By Marla Fuller
Cincinnati Health Department
CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Health Department (CHD) has received notification of confirmed positive test results for the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in three Cincinnati residents. These are the first confirmed positive test results in Cincinnati.
The three individuals who tested positive include two males and one female, ages ranging from 31-70 years. All individuals are home in quarantine and recovering.
In order to protect the individuals’ privacy, CHD will not be releasing any additional demographic information relating to these cases. The names of the hospitals providing care for individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 will not be disclosed to protect the privacy of patients and prevent disruption of hospital operations.
“We knew it was only a matter of time before Cincinnati had a confirmed case, and that is why fervent, proactive preparation has been so necessary,” stated Mayor John Cranley. “This news puts us all on high alert to practice the social distancing measures we have recommended. We will all get through this. Our city has been working around the clock to prepare for this exact scenario and are putting the procedures in place necessary to keep a healthy workforce that will continue to provide clean water, police, fire and sanitation services.”
“The City of Cincinnati and CHD continue to work in partnership with regional health agencies, social service providers and area hospitals to ensure proper coordination with and adherence to CDC and ODH guidelines. The Cincinnati Health Department, CDC and hospital officials are currently in the process of identifying individuals these patients had contact with during the time they were in the community before being diagnosed. Individuals potentially exposed will be notified and evaluated. We are providing guidance on risk exposure and management for each case.
“We are also coordinating with various stakeholders on a plan to limit opportunities for community spread as well as enforcing the statewide ban on large gatherings and the closure of dine-in restaurants and bars and various other establishments.
As the virus spreads, the need for social distancing increases. For many, that means an end to handshakes and cancellation of large events. Those precautionary actions have already been established in Cincinnati.”
Earlier this month, the city activated its Emergency Operations Center to prepare for these kinds of cases, and staff will increase efforts as more cases emerge. Cranley stated that the best thing people can do is follow medical advice from our Health Department and the CDC.
Cincinnati Health Commissioner, Dr. Melba R. Moore, said that the virus is so new that there are no approved medications, nor a vaccine, and stresses that responses without medications are essential. “There are steps that all of us in the community can take now to improve basic hygiene and, also prepare for a wider spread in the future,” explained Moore.” She emphasized the following standard precautions to reduce the spread:
o Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
o Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
o Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
o Practice social distancing and avoid crowded areas whenever possible.
o Avoid contact with sick people.
o Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces – doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, etc.
o And most importantly, stay home unless it is necessary to leave.
Residents are strongly encouraged to take precautions to avoid illness. Because guidance is evolving, it’s important for people to monitor the City and CHD websites as well as the CDC websites for the latest information and guidance on COVID-19. The City of Cincinnati and CHD will continue to provide regular updates and information as it becomes available. Residents can sign up for updates by texting cincycovid19 to 77295.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the following links:
To help avoid the spread of misinformation, the City of Cincinnati asks that individuals only share information from trusted health authorities, including World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the City of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Health Department, and Hamilton County Health.