The Florida Department of Health in Jackson County (DOH-Jackson) has identified 298 total positive cases of COVID-19 in Jackson County, according to an agency press release on Friday.

Of those 298 cases, 240 are associated with either the Florida Department of Corrections or long-term care facilities.

Health officials say there are 97 people who have tested positive that are currently under public health monitoring and four individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 related illness. DOH-Jackson is conducting contact investigations and working to identify and notify individuals who will need COVID-19 testing and public health monitoring. Contact investigations are a critical way for staff epidemiologists to track and prevent the spread of disease.

FACE MASKS

DOH-Jackson recently received a shipment of cloth face masks from the Department of Emergency Management. These masks will be distributed through local civic organizations, faith based organizations, local county government officials and housing authorities.

“CDC guidance continues to include the use of cloth face coverings as an effective measure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community,” Jackson County Health Officer Sandy Martin said.

“I encourage everyone to help do their part by wearing a cloth face mask when in public, to practice social distancing, perform good hand hygiene often and to stay home when you are sick.

“In these difficult times it is important to work together to prevent the spread of the virus. By practicing a ‘WE over ME’ mentality, WE, as a community, can slow the spread. If you or your family would like cloth face masks, please contact the Health Department.”

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

The symptoms of COVID-19 can mirror illnesses such as influenza. Patients with COVID-19 typically display symptoms such as fever (100.4°F or higher), cough, and/or shortness of breath within 2 to 14 days of exposure to the virus. Approximately 80% of those affected with COVID-19 report mild to moderate illness and experience a complete recovery. Some experience more severe illness. People who are more vulnerable to the illness include individuals who are over age 65 with underlying health conditions, immunocompromised, ill or have underlying chronic health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes.

Many cases of COVID-19 can be managed at home by treating symptoms, and this is encouraged. However, if you develop worsening symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or inability to drink fluids, contact 911 and advise them of your symptoms as you may need treatment at a hospital.

More information about the 2019 coronavirus disease can be found at floridahealthcovid19.gov and cdc.gov/coronavirus.

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