LOUISBURG -- On Monday afternoon, Franklin County officials reported that four more health department workers tested positive for COVID-19 -- bringing the total number to six.
It also brings with it some shuttering of services at the health department this week.
After an employee tested positive on April 22 and another on April 24, all 48 of the department's employees who had been coming into the office were tested.
The building was disinfected over the weekend.
On Monday four more tested positive. None of the six are healthcare providers.
The health department will be closed for regular business until operations resume on Monday, May 4.
• The Franklin County Health Department continues to conduct contact tracing for COVID-19, so any individual suspected of being exposed to the coronavirus will be notified by health department staff and given specific instructions on what they need to do next, said Health Director Scott LaVigne.
LaVigne said, the health department is adopting a stringent response.
As of Monday, the following health department programs will be closed until May 4:
• All clinical services;
• Care management services (clients may call their workers for call-back); and
• WIC (clients may call for assistance).
After consultations with the State Department of Health and Human Services, the county's health department has been approved to move forward with the following plan for clinical closures this week:
• Clinic patients are bring provided with the option of receiving some mandated services at neighboring county health departments;
• Patients are being given the option to receive services at other healthcare providers both inside and outside the county.
Patients whose appointments were cancelled are being notified and those appointments will be rescheduled, health staff said.
Environmental health services (septic, wells, food and lodging inspections, etc.) and the Franklin County Home Health Agency services will continue to operate remotely.
Limited drop-off service will be available for Environmental Health needs.
For the remainder of this week, only critical health department employees with a negative test and no current symptoms have returned to work to continue the County's Emergency Operations Center and to complete contact investigations.
The Health Department will resume all services on, May 4.
Franklin County now has at least 100 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus which is blamed for 14 deaths locally.