UPDATE (1:06 p.m.): The city of Sanford has closed all its municipal parks “to protect the public and employees and to slow the spread of the coronavirus.”

The closed parks are Depot Park, the front section of Kiwanis Family Park, Walter McNeil Jr. Park, Third Street Park, Maple Avenue Park, Carr Creek Park, Sunset Park, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

The restrooms at Depot Park and Kiwanis Family Park will be closed indefinitely.

The Endor Iron Furnace Greenway and Kiwanis Family Park walking trails are still open to the public.

For complete details about the City of Sanford’s updated policies and procedures, visit www.sanfordnc.net/coronavirus.

UPDATE (11:23 a.m.): The CCCC employee who reported coronavirus symptoms has tested negative, according to an email from college President Dr. Lisa Chapman.

According to Chapman’s email, anyone who was in contact with the person in Keller Hall no longer needs to self quarantine, and the building is accessible to employees as needed again.

UPDATE (10:26 a.m.): Lee County spokesperson Jamie Brown said the total number of tests conducted in Lee County can’t be confirmed because some are being done by private providers who are not required to report testing unless a result comes back positive. But Brown told The Rant that the Lee County Health Department has conducted eight tests, with three coming back negative and five pending results.

ORIGINAL STORY: A case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Lee County, local government officials announced in a press release Friday morning.

It was unknown immediately whether the case resulted from a test on a Central Carolina Community College employee who reported showing symptoms and subsequently self quarantined. The identity of the person who tested positive is not being shared publicly, in line with federal health privacy guidelines.

According to the press release, the Lee County Health Department will monitor the individual who has tested positive and will begin the contact tracing process and follow-up with anyone who is identified as a close contact as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The CDC defines “close contact” as anyone who has been within six feet for 10 minutes or more.

“We are not surprised to have our first case,” said Heath Cain, Lee County’s Health Director.  “Like other communities in the state, we expect we will likely see more.  We urge the public to continue following recommended guidelines to limit their potential exposure and to slow the spread of the coronavirus in our community.”

Prior to Friday, positive tests had been announced in each of Lee’s surrounding counties. The Rant will provide more updates as they come in.