Warren County sees ‘rapid increase’ in COVID-19 spread

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Warren County health officials encouraged residents Friday to take precautions to avoid exposure to COVID-19 as steps toward reopening continued while ”we are seeing a rapid increase in community spread.”

On Friday, the number of reported cases jumped 24, from 473 to 497 - including 91 new positive test results, in the past two weeks.

Four of the 91 new were in prisons, assisted living or long-term care facilities.

The other 87 new cases involve residents “out and about,” said Shelly Norton, communications coordinator for the county health district. “That’s why we chose to take this stance.”

Also in Warren County, one hospitalization was added, bringing the total to 56, including three in the past two weeks. The number of deaths, including two probable, remained at 20, with none in the past 14 days, according to the county district and Ohio Department of Health.

“If you have attended family gatherings, church services, funerals, or live in an apartment building or other multi-family dwelling, we encourage you to monitor yourself closely for any symptoms and consult your doctor if necessary,” officials said in a release issued Friday.

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“Many times the symptoms are similar to mild seasonal allergies and may include, but are not limited to: fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, runny nose, congestion and loss of taste or smell”.

Precautions recommended:

• If you are sick, stay home.

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• Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth when around others, to protect others and yourself.

• Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and other people.

• Avoid large gatherings and confined spaces, whenever possible.

• Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when out in public or you cannot wash your hands.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds

MORE: Complete coronavirus coverage

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer after cough or sneezing.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth as much as possible.

“The Health District is continuing to work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of all Warren County residents,” the release added.

For more information, visit www.coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 513-695-2475.