Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) are reporting the first two cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Franklin County outside of the City of Columbus. The residents are a 52-year-old male and a 35-year-old male.
FCPH is actively working to identify those who may have come in contact with the confirmed cases.
“The first cases of COVID-19 in our health jurisdiction, though not a surprise are, however, a reminder for our residents to continue taking the necessary precautions to protect the health of themselves and their families,” said Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola.
“This is an ever-evolving situation and we will continue to notify the public as things change,” he added.
“Franklin County Public Health is working across its health jurisdiction with the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, 14 cities, 17 townships, 10 villages, 13 school districts, and dozens of healthcare, social services and other partners to prevent and contain the spread of the virus,” said Dr. Tom Rudge, President of the Franklin County Board of Health.
President of the Franklin County Commissioners John O’ Grady echoed Rudge’s sentiments about the partnerships that will come into play to slow COVID-19. “All of county government is coordinating with our public health partners to ensure a comprehensive approach is taken to protect our employees and residents, particularly those who are most at-risk,” he said.
According to ODH and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) areas of the United States including Ohio are experiencing “community spread” of the virus that causes COVID-19. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area where there is no travel history to other affected areas. Experts from both ODH and CDC expect the number of cases nationwide to continue to increase.
As a reminder for the public, symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Fever (with a temperature of or higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius)
- Shortness of breath
If a person believes they may have symptoms or have come in contact with a positive COVID-19 case, they should call a physician or urgent care for next steps. It is strongly discouraged to show up to your healthcare provider office or hospitals at random, which can risk the health of others. In addition, FCPH urges those with symptoms to take the following steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Stay at home if you’re sick
- Separate yourself from others in your home
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, often
- Sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve to prevent germs
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
What FCPH is doing:
- Sharing information and meeting as needed with city, township and village leaders
- Communicating and providing guidance to our childcare, schools and universities.
- Participating in frequent calls with the ODH and monitoring all information from the CDC.
- Along with our partners at Columbus Public Health, we have sent information to healthcare providers in our area with current recommendations for screening and testing for COVID-19, as well as to EMS providers regarding proper protection procedures.
- Sharing messaging with partners and the public as it becomes available.
Learn more about COVID-19 at covid-19.myfcph.org or you can reach out to the ODH call center at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).