March 25: COVID-19 update from Madison County Public Health

(Posted March 25, 2020)

The following coronavirus (COVID-19) update for Madison County was released by Madison County Public Health today.


Madison County Public Health (MCPH) is working on coronavirus (COVID-19) response every single day. You should monitor state and local news but rely on MCPH for reliable information on COVID-19 right here in Madison County. Information and guidance changes daily. Effective March 23, our office services have been modified in response to COVID-19. Details regarding these changes, as well as our most up-to-date information and guidance surrounding COVID-19, can be found on our website at

Here are the latest local facts and advice about COVID-19:

There are three confirmed cases in Madison County. We continue to urge people to stay home and self-isolate as much as possible. MCPH works with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to conduct contact tracing to determine if any of the patients’ close contacts are sick. If you have not been in contact with the individuals and are not called by health department staff, your risk is low. Those contacts who are sick will be isolated at home and remain in touch with their doctor. For those contacts who are not sick, guidance is being provided to monitor themselves for sickness and what to do if they do get sick.

Stay at home except for essential work or activity. This statewide order, called “Stay At Home,” went into effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 23. Contact your employer if you have questions about reporting to work. You are allowed to grocery shop, receive medical care for both you and your pets, exercise outdoors (but not at group places like playgrounds), and care for others. Roads are open. You do not need a special note to be on the roads. When performing essential activities, always use social distancing and stay at least six feet from others. Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.

All issued State orders about COVID-19, including the Stay At Home order, can be found on our website at

For answers to frequently asked questions about the Stay at Home order, visit

If you have questions or a complaint about a nonessential business remaining open in Madison County, please submit them at

Know what to do if you feel sick. We need to protect our healthcare system and allow them to care for the sickest patients. It is critical to conserve medical resources and space. Staying home slows the spread and protects our most vulnerable neighbors. You are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 if you are: 1) an older adult; 2) any age with a serious chronic medical condition like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, or you have a compromised immune system. If you cannot manage your symptoms with over-the-counter medicine, we suggest you call your doctor. They can assess your symptoms and decide if you need to be seen in person.

Stay home for 14 days for: Fever or cough you can manage at home with medication

Call your doctor for: Fever that remains over 103⁰ F for more than two hours after taking Tylenol/Advil, a fever for more than two days, or you develop new symptoms

Seek emergency medical care for: Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up stuff for more than one week and have an intermittent fever

Understand the local facts about testing. Testing for COVID-19 is not widely available in Ohio and is limited to those who are very sick and are high risk. Right now, testing in Madison County is for people who are hospitalized with a severe respiratory illness. Tests must be ordered, collected, and sent to a lab by a doctor. Tests are not available for purchase. We do not have tests at the health department. Healthcare workers consider all options and they consult with public health department staff when deciding who to test. Remember: COVID-19 is not the only illness out there. Use this general guideline for testing:

Not sick → No testing

Mild illness (fever/cough that can be managed at home) → No testing

Severe illness with hospitalization (shortness of breath, chest pain) → Seek testing

Prevention is still the best tool for COVID-19 across Ohio. Personal choices, such as staying home and frequent handwashing, will determine how fast this virus spreads. Community transmission of COVID-19 in Ohio is actively happening. We would like to keep it as low as possible. That’s why there are community cancellations, postponement of gatherings, and social distancing. While we don’t want people to get too caught up in numbers, you can access the latest numbers of confirmed cases at Cases are reported by county of residence.

Don’t panic. We know this is an overwhelming time for many. Take care of your mental health. Remember: these measures are being taken to help avoid a major crisis in our healthcare system. Only use trusted sources of information such as the CDC, ODH, and MCPH. Call, FaceTime, video chat, or write a letter to your loved ones. Go outside and enjoy the weather. We are all in this together!

Pay attention to travel bans. Do not travel internationally. Do not go on any cruise ship or river cruise. If you are overseas, return immediately unless you are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The latest travel recommendations can be found at gov/travel and

Don’t buy face masks. Face masks are for sick people and healthcare workers. That’s it. Surgical masks work well to help limit the spread of illnesses from those who are already sick. Respirator masks are essential for our healthcare workers because they are in very close contact with sick people for long periods of time. Masks do not work well to help the general public stay healthy.

Donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We are working daily with Madison County EMA to coordinate PPE availability in the county. If you are a medical professional, business, or factory who has extra PPE due to a change in work requirements, PLEASE donate your PPE for our healthcare workers on the front lines. We need you.

Madison County needs: surgical masks (ear-loop or ties), N95 masks, latex gloves, protective clothing gowns, and goggles/face shields.  To donate, call the Madison County Emergency Management Agency at (740) 852-4200 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

We all have a personal responsibility to help prevent further spread of COVID-19. Individuals need to follow these steps:

  1. Cover every cough and sneeze with your arm.
  2. Stay home and maintain a 6-ft distance from others as necessary.
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  5. Avoid people who are sick.
  6. Clean frequently touched surfaces.

MCPH does not diagnose, test, or treat COVID-19. If you are feeling sick or have questions about your personal health, please contact your health care provider or an urgent care provider. Emergency rooms should only be used for immediate life-threatening conditions.  If you have an emergency, always call 911.

If you believe you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have come in contact with a positive COVID-19 case, CALL your doctor. People with mild illness are encouraged to stay home and care for themselves.  It is strongly discouraged to show up to your healthcare provider office or hospitals without calling first, which can risk the health of others.

MCPH will continue to provide accurate local data on their website at and on social media (@madisoncountyPH). If you have questions about COVID-19, you can contact Madison County Public Health at 740-852-3065 or at You may also call ODH COVID-19 Hotline for questions at 1-833-4ASK-ODH.

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