• Elbert County, COVID-19 Update - April 13, 2020


    We are aware of one new case of COVID-19 in Elbert County, a male in his 50s and a resident of the county. This case bring the total number of known cases of COVID-19 to fifteen. I will complete CDC Case Reports on this incident. 

    We have now reached a sufficient volume of cases where I am to share some additional information on the distribution of them (it is standard practice to not publicly disclose locations of any conditions/incidents where the data is less than three cases). Thus far the confirmed cases in Elbert County have concentrated in two zip codes: 80107 (greater Elizabeth) and 80138 (primarily a Parker zip code which includes residents of northwest Elbert County). As a reminder, CDPHE conservatively estimates the actual number of cases may be anywhere from four to ten times the number of test-confirmed cases. Later today CDPHE will release partial data on the race and ethnicity of COVID-19 cases. These data will represent about 30% of total statewide cases. They expect to share race and ethnicity data for more cases soon thereafter.

    So what is known about the recovery of those infected across the country?

    It’s helpful to think about mild, moderate and severe disease. Most people, upwards of 80%, will have mild symptoms. Their recovery typically takes a couple of weeks. They might feel horrible, very fatigued, with muscle aches, a bad cough, a fever and chest discomfort, and then that goes away. Also, there are some people who never have symptoms, who never even know they had it. There is less know about people experiencing moderate illness. Often, they spend a few days in the hospital. They feel more short of breath. Sometimes, an underlying condition like asthma is exacerbated. Typically, they need a bit of oxygen for a few days. Also, there are patients who have high fevers or severe diarrheal illness with COVID-19. Those patients can get dehydrated and need IV fluids. There also appears to be a small population of people who can develop an inflammation of the heart. They experience symptoms that mimic heart attacks.

    Please regularly check in with older adults in our community.

    Older adults tend to have more preexisting illnesses that put them at more risk for complications. Their immune system is less robust. They’re more prone to secondary infections such as pneumonia in spite of everything healthcare providers do to prevent that. Frailty is an important factor as well. If an older adult goes to a hospital frail and weak, they have less strength to fight the infection.

    Lastly, the Ohio Department Of Health recently produced an excellent ad demonstrating how social distancing can save lives - https://bit.ly/2yYzbrh.

    Dwayne Smith, MEd, MCHES®, CPST
    Administrator, Elbert County Public Health