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Update on Coronavirus From The Jefferson County Health Department

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 5:52pm

By Jefferson County Health Department

Let us reassure you that we do not have any positive cases yet in our county and when we do get a positive case, we will let the constituents of Jefferson County know. 

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(Jefferson County, Ind.) - Jefferson County Health Department continues to monitor the County's status of COVID-19. We are working closely with other Community leaders. 

Testing is very limited at this time; the Indiana State Department of Health is proactively working on this; you must meet certain criteria in order to be tested. We are urging Jefferson County residents to self-quarantine if you experience any symptoms of COVID-19 such as:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry Cough 

Self-quarantine with these symptoms should last until you are fever free for 72 hours (3 days without fever reducing medication) and other symptoms have improved, and at least 7 days have passed since you symptoms appeared. 

Please do not seek medical attention unless you are experiencing life threatening symptoms such as shortness of breath; difficulty breathing; persistent pain arouse; bluish lips or face; fever greater than 102 degrees. Those contacting or going to the Emergency Department without life threatening symptoms are overloading our health care systems, prohibiting those experiencing life- threatening illness from receiving prompt service. Remember that there is a lot of asymptomatic individuals and ones with mild symptoms that will do fine without any intervention. 

Older individuals (>65 years of age) and patients with comorbidities (pre-existing conditions) such as COPD, coronary artery disease/ CHF, and diabetes are examples of high-risk groups. 

We are working with and urging local businesses to not require work excuses from health care providers in order to stay home from work if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. As the health department we are recommending that people with mild symptoms assume that they have the virus and impose self- quarantine for 7 days. See above guideline regarding self-quarantine. 

We are also in contact and working with our surrounding counties that have experiences their first cases of COVID-19. We fully expect to have positive cases in Jefferson County. Please do not let the fact that we have zero cases at this time let you become non-compliant with social distancing and isolation. Let us reassure you that we do not have any positive cases yet in our county and when we do get a positive case, we will let the constituents of Jefferson County know. 

We have been hampered by lack of testing availability and have tried leverage from several different approaches without any success. We have no explanation why there is a shortage but we must move forward as if COVID-19 is now among us. We suspect that testing capabilities will become readily available in the next week or so but still unknown if and when drive up testing will become available to everyone. 

We are hoping to set up biweekly briefings through out Emergency Management Agency (EMA) to keep our county abreast of this continually changing health crisis. 

We continue to follow guidance and directives from the state and federal government. To track information please visit www.jeffersoncounty.in.gov; www.madison-IN.govwww.in.gov/coronavirus; and www.coronavirus.gov for more information. 

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