25 new cases of covid-19 at Columbia Correctional Institution

  • There are now 92 cases total in the county.
    There are now 92 cases total in the county.
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Twenty-five new cases of covid-19 have been confirmed at Columbia Correctional Institution, the Department of Health in Columbia County said late Sunday morning.

That raises to 92 the total number of cases in the county.

DOH-Columbia is now conducting its contact investigation and working on identifying and notifying individuals who will need to self-monitor for symptoms for a 14-day period. Contact investigations are a critical way for staff epidemiologists to track and prevent the spread of disease.

The CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Covid-19 symptoms and treatment

The symptoms of covid-19 can mirror illnesses such as influenza. Patients with covid-19 typically display symptoms such as fever (100.4°F or higher), cough, and/or shortness of breath within 2 to 14 days of exposure to the virus. Approximately 80% of those affected with covid-19 report mild to moderate illness and experience a complete recovery. Some experience more severe illness. People who are more vulnerable to the illness include individuals who are over age 65 with underlying health conditions, immunocompromised, ill or have underlying chronic health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes.

Many cases of covid-19 can be managed at home by treating symptoms, and this is encouraged.

However, if you develop worsening symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or inability to drink fluids, contact 911 and advise them of your symptoms as you may need treatment at a hospital.

Covid-19 overview, symptoms, and general prevention

Covid-19 is a new type of coronavirus; coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals. Other coronaviruses include the common cold and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Symptoms of covid-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure. Most people recover from the COVID-19 without needing special treatment. The elderly and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent covid-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. As a reminder, the Department always recommends everyday preventive actions to help impede the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick;

• Staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health;

• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;

• Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then disposing of the tissue;

• Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty; and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

For more guidance

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 visit https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/ and

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

State Call Center Available 24/7

Individuals can call the statewide COVID-19 hotline 24/7 at 866-779-6121 or COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

Health care providers should continue to call DOH epidemiology staff if they have questions regarding testing.