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Fort Bragg announces 5th positive coronavirus case

A sign at one of the entrances to Fort Bragg. (Fish Cop./WikiCommons)

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center has its first confirmed coronavirus case, and Fort Bragg confirmed its fifth on Monday evening.

Officials said in a news release that both patients are Cumberland County residents, which moves the county’s COVID-19 total to five.

The Cumberland County Department of Public Health is monitoring the Cape Fear Valley patient, who is in isolation in the hospital, as well as identifying close contacts who may be affected, according to the release.

Health Department staff will notify any contacts who fall under the guidelines for additional monitoring and testing.

Shortly after Cape Fear Valley confirmed its first COVID-19 case, the Fort Bragg Department of Public Health reported a fifth case.

The patient is a dependent of a military retiree and is in isolation at Womack Army Medical Center, a news release said.

Health officials are collaborating on the investigation as to where the individual may have had contact with people. They said they will notify any contacts who fall under the guidelines for additional monitoring and testing.

Cape Fear Valley Health says it has been preparing for COVID-19 patients since January. A task force has been meeting daily since mid-March to ramp up preparations as cases in North Carolina rise.

On March 20, the health system enacted a no-visitation policy with limited exceptions to protect patients and staff members.

“We truly appreciate the public’s acceptance and patience with these severe visitor restrictions,” Mike Nagowski, Cape Fear Valley Health CEO, said in the release. “It is so important to protect our physicians, nurses and other health care professionals from COVID-19 infection so they are able to continue our mission of providing exceptional health care for all our patients.”

The N.C. Department of Public Health has announced that community transmission is likely in the state. The no-visitor policy helps reduce the risk that an asymptomatic person would enter the hospital and potentially spread the virus.

It also helps the health system conserve personal protection equipment, such as masks and gowns, which are becoming in short supply nationwide.


© 2020 The Fayetteville Observer