WASHINGTON and HOLMES COUNTIES — The Washington County Health Department (WCHD) announces additional cases of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Washington County. One individual is a 68-year-old female and the other individual is a 33-year-old male. Both individuals are under investigation. This totals 16 positive COVID-19 cases in Washington County.


The Holmes County Health Department (HCHD) announces an additional cases of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Holmes County. One individual is a 36-year-old male and the other individual is a 33-year-old male. Both individuals are under investigation. This totals 13 COVID-19 cases in Holmes County.


Karen Johnson, Washington County Health Officer stated, "We will be working closely with the family, close contacts and healthcare providers to determine what additional COVID-19 testing may be required. We are also coordinating with local and state officials to ensure proper precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of the virus. I want to stress that we need to continue to protect those who are most at risk – individuals age 65 and older and those with underlying medical conditions.”


Most people recover from the COVID-19 without needing special treatment. The elderly and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.


People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported- ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:


•Fever


•Cough


•Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing


•Chills


•Repeated shaking with chills


•Muscle pain


•Headache


•Sore throat


•New loss of taste or smell


If a person experiences any of the symptoms above, has had close contact with someone showing the symptoms listed above or have had contact with a person that has laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, they should call ahead to a health care professional and the county Health Department. The health care professional will work with the department to determine if the person should be tested for COVID-19.


There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. As a reminder, the Department always recommends everyday preventive actions to help impede the spread of respiratory diseases, including:


• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick


• Staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health


• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hand;


• Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then disposing of the tissue


• Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol


• Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty


• Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.


Please visit the Department's dedicated COVID-19 webpage at www.FloridaHealth.gov/COVID-19. This remains the best and most up-to-date resource for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida.


For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department's dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-866-779-6121 or emailing COVID-19@flhealth.gov. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Holmes County Health Department is also operating a call center in house and may be reached at 850-614-6045.


In addition, please visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/all-county-locations.html to locate and obtain contact information for your local CHD.


The CDC also has a website with information related to COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.