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County urges safe practices on COVID-19

Health department director Dillon discusses testing, social distancing

By Austin Johnson

The Ironton Tribune

The Lawrence County Health Department continues to urge residents to follow safe practices as the county enters its second week under a Red Level Three alert on the Ohio’s advisory system.

Many outbreaks in Lawrence County are being linked to a funeral, multiple church services and bars in Ironton.

On a phone call Friday afternoon, county health commissioner Georgia Dillion voiced her concerns.

“Anytime we receive a positive or a link, everybody that was anywhere that could have been close to a positive has been notified,” Dillion said.

The message the health department really wants to get across is that not only how important it is to maintain a six-foot social distance and were a mask when out in public, but to wait five to six days before getting tested for the novel coronavirus.

“If you test positive today, that does not mean in three days that you will not test positive,” Dillion said. “We ask them to wait five to six days from exposure before getting tested.”

Dillion pointed out that is a possible issue feeding the virus, and said “employers may want them to get tested before they come back, and that’s what they are doing.”

“But you have 14 days from the day of exposure,” she said. “We know that, most of the time, you should test positive within five-six days”.

Dillion says the work day at the department is “very, very busy” and has changed since the coronavirus took over.

“Most of our staff is now doing COVID,” she said, adding they are working weekends to help prevent the spread. “We have to investigate every positive, then have to ask the positive about their contacts.”

The health department is asking residents “especially in this red state, to practice safe practices,” which include wearing a mask and social distancing.

“On our sheet that we use, we know that people with masks on and distancing do not seem to test positive, as compared to the ones who don’t wear a mask, don’t social distance, eat together and ride in cars together,” Dillion said. “Those are all risk.”

She also said “the high risk need to stay at home and everybody needs to monitor their symptoms.”

“We are all in this together to prevent the spread and to prevent the loss of any lives,” Dillion said. “Be safe.”