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COVID-19 McDowell Cases Updated

The McDowell County Health Department has been notified that one additional McDowell County resident has tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The initial investigation links these individual positive cases to contact with other known positive cases.

Public health staff have already initiated an investigation and will be identifying close contacts to contain the spread of disease. To protect individual privacy, no further information about the case will be released. This brings the total number of positives to 19 in McDowell County. There have been 234 people tested and 195 negative results, 20 tests are pending results. The McDowell County Health Department and McDowell County Emergency Management will keep the public informed by announcing any additional cases that may arise through our local media partners.
It is important for the community to understand that the identification of additional cases does not change our local strategies for preventing and reducing the spread of disease.

“It is my strongest recommendation that you adhere to the stay at home order issued by McDowell County and Governor Cooper,” stated Public Health Director Karen Powell. “Assume every time you leave your home or workplace that you are being exposed to the COVID 19 virus. There is a possible transmission of COVID 19 in every store, gas station, grocery store, businesses, and bank teller machine you may visit. Additionally, we can assume that there are people in our communities who may be COVID-19 symptomatic and asymptomatic who may not realize it yet and have not been tested, which exponentially increases the percentage of community spread in our county. Do not leave your home unless it is essential. If you must leave your home, practice extreme social distancing. It is critical that you practice good hygiene by washing your hands as often as possible, do not touch your face and be extremely cautious with all public surfaces. These are unprecedented times in our community, please be vigilant and treat it as serious as life and death.”

The Health Department is continuing to test qualified individuals for COVID-19. If an individual believes they have been exposed to the virus or if they are experiencing a fever, they can call the hotline at (828) 527- 6687. The operator will ask a list of screening questions and will provide the caller with the appropriate medical instructions based upon the answers given. The hours of operation for this hotline are 8 AM – 8 PM, 7 days per week. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Citizens can utilize an online COVID-19 screening tool by going to and completing the assessment.

For additional information about Foothills Health District or other community resources and health-related data, please call our offices, Rutherford Co. (828) 287-6100, McDowell (828) 652-6811, or visit our website at
Foothills Health District (FHD)
Foothills Health District Health Department

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