Chief Koepke

BUCYRUS — Bucyrus Police Chief David Koepke has been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to a post on the department Facebook page. 

At 10:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, Koepke shared that what he thought was seasonal allergies turned out to be COVID-19, a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus. 

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Koepke said he stayed home as he began to experience symptoms of fever, headache, cough and an all-over pain. 

"Despite all efforts to social distance, it is a stark reminder of how highly contagious it is," Koepke said. "I am resting at home and look forward to returning in two weeks."

In the meantime, Koepke said Capt. Joseph Greathouse would be leading the department in his stead, and "everyone at the department continues to work diligently to keep Bucyrus safe."

"As we start to see normal activity resume please continue to use precautions to stay healthy and avoid coronavirus," Koepke said. 

According to the Ohio Department of Health, there have been 39 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Crawford County, with two hospitalizations and zero deaths. 

Is it COVID-19? How to tell the difference

Nasal and eye symptoms are most likely allergies and not the coronavirus, according to allergist Dr. Ghassan Safadi of Allergy Clinic Ohio.

"With allergies, you can experience a lot more sneezing, itching nose, itchy eyes, congestion, those features are not typical of the coronavirus," Safadi said.

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from being mildly sick with fever, cough and shortness of breath, to being severely ill. Most people only develop mild symptoms, but people over 60 and those who have other health condition can develop more serious symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.

You should call your medical provider if you:

• Feel sick with fever, cough or have difficulty breathing

• Have been close to someone infected with the new coronavirus

• Have recently traveled to a location known to have active cases of COVID-19

Call your medical provider before your visit to discuss your risks and symptoms. This will help limit exposure to other people and prepare your provider for an evaluation. If you are sick, do not travel or go out to reduce the possibility of exposing others to your illness.