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Department of Health in Calhoun County Announces the Surge in Community Reported Covid-19 Cases

June 23, 2020

June 23, 2020


DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN CALHOUN COUNTY ANNOUNCES SURGE IN COMMUNITY REPORTED COVID-19 CASES


Contact:
Kelly King, Public Information Officer
kelly.king@flhealth.gov
850-447-6002


Blountstown, Fla.—The Department of Health in Calhoun County (DOH-Calhoun) is informing the public that COVID-19 cases have increased over the past two weeks. Community spread has contributed to this surge. As of June 23rd, 71 cases of COVID-19 have been reported. Six new cases have been reported since June 19th, that are not linked to the previously reported long-term care facility outbreak.


DOH-Calhoun is conducting contact tracing and working on identifying and notifying individuals who will need to self-monitor for symptoms for a 14-day period. Contact investigations are a critical way for staff epidemiologists to track and prevent the spread of disease.
DOH-Calhoun is focused on containing the spread of the virus. We are currently distributing 22,000 cloth masks to residents. In addition, DOH-Calhoun is testing at least 2% of Calhoun County's population monthly to identify any new cases of COVID-19.


The Florida Department of Health issued an additional Public Health Advisory on June 22nd in response to COVID-19, providing recommendations to protect Floridians and visitors from this virus by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. This advisory is in addition to steps that the Department has taken to increase mitigation measures, including the purchase of 20 million cloth masks, which are actively being distributed statewide.


Businesses are encouraged to adhere to the guidance put forth in the Governor's Executive Order 20-139, Phase 2 Reopening Plan. The following points are included in the Executive Order.


• All persons in Florida are encouraged to continue to social distance when possible and to wear cloth face coverings when in public.
• Senior citizens and individuals with a significant underlying medical condition are strongly encouraged to avoid crowds and take measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
• All persons in Florida are encouraged to avoid congregating in groups larger than 50 persons.
• All persons who work in long-term care facilities should be tested for COVID-19 on a routine basis.
• In-store retail businesses, including gyms and fitness centers, should maintain appropriate social distancing and sanitation protocols.
• Restaurants and other establishments, and bars and other vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, may operate at fifty (50) percent of their indoor capacity, excluding employees.Personal services may operate with appropriate safety guidelines.

• Persons who become aware that they have been exposed to COVID-19 should self-isolate for 14 days.

Please note that the COVID-19 epidemic is resurging in Calhoun County. We need your help and ongoing support to continue intervening in the spread of the virus. You can help by continuing to social distance and by using masks in public. To obtain cloth masks please contact us at (850) 674-5645 or by email at calhounlibertyinaction@flhealth.gov


For Updated Information or Guidance:


For up-to-date information, go to https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/ and follow the prompts to the dashboard and detailed report, or click on the dashboard link here. To find the most up-to-date guidance on COVID-19, please visit the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage. Information is available in English and Spanish. For information and advisories from (CDC), please visit the CDC COVID-19 website. For more information about current travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State, please visit the travel advisory website.
CDC updated recommendations for face coverings.


The CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet socia

l distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.


The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.


COVID-19 symptoms and treatment:


The symptoms of COVID-19 can mirror illnesses such as influenza. Patients with COVID-19 typically display symptoms such as fever (100.4°F or higher), cough, and/or shortness of breath within 2 to 14 days of exposure to the virus. Approximately 80% of those affected with COVID- 19 report mild to moderate illness and experience a complete recovery. Some experience more severe illness. People who are more vulnerable to the illness include individuals who are over age 65 with underlying health conditions, immunocompromised, ill or have underlying chronic health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes.


If you are experiencing symptoms or have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, call your health care provider. It is important to call ahead before visiting your health care provider. Offices must take proper steps to avoid further spread of COVID-19 when a concerned patient arrives for a medical evaluation. If you do not have a health care provider or health insurance, call DOH-Calhoun at 850-674-5645 to coordinate care.


Many cases of COVID-19 can be managed at home by treating symptoms, and this is encouraged. However, if you develop worsening symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or inability to drink fluids, contact 911 and advise them of your symptoms as you may need treatment at a hospital.

For more information:


Please visit the Department's dedicated COVID-19 webpage at www.FloridaHealth.gov/COVID-19. This remains the best and most up-to-date resource for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida.


For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department's dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-866-779-6121 or emailing COVID-19@flhealth.gov. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. DOH-Calhoun and Liberty is also operating a call center in house and may be reached at 850-674-5645 or 850-643-2415. Please press 1 from the automated menu. The local call center is available from 7:30a.m.-4:00p.m, Monday-Friday.


In addition, please visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/all-county-locations.html to locate and obtain contact information for your local CHD.


The CDC also has a website with information related to COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.


About the Florida Department of Health:
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.


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