LEE COUNTY, NC – May 5, 2020 – Lee County Manager John Crumpton reports a county employee has tested positive for COVID-19.  This is the first Lee County employee who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The employee who has tested positive has been teleworking and has not been in the office or in direct physical contact with community members in an official capacity for more than a month. 

“The county goal is to be as open and transparent as we are legally allowed to be with information about the spread of COVID-19 in the community,” County Manager John Crumpton said.  “I do not want rumors about possible cases in county government to create additional anxiety in the community, and therefore, I felt it was important to notify employees and the public when I learned an employee had tested positive.   I want to reassure employees and the public that the county has been proactive in our approach to establish preemptive measures that will help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19 in Lee County.  One such measure has been the expansion of an employee telework program that has likely helped minimize the risk of workplace exposure in this instance.” 

Beginning on March 13, 2020, the county began implementing proactive and protective pandemic response measures to limit the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19 in Lee County.  Measures include but are not limited to: suspension of various programs; closing of several facilities to the public; screening of visitors and employees for facilities that remain open; increased cleaning and disinfecting; distribution of PPE to staff that has direct contact with the public; and the expansion of telework opportunities for employees. County Information Technology staff worked closely with departments to support the migration of eligible employees to a work-at-home model that has been in place since late March. 

Per established procedure, the Lee County Health Department will monitor the employee who has tested positive until they are able to resume normal activities.  Department staff will also complete the contact tracing process to help identify individuals who have been in close contact with the patient, which is defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being within six feet for ten minutes or more.

The public is strongly encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and recommendations to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19.  The county has also established a COVID-19 Information Hotline at (919) 352-3360 that is available Monday through Friday from 8 AM until 5 PM.  County employees that have questions or concerns are encouraged to reach out to their supervisors and/or department directors. 

No additional information about the employee who has tested positive will be released in order to protect patient privacy.

For additional information and questions, please contact Jamie Brown, Community & Governmental Relations Manager at (919) 718-4605 or jbrown@leecountync.gov.

# # #