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Lawrence County COVID-19 cases now over 100

On Sunday, Lawrence County hit an unhappy milestone with 100 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the first one was reported on March 25.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 108 confirmed cases, one probable case and two suspected cases. Three of the new cases were between the ages of 20 and 39.

Of the 108 cases, 71 people were out of isolation and Lawrence County Health Department was following 40 cases and monitoring 142 people who had come in contact with people who had COVID-19. There have been no deaths.

“We’re seeing an increase in the number of confirmed cases because of direct contact with someone else who is a confirmed case,” the health department posted on Sunday. “If you were in a bar or restaurant in Ironton on/around July 4, please contact the health department, especially if you are symptomatic.”

The phone number is 740-532-3962.

While the health department did not specify any Ironton restaurant or bar, The Bar on 3rd Street reposted the Lawrence County Health Department’s post and added “Hey everyone we’ve been contacted by the health department and they are asking everyone to contact the Lawrence Co Health Department if you were at our bar or any of the other bars or restaurants in Ironton on 4th of July weekend. They are asking for you to contact them if you are showing symptoms or not! Thank you!”

The Bar’s post did not say that they had any active cases at their establishment.

The health department has a dine safe order with a list of requirements for bars and dine-in restaurants and their staff and customers.

Included on that list is that all employees must wear a mask unless they have a functional or medical reason not to, there can be no more than 10 people in a party seated together, the establishment must have a floor plan for six-foot social distancing or a barrier between tables and customers must be seated when eating or drinking.

“If you’ve been in a place NOT practicing all of these guidelines and you become symptomatic, please make arrangements to be tested,” the health department posted.

COVID-19 symptoms include fever of 100 degrees of more, shortness of breath, dry cough, sore throat, headache, body aches, chills, sudden loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea.

Also on Sunday, the health department explained that all their “positive cases have been symptomatic, or maybe just one symptom, such as a headache or a cough or loss of taste or smell, and were tested because they had symptoms.”

The department said there have been eight hospitalizations so far, with four between March and April and four more in the past couple of weeks.

As for how positive COVID-19 cases are counted, the health department explained that each person is counted only one time, though, regardless of the number of tests. The repeat tests are entered as additional tests, not as new cases.

The health department said that there are a number of places that test for COVID-19 by appointment including King’s Daughters Medical Center, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Cabell Huntington Hospital and Valley Health as are the CAO medical clinics.

St. Mary’s in Ironton requires an order from a health care provider to be faxed along with a copy of the insurance card; and Coal Grove Pharmacy does testing for free, if the person qualifies. The website to check and register is www.doineedacovid19test.com.