Wilkes County's second confirmed COVID-19 case was reported early Monday afternoon, about four hours after the county's first positive case was announced.

Wilkes Health Director Rachel Willard said this second person with a positive COVID-19 test has been identified as a "community transmission" case, which means the method of contracting the disease isn't known. Community transmission indicates that a disease is so widely spread that it's not traceable.

Willard said a nasal sample was taken by swab from the person at a private medical practice. She added that the person is at home in Wilkes self-isolating.

Wilkes County’s first confirmed COVID-19 case was a patient at Wilkes Medical Center in North Wilkesboro when tested for the virus and when the results came back positive two days later, said Willard this morning.

Wilkes Medical Center President Chad Brown said the person who tested positive at the hospital is in isolation there.

Willard said health department and hospital officials are working to identify who the person with the first positive COVID-19 test had contact with since he/she first exhibited symptoms (fever or cough). She said efforts will be made to reach all of these people to tell them to self-quarantine for 14 days and be tested for the virus if they become symptomatic.

Willard said the person who tested positive had not traveled out of the country recently, but otherwise it wasn’t yet known if he/she contracted the disease from travel outside Wilkes or if it was from “community spread."

Willard said the hospital informed the health department about the person testing positive Monday morning. She was informed about 8:30 a.m. Monday.

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