XENIA — Greene County Public Health (GCPH) officials received report of the county’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 on Saturday.
The individual works at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, according to base officials.
“This is our first confirmed case,” said Col. Thomas Sherman, 88th Air Base Wing commander. “The continued safety and well-being of the Wright-Patterson community is my top priority. We are working with our base medical staff and off-base health care agencies to ensure we mitigate the effects of COVID-19 using established Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Defense Department guidelines.”
The person and identified contacts are self-isolating at home and are being monitored by GCPH. There was no history of exposure through travel, GCPH officials said, which indicates the individual became infected through community spread.
After Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Dr. Amy Acton signed the state mandated stay at home order Sunday — which goes into effect 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 23 until Monday, April 6 — GCPH Health Commissioner Melissa Howell said the impact reaches not just her staff, but all residents.
”We are all impacted, trying to be safe and save lives,” she said. “We are watching for cases, monitoring contacts to keep it from spreading for long hours each day, and giving our community valuable information that is accurate and timely. We are also giving food to friends, getting medication and supplies for employees who have medical conditions, giving our money, our time and our energy to family members who are unemployed now, changing the way we socialize with our senior adults, and missing the touch of our children or grandchildren.”
Howell said as essential services defined in the order continue to operate, she’s counting on everyone to uphold the law.
“It’s time to be kind,” she added.
GCPH officials ask residents to follow the guidance and orders of ODH and the governor’s office, practice hand hygiene, and continue social distancing to “elongate the curve” and keep the healthcare system keep hospital beds, ventilators and medical supplies available for the most ill — people with hypertension, diabetes or chronic health conditions.
“Many residents have reached out to providers because they want to be tested but we are in choppy water with limited resources for testing at this time,” the release states. “To provide the best care in Greene County, we cannot exhaust our ability to provide supportive care for the people who will become severely ill. Now is the time for everyone to fully understand the importance of social distancing so that the healthcare system does not become overwhelmed.”
According to Dr. Kevin Sharrett, medical director for GCPH, individuals with mild symptoms should self-isolate “because they will likely recover and have a positive outcome.” If symptoms worsen, they should contact their healthcare provider.
“This is a marathon and a long haul,” Howell said. “Many people may be hospitalized, and our numbers will increase. Our community has demonstrated great resilience and we need the same resolve from all sectors of the community to bring this to an end … Public health workers, which include disease investigators, nurses, physicians, sanitarians, and health educators are critical for identifying and responding to episodic outbreaks as the disease spreads in the community.”
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