*Editor's note: This article was updated at around 5 p.m. Friday, May 15, with additional information from Carol Bookhout, community educator for the Polk County Health Center.
Over six weeks since the Polk County Health Center announced the county’s first COVID-19 case, the center confirmed a second positive case for Polk County on Friday, May 15.
“The patient, a Polk County resident, is currently at home in isolation, following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” a health center news release said.
The release said the health center is working to notify people who may have come into contact with the individual while the person was infectious and will monitor the individual for fever and respiratory symptoms.
“No other information will be provided about the patient,” the release said.
On a Facebook post, the health center said the identified case had not been in public.
"There is no concern for public exposure," the health center said. "If we determine there has been public exposure with a positive case in Polk County, we will notify the public regarding the details."
The health center said "at this time, all of the contacts have been notified, and there is no threat to the public."
Carol Bookhout, Polk County Health Center's community educator, said the center has talked with all contacts in the case.
"Each one is in quarantine and will be monitored by the Polk County Health Center epidemiology team as per the CDC recommendations," she said. "The case is not travel related, and we are continuing investigations to determine the point of exposure."
To reduce risk and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the health center encouraged following these basic preventative measures:
- Practice physical distancing of 6 feet when in public places.
- Wear a face covering when in public.
- Stay home if sick in order to keep from passing illness to others.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home whenever possible.
- Avoid non-essential travel.
“If you suspect that you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, call your healthcare provider to let them know before seeking care,” the release said.
It is critical providers are aware patients may have COVID-19 prior to their arrival at a health care facility and that people follow all instructions when arriving at a facility, the release said.
There are a wide range of symptoms — from mild symptoms to severe illness, the release said. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
The release said people with the following symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell.
The release said this list does not include all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
Citizens Memorial Hospital is offering drive-thru testing for COVID-19 with a CMH doctor’s order, the release said. Patients with COVID-19 symptoms can complete a CMH virtual visit or call a CMH clinic for screening to obtain the order. More information is available at citizensmemorial.com.