COVID-19 cases

Fourth and fifth cases of COVID-19 were confirmed early Wednesday morning in Cherokee County, according to a release issued Monday evening by the Cherokee County Public Health Department.

According to the CCPHD officials, “healthcare providers and public health will remain in contact with confirmed individual(s), as well as with anyone that interacted with (them), if they believe they may be at risk of infection.”

Release of information by the department about cases are limited by the federal HIPAA Privacy Rule, which protects an individual’s health information. CCPHD is following CDC guidelines for the virus.

The Jacksonville Progress will publish further details about reported cases and other COVID-19 news as it is released by officials.

Meanwhile, County Judge Chris Davis, reiterated the need to employ safety measures to keep the virus from spreading.

“You just can't stress that enough,” he said. “We appreciate that a lot of our businesses are limiting contact on their own, but it's as simple as this: When people stop, the virus stops. And that's why social distancing and these other measures are so important.”

Human coronaviruses are most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, such as coughs and sneezes. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. People who are at higher risk for serious complications are those with underlying health conditions and those who are over the age of 65, according to the CCPHD release.

“We would like to remind everyone to take these steps:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Be sure to call before going to your doctor or emergency department to prevent any potential spread.

Additionally, officials noted resources available to the public regarding the pandemic.

“Texas Health and Human Services has launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This new resource offers COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at (833) 986-1919. Further information on COVID-19 can be found at www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/ and www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.”

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