GREENVILLE – After announcing 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Darke County on Sunday, the Darke County Health Department issued a statement on Monday announcing the death of one of the confirmed cases.
The statement read, “It is with great sadness that we announce the county’s first death, a 76-year-old man, who tested positive for COVID-19. While there are no words that can mend a grieving heart, we do extend our deepest sympathies to the family.”
The local health department warned that as the cases begin, the county may see more fatalities. “No one is immune to this virus and it will spread to all ages, races, and income earners. Please continue to stay at home and practice social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” said the statement.
In addition to the death, 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the county, with an additional positive being reported on Monday. This brings the county total to 13.
It was reported on Sunday that 10 of the 12 confirmed cases were at Greenville Health & Rehab. All 10 are residents of the facility. Monday’s confirmed case was not associated with any of the other cases. None of the cases are being hospitalized.
On Sunday, the health department shared the facility was taking proper actions to help prevent the spread but other residents have experienced COVID-19 related symptoms and are awaiting test results.
The health department noted that Greenville Health & Rehab as eliminated communal dining and activities. All ill residents are moved a “quarantine wing” and there are dividers up to prevent other residents from wandering in. Residents and staff are wearing masks at all times. In addition to masks, staff is wearing gowns, gloves and face shields when working with patients. Roommates of ill residents are being isolated. Staff members who work more than one job have been instructed to not work at any other facilities at this time.
The Darke County Health Department is working with Greenville Health and Rehabilitation to assure staff has the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The Health Department is also receiving reports daily from the facility on the status of residents and staff health and will continue to do so until symptoms of COVID-19 are no longer present.
COVID-19 can be spread by an individual before that person shows any symptoms or feels ill. While most COVID-19 cases are mild, it’s very infectious and those who are 60 years old or older and those with long term medical conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, are at higher risk of developing severe symptoms. The Darke County Health Department wants to remind younger people that not only are they potential carriers of COVID-19 and could pass it along to older people, they can also become ill as well. This is a community spread situation and it is important that everyone do their part to help stop the spread of disease by practicing social distancing and maintaining a 6-foot distance from other people and staying home when you are sick. Also, please follow these health tips:
• Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home while you are sick. Maintain a 6-foot distance from other people as necessary.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
The Darke County Health Department does not diagnose, test or treat Coronavirus COVID-19. If you are feeling sick or have questions about your personal health, please contact your health care provider or an urgent care provider. Emergency rooms should only be used for immediate life-threatening conditions.
This is a rapidly evolving situation. The Ohio Department of Health is projecting higher numbers over the next couple of weeks. Please stay home unless it is necessary that you go out. The Darke County Health Department will continue to update the public as circumstances warrant.
For more information you may visit coronavirus.ohio.gov. or darkecountyhealth.org. You may also call ODH COVID-19 Hotline for questions at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH. The Health Department also has a line you can call for COVID-19 related questions, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 937-548-4196 option 5.