MANSFIELD – Richland County has its first COVID-19 positive test result, according to local health officials, though no information about the patient is being released.
Richland Public Health was notified Thursday of a positive test result for coronavirus, the contagious illness that began in China and has quickly spread around the world.
Health department officials are working to identify any close contacts of this resident, who would require testing or monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.
Richland Public Health spokesman Reed Richmond said Thursday the agency is not releasing the individual's age or gender. He also declined to say if the individual is being treated at a local hospital.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 88 confirmed COVID-19 cases spread across 19 counties. That number will be updated today when Gov. Mike DeWine conducts what has become a daily press conference with state health director Dr. Amy Acton.
Richland Public Health, along with area hospitals, healthcare providers and community partners have been actively preparing to respond to possible cases of COVID-19 in the community, according to a press release.
“We are working closely with the Ohio Department of Health, following protocols and guidance in place, to identify close contacts of this individual who will be instructed to self-quarantine, and public health will monitor for 14 days,” said Sarah Humphrey, health commissioner.
“Our focus right now is to support the care of this individual and protect the health of our residents," she said.
COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus that can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
“The news of a COVID-19 case in our county is not a surprise,” Humphrey continued. “We have been planning and preparing to respond to cases when they occur.
"We have community interventions in place that are designed to slow transmission in our community while lessening the impact. Our investigation is on-going. Our main goal is to isolate those who are ill, identify close contacts and monitor for illness.”
According to the CDC, COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Those at high risk for illness of COVID-19 are those over 60 with chronic illness or a weakened immune system.
To prevent the spread of disease, Richland Public Health encourages everyone to follow these effective practices:
-- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
-- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
-- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
-- Avoid contact with sick people.
-- Stay home when you are sick.
-- Practice social distancing.
-- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces – doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, etc.
This is a rapidly evolving situation. Information is being shared as it becomes available on the following websites: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus, www.coronavirus.ohio.gov, or www.richlandhealth.org. People with questions about COVID-19 can call the Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center, 7 days a week from 9AM – 8PM at: 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
This COVID-19 information is from the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA). The material in this webinar, unless otherwise specified by the presenter, is relevant for CHD patients of all ages, as well as their families.