Fayette County’s first case of COVID-19 coronavirus was confirmed Tuesday evening by Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) and the Fayette County Emergency Management Agency (FCEMA).
The 22-year-old patient is currently self-quarantining at home with daily oversight from FCPH. Proper follow-up has been done with close contacts, according to Leigh Cannon, deputy health commissioner of FCPH. The name of the patient has not been released.
Fayette County joins 49 other counties in Ohio with confirmed COVID-19 cases, with a state total of 564 as of Tuesday.
Cannon said that while it is not possible to know how many people have been tested, it is no surprise the virus has made its way to Fayette County.
“We have been running tests as they meet the guidelines, but if a resident gets tested out of county, we would not know it,” explained Cannon. “This appears to be a case of community spread and it is likely there are others with mild symptoms who simply don’t know they have it.”
Cannon points out that, per state guidelines, only those patients whose symptoms are severe enough to require hospitalization and healthcare workers providing care for the ill are being tested at this point.
Both FCPH and FCEMA reinforced to the public the importance of exercising safety measures such as proper hand washing, social distancing and observing the Ohio Department of Health’s order to stay at home.
The Fayette County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), coordinated by director Melissa Havens, has been working with community partners for several weeks now to prepare for the impact of coronavirus in Fayette County. First responders, state highway patrol, county commissioners, Fayette County Memorial Hospital and others have been discussing plans in preparation of an outbreak.
Agencies are communicating daily with the EOC and briefings are being sent back out to those stakeholders to maintain a common operating picture across the county, since face-to-face meetings are not currently an option. The EOC is also closely monitoring the supplies in the county and working to push out additional supplies as they become available based on where the need is greatest.
“We have a very dedicated group of organizations who are already working on behalf of the community,” said Havens. “We currently have frequent communications across the county to keep one another aware of issues, procedures and opportunities to assist one another.”
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please call the Adena Coronavirus Hotline at 740-542-SAFE or the Fayette Public Health District at (740) 335-5910 for further assessment. If you have symptoms that require immediate medical assistance such as difficulty breathing, call 911 or go to the emergency department. For general information about COVID-19, call the Ohio Department of Health at 1-833-4 ASK ODH.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.