COVID-19 has been confirmed in Columbia County, state health officials announced shortly before noon Sunday.
The patient is a 46-year-old woman.
The Florida Department of Health in Columbia County 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.
As Columbia County sees its first confirmed case, DOH-Columbia Administrator Tom Moffses emphasized the importance of mitigation practices in preventing the spread of the virus.
“We anticipate additional cases of COVID-19 to appear in our community due to the contagiousness of the virus and how widespread it is across the world,” Moffses said. "However, if we work together using smart mitigation practices, we can reduce COVID-19’s impact on our community. We must practice social distancing, stay home when sick, frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, cover coughs and sneezes, and follow CDC prevention guidelines to stop the spread of the virus.”
Social distancing measures that have included the closure of schools and recommendations to cancel gatherings of more than 10 individuals are two of the ways that health officials hope to prevent the speed of the virus’ spread in the state. Preventing the speed and spread of the virus would “flatten the curve” and prevent the overwhelming of our health care systems.
DOH-Columbia has been monitoring COVID-19 since January and been in contact with Columbia County Emergency Management and medical providers to prepare response activities in the event we were to see cases in Columbia.