Fayetteville, Cumberland County issue emergency declarations as coronavirus spreads

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- On Monday morning Fayetteville, Cumberland County and hospital officials held a joint news conference as concerns for the COVID-19 outbreak grows.

Leaders issued an emergency declaration, which activates the Emergency Operations Center and two hotlines in an effort to prevent community spread.

Cape Fear Health CEO Mike Nagowski told ABC11 that hospital officials have conducted more than 10 COVID-19 tests in Cumberland County. As of Monday morning, all of them have come back negative, but there is a possibility a case could come up soon.

"We may learn as early as tomorrow that we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Cumberland County, said Nagowski."Currently, we allow no more than one visitor per patient. We're in conversations about what we'll have to do if we have to get a position of no visitors."

According to Mayor Mitch Colvin, all events during the next 90 days will be rescheduled, including the Dogwood Festival. He encouraged the public to limit activity on public property including City Hall and county buildings. Time off for city workers will be closely monitored.

"The City Manager has enacted an organization-wide travel restriction for non-essential travel particularly out of state. We're going to scrutinize those requests carefully. We want to make sure our employees are safe," said Colvin.

Cumberland County schools put plans in place for food-insecure students who are home to still receive meals and learn through a remote site. City leaders urged residents to remain calm as grocery stores work to replenish food leaving its shelves quickly.

"We're not asking for you to panic, but we're asking you to be prudent in your decisions and to work with us," Colvin said.
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