COVID-19 testing

ASHLAND -- The Ashland County Health Department (ACHD) announced Friday, June 12 that it has received confirmation of the 23rd through 27th positive laboratory test results for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Ashland residents.

Of these five new cases, four individuals were exposed to the virus at mass gatherings – a wedding, church service, and auction – where safety precautions were not observed.  

“If safety precautions had been in place, particularly staying home when ill, wearing a face covering and keeping six feet apart, at least four of these new infections could likely have been avoided,” said Heather Reffett, ACHD’s Health Commissioner. “It is vital that we protect our health and the health of others by adopting these simple and effective precautions.”

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According to the press release, two of these cases were found June 3. Case number 25 was identified June 4. Case number 26 was recorded June 8. The most recent case was found June 9.

In addition to staying home when ill, practicing social distancing, and wearing a face covering, individuals should wash hands frequently and disinfect surfaces often.

“With more and more people congregating to celebrate special occasions or to participate in reopened activities, we need to be mindful of how far we have come and not lose sight of how much is at stake if we become careless,” Reffett cautioned.

She went on to explain how basic reproduction number, or R0 (R naught), shows how contagious a disease is without intervention. With no interventions in place, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated COVID-19’s R0 at 2.5. An R0 number of 2.5 means a COVID-19 carrier could spread the virus to two to three people. 

According to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Ohio’s R0 number was as high as 1.9 in March but as of June 1, it was slightly lower than 1. The decrease was a direct result of the interventions Ohio implemented. Ohio’s Region 5, which includes Ashland, currently sits at 0.72 R0.    

To minimize the risk of infecting healthcare workers, individuals should call ahead before seeking medical care to discuss symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, diarrhea, vomiting, conjunctivitis, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. 

Of the 27 positive cases, 22 individuals have recovered and five are recovering. ACHD is currently working with 44 individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19.  

 Additional information about COVID-19 is available at the ODH website, ODH also staffs a Call Center 7 days a week from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. The number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

The following is a history of the number of confirmed laboratory cases of COVID-19 in Ashland, Ohio:

  • Case #23 on June 3, 2020
  • Case #24 on June 3, 2020
  • Case #25 on June 4, 2020
  • Case #26 on June 8, 2020
  • Case #27 on June 9, 2020