Health department declares Public Health Emergency


GREENVILLE – The Darke County General Health District has declared a “Public Health Emergency” following the release of its first confirmed case of COVID-19 Coronavirus.

“Coronavirus is present in our community,” Darke County’s Health Commissioner Dr. Terrance Holman stated.

The announcement comes after the county health department received word early Tuesday morning of the positive test results of a patient that has been described only as being male and in his twenties. The patient returned home from a trip from Florida on Monday, March 9 when he began showing signs of illness prompting him to seek care. Testing was conducted on Thursday, March 12 at which point he was placed under isolation where he will now remain for a minimum of 14 days.

According to a release from the Darke County General Health District, “The patient is being isolated, is in good condition and being treated at home by his family doctor.” The Darke County Health Department is working with the Ohio Department of Health to conduct contact tracing to determine if any of his contacts have contracted the virus or have become sick. Those contacts who are not sick will be asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days.

Although the number of people he may have had contact with since his return home was not released, it was discussed during the county’s press conference that it is being investigated. “We do know he returned home on a flight from Florida and we are in the process of notifying the airline that was used,” stated Dr. Holman. “We are in the process off contacting those he may have had contact with and remain in constant communication with the patient,” he continued.

Dr. Holman warns that if you have not been in contact with this individual and are not called by the health department staff, your risk is low.

The Darke County Health Department does not conduct testing for the COVID-19 Coronavirus. “At this time the only way to be tested is by a physicians order,” added Dr. Holman. When an order is received you are requested to contact your area hospital to be advised on when and where you should report.”

“We are still very early in this situation. Darke County has had numerous procedures in place over the last couple of weeks to allow us to be better prepared for this instance. You want to be preemptive, not reactive.”

Dr. Terrance Holman was joined by members of his team at the Darke County Health Department to announce a Public Health Emergency. Terrance Holman was joined by members of his team at the Darke County Health Department to announce a Public Health Emergency. Jim Comer |

By Jim Comer

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