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The Defiance County General Health District (DCGHD) released information Thursday morning informing the citizens of Defiance County that cases of COVID-19 are rapidly on the rise in the county.

Following is the release from the DCGHD:

"Defiance County has seen a steady increase in COVID-19 cases in November. In the first half of November, Defiance County has added 485 new lab confirmed cases. Currently, Defiance County’s incidence rate is 764.04 cases per 100,000. This rate is seven times the high incidence rate of 100 per 100,000. It is imperative that we all work together to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"The following preventative measures are steps each of us can take to help slow the spread:

• 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.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

• Practice social distancing by avoiding gatherings and remaining six feet from others.

• Avoid contact with sick people.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

• Wear a cloth facial covering while in public or around others outside of your household.

• Stay home if you are sick.

"If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you need to isolate immediately at home and away from others. Please know that it sometimes takes a few days for your information and the confirmation of your positive result to reach the health department.

"This then causes a delay in you receiving a call from the health department. Once your positive test result is received and confirmed, the Defiance County Health Department will reach out to you to discuss your isolation time frame and contact trace.

"Contact tracing is a proven method to stop the spread of a communicable disease. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, contact your close contacts and tell them to stay home. A close contact is anyone who was close to you (within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period).

"If you are experiencing symptoms, contact tracing starts two days (48 hours) before your symptoms began. This is when you were contagious. If you have no symptoms, contact tracing starts two days (48 hours) before you were tested for COVID-19. The health department will reach out to all close contacts to further offer guidance regarding quarantine.

“We are working through the many cases as quickly as possible. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to respond to the pandemic,” said Defiance County Health Commissioner Jamie Gerken.

For more information about COVID-19, go to the DCGHD website, defiancecohealth.org/coronavirus/; or to theOhio Department of Health website,  coronavirus.ohio.gov.

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