COVID-19 cases identified at recent memorial service and funeral in Chatham County

Pittsboro, NC – The Chatham County Public Health Department (CCPHD) recently received notice that multiple people who attended a┬ámemorial gathering Saturday, July 25, 2020 at Bonlee Recreational Park and a funeral service at Emmaus Baptist Church in Pittsboro Monday, July 27, 2020 had COVID-19 when they attended these events. The positive test results came after the events, though others who were in attendance may have been exposed to the virus.

Emmaus Baptist Church in Pittsboro

CCPHD has been in communication with those who have tested positive for COVID-19, and has been working to ensure others at these events who were close contacts have been notified. CCPHD has also been in contact with church leadership, who shared that attendees of the funeral service were required to wear face coverings (and were provided face coverings if they did not have one when they arrived) and to be seated six feet apart. These measures likely helped reduce the risk of spread at the service.

If you attended either or both of these events, please monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and be sure to practice social distancing, especially around those who are at higher risk of serious illness such as older adults and people with underlying health conditions. If you were told that you were in close contact with someone who tested positive, quarantine at home and stay away from others for at least 14 days since you were last in contact with them. If you become sick, especially if you were told you may have been exposed to the virus, stay home except to seek medical care, call your doctor, and consider getting tested. Information about COVID-19 testing, including a list of COVID-19 testing sites in Chatham County, can be found at chathamnc.org/coronavirustesting. If you have additional questions, please call the public health department at 919-742-5641.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include: Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. COVID-19 symptoms are often mild, especially when first becoming sick. It is important that individuals with any of these symptoms, even if they are mild and thought to be caused by something other than COVID-19, stay at home and away from others, and avoid gatherings.

Large gatherings, especially where social distancing cannot be maintained and face coverings are not consistently worn, have led to many clusters of COVID-19 cases across the state and country. Even those without symptoms can have COVID-19 and spread it to others. The best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to practice the 3 Ws: Wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth. Wait 6 feet apart and avoid close contact. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.

For more information, visit chathamnc.org/coronavirus.