UPDATE: CONFIRMED CASE WAS A REPORTING ERROR
EDIT: GCGH ANNOUNCED SUNDAY THAT THIS WAS A REPORTING ERROR. THERE ARE NO CONFIRMED CASES IN GREENE COUNTY.
Greene County General Hospital CEO Brenda Reetz announced the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Greene County.
Our local health department and the Indiana State Department of Health will be conducting the epidemiological survey locally to determine community exposure risk and take appropriate action," Reetz said in a briefing from the GCGH Command Center.
"If you have been exposed, you will be contacted by the local health department. There's no need to call the health department and ask if you've been exposed. They will contact you if that is necessary."
With the first confirmed case in the county, Reetz said it is even more important than ever to keep yourselves and your family safe.
"The easiest and most effective way to do this is to stay at home and distance yourself from in-person contact with others," Reetz stressed.
Reetz also took a moment to clear up concerns about testing for COVID-19.
"The testing supplies are very limited nation-wide. Due to this, the CDC and ISDH have put protocols in place that we are obligated to follow to determine the appropriate people to be tested with the limited supplies we have. The testing is limited to the most vulnerable people and the sickest people. Just having symptoms of COVID-19 doesn't make you an automatic candidate for testing. It's really limited to that small population," Reetz said.
Reetz noted the CDC and ISDH may update those protocols as the supplies become available.
"If you do have symptoms of COVID-19, you can manage them at home. The best thing you can do is self-isolate, which means stay home, stay away from other people in the home. Distance yourself from them. Do not share silverware, food, things like that with someone else."
Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Reetz said due to the incubation period of the virus, it is requested to self-isolate for 14 days or 72 hours after symptoms are gone. If you feel as though you need to see a healthcare provider, Reetz urged individuals to call ahead.
The My Clinics Convenient Care Clinic is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and GCGH is offering telehealth opportunities to limit exposure.
"If you feel like you need in the emergency department, please call ahead so we can meet you in the parking lot with the appropriate protective equipment to keep you and our staff safe," Reetz said.
"I've heard a lot of people say that if I've been exposed, I need to be tested. That's not true. If you've been exposed and you don't have any symptoms, you won't test positive. The test will only trigger as positive if you are actively having symptoms when you are tested."
Reetz said the she begs the community to take this situation serious.
"Indiana State Department of Health announced this morning that there are now 126 cases of COVID-19 statewide. We now have three deaths in our state. Please take this serious. You all have the ability to help limit the spread of this really deadly virus. Stay home. Stay away from others. Wash your hands. Use your good hygiene. If you're going to cough, cough into your arm. Please, please, please be safe and careful during this time. We know this is in our community now. This is serious. It is real. Please it take it that way."