First Cashiers case of COVID-19 confirmed


The COVID-19 coronavirus has come to Cashiers, with the first confirmed positive test for the virus  in a Cashiers resident occurring on April 15. 
In a letter written by Mack McNeely of McNeely Companies to its customers, a store employee working out of McNeely’s Cashiers store came down with virus-like systems on Monday, April 6. 
“The employee visited a doctor and was sent to the emergency room,” McNeely said in the letter.  “The employee was not diagnosed or tested  for the coronavirus. Instead he was sent home to self-quarantine. The Jackson County Health Department informed us that other employees at the site could continue to work but should self-monitor their temperature for 14 days.”
Without a definitive diagnosis, McNeely decided it was best to err on the side of caution and close the store.
“We decided to go beyond the current requirements and take every precaution available to protect our employees and customers,” he said. “The store was closed and professionally sanitized eight days ago (April 8). We brought in a new crew of employees to the store.”
All employees that were in contact with the individual are now currently at home nearing the end of a 14-day quarantine, McNeely said in his letter.
“We were still not satisfied with the lack of a diagnosis, and after a lengthy search, we found a physician willing to test our sick employee for the COVID-19 virus.”
Late in the day on April 15, McNeely received the news his employee had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The employee is recovering at home. 
“The positive employee will not be able to return to work until he has two back-to-back negative tests taken more than 24 hours apart,” McNeely said. “All other employees will not return to work before their 14-day quarantine period has passed.”
The employee who tested positive last worked on Saturday, April 4 and was never at work after the COVID-19 symptoms began. 
“No employees were in contact with the sick individual after symptoms began,” McNeely said. “We take the health and safety of our customers and employees seriously. We feel that it is important to share with you the facts surrounding this event. We already have taken and continue to take every possible precaution. From the beginning we reacted as if the employee was positive.”
McNeely said in the letter no other employees are showing symptoms of coronavirus.
North Carolina remains under a shelter at home directive until April 29. The positive COVID-19 diagnosis is a first for Cashiers and southern Jackson County, bringing the countywide total to three.