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The original item was published from 3/5/2020 4:22:00 PM to 3/5/2020 5:33:27 PM.

News Flash

Public Health

Posted on: March 3, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Coronavirus Information Page

News Icon for the Coronavirus updates

PAGE LAST UPDATED: March 5, 2020 • 4:15 PM

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.  The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel (new) Coronavirus that was first identified in Wuhan, China.  Being a novel virus, new information is being learned about the virus and this is an evolving situation.  Pitt County Health Department is keeping in close contact with local, state and federal partners to stay up-to-date on the latest developments.  The Health Department is prepared to respond to cases of COVID-19, if the need arises.  We have preparedness plans in place that can be activated quickly.

Currently, there is one presumptive case of COVID-19 in North Carolina.  (Presumptive means their preliminary test was positive and awaiting confirmation from Centers for Disease Control lab.)


  • Global Cases: 98,051   Global Deaths: 3,356
  • US Cases: 157
  • NC Cases: 1
  • Pitt County Cases:


On Wednesday, March 4, 2020, the Pitt County Public Health Director, Dr. John Silvernail, met with members of the media to answer questions regarding the Coronavirus, and any potential impacts it could have to Pitt County.  Dr. Silvernail addressed a wide array of topics, including prevention, awareness, and response plans; as well as the need to remain objective when viewing reports on the spread of the disease.  You can view this interview on the Public Health Facebook page by CLICKING HERE, or on YouTube by CLICKING HERE.


On Wednesday, March 4, 2020, the Pitt County Public Health Director, Dr. John Silvernail, published an open letter to all Pitt County residents, in order to answer questions and address concerns regarding the Coronavirus, and any potential impacts it could have to Pitt County.  You can view this letter in it’s entirety by CLICKING HERE.

Do your part to help prevent the spread of any disease:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Initial Statement from the Pitt County Public Health Director, John L. Silvernail, MD, MPH

Fellow Pitt County Residents,

New or Novel infections bring many challenges to our community and the healthcare system. First,   I want to assure you that Pitt County Health Department is closely monitoring this situation and we are working with other local government officials and local healthcare providers to navigate this event. Second, no one should panic. While the infection spreads rapidly and there have been severe cases, most people will experience a mild illness if they contract the infection. Finally, Federal authorities are working to develop treatment for the infection and a vaccine to help prevent the infection. Please know that Pitt County Health Department will be here to support our community and local healthcare providers for the duration of this outbreak.


Coronavirus Hotline: “If you have specific questions or concerns related to coronavirus, call 866-462-3821 for more information. In the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1. You can also submit questions online by selecting Chat at“

For more information of COVID-19, please visit the following links:

NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health:

Centers of Disease Control and Prevention:

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