ASHLAND -- The Ashland County Health Department (ACHD) reported Friday that a sixth death with COVID-19 has been registered.
"This beloved individual had been ill at home and contracted the virus from a caregiver," said Heather A. Reffett, Health Commissioner at the Ashland County Health Department. "Their passing should stand as a constant reminder that we must all do our part to prevent the spread of the virus."
As of Friday, the COVID-19 local data for Ashland County is: 292 total positive cases. This represents an increase by 48 cases in the last 7 days. Ashland County is averaging 7 new positive cases a day. Of these 55 are active cases, 237 individuals have recovered. There is one individual at the local hospital that has tested positive for COVID-19.
The health department is currently monitoring 288 individuals due to their exposure to the virus. This encompasses data from a local long-term care facility that has 6 staff members and 15 patients that have tested positive and another 87 individuals who have been potentially exposed.
Of the 55 active cases, 10 individuals are asymptomatic, 33 are experiencing mild symptoms, 10 have moderate symptoms and 2 have severe symptoms. ACHD notes that the level of severity in cases is growing.
"We have more people experiencing moderate and severe symptoms than ever before," Reffett said. "It is also noted that of the total number of cases, the cases related to Ashland University represent only 24%.
“In general, we see cases from every walk of our community, from schools to workplaces to social gatherings,” Reffett said. “At this time, many factors are contributing to our high numbers and we are designated in the Red Alert category by the state for a legitimate reason.”
A local, Ashland County example documented by ACHD epidemiologists provides that: An individual attended a wedding at a local event facility on Aug. 29 and was exposed to the virus. That individual went to work and began having COVID-like symptoms on Sept. 6. They tested positive on Sept. 10. On Sept. 13, their co-workers began feeling ill. In total, six co-workers were positive for COVID-19 and 26 were placed in quarantine.
One of the cases attended a family gathering on September 19th. At this time, four family members have tested positive and three others are sick and in quarantine. One of these family members works at a local healthcare facility, one is a student at Ashland University, and one is a teacher. The teacher works at a local elementary school and has 28 significant contacts that are being quarantined, of which 15 are students.
Hence, the health department stated one person attending a wedding has, at minimum, led to 10 positives, 57 in quarantine and many sick individuals pending test results.
ACHD underscores the importance of: 1) staying home if you are ill; 2) do not attend any public gatherings of any size; 3) do not plan social events; and 4) wear a mask.