Albemarle Regional Health Services is reporting the first COVID-19 case in Chowan County.

ARHS Director R. Battle Betts Jr. was notified of the lab-confirmed case in Chowan, an ARHS press release Wednesday evening states.

As it has done in other cases of COVID-19 in the region, ARHS did not release details about the person who tested positive for the coronavirus.

ARHS said it is following state health guidelines for determining others with whom the Chowan resident testing positive for COVID-19 has had close contact. ARHS has defined “close contacts” as those with whom the person testing positive has had direct contact, or been within 6 feet of, for at least 10 minutes while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.

Caregivers and household members of persons who test positive for the virus are considered close contacts, ARHS has said.

The Chowan case of COVID-19 was reported on the same day ARHS reported the region's first death from the respiratory disease.

The Chowan case brings the total number of cases of COVID-19 in the region to 18. That does not include three cases reported in Dare County, which has its own health department.