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Coronavirus In Tuscarawas County Has Health Officials Working 'Around The Clock'

A ventilator helps a COVID-19 patient breath inside the Coronavirus Unit at United Memorial Medical Center, Monday, July 6, 2020, in Houston.
David J. Phillip
Associated Press

Tuscarawas County and Franklin County are both on the state's watch list for severe exposure and spread of COVID-19. Next week, the counties might move up to purple – the highest level of concern – on Ohio's Public Health Advisory System.

Tuscarawas health commissioner Katie Seward says the virus is spreading across the county and cannot be pinpointed to one single location or congregation.

“At the current time, we do have active cases in every township in Tuscarawas County," Seward said. "The cases continue to come in by the minute, so we are working pretty much around the clock to try to keep up with contact tracing, and we just don’t really see an end in sight at the current time.”

Seward also says that small groups of asymptomatic people are spreading it to other household members, co-workers and friends through close contact.

"I think that the testing helps with compliance. So if someone knows that they tested positive, then they're more willing to stay home for the full 10 days that's required for them to not pass it on to others," Seward said. "What we're seeing is a lot of people who have mild symptoms think that it's a cold or sinus infection and continue to work. And then, unfortunately, expose others who may not have such a mild reaction to the virus. And then our hospital numbers are going up."

The county health department has reported over 500 cases per 100,000 residentsover the past two weeks, with an increase in new daily hospital admissions.

Seward is encouraging people to get tested, and wants people to be aware that the virus could already be present in their body around two days before symptoms appear.

People with mild or flu-like symptoms could also be infected and should get tested as well as isolate from others to decrease spread.

The county health department is posting daily updates on its Facebook pagewith active case numbers, hospitalizations, outpatient visits and emergency department visits.

Jay Shah is an aspiring broadcast journalist pursuing a Master of Arts in media and journalism at Kent State University. Jay’s student media career began as an undergraduate student at Old Westbury Web Radio (OWWR) of the State University of New York College at Old Westbury. She is passionate about raising community awareness on social justice, and environmental issues as well as local music and art. Her spare time involves attending local music showcases, experimenting with weird food combinations and painting. Jay wishes to use her journalistic abilities for providing a voice to the voiceless.