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COVID tops 100 cases in Washington and Holmes counties

Staff Writer
Washington County News
Washington County News

WASHINGTON AND HOLMES COUNTIES ---The Washington and Holmes Health Department reported that as of June 25 both counties have peaked 100 cases and continue to climb.

In Washington County there have been a total of 103 cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to date. Out of the 103 cases 54 of those are from a Washington County Long-Term Care facility. This number reflects residents and staff that reside in Washington County. The individuals and all contacts have been monitored by Washington County Health Department epidemiology staff and Long-Term Care staff to contain the spread of this disease. Out of the 103 cases of COVID-19, 52 have recovered and are no longer monitored.

In Holmes County, the health department reported that there has been a total of 138 cases of 2019 coronavirus disease. Out of the 138 cases of COVID-19, 96 of those are associated with an outbreak at the Holmes Correctional Institution. Out of the 42 not associated with the Correctional Institution, 32 have recovered and are no longer monitored.

Karen Johnson, Washington County Health Officer stated, "We encourage everyone to remain vigilant and continue practicing preventive actions listed below. As we continue to monitor the situation, we will notify the public through county press releases as significant changes occur. We will continue to send the Florida Dept of Health release daily. This release will have the Dashboard that has the numbers for each county. The link is https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/.”

From June 1st - June 23rd there have been 828 COVID-19 tests collected on Washington County residents with 783 of those being negative. Free COVID-19 testing is available at the Health Department Thursday & Friday 10:00 am & 2:00 pm. Call ahead for directions. Other testing sites are available: June 8th – 30th Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 9am-12pm at the Health Department Annex 1177 East US Hwy 90 Bonifay; Monday – Friday Northwest Florida Community Hospital 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

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.

COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets may land on objects and surfaces. Other people may contract COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

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.

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 Washington County Health Department is also operating a call center in house and may be reached at 850-845-5105.

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.