No new confirmed COVID cases


County has 1st person officially recovered, but fight must continue

By Jeff Gilliland - jgilliland@timesgazette.com



Highland County had no new confirmed cases this week of COVID-19 through Friday, and the county also recorded its first case of someone recovering from the coronavirus, Highland County Emergency Operations Center Public Information Officer Branden Jackman said Friday in a news release.

”Well done Highland County, well done indeed,” Jackman said. “For the week that started on April 6, we were tracking six cases in total in the county. Here we are on Friday and we’re tracking five cases. You read that right — Highland County put up no new cases this week and we have our first case listed as officially recovered from COVID-19.”

What that means, Jackman said, is that the county’s residents cannot relax and must continue to do what they have been doing in recent weeks to combat the virus.

”It means what we’re doing as a community is helping us to flatten the curve for our family, friends and neighbors,” Jackman said. “It means to continue to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, it means to cover your cough, it means to not touch your face, it means to physically distance yourself from others, and it means if you are sick, please stay at home.

“We want to continue to stress that should you develop a fever, a dry cough, or trouble breathing and can handle your symptoms without assistance, please do so and stay home. Should you find yourself becoming less able to manage, please call ahead to your doctor or let the 911 dispatcher know you are experiencing symptoms so we don’t needlessly subject our health care system to a possible infection.”

Two previous Facebook Live events presented during the pandemic by the Highland County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), including one held Wednesday, seem to have a good following and stimulate good questions and conversation, Jackman said. He said the questions allay fears and help the county’s residents make better decisions based on good information. He said local residents should watch the Highland County Health Department and Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District Facebook pages for announcements of future Facebook Live events.

He also noted that the Ohio Department of Health has changed the way COVID-19 case information is being delivered to the pulic based on new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Now, Jackman said, “probable total” cases and deaths are being reported.

”As we discussed in previous press releases, laboratory confirmed cases have limited value as they don’t reflect the true impact of this pandemic,” he said. “Ohio has 1,755 total hospitalizations and of those 548 require intensive care. Those are the numbers that will make or break the local health care system. Those are the numbers we watch on a daily basis. The number of Ohioans who have lost their fight, while tragic, will not push the health care system beyond breaking.”

What the most recent information from the EOC means, Jackman said, is that the flattening of the coronavirus curve is working.

”Continue to fight the good fight. Do not become discouraged because of all the negative information on social media or the 24-hour news cycle on TV. For the size of Ohio’s population, we are faring much better than our neighbors to the east, west and north, two of which who have higher state populations than Ohio,” he said. “Social distancing does not mean you are in this alone. We’re all in this together. Be nice.”

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

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County has 1st person officially recovered, but fight must continue

By Jeff Gilliland

jgilliland@timesgazette.com