Mecklenburg County reported its first two cases of the novel coronavirus Thursday. Health Department officials said two presumptive positive tests were identified at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, and still need to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris said at a news conference that they are unsure of how the two people contracted the virus. The county still is investigating whether the two people have traveled recently, either internationally or domestically.
She said one person is a Mecklenburg County resident; the other is not.
Harris added that more cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are expected.
"We are now in a situation where we could potentially have community spread," Harris said. "We understand that that was coming and we want to reinforce that that is likely in our community."
Harris said the county still has a limited number of COVID-19 test materials.
“I want to reassure people that we are testing as much as we can,” Harris said.
“But we do want to make sure that those folks who are symptomatic and who could potentially be exposing other people are being tested.”
Harris said officials are not recommending that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools close, but said her department is in constant contact with CMS should the situation change.
Likewise, no events in the county have been ordered to be canceled, but it is recommended that any high-risk individuals -- those with compromised immune systems or over the age of 65 -- should avoid events.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports 11 presumptive positive cases in the state, and one confirmed case.
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