Local health officials share information about coronavirus

(Posted Feb. 28, 2020)

Madison County Public Health and Madison Health have been working together since the beginning of the year on coronavirus (COVID19) preparation. The two entities are providing information and guidance to healthcare providers in Madison County. Additionally, they provided social media updates and information for the general public about the virus.

Across Madison County and Ohio, the COVID19 situation has not changed much in the last week. What has changed is the rhetoric surrounding it. Updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including “when, not if” or “inevitable” statements about COVID19 in the United States, have caused people to pay more attention to the situation in the country. However, local facts about COVID19 remain unchanged:

• There are no cases in Madison County.

• There are no cases in Ohio.

• There is one person under investigation (PUI) in Ohio. A PUI is a person who has traveled to China and is experiencing symptoms of COVID19. Symptoms can include a fever, cough or shortness of breath. (Note that these are the same symptoms as many other respiratory illnesses.)

• This is not the first PUI in Ohio. During the last two months, there have been seven other PUIs in Ohio, all of which tested negative for COVID19. Across the United States, there have been 445 PUIs; all have tested negative for COVID19.

• There are other people in Ohio who have traveled to China and have no symptoms and are under public health supervision. These people are monitoring themselves for two weeks and reporting to their local public health departments if they have symptoms. This also is not new and has been going on for two months across the country.

• There is no confirmed community transmission of COVID19 in Ohio or the United States. All COVID19 cases in the United States have been travel-related (12) or close household contacts (2) of people who have traveled abroad. The suspected community transmission case of COVID19 in California is still under investigation.

Madison County residents should continue to adhere to travel bans and warnings. No one should travel to China right now. Travel to several other countries should be restricted, as well, according to CDC recommendations. Those recommendations can be found at cdc.gov/travel.

Prevention is still the best tool for COVID19 across Ohio:
• Cover every cough and sneeze with your arm.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Wash your hands often.
• Don’t put your hands in your mouth, eyes or nose.
• Avoid people who are sick.
• Clean surfaces that are frequently touched.

The health department and hospital also encourage residents to use common sense about face masks. Face masks are for sick people and healthcare workers. Masks work well to help limit the spread of illness from those who are already sick. Masks do not work well to help the general public stay healthy.

If you traveled to China in the last two weeks or have been around a confirmed case of COVID19 and experience symptoms of COVID19, call your healthcare provider first. If you do not have a healthcare provider, call Madison Health at (740) 845-7333.

For more information about COVID19, contact Madison County Public Health at (740) 852-3065 or info@madisonpublichealth.org.

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