County surpasses 400 COVID cases; 14 new positives reported Thursday

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Wayne County Health Department reported 14 new COVID-19 positive cases Thursday, Aug. 13, pushing Wayne County to 402 cases since the pandemic begin locally.

“This week has been noisy when it comes to the numbers being reported,” said Christine Stinson, the health department’s executive director, in a news release.

She said the number of cases has kept Wayne County with a low overall positivity rate of 3.8. That means of all the tests conducted in Wayne County, only 3.8% have been positive in the rolling seven days.

Stinson said since schools have started, the work of case investigation and contact tracing is increasing when a student is diagnosed with COVID-19. Health officials and the schools have been working closely to quickly identify close contacts.

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“We have scores of students who have been identified as close contacts of a COVID-19 individual,” said Wayne County Health Officer Dr. David Jetmore. “This leads to scores of students out of school on a 14-day quarantine.”

Officials are reminding anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home. Those who have tested positive must follow the requirements of public health officials and isolate at home for 10 days.

Those who have been identified as a close contact of a COVID-positive person are required to quarantine for 14 days. Those who become symptomatic during their 14-day isolation are asked to contact their healthcare provider for further instructions.

“We all have to work together to combat this virus, to protect the most vulnerable in our community, to keep our children in school and to protect our economy,” Jetmore said.

Stinson said there a few things each of us can and must do, with the most important being staying home when sick, and doing better at wearing masks when in public. Practicing physical social distancing is also key.

“In large events with large crowds, this is sometimes difficult to do, so avoid large crowds,” Stinson said.

She said many of the transmissions are linked to large events, when more than 20 people are gathering and are not wearing mask and social distancing.

In addition, residents are urged to practice good hand hygiene and disinfection of high-touch surfaces.

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include:
• Fever
• Cough
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Fatigue
• Muscle or body aches
• Headache
• Chills
• Sore Throat
• New loss of taste or smell
• Congestion or runny nose
• Nausea or vomiting
• Diarrhea

Free tests
The OptumServe site continues to offer free community COVID-19 testing. The site is the former Elder-Beerman store at 601 E. Main St., Richmond. Hours are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays– Fridays. Those interested in a test are highly encouraged to register for an appointment at lhi.car/covidtesting or via phone at (888) 634-1116. Stinson said walk-ins are welcome most of the time.

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