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Durham County Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19 While Out of State

Post Date:03/11/2020 7:52 PM

 Durham County Public Health Logo

March 11, 2020 

A Durham County resident has tested positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The individual was diagnosed in another state and will remain there until the illness has subsided and isolation is complete.

The individual was not in close contact with any Durham County residents while symptomatic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person with a COVID-19 infection for a prolonged period of time of 10 minutes or longer. 

“Because this individual was not in close contact with any Durham residents, the risk to Durham County is low,” said Rod Jenkins, Durham County Department of Public Health (DCoDPH) director. “Our public health team is continuing to work with state and federal health officials, healthcare providers, and emergency management officials to protect the health and well-being of Durham County residents.”  

Patient Timeline
The individual returned through RDU from international travel on March 2, 2020.

  • On March 3, the individual became symptomatic. 

  • On March 5, the individual drove alone out of state.   

  • On March 9, the individual was diagnosed with COVID-19 out of state. 

Contact Within Durham County

Because the diagnosed individual was not symptomatic upon flying to RDU, the risk to passengers on the flight and others within the airport is considered low. The individual was not in close contact with any other Durham County residents.

North Carolina COVID-19 Response

On March 10, 2020, Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency to respond to COVID-19. The declaration activates the Emergency Operations Center to help agencies coordinate from one location and makes it easier to purchase needed medical supplies, protect consumers from price gouging, and increase county health departments’ access to state funds. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has provided updated COVID-19 guidance on its website.

How to Protect Yourself

At this time, COVID-19 is not widespread in North Carolina, but there are steps everyone should take to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

  • Individuals at high risk should avoid mass gatherings.  

More Information 

For more information, please visit the Durham County Department of Public Health’s website at, the CDC’s website at, and the NCDHHS website at, which will also include future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina. Information is also available on the DCoDPH (@durhamhealthnc), CDC (@CDC), and NCDHHS (@NCDHHS) Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

North Carolinians with questions or concerns about COVID-19 can call the NC Coronavirus toll-free at 866-462-3821. This helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

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