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Why Seneca County’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 wasn’t included in the state’s numbers Tuesday

TiffinOhio.net Staff

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Seneca County Health Commissioner Beth Schweitzer, MPH

After Seneca County confirmed its first positive novel coronavirus (COVID-19) test on Monday, it was not included in numbers from the Ohio Department of Health released at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Why?

Seneca County Health Commissioner Beth Schweitzer, MPH, told TiffinOhio.net News that local health officials entered the information into the ODRS (Ohio Disease Reporting System), and that she’s “not sure” why it wasn’t included in the state’s numbers.

“Our nurses have entered all the data into the data base we are requested to use. We aren’t sure why it was not in today’s list,” Schweitzer said.

During Governor Mike DeWine’s daily press conference on Tuesday, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton explained there can be a “lag time” between the local reporting of confirmed cases and it being updated in the state’s database.

“What I’ve noticed is happening is that sometimes that data comes right before or after 2 [p.m.], it’s happening at the local level. The local health departments will have the most information in the quickest time frame,” Acton said.

“They actually enter it into something called the ODRS, Ohio Disease Reporting System, that goes to our epidemiologists at the state level. It’s the same way we get all the testing out from the hospitals. There’s a lag time in the reporting from the front lines, they’re so busy right now, it’s an overwhelming time,” Acton added.

Acton also said: “That process just keeps that flow of information a little slower than what the media’s actually able to get out on the front lines.”

The positive test in Seneca County was recorded in a 52-year-old woman who lives in Seneca County, according to a news release from the local health department on Monday.

The health department will attempt to notify anyone who may have been in contact with the woman recently.

“The virus is believed to be present in many areas of Ohio, even if those counties have not yet tested a person confirmed to have COVID-19. No additional personal information about the Seneca County case will be provided in order to protect personal privacy,” the release from Beth Schweitzer, Seneca County Health Commissioner, states.

Protect Yourself from Coronavirus

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

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