Swain County positive cases attended community gatherings 

by May 28, 2020Health, NEWS ka-no-he-da


The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) and Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority (CIHA) identified two Swain County residents on Thursday, May 28 who tested positive for COVID-19 at a Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority drive-thru testing site. One resident is currently hospitalized and the other is isolated in their home. 

The Swain County residents, who tested positive for COVID-19, attended community gatherings; one Sunday, May 17 at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds and several other gatherings the week of Monday, May 18 at Big Cove Baptist Church. 

“The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Public Health and Human Services and Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority are working diligently to identify and notify close contacts who may have come in contact with these individuals,” said EBCI PHHS officials. 

If you attended any of the gatherings or have concerns regarding details of this specific situation and would like to be tested, you are encouraged to contact the EBCI COVID-19 hotline (828) 497-3743. 

Drive-thru testing will be made available on Friday, May 29 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Drama Hill. 

If you know of anyone who attended these gatherings, please refer them to this post. 

The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person with an infection with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time of 10 minutes or longer. 

PHHS is working with other health and emergency officials to identify close contacts. 

Every consideration to the health, safety, and well-being of our community, employees, and their families is being addressed. We advise everyone to help prevent the spread of this virus. Some things you can do to protect yourself and others are: 

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Practice Social Distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household
    cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after
    going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or
  • Wear a cloth face mask or homemade face coverings in public.
    Additional guidance can be found on the CDC’s website www.cdc.gov
    For local information call the Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority COVID-19 Hotline at (828) 497-3743.

– EBCI Public Health and Human Services release