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March 24, 2020 3:00 PM

The City of Kent has its first confirmed case of COVID-19.

The Kent City Health Department (KCHD) has been notified of a positive test result for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a resident of the City of Kent.

KCHD is working to identify close contacts of the patient, who is currently hospitalized, to determine if they require testing or monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19. The patient is a 69-year-old male who as we know fits into the high-risk category. This case has no relation to the Kent firefighter who had tested positive and has since recovered.

KCHD, along with the hospital, healthcare providers, and community partners have been actively preparing to respond to possible cases of COVID-19 in the community.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person. According to the CDC, COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Those at high risk for illness of COVID-19 are those over 60 with chronic illness or a weakened immune system.

KCHD is urging people in the community to follow these preventative measures to prevent further spread of this disease:
• Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve when possible.
• Wash your hand with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; use a hand sanitizer when soap or water is not available.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Stay home if you are ill except to visit your healthcare provider.
• Clean and disinfect all high-touch items and surfaces every day.
• Follow the social distancing and Shelter in Place directives of Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

For information about COVID-19, call the Ohio Department of Health call center at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH. The call center is open every day from 9:00am-8:00pm.

Additional information on COVID-19 can be found on the Kent City Health Department webpage, the Ohio Department of Health website at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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