Tuscarawas County resident being treated for COVID-19

Tuscarawas County resident being treated for COVID-19
Kyle Valentini

Tuscarawas County Health Commissioner, Katie Seward speaks at a press conference along with other members of the health care community as they announce the first case of COVID-19 in Tuscarawas County.


Tuscarawas County has its first case of COVID-19 and all facts point to community spread.

The Tuscarawas County Health Department has been notified of a presumptive positive test result in a resident of Tuscarawas County for coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 from Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital. The individual has not traveled outside of Ohio and had no known exposure to this virus.

The positive case is a 38-year-old male, who is recovering well. Health Commissioner, Katie Seward, said, “We will not be releasing any demographic information relating to this new case. We want to protect the privacy of the individual during this time of illness and will contact anyone who needs to know or take action.”

The Tuscarawas County Health Department, along with local health systems, health care providers, The New Philadelphia City Health Department and community partners have been actively preparing to respond to possible cases of COVID-19 in the community.

“The news of a COVID-19 case in our county is not a surprise. We have been planning and preparing to respond to cases when they occur. We have community interventions in place that are designed to slow transmission in our community while lessening the impact," said Seward. "Our investigation is on-going. Our main goal is to isolate those who are ill, identify close contacts and monitor for illness."

Darrin Lautenschleger, director of community relations at Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital said the patient is under the care of the hospital. He emphasized if community members suspect they have COVID-19 they should seek medical care from their primary care provider and if they do not have a primary care provider they should seek medical care through the Cleveland Clinic telehealth service Express Care online or other reputable telehealth service.

"Please don't come to the Emergency Center for coronavirus testing," Lautenschlager said. "The Emergency Center is set up for those who need the most critical care."

Tents have been set up at the entrance of the hospital's Emergency Center as well as at the hospital's First Care Urgent Care in Dover to screen patients prior to entering the facilities as a precaution.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Those at high risk for illness of COVID-19 are those over 60 with chronic illness or a weakened immune system.

To prevent the spread of disease, TCHD encourages everyone to follow these effective practices:

-Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

-Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.

-Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

-Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

-Avoid contact with sick people.

-Stay home when you are sick.

-Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces – doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, etc.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. Information is being shared as it becomes available on the TCHD Facebook page and on the following websites www.cdc.gov/coronavirus, www.coronavirus.ohio.gov and www.tchdnow.org.

People with questions about COVID-19 can call the Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

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