Cherokee County Public Health Department has identified a positive case of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Cherokee County.

"We understand that this news is difficult to hear and is deeply unsettling to all of us. Unfortunately, we anticipate that we will have additional positive cases during the days and weeks ahead as COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, and across the state of Texas," stated a release from the Cherokee County Public Health Department.

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. Health care providers and public health will remain in contact with this confirmed individual, as well as with anyone that interacted with this individual, if they believe they may be at risk of infection.

With one confirmed case, and the anticipation of more to come, it is very clear that the current health crisis is real and is impacting the Cherokee County community. We must continue to do everything we can to strengthen our personal health protection and heighten our social distancing practices, as well as following the instructions of federal, state, and local officials.

"We would like to remind everyone to adapt simple practices that are commonly recommended to help prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory viruses," the release said.

These practices include:

• 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.

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