Message unchanged after U.C.’s first confirmed case


Officials continue to urge diligence in safeguarding against virus
Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health announced Friday there is one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Union County, a fact that local officials were prepared for.
“While it is discouraging that the county now has its first confirmed case, it is not a surprise,” read a statement from the Union County Commissioners.
As the number of confirmed cases in the state jumped to 351, ODH data indicated Union County is one of 40 counties now affected.
A statement from the Union County Health Department indicated the affected individual is an adult female.
UCHD officials stated a “contact investigation is underway to identify and notify close contacts of the individual.” They will be assessed for symptoms and instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The news came as DeWine said Ohio has “now entered a new phase of our battle with COVID-19” – the first confirmed death in the state. The deceased man was a resident of Lucas County.
Prior to the first confirmed case, Union County officials have said they were taking action as though there were cases in the area.
During the March 18 Board of Health meeting, Union County Health Commissioner Jason Orcena said, “Guaranteed it’s here – no doubt.”
He and other board members said, because there is no clinical treatment for COVID-19, positive testing does not generally change the course of treatment.
Most individuals who test positive for the virus will be told to stay home and self-isolate while the limited number of hospital beds will be reserved for those who are seriously ill.
Orcena said approximately 80% of individuals with COVID-19 will experience only mild to moderate symptoms and will fully recover. The risk is elevated in vulnerable populations, such as those 65 years of age or older.
County officials are asking residents “to stay calm but to take the necessary precautions to fight the spread of this virus.”
Individuals should:
– Practice social distancing and avoid close contact with people who are sick
– Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
– Avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth
– Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
– Stay home when sick, except to get medical care
– Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

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