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Coronavirus in Tuscarawas County Has Health Officials Working 'Around the Clock'

Ohio Public Health Advisory Map
Ohio Department of Health
Tuscarawas County is now on a watch list for counties that are close to moving into the highest risk level, purple or level 4, on the Ohio Public Health Advisory Map.

Tuscarawas County is on the state's watch list for severe exposure and spread of the coronavirus. Next week, the county might move up a level to purple.

Health Commissioner Katie Seward says the virus is spreading across the county and cannot be pinpointed to one single location or congregation.

SEWARD Tuscarawas County Cases 1112.WAV
Seward: coronavirus spread

“At the current time time we do have active cases in every township in Tuscarawas County, she said. "The cases continue to come in by the minute so we are working pretty much around the clock to try to keep up with contact tracing, and we just don’t really see an end in sight at the current time.”

Seward also says the infectious nature of the virus has exacerbated the massive spread. Small groups of asymptomatic people are spreading it to other household members, co-workers and friends through close contact.

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Seward: testing and symptoms

"I think that the testing helps with compliance. So if someone knows that they tested positive, then they're more willing to stay home for the full 10 days that's required for them to not pass it on to others," Seward said. "What we're seeing is a lot of people who have mild symptoms, think that it's a cold or sinus infection and continue to work. And then, unfortunately expose others who may not have such a mild reaction to the virus. And then our hospital numbers are going up."

The county health department has reported around 500 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks with an increase in new daily hospital admissions of around five as of this week.

Seward is encouraging people to get tested. She also wants people to be aware that the virus could already be present in their body around two days before symptoms appear.

People with mild or flu-like symptoms could also be infected and should get tested as well as isolate from others to decrease spread.

The county health department is posting daily updates on its Facebook page with active case numbers, hospitalizations, outpatient visits and emergency department visits.

Corrected: November 16, 2020 at 9:12 AM EST
The county health department has reported around 500 cases per 100,000 residents, not per 1,000 as this story previously stated.