COVID-19 Update

Our agency will continue to update the residents of Auglaize County as quickly as we can regarding COVID-19. The Ohio Department of Health has setup an information website regarding COVID-19 and useful information at




What is it?: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is an upper respiratory tract disease caused by one of the seven coronaviruses known to infect humans. It was first identified in humans in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. The virus that causes COVID-19 is called SARS-CoV-2. Health experts are concerned because little is known about this new virus and because of its potential to cause severe illness in some people.


The outbreak has been declared a public health emergency by the U.S. and the World Health Organization. ODH has declared COVID-19, a Class A reportable infectious disease. This means any confirmed or possible case must be reported immediately to a local health district, which will report it to ODH. It will then be reported to the CDC. Required reporters include health care providers, laboratory administrators, and any individuals having knowledge of a person with COVID-19. As of today there are 97,841 confirmed cases world wide with 53,786 cases that have fully recovered from the virus. 


COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally must be within 6 feet of someone who is contagious and come into contact with these droplets. COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person and someone who is actively sick with the disease can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.


Symptoms: Symptoms appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Reported cases have ranged from mild illness (similar to a common cold) to severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization.


Most people who become sick do not require hospitalization, but older adults, people with chronic health conditions, and people with compromised immune systems are more likely to require more advanced care.


Prevention: There are currently no vaccines to prevent COVID-19. The best means of prevention against COVID-19 and seasonal viruses is to Implement personal prevention methods such as:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Also, clean high-touch areas – counters, tables, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, nightstands – every day using household cleaning spray or wipes according to label directions.

What should you do?:

  • Should I wear a mask? The use of face masks by people who are not sick is not recommended to protect against respiratory diseases. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent spread of the disease and by health care workers and others taking care of someone in a close setting.
  • How do I prepare? ODH has created a helpful handout for anyone looking to prepare for a potential COVID-19 outbreak in your area.
  • Should I be worried? With numbers increasing and signs of community spread in areas, it is very likely that local cases will occur at some point. But this does not mean we need to panic. Planning and Prevention are key. Make efforts to avoid and prevent contracting COVID-19 and other viruses by practicing hand washing and good hygiene. Get your Flu shot. Begin planning and having discussions with your staff, organizations, and family regarding having supplies on hand and how to handle self isolation.
Thursday, March 5, 2020

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