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A statement by Halifax County health Director Bruce Robistow today shows support for Governor Roy Cooper’s executive order requiring facial coverings at inside and outside public spaces.

The statement does not include a response to comments made by Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp that his office will not issue citations for those choosing not to wear a facial covering.

This afternoon Robistow said he declined to comment on the sheriff’s statement.

“Scientific research shows that preventative measures such as hand washing and wearing cloth coverings over the nose and mouth are effective ways to protect our loved ones, our communities and ourselves by lowering risk of exposure to COVID-19,” Robistow said. “That is why yesterday, Governor Roy Cooper announced that coverings over their nose and mouth must be worn when people are in both indoor and outdoor public spaces. This step, in addition to encouraging people to stay six feet apart, wash hands, and stay home when ill, will help us protect our families, friends and neighbors from getting seriously ill, and restore our economy and get people back to work and get our children back to school.” 

(An FAQ on the latest order can be downloaded at this link and a guidance document can be downloaded at this link

Robistow said there is growing evidence which shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. “We have created resources to empower community partners and small businesses to communicate about the cloth coverings state requirement to protect their loved ones, employees, and customers.” 

Robistow said the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website has a comprehensive list of resources for businesses and social media which has graphics in English and Spanish as well as posters for businesses and community organizations which remind customers and visitors to wear cloth coverings over their nose and mouth and “celebrate the commitment businesses in your community have made to protect employees and customers. We encourage you to place the posters in your breakrooms, waiting rooms, building entrances or doors, and other frequented locations.” 

Said Robistow: “Thank you for your continued efforts to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19, and for your commitment to ensuring your community and the communities you serve are informed and supported.” 

Latest update

In his update this afternoon, Robistow said as of midnight Wednesday the health department is aware of 1,662 confirmed tests performed on county residents.

The breakdown is as follows:

297 cumulative positive cases since testing began; four related deaths and 228 recoveries.

The approximate number of current cases can be calculated by subtracting the recoveries from the positives reported since testing began.    

There are 10 tests pending and 1,355 known negative test results.

This afternoon’s report shows a downward trend in the number of total positive cases. “Thankfully, we had only one case added to today’s report which has taken our trend line back to a downward trend. Please be reminded that we all need to continue to practice the three Ws and also continue to follow the governor’s executive orders. Let’s all work together to protect each other — wear a mask, wait six feet apart, and wash and disinfect hands frequently.”

Northampton County

The health department reported Wednesday there were 191 total positive cases of which 163 have recovered. There are 15 deaths.