GREENVILLE — A pair of recent WHIO articles highlighted Darke County as a hot spot for COVID-19 cases.
The first report indicated that Darke County, along with Mercer and Champaign, are in the top ten counties in Ohio for active coronavirus cases per capita. The second report stated that Rest Haven, a nursing home in Greenville, recorded the largest outbreak of coronavirus cases for long-term care facilities in Ohio this week. As it currently stands, 55 residents and four staff members at Rest Haven have tested positive for the virus.
In reference to the two WHIO articles, The Daily Advocate spoke extensively with Darke County Health Commissioner, Dr. Terrence Holman, about the spread of the virus in the county. Holman continued to extol the virtues of taking proper safety precautions when out in public.
“As it currently goes, the virus is here to stay,” said Holman. “It is of the utmost importance that we keep the spread as low as possible by continuing to practice proper safety measures and taking good care of each other in public settings.”
Holman furthered this by explaining that coronavirus cases in Darke County are split about fifty-fifty between community spread and long-term housing facilities such as nursing homes and jails. Community spread refers to cases that are not in housing facilities, and have spread as a result of someone contracting the virus in a public setting. A majority of the community spread, Holman confirmed, has come from the virus spreading within the household family setting.
“The spread of the virus outside of long-term facilities has come mainly from a family member bringing the virus back from work or being out, and spreading it to family members within their household.” Holman noted.
Along with wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, Holman emphasized good hand hygiene, the regular sanitizing of surfaces, and trying, at all possible times, to avoid areas that aren’t well ventilated. As is often brought up, the coronavirus is entirely new, so many of the details surrounding its spread and treatment are being studied as time progresses.
“This is a novel virus,” Holman reminded. “Which means we don’t know much about it yet and not many people have immunity. Until we can reach a point in which a majority of people have some level of immunity, the virus presents a very real public health issue.”
Holman concluded by reminding Darke County residents that it is important to remain cautious, and to recognize the dangers that the virus presents to the elderly and those with preexisting health complications.
Through August 13, the Health Department reported 427 confirmed cased of COVID-19 in Darke County, resulting in 29 deaths (25 confirmed, 4 probable).