Eleven Lab Confirmed Cases in Union County: The Union County Health Department is now reporting 11 lab confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Union County residents.
As of 1 p.m. on April 13, five adult females and six adult males have tested positive for COVID-19. The age-range of cases remains 31-83 years old with a median age of 48 and an average age of 51.5 years old. The illness onset ranges from Mar. 1 to Apr. 3. One individual is hospitalized. Six individuals have recovered.
Thus far, nine of the 11 lab confirmed cases have either been healthcare workers, individuals with travel history, or connected with a known case of COVID-19. Two cases have unknown exposure. Similar to our case counts, we share this piece of information with caution as this is likely more of a reflection of testing shortages and subsequent targeted testing rather than a true representation of the virus within our community.
A contact investigation is underway to identify and notify close contacts of the individual. Close contacts will be notified by public health. Close contacts will be assessed for symptoms and instructed to self- quarantine (separate themselves from others and not go to any public places) for 14 days while monitoring for symptoms. If you are not notified by public health, you are not considered a close contact with increased risk.
Close contacts of an ill person are typically:
- individuals living in the same home,
- intimate partners,
- individuals providing home care for an ill person without using recommended precautions,
individuals who have had close contact (within 6 feet of the ill person) for a prolonged period of time (definitions for prolonged time vary from 10 minutes or more to 30 minutes when speaking in terms outside of providing medical care)
The Union County Health Department will not release additional personal information regarding the ill individual in compliance with HIPAA and Protected Health Information laws. Public health will not release a listing of locations visited by the individual unless the contact investigation warrants such an announcement in order to protect the health of the public.
Testing Remains Limited & Targeted: Testing supplies remain very limited in the US and Ohio. Due to this limited capacity, testing in Ohio is targeted to hospitalized patients, ill healthcare workers, ill first responders, and ill persons in a long-term care setting. There is some limited testing of ill persons who are age 65 and older or ill persons who have underlying medical conditions, but these instances are made in consultation with the individual’s healthcare provider, the Union County Health Department and the Ohio Department of Health.
Increasing Contact Tracing Capacity: The Union County Health Department has increased our capacity to do contact tracing for confirmed and probable cases. Contact tracing is a proven public health tool to slow the spread of contagious diseases. Contact tracing begins with a detailed interview of a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19. Through this interview, those contacts of the ill person who may be at increased risk for exposure are then notified and instructed to self-quarantine. With the CDC announcing last week and expanded definition for probable cases of COVID-19, increasing contact tracing capacity was vital as we prepare for reporting of probable cases*.
*A probable case is determined by a healthcare provider and/or the Union County Health Department. These individuals must meet a specific CDC definition. A probable case is not self-reported by an ill person or used widely for anyone with a cough and/or fever. A healthcare provider and/or the Union County Health Department must determine if the symptoms along with other diagnostic tools indicate the ill person falls within the CDC definition for a probable case.
Ohio (Apr. 13) / 6,881 confirmed cases / 2,033 hospitalizations / 268 confirmed deaths / 54 median age