ASHLAND -- The Ashland County Health Department (ACHD) is reporting Ashland’s first COVID-19 death.
According to a late Friday afternoon press release, the individual was a male resident at McMullen Assisted Care, Inc.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time,” said Heather Reffett, ACHD’s Health Commissioner. “As a community, we have worked hard to limit the spread of the virus and it is with regret that we learned of the passing of one of our own.”
The COVID-19 case count in Ashland currently stands at 55 total positive cases and one probable case. ACHD is now working with 109 individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19.
Seventeen, of which 15 are Ashland residents, are involved in the outbreak at McMullen. The ACHD reported this outbreak last week along with another outbreak within the Amish community. The outbreak affecting the Amish community is now "multi-county and is affecting an unknown number of Ashland County Amish," according to Friday's press release.
Additionally, the ACHD is now reporting a third outbreak. This involves four individuals, of which three are Ashland residents, with a home care agency.
“There are a lot of activities going on in Ashland in the coming weeks, including the Fourth of July fireworks, and we need to protect ourselves while enjoying these activities,” said Reffett. “We have had 18 new cases since last week, and we are currently working with a number of individuals who have been exposed.”
Residents are encouraged to watch the fireworks from home or in wide open spaces where families can practice social distancing. Tailgating or congregating outside of vehicles is discouraged, although it is permissible to enjoy the firework display from a parked vehicle.
Other general precautions individuals can take to protect themselves from COVID-19 include: wearing a face covering, staying home when sick, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, and washing hands often. Individuals should also refrain from attending large gatherings.
COVID-19 symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, diarrhea, vomiting, conjunctivitis, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. To minimize the risk of infecting healthcare workers, individuals should call ahead before seeking medical care to discuss symptoms.
Additional information about COVID-19 is available at the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) website, www.coronavirus.ohio.gov. ODH also staffs a Call Center 7 days a week from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. The number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).