RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/AP) — North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell says he’s been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus.
Folwell said on Wednesday that he learned late Tuesday that he had tested positive.
Folwell said he noticed a perennial cough had worsened, contacted a physician and got tested earlier this week.
He said he and his son had returned recently from a long-planned trip but didn’t say where they went.
Folwell is a Repubilcan who was elected treasurer in 2016 and is seeking reelection this fall. He manages state pension funds and oversees the health insurance plan for state employees and teachers.
Read Folwell’s letter below:
After a recent, long-planned trip with my son, I returned early to Raleigh on Monday, March 16, for three days to address the growing volatility and downturn in the financial market, and its impact on the state pension plan’s $100 billion in investments. As many who know me can attest, I have a perennial cough that I believe is a reaction to my tendency to stutter as a child. Upon my return to work, I experienced what I thought was my seasonal reaction to spring pollen which has always severely accentuated my cough.
Obviously, I was aware of the COVID-19 pandemic so I monitored my temperature and saw no increase through the weekend even as my cough seemed to worsen. After consulting with a physician, I was tested on the afternoon of Monday, March 23, and was informed late last night of a positive result.
I have quarantined myself and will follow the advice of my physician as to when I will be medically cleared to return to the office. The staff at the Department of State Treasurer has been notified and, starting today, only those absolutely necessary for continuing business services will be in our building.
My thoughts and prayers are with not only those who are sick, but those who are impacted by the vast financial fallout of this pandemic. We will continue to work diligently to make sure retiree checks still go out on time, the State Health Plan provides comprehensive health care coverage, and state banking operations continue uninterrupted.
Words cannot express the gratitude that I feel for the employees at the Treasurer’s Department who have come to the office to work as well as those who have kept up with their duties from home. I am truly humbled to have the honor to work with them and hope that this crisis passes as quickly as possible.
As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, North Carolina health officials now say there are 504 cases of coronavirus across the state.
The number of cases stood at 398 on Tuesday.
North Carolina health officials also announced two COVID-19 related deaths on Wednesday morning, the first in the state.
According to a release from Gov. Roy Cooper’s office, a person from Cabarrus County died on Tuesday from complications associated with coronavirus. The patient was in their late 70s and had multiple underlying health conditions, officials said.
The second person who died was in their 60s and from Virginia. They were traveling through North Carolina and also died from complications related to the virus.
No further information is being released about either patient, the release states.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones. This is a stark warning that for some people COVID-19 is a serious illness. All of us must do our part to stop the spread by staying at home as much as possible and practicing social distancing,” said Cooper.
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