CCPHD releases new figures; probable, confirmed cases now reported on dashboard
CHEROKEE COUNTY – Local public health officials are now reporting probable and confirmed cases on its COVID-19 dashboard, creating what seems to be a jump in cases, although in actuality, it isn't.
"We have now combined probable and confirmed cases on the dashboard," said Grace Mikhail, the emergency preparedness/disease surveillance branch manager for Cherokee County Public Health Department.
A "confirmed" reported case is one which has been laboratory verified as PCR positive, while "probable" reported cases are those which are antigen-positive cases, she said, noting that "both confirmed and probable cases have the same isolation period, isolation of close-contacts, etc."
According to a snapshot released Friday afternoon, there are a total of 1,586 confirmed reported cases in Cherokee County, of which 10 are considered active confirmed. Of the overall total, an additional 289 are probable cases, of which 39 are active probable cases.
Since data first has been collected, there have been a total of 121 hospitalizations of county residents. The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 30 fatalities as of Friday afternoon, of which local health officials have confirmed 14.
According to the CCPHD snapshot, Jacksonville residents comprise the highest number reported of those with the virus, at 926; the largest demographic is that of adults ages 21 to 30.
Inversely, Maydelle has been the least impacted, with just one reported case. The 81 and older demographic also is the least impacted by the virus, with 32 reported cases.
Health officials have noted that 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, these symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Everyone has ways that they can contribute to slow the spread of the virus and should remember to:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed or gloved hands.
• Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
• Stay at home as much as possible
• Put distance between yourself and other people.
◦ Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
◦ Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus
• Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around other people (grocery shopping, pharmacy, etc.)
• If you are in a private setting and do not have your cloth face covering, remember to 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.
Texas Health and Human Services has a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 regarding COVID-19 can be found at https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/ and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
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