The Jackson County Health Department has investigated a total of nine positive cases of Coronavirus or COVID-19 for residents of Jackson County. At the time of print, there had been 34 tests come back negative for the virus. The first case was identified on Friday, March 13, and the patient had been in quarantine prior to seeking medical treatment and has since fully recovered and has returned to work. The remaining six cases are currently in quarantine and the Health Department is checking in with family and/or friends who were listed as contacts to the individuals each day of the required 14 day quarantine.

The Health Department has a vital role in the tracking of this disease outbreak, which is what they do every day with other communicable diseases diagnosed among community members. Once a positive test has been identified, the Health Department is notified by the lab running the test. Following this notification, the Health Department reports the positive lab result to the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, Department of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology. The patient is then followed up with by the public health nurse at the Health Department where a number of questions regarding potential work, personal, and family contacts are identified. The patient with the positive lab test is then asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from the day they became symptomatic. The Health Department checks in with this patient every day for 14 days to assess symptoms and to see if any issues have arisen that need medical care.

Upon getting information on any business or individuals that were in direct contact with a patient, the Health Department’s staff will then notify each contact they may have been expose to someone who has tested positive. With COVID-19, any person who has potentially come in contact with a lab confirmed positive case will be asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days to watch for signs and symptoms of the disease. In this particular scenario, an individual would be monitoring themselves for any signs of fever, cough and/or shortness of breath during those 14 days. During this time period, those in quarantine should avoid all public places, work, and/or school.

The Jackson County Health Department and its community partners are working tirelessly to keep our residents safe from this outbreak. However, you must also play your role in this large endeavor. DO NOT go out unless absolutely necessary or if you are considered an essential employee for your employer. If you begin to feel ill, and feel you cannot manage your symptoms at home, call your medical provider prior to going anywhere. There will be some individuals whose symptoms will be mild to moderate and can be managed at home. This outbreak must be taken seriously in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. If you feel your symptoms are becoming severe, call for medical assistance and alert them to your symptoms.

For more information on Coronavirus or COVID-19, you may call the Jackson County Health Department at (304) 372-2634. You may also follow us on FaceBook at “Jackson County Health Department – Moovin’ and Groovin’ to Change Lives” for timely county updates. You may also visit cdc.gov or dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19 .