The entire population of the affected pod was tested after the initial case showed mild symptoms, four of the tests came back positive on April 14. All incarcerated persons in the pod have been in isolation since the first onset of symptoms and everyone is being tested every three days throughout the quarantine period per COVID-19 protocols.
On April 17, the fifth person tested positive. Everyone connected with the pod where the cluster occurred will continue to isolate and quarantine until the 14-day period has passed.
One of the COVID-positive persons has since bonded out but has been instructed to and has agreed to quarantine at home, following Haywood County Health and Human Services guidance.
On several occasions, Haywood County Emergency Services has provided vaccinations to all incarcerated persons who wished to be vaccinated and will continue to do so as needed.
Statement from Haywood County Sheriff's Office:
“Our detention center command staff continues to work diligently to protect the inmates and our detention officers from this virus by following the recommended protocols and guidelines of the CDC. For the number of arrestees that have entered our detention facility over the last 14 months, the staff has done an outstanding job minimizing risk,” said Sheriff Greg Christopher.
Statement from Haywood County Health and Human Services:
“The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office has been working closely with HHS from the onset of the initial positive case. They are following CDC guidelines for quarantining of positive cases and isolation of close contacts. They are monitoring inmates and staff closely for symptoms and testing appropriately. They have implemented thorough cleaning procedures above and beyond the normal daily routine and continue to enforce masks and social distancing,” said Sarah Henderson, public health director.
“We commend the Sheriff’s Office for the timely recognition of symptoms, their continued efforts to contain the virus, and their cooperation with the health department,” she said.
The North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCDPH) defines clusters of COVID-19 in workplace, educational, and other community settings as, 1) A minimum of 5 cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period AND, 2) plausible linkage between cases where cases were present in the same setting during the same time period (e.g., same shift, same classroom, same physical work area); that the timing fits with likely timing of exposure; and that there is no other more likely source of exposure for identified cases (e.g., household or close contact to a confirmed case in another setting).
Symptomatic individuals who test positive will be required to remain in isolation under the following conditions: 1) At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND, 2) At least 24 hours have passed since the last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND 3) Symptoms (like cough and shortness of breath) have improved. Asymptomatic individuals who test positive will be required to remain in quarantine under the following conditions: 1) At least 14 days have passed since their positive test assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.
The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person infected with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, without wearing a face covering, during the period in which they are contagious. Based on the information provided during contact tracing, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed, quarantine, and/or testing.
This link: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/guidance#node-71 contains information and guidance for business owners and customers of all types of businesses in North Carolina.