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Lawrence County gets first positive COVID-19 case

UPDATED at 5:30 p.m.
On Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that Lawrence County had its first positive testing for COVID-19.

The news came from the Lawrence County Commissioners in a live Facebook broadcast.

Commissioner DeAnna Holliday started the livestream by saying that the commissioners wish to remain transparent and informative.

“Today, we must tell you that one of our own has tested positive for the coronavirus,” she said.

She then introduced Georgia Dillion, the county health commissioner.

“Today, March 25, the Lawrence County Health Department is reporting the first positive case of the coronavirus, COVID-19, in a Lawrence County resident,” she announced. “The patient has not been hospitalized and has not had any recent travel history and has had no exposure to any known case.”

She said they will not be releasing any additional information about the person who tested positive in the case.

“We want to protect the privacy of the individual during this time of illness and we will contact anyone who needs to know and/or take action,” Dillon said.

She said that health department nurses, following protocols set by the Ohio Department of Health, have been in contact with the individual after they were notified of the positive test result.

She said they were working to get in contact with anyone the individual may have come in contact with and have them self-quarantine for 14 days.

Dillon said the health department has been preparing for a positive case of the coronavirus for several weeks with state officials and local officials.

She reminded people to follow the state-ordered stay at home directive by the governor and continue to follow hygiene regimens like washing hands for at least 20 seconds and covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough and maintaining a social distance of six feet.

Commissioner Colton Copley, who is also an emergency room physician at Cabell-Huntington Hospital, said county agencies and the health department had been preparing for this day for the past month.

“As a member of the medical community, and as an emergency room doctor who will be on the front lines of the battle against this disease, I assure you the medical community and my fellow colleagues in the emergency department have been working around the clock to prepare to care for you if the need should arise,” he said.

He reminded everyone that the recommendations have not changed and people should “stay home, maintain social distancing and use the resources provided by our local web page, lawrencecounty.org. to guide your decisions.”

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said everyone in local governments had prepared for this day.

“We had always hoped it would never come, but it is here,” he said. He reminded viewers that the rules Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine had put in place were to protect people. “So, please stay home. We will get through this. This thing will run its course and we will get back to our normal lives. But we will get there quicker if we all stay home and adhere to the rules.”

A Gallia County resident died of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The announcement was made by the Gallia County Health Department on a Facebook post and the health department gave no indication of gender, age, where the person lived in Gallia County or of any underlying causes in the case.

The person was reportedly diagnosed with the coronavirus at a Huntington, West Virginia hospital.

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On Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that Lawrence County had its first test for COVID-19 come back positive.

Georgia Dillion, the county health commissioner, made the announcement with the Lawrence County Commissioners in a live Facebook broadcast.

Commissioner DeAnna Holliday started the livestream by saying that the commissioners wish to remain transparent and informative.

“Today, March 25, the Lawrence County Health Department is reporting the first positive case of the coronavirus, COVID-19, in a Lawrence County resident,” she announced. “The patient has not been hospitalized and has not had any recent travel history.”

 

— Check back with the Tribune for more updates on this developing story