On a day where information is flying left and right in regards to the COVID-19 Virus the Grays Harbor County Public Health and Social Services released information earlier in the day on Wednesday that there were no confirmed cases of the virus in persons on the harbor and that two that had been awaiting results had gotten negative test results back, and a few hours later now have released a statement that there is one confirmed case on the harbor and that the man is in isolation at Community Hospital.
Grays Harbor Public Health officials are reporting the County’s first case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The man in his 60s is in isolation and receiving care at Grays Harbor Community Hospital. The man says that he has not traveled outside the United States before becoming ill.
Public Health is working with the patient’s family to identify and evaluate persons who had close contact with him while he was contagious. Persons believed to be exposed will be asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days past their last exposure and report any symptoms to Public Health.
“We have expected and planned for this,” said Dr. John Bausher, the County’s Public Health Officer. “The public health system works every day to track and follow up on cases of disease exposure. The virus is new, but the public health response is not.”
The risk of COVID-19 in Washington is increasing and Public Health expects that more cases will be identified now that the criteria for testing have broadened.
Most cases are mild
The number of cases are increasing, but the vast majority of the illnesses in the U.S. and around the world are mild, with fever and cough. About eighty percent of people infected with novel coronavirus have not needed hospital care. A much smaller percentage of cases are more severe and involve pneumonia, particularly in elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions.
When to seek medical evaluation and advice
If you have symptoms like cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, contact your regular doctor first. Do not go to the emergency room unless you need emergency care. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.
If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
If you’re over 60 or you have underlying conditions like diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, and weakened immune system, come up with a plan with your doctor to identify your health risks for COVID-19 and how to manage symptoms. Contact your doctor right away if you do have symptoms.
Today, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee announced new community strategies and social distancing plans for: King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties. Grays Harbor Public Health will continue to monitor statewide guidance and our health officer, Dr. Bausher, will adjust local recommendations as needed.
Grays Harbor County Public Health provides up-to-date information about the County’s COVID-19 response and what County residents can do to slow the spread of the virus and protect people at risk of serious illness. The most current recommendations can be found on the web at http://www.healthygh.org/covid19.
About Grays Harbor County Public Health & Social Services Department
Grays Harbor County Public Health & Social Services Department works to improve the health and well-being of the people of Grays Harbor.