ZANESVILLE, Ohio – With a fourth case of coronavirus in Ohio announced Wednesday, local agencies are taking precautions.
Around 3:30 p.m., the Muskingum County Health Department and the Muskingum County Center for Seniors held a press conference in response to the virus.
The health department is urging people to avoid large social gatherings and practice social distancing. Dr. Jack Butterfield says this is not a time to panic but there are precautions people can make.
“There is now a fourth case of Coronavirus in Ohio. The significance of this case is it was a community spread infection. Which means this is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a patient who has no travel history and no known exposure to another patient with COVID-19. So, that means in Ohio it is spreading in the community. We knew this was coming, today is the day that it has arrived. That also makes it a game changing day because of community spread, We have to give much more attention to the potential for this disease to spread in what we call mass gatherings,” Butterfield said.
Dr. Butterfield says the Health Department has advised the Muskingum County Center for Seniors regarding the virus.
Executive Director Anna Combs for the Muskingum County Center for Seniors is cancelling all activities at their three locations until further notice starting Thursday. They will also not be serving meals at the centers but will offer them to-go.
Combs says everyone in the community should look after seniors in the community.
“During this time, it is imperative that we pull together as a community. Our seniors have families and friends. If there’s someone in your church that you think might be vulnerable I encourage you [to] please pick up the phone, reach out to that senior and make sure that they’re okay. I ask you to keep in mind those seniors as we face this together as a community. That we pull together, ask what their needs are and try to be there to serve that need.”
On Wednesday, Governor DeWine ordered limitations for nursing home and assisted living visitors.
Schools in grades K-12 are not closing at this time, according to Dr. Butterfield.
For more information from the health department, go to their website.
The Ohio Department of Health has opened a call center for questions regarding the virus. They will be open everyday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and can be reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.
For more information regarding the virus, go to the CDC website.