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Northampton County reported its first confirmed case of the COVID-19 in a press release this morning, the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald of Ahoskie reported. 

The individual is currently in isolation in a healthcare facility.

According to the press release, local public health officials will notify individuals if they may have been at risk of being in contact.

The case was confirmed late in the day on Sunday. 

No information about the individual will be released due to privacy regulations.

“I know people are worried and want additional information – that is natural, and I understand,” said Andy Smith, director of Northampton County’s Health Department.

“Your public health team is working tirelessly to identify positive COVID-19 patients and educate the community. We care very much about everyone’s health, and we need your trust now more than ever,” Smith continued.

“Sharing additional information about the whereabouts of this individual – even the region of the county they reside in – does not contribute to the public’s health,” the director also emphasized. “It does not change what you or they are to do to stay healthy and puts the individual’s privacy at risk.”

Smith also noted that it’s likely most counties across the state have some amount of community spread.

He urged the public to continue taking steps to reduce the spread of the virus. That includes calling the health department or their medical provider if symptoms are present, such as fever and lower respiratory symptoms (cough and difficulty breathing). They will determine the next steps to take.

Emergency rooms need to serve the most critically ill, so do not use the Emergency Room unless you are very sick. Emergency warning signs include but are not limited to: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or the inability to arouse, bluish lips or face.

Only call 911 if you are having an emergency.

Holly Taylor is a staff reporter for the News-Herald