Health department posts reopening video

Published 5:42 pm Thursday, May 21, 2020

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As the state lifts restrictions in its tiered reopening plan, the Beaufort County Health Department is weighing in on a safe reopening and the measures people can expect to see as they venture out to restaurants and more.

Entitled “Opening Beaufort County, NC in response to COVID-19,” the video is a more local take on guidelines suggested for businesses, churches and other organizations.

“Beaufort County’s Health Department has created a quick informational video that shares tips and safety measures to assist in the safe reopening of our local businesses,” reads a statement from the health department.

Posted Tuesday on YouTube, the video hits the major points of encouraging social distancing by marking places to stand or placing desks and tables more than six feet apart; avoiding unnecessary contact with others, including shaking hands; monitoring employees’ health and sending home anyone with a temperature of 100.4; disinfecting frequently touched surfaces including iPads, card readers, handles and more; and ensuring people are wearing masks properly — all illustrated at local businesses such as the downtown Washington restaurant Down on Mainstreet, Giddy-Up coffee shop, Vidant Wellness Center and includes a cameo appearance by Cornerstone Family Worship Center’s Bishop James McIntyre Sr.

Beaufort County’s numbers have remained relatively low at 35 total cases over the last two months in Aurora (1), Bath (2), Blounts Creek (1), Chocowinity (4), Pinetown (2), Pantego (2), Pinetown (2), and Washington (21), according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ online map of COVID-19 case counts by zip code.

The health department also notified residents in its daily update that wearing gloves does not mean more protection from germs: “When you touch a shopping cart with gloves and touch your keys, phone, credit card or steering wheel with the same glove, all of the germs spread to those items and come home with you,” reads an illustrated notice.

Along with the reopening of many businesses, the health department, along with partnering medical offices and facilities, will be expanding its COVID-19 testing in an effort to expand contact tracing. The following are now qualified to be tested:

  • Patients hospitalized with symptoms.
  • Healthcare facility workers, workers in congregate living settings, and first responders with symptoms.
  • Residents in long-term care facilities or other congregate living settings, including correctional facilities, homeless shelters and migrant farm worker camps, with symptoms
  • Persons with symptoms of potential COVID-19 infection, including: fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhea, and/or sore throat.
  • Persons without symptoms, but who are high risk, are asked to call the health department or their provider.

The health department reopening video can be found