Hartson confirmed Ashland County's first positive case of COVID-19 Wednesday. 

ASHLAND -- The Ashland County Health Department Department was alerted to the county's first positive case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) Tuesday night, Ashland mayor Matt Miller announced at a noon press conference Wednesday with county leadership and health professionals.

The affected individual had returned from traveling abroad and followed all the recommendations of state and local health professionals up return.

"This situation is the perfect example of how surveillance and monitoring prevents the spread of infection and saves lives," said Jill Harson, the Ashland County Health Department's Coordinator. 

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The individual was instructed to self-isolate for two weeks, and when developing symptoms of COVID-19 during that time decided to call ahead before visiting a medical facility, allowing the staff to prepare and follow its own precautions. 

The individual tested positive and remains in quarantine. To protect the individual's identity, no additional details have been provided by the health department about personal demographics, Hartson said. 

"We were anticipating COVID-19 cases in Ashland, we are anticipating having more. We have prepared for this," Hartson said. 

She encouraged the community to remain calm, and follow guidance on social distancing and self-self-quarentining if they develop symptoms. 

Those who may have come in contact with the affected patient will be contacted and instructed to either self-isolate or self-quarantine.