BSH shuts down an assembly line, while health director expects COVID-19 cases to climb in Craven County
Though it took its under-staffed, over-worked, and under-paid newsroom days to get to it, the Sun Journal finally started reporting about the COVID-19 cluster of around 70 family, friends, and co-workers that emerged in Craven County last week.
The Sun Journal article, posted Monday night, included an interesting and rare interview with Craven County Health Director Scott Harrelson.
Worth mentioning here so it doesn’t get buried, BSH closed down one of its assembly lines after a worker tested positive for the virus, WCTI reported Monday night.
BSH Home Appliances says its dishwasher manufacturing facility in New Bern closed Monday after an employee tested positive for coronavirus, WCTI reported.
Officials say they informed those within close contact with the employee and will continue to check in with them; they say there is no reason to believe any other employees have been affected, WCTI reported.
It’s the second time the assembly line has shut down in two months due to COVID-19.
Back to the Sun Journal’s interview with Dr. Harrelson, it jibes with information obtained by the New Bern Post and posted over the weekend, including details the Post withheld out of concern for the privacy of the individuals who were infected.
“The outbreak was most likely caused by an infected individual bringing it into the workplace,” Harrelson told the Sun Journal’s Bill Hand. “Co-workers commuted to work together, worked their shift and then returned home to spread the virus to their households.”
A small number of cases were from other businesses, one inside and one outside the county, he said.
It is unknown if the in-county business Harrelson is referring to is BSH.
It takes five to six days from initial contact to develop symptoms, if symptoms develop at all. Meanwhile, the individual is highly contagious, unknowingly spreading the virus, often to populations that are much more at-risk.
More than 70 new cases were laboratory-identified last week, including many who were symptom-free and only tested due to contact tracing.
That cluster more than doubled the number of cases in Craven County and brought the number of active cases from just three on May 5, to 85 as of Monday afternoon.
Harrelson told the Sun Journal that he will not be surprised if numbers climb as social distancing is relaxed.