[UPDATED: 11/25/20 - 1:57 PM]

Additional Data Resources
North Carolina COVID-19 Dashboard (updated daily)
North Carolina COVID-19 Updates
North Carolina Outbreaks and Clusters Report (updated by 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays)

Catawba County's COVID-19 Response
Catawba County Public Health is actively monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are working with community partners to ensure a coordinated community response. We are focused on containing the illness when it occurs, preventing its spread through comprehensive case investigations, and providing information residents need to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Information about Catawba County's COVID-19 Cases to Date

  • The majority of Catawba County’s COVID-19 laboratory-confirmed cases are determined to have been caused by contact with a person who was confirmed positive for COVID-19 or by community spread. Community spread means the cause of the infection cannot be determined.
  • The recent rise in local laboratory-confirmed cases has been detected through contact tracing and increased testing, which demonstrates that COVID-19 is increasingly active in Catawba County. Preventive measures are still strongly recommended to protect yourself and others from illness. See the “Preventing COVID-19: What You Can Do” section below for more information on how you can help stop the spread.
  • A small number of local cases have been associated with outbreaks at local congregate care facilities. In a congregate living setting, a COVID-19 outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases. An outbreak is considered over if there is no evidence of continued transmission within the facility after 28 days. To learn the status of congregate care outbreaks in Catawba County, view the NCDHHSS Ongoing Outbreaks in Congregate Living Settings report. This report is updated every Tuesday and Friday.
  • Catawba County’s COVID-19 deaths have been residents who ranged in age between 45 and 100 years old. Most had underlying medical conditions.
  • Depending on the number of tests being processed in labs statewide, test results can take anywhere from a few days to up to a week or more to be returned.

COVID-19 Community Spread Case Study
In Catawba County, COVID-19 is spreading from person to person before people even realize they are sick. To demonstrate this, Public Health Director Jennifer McCracken shares an example of a recent family gathering in Catawba County that resulted in the spread of COVID-19 to 41 people over 16 days. Read the full story and see the infographic HERE.

Governor Cooper's Path Forward
Effective November 13 at 5 p.m., Safer at Home Phase 3 increases restrictions on gatherings and help slow the spread of COVID-19. Read about the order by clicking on the “Current Safer at Home Order: Information” tab below.

North Carolina COVID-19 Information Hub
This online resource contains links to all current COVID-19 information from state partners.Learn more atNorth Carolina COVID-19 Information Hub.

Spanish-Language Resource Hub
In addition to the Spanish-language resources linked throughout this page, the American Public Health Association's Spanish-language resource hub offers evidence-based information on COVID-19 through their website:

Coronavirus Information and Resources
The following COVID-19 information and resources are regularly updated for your reference.

Catawba County Public Health COVID-19 Line: 828-465-9595

Catawba County Public Health

North Carolina COVID-19 Hotline: 1-866-462-3821

North Carolina COVID-19 Email:

North Carolina COVID-19 Online

Text COVIDNC: North Carolinians can text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive general information and updates about COVID-19. Sign up now to get regular alerts on the rapidly evolving situation and North Carolina’s response.

Frequently Asked Questions NC DHHS Website
Frequently Asked QuestionsPrintable Handout

Commonly Asked Questions: Catawba County
In late April, Catawba County Public Health Director Jennifer McCracken answered some common questions about Catawba County's response to COVID-19. Learn More.

Community Spread
Community spread of COVID-19 is happening in Catawba County. This means the virus is spreading from person to person without people knowing, which puts everyone at risk. The virus can spread even before someone starts showing symptoms, which is why it is so important to take the stay at home order, social distancing, and all prevention guidelines seriously.

While most people who contract COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover within a couple of weeks, many others are at high risk of serious illness from the disease, such as older adults and people with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions. Staying home and social distancing helps prevent you and everyone else from getting sick all at once, which prevents our local healthcare system from being overwhelmed. This is especially important for people who may need significant medical care such as hospitalization.

High Risk Populations
Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Based upon available information to date, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:

  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Other high-risk conditions could include:
    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People who have heart disease with complications
    • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
    • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [(BM]I)≥40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk

People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date, data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk

Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.

Is It Possible I Could Have COVID-19?
Catawba County is experiencing increased community transmission of COVID-19. Spread of the illness can occur from close contact with people infected with COVID-19, even if they are not showing any symptoms.

COVID-19 Symptoms
People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

This list is not all inclusive. Please talk with your doctor about any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Call 911 if you feel your symptoms are life threatening. For more information, visit the CDC’s COVID-19 Symptoms & Testing FAQ.

If you suspect you have COVID-19, contact your primary care doctor or a local primary care provider. If you do not have a local primary care doctor, the Catawba County Community Resource Inventory may be of help.

Do I Need to Get Tested?
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services advises people to get tested if they suspect they have or may have been exposed to COVID-19. This includes:

  • Anyone with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
  • Close contacts of known positive cases, regardless of symptoms.
  • Populations with higher risk of exposure or a higher risk of severe disease if they become infected, if they believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms.
  • People who have attended protests, rallies, or other mass gatherings could have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or could have exposed others. Testing should be considered for people who attended such events, particularly if they were in crowds or other situations where they couldn’t practice effective social distancing.

Check My Symptoms Tool: The “Check My Symptoms” tool helps you check your symptoms online and determine if you will be recommended to be tested for COVID-19. After you enter your symptoms, if it is recommended that you get tested, you will receive a list of nearby testing sites via email or text. Check My Symptoms Tool

Resources for COVID Testing

Find My Testing Place: This tool can help locate testing sites near you.Find My Testing Place

    Antibody Testing
    Antibody testing is slowly becoming available through healthcare providers. Guidance regarding this type of testing in North Carolina is currently being developed by NCDHHS due to concerns over the current reliability of this testing. If you have questions about getting tested or when testing will become available, contact your primary care doctor. For more information about this type of testing, visit the CDC’s Testing for COVID-19 page.

    Understanding Antibody Testing (Adapted from an April 22, 2020 Johns Hopkins University Report: “Developing a National Strategy for Serology (Antibody Testing) in the United States”)
    Because public health decision making depends in part on an understanding of how many people may have already had the disease and might be immune, extensive blood antibody testing is needed to determine the true prevalence of COVID-19. However, it is not known whether the presence of antibodies provides protection from being re-infected.

    While blood antibody testing has the potential to provide valuable information to individuals and to public health authorities, there are significant areas of uncertainty.

    The first and most urgent area is test validation. There are dozens of tests being marketed in the United States that are not providing accurate results and that do not provide the same information. Ensuring that tests are comparable and accurate requires a validation process with access to many patient samples, overseen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While such a validation process is apparently under way, it is unclear when it will be completed.

    Second, while some degree of immunity to COVID-19 after recovery is assumed by most experts, there is not currently a set antibody level that means a person is immune. Finding this number will require additional research.

    Third, even if a person gains immunity by being infected and recovering, it is not clear how long that immunity lasts. For SARS in 2003, antibodies were maintained in recovered patients for up to 2 years, but as the virus disappeared by mid-2004, protection from reinfection was never demonstrated.

    Contact Tracing Information: Click HERE for info

    Sample Contact Tracing Scenarios:English and Spanish

    Why Contact Tracing Matters
    Governor Cooper's path forward focuses on the need to increase contact tracing in order to ease certain COVID-19 restrictions. Public Health Director Jennifer McCracken discusses what contact tracing is and how it works. Learn More.

    Contract Tracers Needed Statewide: Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative
    Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC), in partnership with NC AHEC, has been engaged by the NC Department of Health and Human Services to hire and train staff to support existing efforts of local health departments to track the transmission of COVID-19 in North Carolina. Learn More and Apply Here.

    Slow the Spread: Check out these one-page fact sheets in English and Spanish with helpful information about what you can do to protect yourself and others and help slow the spread of COVID-19.

    Know Your Ws!
    While North Carolinians should still stay home, if they go out, they should know their Ws: Wear. Wait. Wash.

    • Wear a face covering,
    • Wait 6 feet apart from other people.
    • Wash your hands often.

    A Know Your Ws flyer is available in English and Spanish.

    Basic Prevention
    The steps to prevent coronavirus transmission are similar to the steps to prevent other respiratory illnesses, like the flu. The following are measures we can all take to protect ourselves and others from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses.

    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
    • Practice social distancing in public when possible by maintaining a 6 foot distance from others.
    • Stay home if you are sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.

    It is also good practice to start being more aware of the number of times a day your hands touch an object or hard surface and then touch your face without being washed. Limiting the exposure of your nose, mouth and eyes to unwashed hands can help to protect from the spread of all germs and illnesses.

    For pregnant women and children, review the information and guidance available on the CDC website.

    Cloth Face Coverings
    People in North Carolina are now required to wear face coverings in public spaces, whether inside or outside, where physical distancing of six feet is not possible. The use of simple cloth face coverings slows the spread of the virus by helping people who have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

    The CDC suggests cloth face coverings should:

    • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face Be secured with ties or ear loops
    • Include multiple layers of fabric
    • Allow for breathing without restriction
    • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

    For more information from the CDC about cloth face coverings, sewn / non-sewn instructions, and shareable PDF versions in English and Spanish, please visit this link.

    Cloth Face Coverings FAQ

    NC DHHS provides specific COVID-19 prevention guidance and resources for a range of stakeholders and a variety of settings, including businesses, events, schools and faith communities. Information is changing rapidly and is regularly updated as needed. To access the most current information, visit the NC DHHS Guidance web page.

    Effective November 25 at 5 p.m., Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 180 increases requirements for the wearing of face coverings through Safer at Home Phase 3.

    Phase 3 Executive Order 180
    Phase 3 Executive Order 180 Frequently Asked Questions
    Current NCDHHS Guidance

    Effective July 31 at 11 p.m., a restaurant alcohol sales curfew of 11 p.m. will be in effect. Learn more.

    Know Your Ws! When you are in contact with people who do not live with you, follow your Ws: Wear. Wait. Wash.

    • Wear a face covering,
    • Wait 6 feet apart from other people.
    • Wash your hands often.

    A Know Your Ws flyer is available in English and Spanish.

    Catawba County Public Health Community & Health Resource Directory: Contact information for local agencies and providers offering Medical Care, Health Insurance, Low Cost/Free Clinics, Prescription Assistance, Crisis Assistance, Food Assistance, Child Care Assistance, Mental Health Care, and Transportation, among others. See the Directory here.

    NC 2-1-1: NC 2-1-1 by United Way of North Carolina is a resource for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service that families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services resources within their community. NC 2-1-1 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and resources are available in most languages.

    Catawba County residents experiencing a financial hardship with paying their mortgage, rent, utilities or other expense due to the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for financial assistance through the COVID-19 Relief Program. Applications will be available through Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry (ECCCM) beginning July 1, 2020.

    To be eligible for assistance, applicants must have experienced one or more of the following hardships resulting from COVID-19: job loss, wage reduction, illness, other household impact, childcare challenges, or unable to find employment if working prior to February 29, 2020. Applicants must be residents of Catawba County.

    When applying, residents will be required to provide identification (such as a driver’s license), income verification for the past 30 days, verification of job loss or income loss, benefit award letters, alimony/child support letters, Section 8 verification, current bill(s), bank statements (checking and savings), and mortgage or rent documents.

    Starting July 1, residents may apply online at or in person at ECCCM, which is located at 245 East N Street in Newton. No appointment is required. For more information about the program, call ECCCM at (828) 465-1702.

    Funding for the COVID-19 Relief Program is provided by a Community Services Block Grant from the North Carolina Office of Economic Opportunity. A one-time allocation of $312,316 was awarded to Catawba County Social Services, the county’s designated Community Action Agency, for the establishment of an emergency COVID-19 relief program. The program is administered by Social Services in partnership with ECCCM.

    Additional State Resources: Click HERE for resources

    Tips for Helping Kids Wear Masks

    K-12 School Reopening in NC
    (Governor’s Office) North Carolina K-12 Public Schools to Require Key Safety Measures to Allow In-person Instruction
    (NC Pediatric Society) Statement on Students Returning to Schools

    Local School System Information
    Catawba County Schools:
    Hickory Public Schools:
    Newton-Conover City Schools:
    Catawba Valley Community College:
    Lenoir-Rhyne University:

    State Information
    School Guidance and many resources are available regarding the return to school for students and teachers.

    State Resources
    In partnership with Child Care Resources and Referral, the NC Department of Health and Human Services created a free hotline to connect families to licensed care for their school-age children.

    • Families can call the hotline at 1-888-600-1685.
    • Child Care Hotline flyer (English, Spanish)

    Local Resources
    The Catawba County Partnership for Children and Children’s Resource Center have developed an online resource geared toward local child care/school-age care resources available to parents and caregivers. Click HERE for more information.


    Apply Online: Use a computer or mobile device to access the application at

    Apply in Person: Catawba County Social Services, 3030 11th Avenue Dr. SE, Hickory. (828) 695-5600. No appointment required.


    The Corner Table Soup Kitchen (feeds any age)
    Location: 122 N Main Street
    Phone: 828-464-0355
    Lunch will be served to guests via a to-go meal from 11:15 am – 12:30 pm Monday through Friday on the back porch. Guests will not be allowed in the facility for any reason, including restrooms. Guests are encouraged to not arrive earlier than 11:15 am and will not be allowed to congregate. Friday to-go bags will be provided as usual. Guests will receive a hot meal as well as their weekly Friday to-go bag.

    Hickory Soup Kitchen (feeds any age)
    Location: 110 2nd Street Pl SE, Hickory
    Phone: 828-327-4828
    The Hickory Soup Kitchen will be offering meals Monday through Friday from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm in to go boxes as the dining room is currently closed. At this time, the food pantry consisting mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables will remain open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm as long as supplies last.

    Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry (must meet eligibility requirements/taking application via phone)
    Location: 245 E. N. St, Newton, NC
    Phone: 828-465-1702

    • Crisis Emergency Financial Assistance services are open Monday - Thursday, 8:00 - 4:30. Special allowances are being made for Covid-19 related cases.
    • Student Hunger Prevention Program serves school children in Newton-Conover Schools and all Catawba County Schools, grades K-12, and their families, for twelve months. Quantities are sufficient for the total number of persons in a household. Pickup times are Monday - Thursday, 8:30 - 4:30.
    • Hunger Prevention Programs serve households in the ECCCM service area with quantities sufficient for the total number of persons in a household. Pickup times are Monday - Thursday, 8:30 - 4:30.

    Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry (GHCCM) (must meet eligibility requirements)
    Location: 31 1st Ave SE, Hickory, NC 28602
    Phone: Nutrition Center-Open: 828-327-0979

    • Monday – Thursday 8:00 – 4:30 pm
    • New food applications will be processed over the phone and in person -- instructions on our new process at that time
    • For monthly food assistance, please drive directly to the back loading dock where a staff member will assist you
    • Food will be placed on the pallet
    • The food will be taken off the pallet by the person picking up food


    Hickory Public Schools
    Phone: 828-322-2855

    Newton Conover City Schools
    Phone: 828-464-3191

    Catawba County Schools
    Phone: 828-464-8333

    Phone: 828-695-5610

    • Seniors Morning Out (Seniors age 60+)
    • Meals on Wheels (Homebound Seniors age 60+)
    • Hours of Operation: M-F 7am-4 pm

    Call Ahead to The Following Organizations:

    Sherrills Ford Community Food Pantry and Clothes Closet
    Phone: 828-478-9652

    Springs Road Baptist Church
    Phone: 828-256-5340

    Hickory Church of Christ
    Phone: 828-464-4983

    Highland United Methodist Church
    Phone: 828-327-8066

    Hopewell United Methodist Church
    Phone: 828-478-9625

    Centro Latino
    Phone: 828-330-0477

    AIDS Leadership Foothills Area Alliance (ALFA)
    Phone: 828-322-1447

    Council on Aging (West Hickory Senior Center)
    Phone: 828-328-2269
    Address: 400 17th Street SW, Hickory, NC 28602

    • Pantry is available to anyone, no questions asked.
    • If there is a need for food to be delivered rather than picked up at the center, there are volunteers available to deliver food.

    Sheetz Bag Meals for Children

    • Sheetz food program offers one bag meal per child.
    • The program expanded companywide on 4/16/20 and will operate while supplies last

    Go to the website for more information:

    Locate Nearby Free Meal Sites: To learn about local meal distribution sites serving children across North Carolina, text FOODNC to 877-877. The texting service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877-877. Or use No Kid Hungry North Carolina’s interactive map, which is updated daily.

    North Carolina WIC:

    • Use thisReferral Form to apply for WIC benefits.
    • Click HERE to learn about special WIC food waivers and new approved foods.
    • Learn more about using your WIC during COVID-19 in English or Spanish.

    Pandemic EBT (P-EBT): North Carolina has been approved for the new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. This program will provide extra help buying groceries for the families of the more than 800,000 children who normally receive free and reduced lunch at school. Learn More.

    Use Your EBT Card Online: EBT recipients in North Carolina have been authorized to purchase groceries online via Amazon or Walmart. Learn More.

    Local Assistance/Partners Behavioral Health Management: Call their helpline at 1-888-235-HOPE (4673) to receive immediate assistance.

    Hope4NC Helpline: Call 1-855-587-3463 to receive mental health support 24/7 throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

    Hope4Healers Helpline: (919) 226-2002. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for professionals working in childcare, health care, emergency medicine, first response and their families who are experiencing stress from being on the front lines of NC’s COVID-19 response. English Flyer 1, English Flyer 2, Spanish Flyer 1, Spanish Flyer 2

    The following organizations have gathered information and resources to help all local businesses respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

    Catawba County Economic Development Corporation:COVID-19 Business Resource Guide

    The Chamber of Catawba County:COVID-19 Business Resource Guide

    Reopening Plan Checklist: This checklist is available to help retail businesses and other entities reduce the spread of COVID-19 in their communities as they reopen. View the checklist HERE.

    The North Carolina COVID-19 Information Hub has information regarding state data, guidance, news and other resources to keep you informed about COVID-19. North Carolina COVID-19 Information Hub

    Updated State Resources: Visit the North Carolina Staying Ahead of the Curve page to find all the updates, information and resources available from state government related to COVID-19. Information includes:

    Frequently Asked Questions NC DHHS Website
    Frequently Asked QuestionsPrintable Handout

    North Carolina COVID-19 Hotline: 1-866-462-3821

    North Carolina COVID-19 Email:

    North Carolina COVID-19 Online

    NC 2-1-1: NC 2-1-1 by United Way of North Carolina is a resource for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service that families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services resources within their community. NC 2-1-1 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and resources are available in most languages.

    Text COVIDNC: North Carolinians can text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive general information and updates about COVID-19. Sign up now to get regular alerts on the rapidly evolving situation and North Carolina’s response.

    While you stay home and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are other ways you can help make a difference. To get connected with local agencies and learn about how you can help, visit the Catawba County Health Resources Inventory and contact the agencies of interest.

    • Donate Supplies. Vendors and manufacturers can donate medical supplies and personal protective equipment to aid the response. Send an email with your company's information to a
    • Support Food Pantries. North Carolina food banks are in desperate need of donations. Visit the Catawba County Community Resource Inventory to find a list of local food pantries and soup kitchens who need your help.
    • Give Blood. Healthy, eligible blood donors are encouraged to find opportunities to give blood to help support a stable blood supply throughout the pandemic. Consider scheduling an appointment today.
    • Volunteer as a Health Care Worker. You can register through the State Medical Response System as clinical, clinical support or non-clinical support volunteers.
    • Support Local Restaurants. Have fun and support local business when you order takeout food and participate in The Chamber of Catawba County's Takeout Blitz. Learn More.

    Catawba County Public Health, in coordination with Catawba County Emergency Management, our municipalities and our community partners, is working to coordinate a countywide response to COVID-19. This includes encouraging all county residents and visitors to be our partners in prevention and follow all current prevention orders and guidelines.

    Additionally, we continue to communicate with organizations representing various sectors in our community to provide current information about COVID-19 and help ensure they are prepared to respond. These meetings have included healthcare providers, municipalities, schools, law enforcement, first responders, nonprofit organizations, childcare centers, congregate care centers and the faith community.

    Public Health is in frequent communication with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services regarding response measures. We will continue to provide updated information and guidance as it becomes available.

    For additional community education resources, click HERE.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    Includes national case counts and prevention guidance.

    The CDC page is also available in the following languages:

    Coronavirus Disease Response in North Carolina (NCDHHS)
    Includes North Carolina case counts, prevention guidance and statewide actions to combat coronavirus.

    Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)-World Health Organization
    Includes facts, maps, and global case count information.