As the state cautiously reopens for business, both the Tuscarawas County Health Department and the New Philadelphia City Health Department are working with both local and state partners to monitor the uptick in COVID-19 cases.
In a press release, officials explained the Health Departments are in frequent contact with the local hospitals and first responders as well as the Ohio Department of Health and Governor’s Office. Case numbers are updated daily and available to the public at http://www.facebook.com/tchdnow and http://www.facebook.com/NewPhilaHD
“As businesses started to reopen, we anticipated an increase in illness. However, when the number of cases increased over several days even prior to businesses reopening, we knew it was time to implement our rapid response plan. We are now working with disease experts here at home and across the state,” said Katie Seward, Tuscarawas County Health Commissioner. “It is anticipated that the local case numbers will continue to rise.”
Disease experts say that because COVID-19 is widespread across Ohio, the best way to stop infections is to act as if you have the virus, even if you are not feeling sick. In Tuscarawas County, the disease has spread in multiple locations. The cases are not linked to any one business, location, or facility, according to officials. Additionally, many of the cases are from community spread, meaning the positive case had no known
contact with another positive case of COVID-19.
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“We should all be taking precautions to stop the spread of the virus, even if we are not feeling ill or have a positive test. Taking simple steps to reduce the spread of infection can protect you, your family and your neighbors. Wearing a mask is not mandatory, but it could stop you from unknowingly giving the virus to a friend or family member,” said VIckie Ionno, New Philadelphia City Health Commissioner.
Although it is tempting to want tested, to know for sure if you have coronavirus, a confirmation test is not necessary, they added. If you’re sick, stay home. If your symptoms become severe, see a doctor.
Many emergency rooms, urgent care centers, and doctors’ offices are only testing certain groups of people such as those sick enough to be hospitalized and health care workers. You do not need to confirm coronavirus with a test.
If you are feeling sick:
• Stay home if you can. Separate yourself from other people in your home.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water.
• Wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth unless you are by yourself.
• Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people, even at home.
• Cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands often, and avoid touching your face.
• Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. Wash thoroughly after use.
• Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom every day with household cleaners and disinfectants, using as directed on the label; ask someone else to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in other areas of the home. Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
• Monitor your symptoms and seek medical care if they are worsening (for example, if you have difficulty breathing). Call the doctor or emergency department before going.
• Call before you get medical care.
• Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
When to call the doctor:
• Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency.
• Emergency warning signs include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
• Persistent pain or pressure in the chest.
• New confusion or inability to arouse.
• Bluish lips or face.