PAULDING – The Paulding County Health Department reports that a Paulding County resident has tested positive for COVID-19.

This is the first lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 test result for Paulding County. No personal information about the case will be released, in order to protect the privacy of the individual. PCHD staff will work diligently to identify and notify any close contacts that may have been exposed to this positive case.

Individual cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in many areas of Ohio, including Northwest Ohio. PCHD, along with area hospitals, healthcare providers and community partners have been actively preparing to respond to possible cases of COVID-19 in our community. Orders and guidance from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, along with Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D. and Paulding County Health Department Health Commissioner Joseph M. Kuhn, D.O. outline how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include (but are not limited to) fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. These symptoms can appear up to 14 days after exposure to an infectious person. According to the CDC, COVID-19 spread primarily through respiratory droplets, produced when a person coughs or sneezes. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including death.

Most healthy people recover, but need to be isolated from others while they are contagious. Those at highest risk for illness of COVID-19 are those over age 60 with chronic illness or a weakened immune system.

Paulding County Health Department encourages everyone to follow the disease prevention practices:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

• Practice social distancing by avoiding gatherings and remaining at least 6 feet away from others.

• Avoid contact with sick people.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces or objects.

• Stay home if you are exhibiting signs of illness. Call ahead to your provider or the ER if your symptoms worsen and you feel the need to be seen. Calling ahead gives your healthcare team time to prepare for your arrival and protect themselves and other patients.

For more information on COVID-19, including ways you can prepare and help protect the health of yourself and others, go to www.coronavirus.ohi.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH. You can also follow PCHD on Facebook for up-to-date information.