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Coronavirus: Clark County resident shares story during state press conference

Jill Parker, a resident of South Vienna, spoke to Gov. Mike DeWine during a press conference on Wednesday after she was invited to share her story with COVID-19.
Jill Parker, a resident of South Vienna, spoke to Gov. Mike DeWine during a press conference on Wednesday after she was invited to share her story with COVID-19.

A South Vienna resident spoke during a press conference held by Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday after sharing her experiences with COVID-19 on Facebook.

Jill Parker, who is the president of the school board for Northeastern Local School District, was asked to speak virtually during the conference after sharing her experiences with COVID-19 online earlier this week.

Parker said that she and her family held a small gathering on the Fourth of July and within a few days some of those that attended started to show symptoms of the coronavirus.

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“Just like so many of the cases you just mentioned. We had a very small family gathering on the Fourth of July. Honestly believed that we were very safe. No one knew of anyone that had been around who was positive,” she said during the press conference on Wednesday.

Her remarks came after DeWine listed several examples of Ohioans becoming exposed to COVID-19 after attending small gatherings or weddings. He urged residents to exercise caution amid the pandemic – even with friends and family members.

“The virus is real and we certainly cannot let our guard down,” DeWine said.

Parker was invited to speak after DeWine was made aware of her story following her social media.

Parker said shortly after her family gathering, that one of those that had attended was around a person who was asymptomatic. When those that attended started to show symptoms, they all took immediate action, she added.

“Thankfully everybody was very responsible and by midweek had been self isolating and scrambling for tests,” Parker said.

“We dropped our guard. You have heard the stories over and over again. We dropped our guard and we thought we certainly don’t have any symptoms,” She added. “‘We know all these people. We’ve been around them. What is the harm?' And sadly people got sick.”

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According to her Facebook posts, 11 of the people, including herself, who attended the family gathering tested positive for COVID-19.

“We’ve been exceedingly lucky; no one needed hospitalization, and no one died. While sick, I had literally every symptom on the CDC list,” Parker wrote on Facebook. “I had days where it was all I could do to get up and go to the bathroom. Days I drank water and did not even attempt to eat.”

Parker said on Wednesday that she felt it was necessary to share her story and to show how the virus can affect peoples’ lives.